Monday, May 3, 2010

First Term of A&P is over


Yes, I think we've all heard the Wedge is still involved in aviation- with a flying canoe or somesuch.

Fitting, but not quite the inspiration for The Scream. Four paintings and prints in a series by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch ("I was walking along a path with two friends — the sun was setting — suddenly the sky turned blood red — I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence — there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city — my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety — and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature").

(Four eh? I always wondered why it seemed renditions varied. Guess Hollywood wasn't the first to invent sequels...).

"One theory advanced to account for the reddish sky in the background is that Munch had observed an effect of the powerful volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883: the ash that was ejected from the volcano left the sky tinted red in much of eastern United States and most of Europe and Asia from the end of November 1883 to mid February 1884...Alternatively, it has been suggested that the proximity to the site of the painting of both a slaughterhouse and a madhouse may have offered inspiration.

"The scene was identified as being the view from a road overlooking Oslo, the Oslofjord and Hovedøya, from the hill of Ekeberg. At the time of painting the work, Munch's manic depressive sister Laura Catherine was interned in the mental hospital at the foot of Ekeberg.

"In 1978, the Munch scholar Robert Rosenblum suggested that the strange, sexless creature in the foreground of the painting was probably inspired by a Peruvian mummy, which Munch could have seen at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris."


Hmmm. I would suggest an alternate explanation- the anguished figure just completed an Airframe and Powerplant General class.

For those curious- as I was for years- a couple decades, actually- I will briefly elaborate upon my experience. (Although, the adage "a picture says a thousand words", turns out to be mostly true, in my experience).

First- before anyone misinterprets that I consider an A&P license (certificates) an unworthy objective, I assure them, and more importantly- other potential A&P students, that I indeed DO consider it a worthy objective to pursue.

As I mentioned, my first curiosity about getting an A&P license happened when I visited a local airport to pick up some instruments being repaired, and drove by a hangar with a community college sign. I stopped in, and chatted. Sounded like an interesting program, but the time demands wouldn't work for me (two years, 25 hours per week). I don't believe the time requirements (set by the FAA) have changed any over these past 20 years- 1900 hours of "contact time"; essentially instructor-led activity- either classroom or shop time. Back then, I was working a lot of overtime, and had a 45 minute drive each way to work. Nah, wasn't going to work.

Fast (??) forward 20 some years, and just about the same thing happened a few months ago, except now I only have a 20 minute drive, and am only working 45-50 hour weeks. So, hey, what the heck- time to "just do it"!!

The local school doesn't use semesters, but rather trimesters, so instead of two years, it's 20 months, and 30 hours per week rather than 25. And to enforce uniformity, the school has a time clock. Odd, but I suppose "rules are rules".

The class was so-so; if you've never seen an airplane, it was okay. For most readers of the blog, I would suggest it was more like= think of the worst, most boring laboratory class you ever suffered though elsewhere, and imagine it being six hours long, every night, for 15 weeks. And there are absolutely no "skips" allowed. Car break down? Sick kid? Gotta work late? Guess what- you're going to be making up the time. When? The instructors were quite accommodating, but there is no weekend "make up" time available. So- either stay an extra hour every night, or take time off work. Either way resulted in a disappointing compromise with work obligations- arrive at work tired the next day, or take time off during the work day- which if you are busy, is exactly what you CAN'T do. Sprinkle in a dozen tests throughout the term, which one's "hours" must be currently 100%, and it was just a recipe for an exercise in unsatisfactory compromise. miserable frustration and exhaustion.

I guess one thing I couldn't really reconcile, was as a professional, having to make time for a vocational program. And I noted the other working students likewise had schedule pressure with work. To enjoy the program, one must either have a completely predicatable job, and preferably one with no week-day overtime requirements, and be willing to forego virtually ALL evening personal activities for some 75-80 weeks.

Maybe when I was younger, it wouldn't have been a more-fun / less-unsatisfactory experience. Which is my recommendation for anyone considering an A&P; don't put it off. Otherwise, put it off until retirement.

148 comments:

Phil Bell said...

Well, okay- things weren't quite as bad as "The Scream" painting- but it sure was frustrating not having enough time, for either work or school.

I sure admire those who make it happen.

(And those who work two jobs!)

The first class ("General") was a little slow for folks who've been around airplanes. Such a class could be interesting, if there were sufficient lab demonstrations and hands-on "feely" things to examine.

The actual lab/shop "projects" come later, in Airframe 1 and 2, and Powerplant 1 and 2). The general consensus of students in "Air" 1 and 2, and PP 1 and 2, was that things get more interesting as the sequence progresses.

Airframe 1 starts out with wood and fabric- which I was actually interested in- and goes through aluminum and composites- mostly a "structures" class.

Airframe 2 is mostly a "systems" class.

Powerplant 1 is piston engines,

Powerplant 2 is turbines.

