For a good few years now, some cities around the world allow their residents to name the machinery the respective municipalities use.
Case in point, a town in Scotland has been holding contests every year to name its snowplows since 2006. A town in Minnesota got in on the fun a few years later (funny names, huh?). You may also remember that “Boaty McBoatface” was the winning name for a ferry in the U.K. in 2016. That was followed by the huge controversy during the name of a ferry in Australia (remember that crazy story?).
U.S.-based airlines generally don’t name their planes, although Frontier puts pictures of animals on the tails of its aircraft and names each one. Frontier’s website has some of the named animals in their fleet, and this page from lockonaviation.net has some “oldies but goodies” (it looks like the listings on that page ended in 2010). JetBlue gives its planes lighthearted names while each Hawaiian Airlines A330 is auspiciously named for a celestial body of particular importance to ancient Polynesian navigators, from Hokupaa (Polaris) to Hanaiakamalama (Southern Cross).
That being said, the armed services have a history of naming their fleet. The U.S. Army Air Force’s plane named Enola Gay dropped the first nuclear bomb. Flying Boxcar, Super Skytrain and Super Marauder were all in use during the 20th century.
Britain has a long history of naming its fleet, as well. Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane come to mind first. But the other day I saw this on a friend’s Facebook timeline and my jaw dropped:
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Light-Grey Anti-Sub Machiney? No flippin’ WAY!
I started searching apparently nope, it’s not real. Here’s the original:
Well, no offense to the memory of Ulster Squadron Leader Terry Bulloch, the war hero who sank more Nazi submarines than any other pilot in World War II, and who passed away in 2014. But the “Itsy Bitsy” name was more fun.
Not as solemn and respectful, for sure. But definitely a whole lot more fun.
And while we’re talking about military pilots, I found another fun fact that’s probably debunked. Ever see this one?
This, sadly, has not been proven.
Although it’s popular enough to have been repeatedly shared on social media sites, is included in IMDB’s trivia section, has even made it into a few tabloids, and is just REALLY COOL to think about, Snopes says the meme, which has been going around since 2013, is unproven. You can read more about how they’ve come to that conclusion here.
What can I say…the internet can give joy, and the internet can take it away.
Enjoy your weekend, travel friends!
Many thanks to Angela M. for posting the submarine pic that came across my feed! (I told ya I’d figure out how to make a post out of it! 😉 )
Feature Photo: Jack Dorsey / flickr
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