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Aircraft and Worldwide Politics

I remember that scene from the movie "The Blues Brothers" with Jake and Elwood hiding from who-knows-who in the super tiny apartment next to skytrain or railway tracks, shaking every now and again and every time when a train is passing by the neighborhood. I always felt sympathy for all those people who are actually living next to those high trafficking high or rail ways with heavy tremors in the air in form of high decibels of various noises all around them. Guess what? Our own neighborhood is now getting similar feeling. Actually, similar is understatement. It is way worse. The new tracks are placed just couple of dozens of meters above our house. In recent months and years, the local airport are getting more and more traffic and the runway position is actually crossing our street almost to the single angle. I couldn't do much about it except to took the camera as soon as I heard the noise and 'shot' their underbellies. So here are couple of those taken in previous couple of days. Some of they ended interesting enough from down here.

The star of the show is of course the biggest of them all - Ilyushin II-76 Candid or some of it's versions made overtime. It was the old Soviet star craft from the late cold war time, especially during the Russian-Afghanistan adventure back in the 80s of previous century. I know I would easily be able to surf it out why it is flying these days regularly on and off our local area but in the end I don't really care much. I am not 100% sure, but I think couple of days ago I spotted a six-engine aircraft over the house but in the ultimate surprise I couldn't find the camera on time... Anyway, if it happens again and if it wasn't my imagination I will definitely update this post in the future.

Our local airport, named "Constantine The Great", after famous roman emperor from third century who was actually born in the old roman city of Naissus, is actually a small surrogate airport when it comes to commercial and passenger flights. Currently only couple of low-cost airlines are operating commercial flights but also lots of cargo flights are scheduled over the year and especially tourist charters over summer time. To me, shots taken from underbelly of those four aircraft above, with their wheels downed, trigger mixed and opposite feelings in me - their almost vulnerable side not often seen from this angle and a little proud of humanity mastering the light and tiny air by ultra-heavy crafts capable of carrying tons of cargo and hundreds of humans.

Somehow, when I glimpse about airtravel, I really think we are taking our own achievements for granted and I couldn't agree more with Louis C.K., who would say to all those people who are complaining about their 'poor' flight experience: "Did you fly through the air like a bird, incredibly? Did you soar into the clouds, impossibly? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight and then land softly on giant tires that you couldn't even conceive how they f**king put air in them?...You're sitting in a chair in the sky. You're like a Greek myth right now."

The Airport is also used by the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center that was established on the basis of cooperation in the area of emergency humanitarian response, prevention of natural disasters and technological accidents and elimination of their consequences. Although, politically confronted EU and USA are openly talking about 'hidden' military operations by the Russians acting in undercover as a response to USA/EU military establishments in the neighboring countries, I have to say that I didn't see any proof of that. Instead, what I really saw couple of years ago, when large forest-fires stroke this area, the only ones who actually tried to help were Russians with their large aircraft who along with heavy firemen helicopter (in the photo above) made four-five rounds per day trying to put all the fires out on several places in neighbored mountains and forests in flames.

If you were reading my blog in the past, you would probably notice that I am not really big fan of the worldwide politics and certainly not a follower of any agenda but in this particular case when it came to some non-war action against natural hazards, what I saw from Russians is all the action taken, while all I saw in USA/EU media was just vague political talk in vain. If you ask me, and even though I am pro-western oriented mind, in today 'bright and shiny', new world order, it seems that there are no good and bad guys like before. As it appears, the world today is not black and white anymore and instead painted in dozen of variations of gray. It's impossible to state anything for certain. Just couple of miles next to this 'Russian Center' there are also other 'offices' like 'American Corner' or 'British Council' in city's downtown. Probably more of those with 'humanitarian' or 'cultural' adjectives in their names or descriptions. Do they all do just what they say they are doing? If I answered with 'yes' I would be, most likely, insulting my own intelligence. But I refuse to see spies and 007s everywhere and to always suspect the bad and the worst in any institution. As long as they put fires out or spread democracy and good values to children I will be happy they exist.

Anyway, talking about military aspects of the world, the local runway is also used by Serbian air force and once a year they open their gates for a small exhibition of their selected aircraft flotilla, or whatever the military word is, and show off flights in form of modest airshow. Last year we went to see it with Viktor for the first time and he was excited to enter some helicopters and especially one old military biplane that is used even today, by local parachute jumpers. Anyhow, while I still think that the world would be way better place without military and army installations as I portrayed in post "Warfare Then and Now", perhaps the biggest impression in that regard I have, is with airplane industry. Ever since Wright brothers and their first flight 112 years ago, this industry, in part thanks to military affairs, is probably the most developed then any others, or in better words and thanks to all its achievements, it made that entire world is not that big place like it used to be. Literally.
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