I have entertained the idea of getting only the airframe certificate, as that's about 80% plus of the activities a typical airplane maintenance schedule involves, I'm told.

Still, it would be nice to have both. I congratulate -and admire- those who have either (and both). It certainly is a demanding regime- I have worked 80+ hour weeks for months at a time, and I'd have to say that was less stressful than moderate busy work and the A&P program. (An observation I attribute to tension between the two activities, not present with a single activity. Plus, there was actually more "flex" with the 80+ hour work weeks; the timeclock and M-F schedule at A&P doesn't leave much time for anything- I believe that rigid constraint / monontony was the most frustrating and stressful aspect).

I don't want to discourage anyone from participating in an A&P program- but it is a serious committment. The benefits of having completed are satisfying and rewarding, I am sure, and I haven't given it up for good- just for now.

Cheers.

Baron95 said...

Thanks for the account Phil.

Balancing work and study is a very tough act indeed. Be it and MBA or A&P.

As more and more "students" are not full time students, due to life span increases, aging baby boomers and economic dislocations, the "education establishment" needs to evolve.

Self-paced education and flex time teaching needs to replace rigid contact teaching. Some of it is starting to happen.

The programs that make this transition will be more successful in the future.

gadfly said...

Phil

A couple comments on your moving ahead on this major undertaking:

Even though you’ve already been in the aircraft business and things technical, including manufacturing (been there, done that, as you already know), going through things a second, or even a third, fourth, or even a fifth time, allows you to be ready ahead of time as each subject is anticipated. And, should you be able to establish a relationship with the “instructor” and/or other students, you can assist them in moving forward . . . and you, as an assistant instructor/teacher/student will gain immensely, as you learn how others both approach and miss-understand each subject.

Don’t ever underestimate the need to understand the mind-set of a student, or a “customer”, or the average college educated engineer . . . or, might I add, the “college type professor”, stroking his beard, puffing on his pipe, and pontificating his knowledge from when he earned his PhD . . . far too long ago.

You are now operating in the “rarified” air of understanding the what and why certain things must be understood, and how things must be designed to avoid Murphy’s Law. ‘Would that every engineer would be required to actually be educated with a “hands on” approach, coupled with the “theory”.

You are going at it backwards from the “norm” . . . having actually built something, before the knowledge is poured by funnel into your brain. And that doesn’t set well with the establishment.

But hang in there, my friend . . . It isn’t a walk in the park now, nor was it fifty years ago, while working almost full time, raising a new family, and not knowing how to pay the next month’s rent.

gadfly

(But now, I have the satisfaction and skill to apply all that knowledge to most problems as they are presented . . . having “been there, done that”. Sometimes it doesn’t bring in much income, but it’s good to be something other than helpless . . . and there is the reward of helping others to learn new skills. Being a “teacher” has wonderful rewards, other than making a buck.)

gadfly said...

And speaking of anticipating the response/comments of some, you never "arrive" . . . and must remain pro-actively teachable. There is always another turn in the road, rounding another bend, changing an opinion at times (but based on understanding of a new scientific discovery), etc.

Opposition to an new idea is good, requiring certain "proof" . . . yet, shouldn't be based on emotion.

And above all, it's perfectly "OK" to give the answer, "I don't know!" And then look for the answer, at the earliest opportunity.

Remember, ignorance can be fixed, but stupidity is forever.

Or, in medical terms, "ignorance is acute, but stupidity is chronic" . . . and often terminal.

gadfly

(For those in Rio Linda, look it up in that big book called a dictionary . . . oh yeh, that's that big book you'll find it at the Public Library.)

gadfly said...

Come on, folks . . . we're having fun, finally!

gadfly

gadfly said...

Speaking of ignorance, I have a question that maybe someone can answer:

In the seventy plus years of the DC3/C47 . . . has there ever been a documented structural failure?

There have been any number of other aircraft in that time frame that have carried a greater load, etc., . . . the C46 is another great aircraft, carrying huge amounts of payload over the "Hump" into China, in the big war. But the DC3 seems to stand out above all the rest, faithfully carrying out far more than its original pupose. And somehow I find it still the most beautiful of all aircraft . . . exceeding "Mr. Mulligan".

Mentioned earlier, the "Motorola" DC3 came over to Moody Airport one winter day, in the early '60's . . . I didn't see it land, but I watched it at take-off. The pilot held the brakes . . . brought both engines up to full takeoff power . . . popped the tail off the ground and it sat there for a few seconds . . . sitting only on the main gear, with the tail almost over the drainage ditch by the highway. He released the brakes . . . the bird moved south about two hundred feet down the snow covered turf . . . the pilot pulled it back, and the plane immediately was looking for heaven like a homesick angel.

I've watched a "Helio Courier" go through its paces, not fifty feet off the ground, but that old "Gooney Bird" was far more impressive . . . as it bit into the bitter cold winter air, and headed back over to Midway Airport, where it was then based.

