Aviation is a kind of art to me – man’s attempt to immatate and capture nature. Airplanes may be great at transporting people and FedEx boxes from point A to B, but that is utility, not art. One school art art is to imitate nature, and to that extent I am facinated by sailplanes. You have nothing but the rising columns of air to sustain you, but no engines, no flightplans, and hardly any instruments to distract you either. Another school is that of Picasso and Mark Rothko who would argue “why limit yourself to the literal world when you can express the essense of your subject?” It is to this end that we push higher and faster, and find planes like the SR-71 and the X-43.