2452: Aviation Firsts
Title text: Mile High Club membership [✓] [ ] Discovery of parts of Amelia Earhart's skeleton [ ] [ ] Mid-flight incident that results in safe landing on the Hudson River [✓] [ ]
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by D. B. COOPER OF MARS. Put a table detailing all the events of the achievement checklist with an Earth and Mars column. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
This comic reflects the Ingenuity probe's first flight on Mars. Now that Ingenuity has completed its first flight, Mars can be counted among planets with controlled powered flight. The preceding categories in the list were completed by the first space probes to reach and then land on Mars. Flight, landing and controlled landing were variously achieved by some or all of the prior landers, depending upon your definition of flight, but certainly by the Skycrane element used in landing both Curiosity and Perseverance rovers. These may not have qualified as controlled powered flight as they only used their power to control the landing, before flying off again under power without any more precise control than that needed to intentionally crash elsewhere.
The remaining have only been completed on Earth, if at all. A loop does not yet seem to be practical or necessary to attempt over Mars, and the rest grow more bizarre and more specific further down the comic and extending into the title text.
Planetary circumnavigation has been achieved by many Mars orbiters but this is a list of aviation firsts, which would require controlled flight within an atmosphere.
- The Hughes H-4 Hercules (the "Spruce Goose") was a prototype wooden airplane, known for being the largest flying boat ever constructed. The Hercules was designed by aviation pioneer (and, latterly, famed recluse) Howard Hughes. The design was intended as a lightweight transoceanic transport for the the military, but the prototype, built out of wood because of aluminum shortages during World War II, was not completed until well after the end of the war and flew only a single time in 1947. Since 1991, it has been on permanent display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA.
- In 1971, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 was famously hijacked by a man who bought a ticket under the pseudonym "Dan Cooper" (but popularly known as D. B. Cooper). After being given a $200,000 ransom by the plane's crew, Cooper proceeded to parachute jump out of the plane using the rear airstair and was never confirmed to have been heard from again; many experts agree that the parachute jump was very risky and it's unlikely that Cooper survived. (Cooper was previously mentioned in 1400: D.B. Cooper and 1501: Mysteries.)
- The "mile high club" is a slang term for people who have had sexual intercourse while onboard an airplane in flight. Although the notion of sex in space is understood to be severely hampered by the limited life support and the complete lack of natural gravity, it's not certain whether Mars's low gravity (compared to Earth) would make it similarly challenging to have intercourse within the planet's atmosphere.
- Amelia Earhart was an aviator who, along with her navigator Fred Noonan, went missing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 while attempting a global circumnavigation flight and has never been found. While there's some possibility that some of Earhart and Noonan's remains will eventually be discovered somewhere in the Pacific, the notion of them somehow ending up on the surface of Mars is practically impossible outside the remit of certain conspiracy theories. (Earhart was previously mentioned in 1501: Mysteries, 950: Mystery Solved, and 2197: Game Show.)
- The Miracle on the Hudson was a 2009 aviation incident in which a US Airways airliner struck a flock of geese shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Despite the plane losing all its engine power as a result of the bird strike, Captain Chesley Sullenberger successfully crash-landed in the nearby Hudson River with minimal injuries to the passengers onboard. Of course, it would be highly impractical for a powered flight that encounters a problem in the sky above Mars to then fly all the way to Earth just for an emergency landing in the New York area (assuming the "Hudson River" in question wouldn't instead refer to a similarly-named river on a terraformed Mars).
- [A chart is shown with nine items. To the right of each item there are two check boxes. Above the top row of check boxes are two underlined labels for the two columns. The first four rows have both boxes checked, and the last five have only the first box checked. The last two items are so long that they take up three and four rows of text. The first seven items are written on one line each.]
Earth Mars Flight [✓] [✓] Landing [✓] [✓] Controlled landing [✓] [✓] Controlled powered flight [✓] [✓] Loop [✓] [ ] In-flight meal [✓] [ ] Planetary circumnavigation [✓] [ ] Enormous wooden aircraft built by a reclusive billionaire [✓] [ ] that flies exactly once Hijacking by someone dubbed "D.B. Cooper" who demands [✓] [ ] money and then jumps out mid-flight to an unknown fate
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