Back in those days, a DC3 owned by some sport's team, came down in the fog on approach to ORD . . . it landed in someone's front yard . . . and all survived. That old bird is one amazing flying contraption . . . maybe not something for a regular commute, but certainly far more than Donald Douglas ever dreamed. And a study of the man shows the value of education/experience/ and might I add, a Naval background.

gadfly

airsafetyman said...

Phil, You need a job where your employer wants you to get the A&P license and will assist you. Years ago I was in a corporate flight department of a very large corporation. Several of the young mechanics in the motor pool wanted to be airplane mechanics. Fair enough. We put them on second shift at the hangar working under our regular mechanics and sent them to Piedmont A&P school during the day. Because they were going to school full time we eased off on their second shift workload - a lot. There is just so much one person can do in a day. All four got their A&P licenses, which led to nice raises, and all four eventually went on to get their Inspection Authorizations as well.

Floating Cloud said...

All I can say is I am SO grateful to the Oslo police for recovering the Edvard Munch’s classic painting, “The Scream.” It is indelible and forever an expression of modern humankind’s struggles -- whether small or large. The painting says it all.

Dear Phil, nothing without some struggle is really worth anything in the end. Keep going. You are doing great!!! WE all admire you’re tenacity, which is half, if not most, of the battle.

Floating Cloud
The Sream recovery

Baron95 said...

gadfly said...
In the seventy plus years of the DC3/C47 . . . has there ever been a documented structural failure?

-----------------------------

I don't recall anyone ever discussing one or any structural issues with the DC-3.

It is from an era when airplanes were over built and over designed, and not being pressurized airframe fatigue is not a big issue. Given the speeds it can reach even in a dive, and the ponderous controls, it is doubtful it can be easily over stressed either.

My guess is that if you maintain them well, they can continue to fly past their 100th anniversary with ease.

Baron95 said...

On a different note, it is nice to see that, unlike the Al Quaeda terrorists that changed the face of commercial aviation with some box cutters, it seems like the best the terrorists can field these days is a random collection of stuff that may explode in a conspicuously parked SUV.

P.S. as it so happens, I was at a club on 46th and 11th when this M.F##@er parked his Pathfinder on 45th and Broadway. Nice to know that the M.F$#@ers are ignorant, stupid, incompetent. Just like the A$@#hole that set himself on fire in Glasgow with a similar attempt.

As Shane very well know, that was not a car bomb. This is a car bomb.

Cheers to the stupidity of islamic terrorists.

Baron95 said...

Oh - and the M.F%$@3er lived just a few miles from Bridgeport Airport, BDR, where I fly from.

He did an incredible job showing the ridiculousness of his islamic motivations, the intelligence of his peers and the inferiority and stupidity of his ways.

All there is plain sight for all to see and ridicule.

Baron95 said...

Freaking grandma Prius with unintended acceleration on a Manhattan sidewalk would take out more people than the ridiculous islamic vagabond car bomb even if it had gone off.

I say don't arrest any of them - let them keep teaching the other ignorant, vagabond, stupid islamic terrorists how to car bombs that way.

Next time try sitting on the M88s A$#holes - you need more pressure on the setup. And thanks for leaving your house keys and VIN on the Pathfinder.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Congrats to the team over at Brand G in Savannah.

The G-650 hit its' proposed Mmo of Mach 0.925 on Sunday (704 mph) at FL 425. This is even faster than the Cessna Citation X which cruises at Mach 0.92.

This data poijt was hit with a total of 50 flights and about 140 flight test hours to-date, spread across two flight test articles (first plane flew in November, second plane joined it in February) - very impressive.

Baron95 said...

Impressive indeed. Leaving large Falcons and converted VIP airliners further behind the pinnacle of Business Aviation.

It seems like it will be an awesome plane.

gadfly said...
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RonRoe said...
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Floating Cloud said...

If there is anyone on this blog who should be crowned King of the Throne it would be Sir Gadfly.

Sorry to Pooh-pooh you old wise one, but there are quite often times when your scatalogical comments make me cringe.

Lady Floating Cloud

Black Tulip said...
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gadfly said...
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gadfly said...
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gadfly said...
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Baron95 said...

Here is a Swedish Scatological Fail for your entertainment...

As we know, Volvo rushed to announce their auto-braking system last year to combat the perception (reality) that MB (and BMW/Audi) were far ahead with on-the-road systems.

During a demonstration in front of the cameras, driver approaches parked truck with foot off the brake and...

Well, I don't speak Finish, but I'm pretty sure the chief engineer said "... severe fault..."

Gadfly's wife can translate for us.

Baron95 said...

Meant Swedish or whatever the language was ;)

Baron95 said...

Maybe she can translate this:

Vi Orsakar Landets Värsta Olyckor = V O L V O

LOL

Baron95 said...

But here is your wekend ebook...

The SR-71 Blackbird Flight Manual. Enjoy.

Floating Cloud said...
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Floating Cloud said...
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Baron95 said...

I must have missed something.

