My editor calls it "plane porn"; the GE Show calls it "Paths of Flight." I just call it beautiful.
In support of GE Aviation's efforts to help develop the next generation of U.S. airspace in association with the FAA, a video production team filmed 24 hours' worth of footage showing planes landing and taking off. The resulting one-minute 49-second video, which uses multiple images of individual planes to present a new perspective on flight paths, is nothing short of amazing. Astonishingly, there's no CG animation.
The point of the video, as well as other details at the GE Show, is that commercial flights are still using an air-navigation network dating from the days when airports would light bonfires to help air-mail pilots land at night. The FAA has been creating new flight paths as part of the modernization of the nation's airspace. According to this video, GE is the first private company to partner with the FAA to create these "highways in the sky." The new system will allow aircraft to take off and land more efficiently, using less time and fuel to do so.
But back to that video. I especially love the shots of the plane taxiing for take-off (00:17) and the UFO-like approach and landing scene (00:48). Which are your favorites?
Smart Traveler Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure.