Being a pilot in the early 20th century meant flying sans an auto-pilot or even a high-tech cockpit for that matter. So focusing on anything but flying the machine would ususally prove to be difficult for pilots then. But popular American pilot and aviation enthusiast, Amelia Earheart, who is known for her 1928 transatlantic flight (among many other achievements), had her in-flight eating regime all figured out.
Earhart had her meal decided based on three key rules, which covered every angle. Here are the three rules that helped her manage eating on planes.
- What she ate must provide just enough energy to fly, but also must not be too heavy to lull her into a siesta or make her drowsy and tired. Because, we repeat, no auto pilot.
- The second rule entailed making sure that the food was easy to eat. Earhart herself explained in a 1930s interview, “Since pilots have only two hands and dozens of things to do, mealtime technique has to be simple.” So obviously, she couldn’t have enjoyed steak-dinners.
- Finally, Earhart made sure that her packed meal did not weigh too much, as the lesser she carried with her, the more room for fuel she had in her aircraft. According to NPR, the pilot once told her husband, “Extra clothes and extra food would have been extra weight and extra worry. A pilot whose land plane falls into the Atlantic is not consoled by caviar sandwiches.” Clearly for Earhart, the plane’s meal was more important than her own.
Image: Deseret News
So what did Earhart really eat on flights, keeping these three rules in mind? According to reports, the pilot’s top pick was tomato juice as it could be sipped easily through a straw and enjoyed hot in a thermos if the weather was cold. NPR reports that in addition to tomato juice, the pilot also used chocolate, raisins, and hot cocoa as sustenance. And, on her flight to New York from Mexico City in 1935, she mostly ate hard-boiled eggs.
And after learning all this, our tasteless in-flight meal doesn’t seem so bad after all!
Feature Image: Business Insider