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How To Fly A Pig

Updated: Jun 27

There are many ways that you can fly a pig. The most immediate option that springs to mind is the trebuchet - a blunt instrument for achieving flight. We would expect that our pig will enjoy a short and direct flight of up to 400 metres (depending on the mass of our pig and obviously they don't like to talk about this kind of thing) and experience an exhilarating rush before a rapid and well planned landing. Once we have our pig comfortably dressed in the appropriate safety attire, including the lightning embossed safety helmet, then it's simply a matter of strapping them into the sling. Release the lever and we have flight. Unfortunately, moving the trebuchet around is slightly more difficult and it appears it exceeds the maximum towing capacity of my car.


That now brings us to helium balloons, a gentle and relaxing option of flight. Our pig will experience a much more sedate and uplifting experience as the addition of each balloon will bring about a sensation of weightlessness that will eventually result in the disconnection of our pig from the ground. Sourcing the balloons is relatively easy, sourcing the helium is a little less so and potentially could be quite pricey. A rough (and very rough it is) estimate is that we will need 1 cubic metre of helium to raise 1kg of pig. At this point in time, my knowledge (or lack of) of physics is demonstrating that this method will require a trial and error approach. Adding balloons one by one (not those regular balloons, we need pig lifting size ones) until we find the right balance. There does appear to be some limitations in steering our pig once they are in the air but this will be more than made up for the fantastic view the the pig will have of the surrounding area and the bemused look of the onlookers of the pig floating above them (ensure your mouth is closed). On reflection, placing a pig in a hot air balloon might be the better option (particularly the closed basket aspect of this)


I suspect the jetpack would be a popular option amongst pigs. This brings a greater level of control and distance, and the manoeuvrability that is desirable when flying a pig. Given the choice, drifts of pigs would opt for formations of flying, zooming around the countryside and meeting up for tea and cake at the local café. There has been significant progress in this area and definitely presents a more portable option however the length of the flight does appear to be limited in most instances based on the required fuel and how quickly this is depleted. Pig jetpack refuelling stations located conveniently throughout the immediate area would be in demand, and a lucrative business could be had however strict regulations might need to be considered to avoid "sky jams" (or is it sky hams?) occupying the airspace above us.


Similar to the jetpack option is the rocket option. For this, we could achieve the greatest distances of all, perhaps even exiting the atmosphere (pigs in space) and breaking free from gravity restraints could result in endless possibilities. Ultimately, we would need some basic calculations to avoid some key obstacles in our own solar system and interstellar travel might be a little beyond our means that the moment, however, the the moon could present a clear target for our intended endeavour (or is shoot for the stars and you'll land on the moon). If our intention is to achieve weightlessness of the pig (as a definition for flight) then this could serve as a double whammy for our venture.


Perhaps the simplest option (and slightly cheaper than our trebuchet option) is to send our pig first class on an international airline, experiencing the finest that air travel has to offer in an incredibly comfortable and accomodating seat. Whilst overcoming the initial reluctance of the airlines, pigs could enjoy all the luxuries as they travel around the world. There may be some difficulties operating the inflight entertainment system but we now have much greater control of the distance and destination for our swine companion. We ourselves can relax in the knowledge that our pampered pigs will arrive refreshed and ready for what lies ahead of them.


The idea of pigs flying is very much a construction of the pigs. We know the expressions of "when pigs fly" or "when pigs have wings" (oh, genetic modification of the pig - that can be a whole different debate for later), used to express situations that are highly unlikely to come to fruition. Or is it really a cue from the pigs wanting us to be more creative about the options that we provide for them? I mean, have you ever asked a pig if they want to fly? Impossibility can only exist when we don't see possibility, don't see the options at hand or don't understand how they can work. It's also important to know that the expression "when pigs fly" has been around since the 17th Century, when flight didn't exist in any format we are familiar with today. Perhaps it is time for this to be updated, particularly with the many options listed above and all of the ones that you can think of as well. This phrase at the time could well have been "when humans fly". Many things have changed, and many things will continue to change. It's time to let the boar soar.


There are many ways you can fly a pig. Options are only limited by your imagination and understanding choice will allow you to weigh the pros and cons of your approach. The real question is, what is your preferred method?


Michael.

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