Friday, July 4, 2008

IF YOU WANNA FLY, FLY THE WHITE HORSE





Above image by Børre Sæthres exhibition: "From Someone Who Nearly Died But Survived" at Brandt's Photographic Museum in Odense. The same town HC Andersen heard his first fairy tale.

In Greek mythology, Pegasus is the winged horse that was fathered by Poseidon with Medusa. When her head was cut of by the Greek hero Perseus,
the horse sprang forth from her pregnant body. His galloping created
the well Hippocrene on the Helicon (a mountain in Boeotia).

When the horse was drinking from the well Pirene on the Acrocotinth, Bellerophon's fortress, the Corinthian hero was able to capture the horse by using a golden bridle, a gift from
Athena. The gods then gave him Pegasus for killing the monster Chimera
but when he attempted to mount the horse it threw him off and rose to
the heavens, where it became a constellation (north of the ecliptic).



Above image from the ceiling of Grand Central Station, New York. It is said the artists made it reversed so it could be better seen from the God's perspective.
α Peg (Markab), β Peg, and γ Peg, together with α Andromedae (Alpheratz or Sirrah) form the large asterism known as the Square of Pegasus. 51 Pegasi, a star in this constellation, is the first Sun-like star known to have an extrasolar planet. IK Pegasi is the nearest supernova candidate. Spectroscopic analysis of HD 209458 b,
an extrasolar planet in this constellation has provided the first
evidence of atmospheric water vapour beyond the solar system.


It should be no secret that Turkish Pegasus Airlines has a large fleet of airplanes with Pegasus on the tail. Pegasus Airlines was established in 1990 as a joint venture between Aer Lingus, Silkar Yatirim and Net Holding, with its head office located in Istanbul. Since its first commercial flight in May 1990, the airline has grown from a fleet of two aircraft, to a fleet of 17, which
includes the very latest new generation Boeing 737/800s. In 18 successful years, Pegasus Airlines has become a leading charter airline in Turkey. With a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-800, 2 Boeing 737-400, and 3 Boeing 737-500, the airline operates charter flights, from Turkey to 99 destinations in 17 countries. Pegasus Airlines also provides wet lease to airlines in need of extra capacity. It also has very inexpensive flights between Copenhagen and Istanbul.

 

It is said that the first attemt of human flight was from the Galata Tower in Istanbul, and the gentleman who put on his wings and jumped out from the tower had a nice flight down over the rooftops and Bosphorus and felt he was alive.


Above image of Sabiha and Atatürk from the Turkish Air Forces.

The second international airport of Istanbul on the Asian side, is the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, and is where Pegasus Airlines lands when they fly to Istanbul. Sabiha Gökçen (March 22, 1913, BursaMarch 22, 2001, Ankara) was the first Turkish female aviator and the first female combat pilot in the world. She was one of the eight adopted children of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

 

Just after the introduction of the surname act (June 21, 1934), Atatürk gave her the family name Gökçen on December 19, the same year. Gök means sky in Turkish and Gökçen means 'belonging or relating to the sky'. However, she was not an aviator at the date and it was only six months later that Sabiha developed a passion for flying.



Atatürk attached great importance to aviation and for that purpose, oversaw the foundation of the Turkish Aeronautical Association in 1925. He took Sabiha along with him to the opening ceremony of Türkkuşu (Turkishbird) Flight School on May 5, 1935. During the airshow of gliders and parachutists invited from foreign countries, she got very excited. As Atatürk asked her whether she would also want to become a skydiver, she nodded "Yes indeed, I am ready right now".

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