Anyway - that SR-71 flight manual is soooo cool. An amazing plane (and engine) that would be hard to outdo even today, several decades later.

By the way - there is nothing bad about that V O L V O translation - it is actually pretty smart.

Floating Cloud said...
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Baron95 said...

Well, GA/BizAv continues its slump. GA/Biz Av deliveries were down an additional 15% from an already dismal 2009 Q1. When every sector, particularly autos is recovering at 20-30% increases, GA/Biz Av continue to go down.

Cessna specifically continues to be killed in pistons by Cirrus and Diamond. Plane for plane for instance Cessna delivered a single C350/C400 vs 56 SR20/SR22s. Only 13 Skyhawks and 13 Skylanes were delivered.

The Mustang handily beat the Phenom in deliveries though (21 to 16)

Beech delivered a single Bonanza and only 4 Barons for a total of only 5 piston planes. And also only 5 King Air 90s. A dismal performance. All together, HBC delivered only 32 planes in Q1 - one every 3 days.

Piaggio did even worse delivering a single plane.

Turboprops in general are seeing the fastest decline with sales off by 1/3 (33%) from an already devastating quarter last year.

HBC is substantially underperforming its peers and will be in trouble soon, if they don't reverse that. Gulfstream and Bombardier are doing OK, both continue to deliver over $1B in planes per quarter.

Black Tulip said...

Regarding aircraft deliveries... I've been to the Brazilian Embraer factory twice recently, and helped fly two Phenom 100s to the States. The delivery center is very active and Phenoms appear to be flying off the shelf.

airtaximan said...

Baron,

it's common knowledge that GA is a laggard.. its slow to react (for obvious reasons) to any economic trend.

Slower to low down, slower to speed up...

On the charter side (easier to adapt than any other model that requires ownership - for obvious reasons, as well) business is up...
Bombardier and Gulfstream play at the extreme upper ends of GA (lears prob down, while Global is probably not feeling it) which are more insulated from economic downturns..

Soon, you'll see the plane-making business come back to life.

I like the fact that the airlines are at 80% load, consolidation is making competition scarce, and the airlines just hiked prices again, around 20%. I believe this is the driver of GA going forward. Eventually, the airlines will be for folks who do not really care about their time, and GA, if it can provide a more affordable solution, can replace the airlines for business travel.

This is the trend over the next 5 years...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

HBC is apparently in such bad shape that it is looking to hire about 100 new engineers and about 4 dozen other positions, and is reportedly investing heavily in new programs.

Must be bad if they are looking to add $20M in labor.

Baron95 said...

Yes, CW, cut 8,000 hire 100. That is really, really good shape.

I'm hoping they hire engineers to have competitive NEW products, because the ones currently in production are being slaughtered in the marketplace, hence they have been laying off as many production folks as possible.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron I could tell you the hires are for the Advanced Development team, that HBC Mgmt has greenlit several promising development programs that were placed on hold when the canoe turned upside down, but you would continue convinced these dinosaurs have no clue about what to do or how to survive (like they have for, oh I don't know, 80 years now) so instead, here's a bunny with a pancake on its head (http://knowyourmeme.com/costumes/oolong-the-pancake-bunny).

Baron95 said...

ATM said... Soon, you'll see the plane-making business come back to life.
--------------

I hope you are right. But we may be in a new normal Sq root curve. In other words, with every crisis, GA (particularly personal flying GA) settles on a lower plateau.

I can see nothing that tells me that Beech will sell Bonanzas and Barons and King Airs anywhere near already reduced pre-crisis levels anytime. Same for Cessna and C172/C182. Etc.

The new types Mustangs, Phenoms, CJ4s, etc up to G650s will do well.

The new types are just too compelling and too good for things like BE90 and Hawker 800 derivatives to sell.

airtaximan said...

BAron,

are you defining "personal GA" as "all those small airplanes that will not sell a well as they once did"

If so, you are probably right.

If you include ALL of GA, including the more modern types, you will undoubtedly be wrong.

Again, I feel your pain: there's no perfect solution for somone who wants to pay $1M or so, for a certified new twin jet with 6 seats.

This probably highlights two important aspects of reality:
1- pricing deppends on volume, and low pricing dependent on very high volume, and this does not really exist for a $1.X million jet.
2- Since the market is really not there, no one is going to bust the bank trying to make a plane to fit that market - its too risky.

'splains a lot.

Baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron I could tell you the hires are for the Advanced Development team, that HBC Mgmt has greenlit several promising development programs that were placed on hold

-----------------

I think you just confirmed what I just said. That they are hiring for new programs to try to reverse their precipitous decline.

While Cessna (e.g. CJ4+), Gulfstream (e.g. G650), Embraer (e.g. Legacy 500/600, Phenom 300), Honda (HondaJet, Honda/GE Engine) kept plowing with new models through the crisis and emerged with a strong/getting stronger line up, HBC is in a position to be at ground zero with no significant program that has started in the past few years.

