If you're passing through the Central California coast and you see a sign advertising "Hearst Castle" do yourselves a favor and stop in for a couple of hours. Though not actually a castle — it more resembles a small Spanish village complete with faux-church — the compound shows off the kind of opulence you'd be hard pressed to find this side of Dubai. The "backyard" as Hearst called it was miles and miles of California and the front yard was pristine beach as far as the eye could see. Things change, but not always for the better. Lotte explains in Ray Wert's timely post on How Volcanic Ash Can Kill An Airpline how some things are getting worse.
Friends, the Beige is among us. Boring twin-engine jets are taking over the skies, while this DC10 (or is it an MD-11? It's been too long) with its crazy third engine mounted between the fuselage and the tailfin!!, is left to die in a cloud of volcanic dust. Save the Boeings? Pah. They don't need saving; the 737 has done enough Camrying up our skies (and don't even get me started on those gas-guzzling 747s carrying all but 150 people...).
We need beautiful jets. Fast jets. Sleek jets like the extended body MD-81. Who cares if there is an issue with the Horizontal Stabilizer control that can snap the steering out of the pilot's hands? That's charecter. And what was that classic jet with the blended engine/wing combo? That was cool.
Get your 737 out of here, Boeing, and give me back my McDonnell Douglas!
Hearst is actually one of the first individuals to own a private plane. I think it was a DC-3.