I've been lucky enough to have some real magic moments with airplanes, including a ride in a P-51, seeing a flying wing (B-35 probably) seeing the XB-70 in flight, having Concorde and SR
-71s go by below me and more. But one of the great ones was in Northern California in about 1952 when a huge formation of B-36s flew south, down the coast and right over our house at low altitude.
We heard them coming for a minute or so, and had time to run outside. They were in V-of-3, twelve in all, for a total of 36 aircraft. The sound was knock-you-to-the-ground amazing. We stared at them until they disappeared over the horizon and stared at the smoke trail until that went away. The first time I heard the phrase "aluminum overcast" this was the first thing I thought of.
I believe that the B-36 had some high altitude performance that was not equalled for some time. Stupendous airplane and probably the reason I still have really big airplane dreams.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.