We can only *hope* that their new programs take less time than the 4000/Horizon and/or offer more than the equivalent of a Blackhawk engine swap.

So yes. I give credit to the current leadership to recognize their predicament and trying to address it with new programs.

Is it too little too late? I don't know. But there is a good chance that it is and they won't be able to reverse their decline.

Baron95 said...

ATM, I define personal use GA as planes that are typically owned and/or operated by individuals for personal pleasure/business. It is the same definition in most insurance policies also.

So lets say from C162 to Phenom 100 or so.

Many types sell very well in that range. DA40, SR22, Matrix, Mustang, Phenom. So it is by no means dead.

There are clear winners (e.g. SR22) and losers (e.g. Mooney) in that tier.

Baron95 said...

And from Flightglobal....

"With the near halving of the smaller end of the business aircraft market, Hawker Beechcraft, hit harder than most, is quietly preparing to enter the single engine turboprop market with a new offering.

Industry sources confirm that the aircraft, which is in advanced planning, will enter Hawker Beechcraft into the utility aircraft market and will take on the Pilatus PC-12, Cessna Caravan, Daher Socata TBM 850 and Piper Meridian."

Good luck with your single engine King Air. Is that the best they can come up with? What will it be called? UnixAir?

Baron95 said...

And if you search for HBC on glassdoor...you get this summary of the downside to go work for them:

"Cons: Risk of bankruptcy/layoffs. Micromanaging expenses like paper consumption. Elimination of casual "Jeans" Fridays"

And this time last year... it was ranked (seeking alpha) in the top 10 list of..... companies likely to file for bankruptcy...

Here is the list (note that several on the list, in fact have filed):

AbitibiBowater (ABH)
R. H Donnelly (RHDC.PK)
Visteon (VC)
General Motors (GM)
Six Flags (SIX)
Financial Guaranty Insurance
Hawker Beechcraft
Ineos Group
NXP Semiconductors
McClatchy (MNI)

Beedriver said...

The only real new development in smaller airplanes that you can't get by buying a good used airplane and spending the money to refurbish everything and install the latest glass at 1/2 the price is a parachute (cirrus) or possibly a diesel (DA 42).

thus no person in his right mind would buy a new baron, or 182 or mooney, or saratoga etc.

Beedriver said...

Phil Bell Congratulations on working to get your A&P

there is another way to do it according to my AI that works on my airplane. and that is working for a mechanic, logging the hours doing the right things, going to a two week cram course and taking the test. probably takes longer but can be more interesting if you work with the right guy.

Baron95 said...

Beedriver said...
thus no person in his right mind would buy a new baron, or 182 or mooney, or saratoga etc.
----------------

The same can be said of any product. We buy new cars because every year they have better performance, are safer and have more user-friendly features.

Same with cell phones, computers, boats, jets.

The fact that owners spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on things like Blackhawk, Sierra, Garmin conversions means that demand is there for performance and avionics improvement at the low-mid end.

You'll see the same bump in sales for the Matrix/Mirage now that they have G1000 as you saw when the G58/G36 Baron/Bonanza came out.

Everyone knows the formula. Want to sell? Then innovate.

Crap stops selling really fast once the economy tanks or competition moves in.

In Eastern Europe and Russia, Ladas and Trebans sold pretty well.

Beedriver said...

Epic seems to have evolved to a place where the existing builders can at least finish their aircraft.

Quote Avflash

Facing a judge's deadline to either come to terms or see the remains of Epic Aircraft go to a third party, a Chinese aviation company and a group of Epic LT builders have sealed a deal. China Aviation and the LT Builders Group together will pay $4.3 million for Epic's assets. The builders will retain the rights to sell the LT single-engine turboprops in the North American market, while the Chinese have rights to the rest of the world. Douglas King, a member of the LT Builders Group, said they plan to reopen the Epic facility in Bend, Ore., and continue with kit production and builder assistance. "We intend to run it honest and straight, according to the law, be good neighbors here in Bend," King told Kitplanes editor Marc Cook. "We're going to do what we say … and not over-promise. We are going to work really hard at producing high-quality airplanes."

The bankruptcy court still must give final approval to the deal. Then the builders must start negotiations with the lease-holder of the hangar where all of their unfinished aircraft remain under lock and key, to resolve issues of unpaid rent and get the operation going again. But the builders group was excited about the deal. "We did it!" Daryl Ingalsbe, another member of the builders group, told The Oregonian. "We kept control of this wonderful company in the United States." According to KTVZ.com, the group hopes to eventually attain FAA certification for the LT

Floating Cloud said...

Lot better than the piper who paid the piper (and still continues to pay) from afar.

FC

Baron95 said...

Yep. Just like Aerostar, Eclipse and Epic, end up with the "owners" running the show (asylum ?!? ;)). Not a bad development.

Baron95 said...

Looks like this is (again) the benchmark light GA diesel engine....

