I loved walking out onto the flightline at sunrise. It’s quiet in much the same way you would experience camping at a hidden beach, or deep in the mountains. There’s just a little bit of natural ambient noise and the sound of the dew evaporating off of every surface in sight, nothing else. Everything is quiet, everything is still. But that peace won’t last long…before the heat of the day really started to become a thing, the sounds of Kiowas, Black Hawks and Apaches coming to life would fill the air. The whining of Chinook APUs at max would reverberate off of the walls of the hangar as the first of the C-5 Galaxy cargo jets and the C-17 Globemasters started rolling out down the runway. You didn’t need to see to know what they were, especially the C-5s which were still rocking the older, high-pitched scream and low-pitched roar soundtrack that is the aviation equivalent of a Hellcat’s blower whine and Hemi thunder. You could tell from the rotor chop and turbine squall which helicopter was moving around, and in what had to be a total of fifteen minutes, the flight line went from a silent asphalt desert to a humming air station.
That in-between moment between quiet and loud is the magic moment. From the click-whirr-vroom noise of the Kiowas to the sounds of the APUs of the jets as they were being loaded up and prepared for the flights out for the day, the starting point is always the best part of the day. It’s something akin to Frankenstein’s monster: it’s been brought to life. Bring on the fire and the flames.