It's sort of hard to wrap your head around things that are really fast sometimes. For example: everyone knows a figher jet is fast. But fighter jets don't really take the same trips we do so it's sort of hard to frame in our heads just how fast fast really is.

However, everyone in my neck of the woods was given an incredible lesson in what real speed really is a couple years ago when some yahoo in a floatplane drifted into Obama's airspace during a visit to Seattle.

Now, because jets are fast, Seattle's air defense is covered by Air National Guard F-15's based of Portland, Oregon. On first thought that seems kind of odd right? Are we leaving Seattle in the lurch?

I live in Portland I often drive to Seattle. If I do a respectable 70-80mph it takes me 2.5-3hours (4 with traffic.) Three long hours, sitting in a chair, going quite fast by some peoples standards. If you have a lead foot you might get it down to 2:15 or so.

If you were in a Cessna you can do pretty well for yourself! At 130-140 knots, you might get that down to an hour or a little less.

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However when the Air Force decides to be in Seattle in a hurry, it's wheels up, light the burners, gain some altitude and haul some ass. How fast?

Remember - me, sitting in my car three hours. Enough time for a passenger to watch Lord of the Rings.

F-15 with supersonic clearance?

10 fucking minutes.

including takeoff and acceleration time.

If you gave them a running start they could do it in 7. Seven minutes. Silly business.

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If you're in Seattle right now, go put on Stairway to Heaven. By the time the songs over some guy that was just 10 minutes driving distance from downtown Portland could by flying over Seattle blowing some shit up.

How about that commuter flight from PDX to SFO you take once a month. Two hours in that turboprop? 22 minutes in the Eagle.

I think about this literally every time I have to take the monotonous drive up North and the drive seems that much longer.

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TL;dr - Cars are cool. Jets are fucking awesome.