"Centurion Aircraft Engines says it has extended the life of its 2.0 liter diesel aircraft engines to 1,500 hours and eliminated a requirement to ship the engines to its German headquarters for a 1,200-hour inspection. The engines previously had a TBR (time before replacement) of 1,200 hours and there are still a few things that need replacement at that interval, including a belt, hoses and coolant. Under the life extension plan, the company had previously mandated that the 1,200-hour inspection be done at the factory but it's now allowing service centers to do the work, which takes about an hour."

Baron95 said...

And now, lets wait for the US GOvmt to ban 100LL and usher in the 94UL fuel era.

Good for your plane and excellent for your car on a track day ;)

Plus, it may force AvGas engines out of the first half of last century.

Baron95 said...

And in the OMG category, I never thought I'd read it so soon...bu...here it is...June 8/9...FAA hearing on....

"The FAA wants to reorganize Part 23 so it's based on airplane performance and complexity, instead of the current divisions based on weight and propulsion. "New small turbine engines, composite airframes, and lightweight digital electronics offer part 23 airplanes the operational capability and performance of traditionally larger part 25 airplanes," the FAA said in its certification study. "The slow, simple Part 23 airplanes have suffered as the standards have shifted toward more complex airplanes."

Amen brother.... BE200 = type rating required. DiamondJet = no type rating required. Mirage = F&R testing required.

Would they actually do it? Can there possible be people with reason at the FAA?

airsafetyman said...

"Lot better than the piper who paid the piper (and still continues to pay) from afar."

Ask not who paid the piper. Ask who the piper will pay.

Floating Cloud said...

Exactly! Same rats just a different tune.

Beedriver said...

Baron 95 by the way the rights to the type certificate for the aerostar are not owned by the owners. they are owned by Aerostar aircraft corporation in Hayden Idaho which is a sister company of Machen Inc. Machen did all the modifications to the Aerostar when Piper owned it and bought the rights from Piper when Piper went bankrupt. they do a very good job of providing parts and own the tooling to make any part.

when Piper went bankrupt the owners did organize a good association Aerostar Owners Association which until Aerostar aircraft bought the rights back in the 80's banded together to support the fleet.

julius said...

baron95,

"The FAA wants to reorganize Part 23 so ...


perhaps the FAA became aware of its deficits...
Is an aircraft like a Cessna 172 or a Mooney with Garmin 1000 "complex"?

In terms of daylight VFR perhaps not, but when flying at night or IFR the Cessna pilot will enjoy the instrumemts above his legs and the Mooney pilot must turn his head to the right in case of a rare Garmin failure and this is not easy.

If both of these aircrafts would be equipped with FADEC things will change...

What is "complex"? Easy to fly (when all the auto... tools are working) and manage?
What is "simple"? Flying without any little helpers like fadec, auto pilot... just easy to repair?

Glas panels are standard in real life - look at your TV , mobile phone, wireless phone, kitchen, car,,,,computer.

Even a DA42 with Thielert engines was too complex for EASA or FAA. Both organisations accepted the potential risks with the usage of an external power support!

I think there are no chances that FAA (or EASA) will ever reduce the amount regulations - that's their life!

At the end there will be type ratings for all a/cs with a mtow of more than 1999 kg and non "land" SEP.

Julius

julius said...

Baron95,

At the end there will be type ratings for all a/cs with a mtow of more than 1999 kg and non "land" SEP.


Correction! It should read " or non "land" SEP"...

In times where one has to have a cert for doing this or that it wouldn't be a surprise!


Julius

Baron95 said...

Hi Julius,

I'm giving the FAA the benefit of the doubt here - maybe they read this blog (hehehe). They are focusing on moving away from propulsion type as a determinant factor for certification. And that is good.

We must have really embarrassed them, by pointing out that BE200 King Air = no type rating and DiamondJet (all 5,000 lbs and FL250 of it) = type cert.

Consistency is the number one rule of regulations.

The existing regs are the equivalent of the early assault weapon bans. If it had a bayonet mount = banned, else = OK. When was the last time a civilian was killed in America by a bayonet mounted on a rifle? Anyone?

Floating Cloud said...

Okay, since the blog is in limbo, I want to ask what constitutes a real limbo through the FBS?

All views will be considered until we come to consensus -- without getting me arrested of course!

Floating Limbo Cloud

Floating Cloud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Floating Cloud said...

Tengo que ir a Mexico.

Adios Space Cowboys. It's been fun.

Lady Floating Cloud

agroth said...

FC said: Okay, since the blog is in limbo...

I don't follow AC&E closely, but it's nice to check in once in a while. Where did everybody go?

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eclipse_deep_throat said...

Has anyone else noticed the Eclipse site is 'new and improved'??? The store is up and running too. One can find find a few Eclipse Aviation items mixed in with Eclipse Aerospace....

e.d.t.

Floating Cloud said...

