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The title of this column is "Gear Up" because I like the symbolism of takeoff and flight. It means to me the moment just after positive rate has been established when, with a short upward pull by the pilot, the airplane is reconfigured, while accelerating, to assume the shape it was designed to have: sleek, dragless, efficient and fast. Many airplanes, ours included, spend much more time on the ground than in the air, with their legs stiffly sticking down, waiting patiently to be stowed. Stowed at that just right moment, when the last available runway disappears beneath the nose and the airplane gathers up its appendages and heads up and out. We're off.