Thursday, June 23, 2005
THE AIRPORT CONGA LINE
Nothing quite like looking out your window, as you’re waiting for takeoff, to see an endless queue of aircraft snaking along the tarmac, as far as the eye can see.
It means you are going to wait. Possibly a long, long time.
This picture is similar to what I saw looking out the window yesterday on my flight from Houston to Chicago. That same ol’ conga line. Fortunately, it looked worse than it really was and we were on our way in about 20 minutes.
But the picture is different. Look at all of those skinny-fuselage planes, the ones with four engines hanging from the wings. Those are Boeing 707’s.
The photograph - from the Elisson Archive - was taken at New York’s JFK Airport in September, 1968, during the height of a (then) unprecedented aviation boom. Too many flights without the infrastructure to handle them. Long waits - this one two hours long - on the tarmac as the conga lines snaked along.
The reddish color is a combination of the effects of sunset and Ektachrome Infrared Aero, which renders grass and anything else bearing chlorophyll as red.