Dear Phil and Shane:

I am sorry if I made anyone uncomfortable on the blog. I thought people were having fun in between serious talk about aviation.

Gadfly reminds me of the many hypocritical bible thumping evangelists throughout history who think they are better than everyone else, reek havoc by their actions, and then suddenly when the smoke clears show up and say I told you so, when they are the ones who created all the ruckus in the first place.

It was amazing that I lasted as long as I did on the blog being pretty much the one woman contributor (that we know of). I will always appreciate the experience and sense of acceptance that I felt by others on the blog.

Most importantly -- the blog helped me to see the true light, (not Gadfly's version) because in the last few months, I said good-bye and good riddance to a major Eclipse liar turned Piper something else.

If blog editors should have contact with B95 via email, give him my email address and tell him he owes me a dinner of my choice any where in the world, as the prize he offered by challenging me to do a limbo through the FBS in Cancun.

I am off to Mexico to work with Maya people where silly things like blogs have no meaning, but I am surely glad I found the blog when I did!

Surely you must be joking. Don’t call me Shirley! (Sorry, had to do an “Airplane” joke!)

Floating Cloud

julius said...

e.d.t.,

Has anyone else noticed the Eclipse site is 'new and improved'???


Yes - but an improverment? The site is still "under construction"!
No EA500 specs, where are the customer communiqués?

But M&M give - me - the feeling that the the restart of the production is coming soon!

Is AVIO NG 1.7 already certified by FAA or EASA?

As long as the ecoomical situation isn't really improving (or the number of sold GA jets is on a low level) M&M will struggle to get enough money into their pockets or a new CEO!

A "The Scream", too?

Julius

Baron95 said...

Floating Cloud, please send me an email at gatopardo95@yahoo.com

I'll be glad to receive proof of the FBS limbo and arrange for dinner and diet coke case.

gadfly said...

A long time ago, we had a “goat”, etc., and the discussion sometimes dealt with inter- and intra-granular corrosion, and the effects of the “stir-fried” welding methods. Remember?

We discussed the lack of dynamic testing of the little jet.

We had some lively discussions about promising great things for people that had hired on, with the hope and implied promise of a great future . . . and the “unspoken part” was the hidden things . . . the “wives” and kids, usually in the background . . . yet they often took the “hit” when things out at the Eclipse bird factory turned sour.

And about that time, I commented on a young man . . . there he was with his little family, and his “Eclipse” work shirt, in a local McDonald’s . . . he had bought the entire promised line. At the time, I could only “bite my tongue” and listen to his hopes and dreams.

Did we forget all that, so soon?

Someone is attacking the gadfly as a “Bible thumper” . . . I often use an old Bible, given to me by my parents, in 1950. And although I have never “thumped it” (whatever that means), I still review my notes, from those ancient pages in that old Scofield Bible . . . many times, deep in enemy waters, in Vladivostok, and Petropovlosk . . . I spent time, seriously studying that Bible, and found more wisdom and verifiable truth on those often turned pages than in all the thousands of hours in college classes (and yes, I have enough hours to top anyone in this blog, bar none . . . but again, that really has no value).

Now, back to the subject of airplanes . . . designing them, building them, flying them . . . and starting up a new operation, to produce them.

Concerning the “Eclipse” . . . your guess is better than mine. I’ve known some of the local folks that were terribly hurt by believing in Eclipse. And there are those in political positions that have not been made accountable for their earlier conduct.

This silly side issue of calling the “gadfly” names . . . is just that! . . . A side issue. It’s not about me. Some of you should come back into the fray . . . tell us what you know . . . and help prevent this thing from happening again.

gadfly

(A shipmate, now living in Texas, from “back when” sent me a copy of a new book, “Red November”, by W. Craig Reed . . . the book is not cheap, but most interesting . . . it picks up where “Blind Man’s Bluff” leaves off. Our “boat” was relieved by the boat in “Whiskey a Go-Go” in the summer of 1957, Chapter 2, in “Blind Man’s Bluff” . . . at present, I’m up to about 300 pages in the “November” book, and am reliving many of the things related.

And in the “flight arena”, I have a new friend , Joseph . . . , he worked as a crop duster, with 10,000 hours in the Navy version of the old “Stearman” . . . until one day, he figured it was too dangerous (he clipped off eight inches of both wing tips, including the “running lights”, finished the job . . . there used to be a farm building there . . . the building was removed, and he simply came down about two feet off the ground, went through the gap . . . and the rest was history), and took up bush flying for another 8,000 hours, in a DeHavilland “Beaver” with floats, up in Alaska.)

There’s lots about the “gadfly” you don’t know, but “thumping a Bible” is not among my skills. I believe in the clear message it gives, but I’ll not “thump it” for anyone. Period!

gadfly

The subject is aircraft . . . let us focus on aircraft, and keep the personalities out of it. OK?

airsafetyman said...

"I said good-bye and good riddance to a major Eclipse liar turned Piper something else."

Piper really, really needs another BS artist, as if they don't have enough already.

