powered flight

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Viktor Sorokin

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Hello, everyone!

DAWN
The dawn of a period of time or a situation is the beginning of it. [LITERARY]
We can only guess what went through the mind of a man who could look back to the dawn of powered flight.
(Collins Dictionary)

Could you help me to figure this sentence out
I have a couple of questions
1) Does "to look back to the dawn of powered flight" mean "inquire into the history of the origination of powered flight ?
2) AT FIRST a man was supposed to look back and THEN something was supposed to go through her/his mind ? Or vice versa?

Thank you.
 

Gillnetter

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Hello, everyone!

DAWN
The dawn of a period of time or a situation is the beginning of it. [LITERARY]
We can only guess what went through the mind of a man who could look back to the dawn of powered flight.
(Collins Dictionary)

Could you help me to figure this sentence out
I have a couple of questions
1) Does "to look back to the dawn of powered flight" mean "inquire into the history of the origination of powered flight ?
2) AT FIRST a man was supposed to look back and THEN something was supposed to go through her/his mind ? Or vice versa?

Thank you.
Assume that you were born in 1890. You would have been 13 years old in 1903 when the first powered flight took place. Now, assume that it is 1960. You could look back (remember) the first flight and what progress has been made since that flight. What would go through your mind (what would you think about, concerning the first flight and developments in flight since that time)? We can only guess - we have no way of knowing what such a person would think about in 1960 when he reviewed the progress of air travel.
 

Viktor Sorokin

Junior Member
Joined
May 7, 2013
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Other
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Russian
Home Country
Ukraine
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Assume that you were born in 1890. You would have been 13 years old in 1903 when the first powered flight took place. Now, assume that it is 1960. You could look back (remember) the first flight and what progress has been made since that flight. What would go through your mind (what would you think about, concerning the first flight and developments in flight since that time)? We can only guess - we have no way of knowing what such a person would think about in 1960 when he reviewed the progress of air travel.
Thank you.
But you say "remember".
Assuming that I were born after the first powered flight took place. E.g. in 1960. And in 1980 I started to be interested in the first flight. I couldn't remember that time, I just thought about that time. In this case can we say that I "looked back" ?
 

Gillnetter

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Thank you.
But you say "remember".
Assuming that I were born after the first powered flight took place. E.g. in 1960. And in 1980 I started to be interested in the first flight. I couldn't remember that time, I just thought about that time. In this case can we say that I "looked back" ?
We can only guess what went through the mind of a man who could look back to the dawn of powered flight.
This sentence is about a man who was alive at the dawn of this era. You couldn't "look back" to that time since you were not alive then.
 
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