I have always been intrigued by flying. Though I understand the principles and physics of flying and lift off, I still remain amazed by it. Amongst the aircrafts, I hope to see is the legendary Antonov An-225 Mriya. The Antonov, an engineering feat of multiple quanta, was developed by the Soviet Union during the cold war era (the late 1980s), to support the Soviet space programme.

What makes the plane special?

  1. Its wingspan is about 88 metres. This is the largest wingspan of any operational aircraft. That dimension is about the length of a football field.

2. It is the heaviest aircraft built with a maximum take-off weight of 640 tonnes. For comparison, the weight of an average sedan car is about 1 ton. In effect, one Antonov weighs about 640 sedan cars. This gives perspective.

3. The Antonov-225 is currently the single commercial freight power-driven by six turbofan engines.

4. The Antonov An-225 has set over 200 world records that involve airlifting the world’s heaviest and the longest cargo.

The Antonov is an air enthusiast delight. Wherever it goes, it is always escorted by fans and onlookers who are amazed by this big bird of the skies.

Cars revolutionised transport systems around the world. Thanks to Henry Ford who both commercialised and democratised the use of cars. Ever since (wo)man discovered cars, they have been inseparable. A car serves several functions — means of transportation, fashion statement, glamour etc. In the same vein, a car means different things to different people.

As urbanization increased and globalization became mainstream, the need for a car, especially for commute reasons, rose. This gave birth to different car companies across the world who marketed their cars in terms of fuel efficiency, prestige, engineering prowess, national symbols etc. The adoption of cars also made fossil fuels a must-have. Petrol overtook kerosene as the most valuable of the fractionated hydrocarbons because it was required to fuel cars.

In the drive to make even low-income earners car owners, the Indian automaker, produced “The Tata Nano”. The inexpensive rear-engined hatchback car was intended to appeal to current riders of motorcycles and scooters and also compete with the used car industry.

The purchase price of about $2000 was set because the car was a “no-frills transport machine”. None essentials that would not affect the functionality of the car were removed. “The nonessential features include, removal of the passenger’s side wing mirror, having one wiper blade, having only three lug nuts per wheel, removal of the fuel filler cap from the fuel tank”. The amount of steel used and the low-cost Indian labour that was readily available enabled the manufacturer to achieve the price point. This also made the average weight of the car to be about 600 kg (about 0.6 tons).

All was set for a big boom until ownership of the “Tata Nano” was equated with the social status of being cheap and unstylish. Many began to shy away from the car until it came to a point when TATA had to pull a plug on production in May 2018.

Why are we talking about the Tata Nano and the Antonov 225?

One is a paperweight that cannot fly and one is a super cruiser heavyweight that flies. In fact, in comparison, the Antonov weighs about 1100 times the weight of the Tata Nano. This is paradoxical. The lightweight that cannot fly and the heavyweight that flies.

What made the difference? It is what they are made up of. It is inbuilt. E dey body. The Tata Nano was made to be on the ground but the Antonov was made to fly regardless of its size. As such, the detailed engineering that was put in for it to attain escape velocity upon runoff is not in the Tata Nano.

It is not by weight. It is by what they are made up of.

You see an android is not iOS. iOS is not an android. But function differently. How you function depends on the “operating software” running your life. It is either you download that software willingly by developing habits that will take you to your desired destination. Or life downloads that software for you (most times, you will not like the software). You choose.

What are you made up of?

Can it allow you to fly? Or it is just for strolling around?

What input are you make today that will enable you to fly tomorrow?

By just being around for 60 years will not make you wise. If you do not deliberately develop yourself to be an Antonov 225, you will be stuck on the runway of life.

Be deliberate.

Be consequential.

Be an Antonov….despite the facts.

You can check out my other works on personal development Asking, Managing Access In Relationships How To Ask, Authenticity, Life Skill: The Power of Saying “No”, Start Off; Look Up & Pedal Hard, 12 Unforgettable Leadership Lessons From The Lion King and Now I Arise. I also reviewed The Lion King and wrote about Movies That Shaped.

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