RonRoe said...
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gadfly said...

RR . . . Good points . . . but you might be of assistance in taking a pro-active part in bringing the discussion into focus, rather than waiting until others have said the wrong things. This is not meant to be critical, but to be an encouragement, to move in a positive direction.

Notice that Phil uses this method to stimulate thought, and encourage an open discussion, but without name-calling, and destructive criticism. In fact, for the most part, Phil has kept his comments on a very high level, without stifling the thinking and opinions of the bloggers.

Concerning submarines and surgical clips . . . both have far more connection with aircraft than most people imagine. Let’s name a few:

Pressure vessel to keep human occupants safe under all conditions.
O2 supply, when other systems fail.
(On this note, I learned the other day that the nasty grey powder that we had to use to stay alive, to absorb carbon dioxide, was/is lithium hydroxide . . . and was like breathing ground glass . . . maybe some day, that bit of information will find a useful application in an aircraft . . . too early to tell.)
Emergency power, when main power fails.
Dynamic control, to get back safe, when power fails.
CG control/trim methods and knowledge.
Instruments (including “steam gage” versus glass panel, etc.)
Altimeters/depth gages.
Rate of climb/decent.
Heating/cooling . . . crew, power, and equipment.
Fuel consumption.
Corrosion/construction/tensile limits of material (surgical clips are often pure titanium . . . aircraft often use “6-4" or other titanium alloys . . . and submarines have used titanium alloys for decades).
Efficient and new methods of dynamic flight/diving control.
Fiber composites are used in both aircraft and submarines, and both have to endure extreme stresses, with wide margins of safety.
Non-destructive inspection methods.
Fail safe controls, and methods, that prevent the wrong turn of a valve or a control in a panic situation. (How does that relate to surgical tools? . . . Far more than realized . . . watching things like neurosurgery, the last thing the surgeon needs is a “tool” that is counter intuitive . . . the same as a submariner, or pilot, in a total blacked out environment, where doing the exact right thing means the difference between life and death . . . and the clock is moving very fast.)
Repair methods for pressure vessel and attitude control devices.

Over the past fifty years, I have discovered more similarity between the three disciplines mentioned, than dis-similarities. I have designed and built many devices that found their way into aircraft and medical applications. And the years in the submarine service, pointed the way to solutions and testing of devices designed specifically for aircraft.

It may very well be that some of the bloggers, or readers of this blog, can relate to many of the things mentioned, above. Sometimes, an “anecdote” can trigger a response that someone will share, and benefit others in our common desire to design and build better and more reliable aircraft, in the future.

Well, pardon my rambling . . . hopefully others will take over from here, without tearing someone apart for their views.

gadfly

Floating Cloud said...

Dear B95:

It would seem I have cooked my goose this time! No worries, it was time for me to leave the blog. Oh! Am I still on the blog? Whoops!

Okay, I will send you proof of an FBS limbo in Cancun. There is that moment when they ask you to raise your arms… a slight tilt backwards, a little humming of a limbo tune, and a tiny bit of hip action "could" qualify.

I nearly forgot about the diet T2 Pepsi. BINGO!

PLUS, B95, don’t leave us! You are the meat and potatoes of this blog! I am just a mere frosting glaze on a floating cloud.

Dear ASM:

You have always been my knight in shining armor on the blog. Phil and Shane have my permission to give you my email address as well. Think we know the same BSers…

Dear RonRoe:

Eee Gads, you cracked me up!

Dear Sir Gadfly:

I realize you are an older man and set in your ways, but it would be Oh, so helpful if you would follow your own advice and stop judging people on the blog. This is SUPPOSED to be fun. It’s a BLOG.

I say truce out of respect for all of your many accomplishments. There is no doubt, all admire you.

Lady Floating Cloud a Mexique

gadfly said...

Well, I was going to give my response in Espanol, but it's been awhile, and I may prove true the comments of my highschool Spanish teacher . . . we worked a deal, I got a passing grade, and she didn't have me as a student the second year. Much later, I gained proficiency, but that's another story. But for the record, this blog was never intended to be "fun". It was started, a few years ago, to deal with some serious matters concerning life and damaging activities, affecting many people . . . and the only blog giving the uninformed usefull information. But "fun"?

For "fun", there's a movie on at the moment, "Operation Petticoat" . . . now, that's fun . . . and brings back many memories.

In the mean time, go have a blast digging up relics, or whatever you do, down Mexico way. And after you get back, you can tell me where to send you one or more of those little "precision machined" butterflies.

But aircraft design remains a serious business . . . be glad, when you are going in and out of some remote airstrip down in the Yucatan, etc.

gadfly

airsafetyman said...

Well, any aerospace ideas on how to deal with the oil leak in the Gulf?

It is leaking 40,000 gallons a day. At 1 gal =.13368 cubic feet, the daily leakage is about 5,347 cubic feet, or a cube of oil about 17 feet on a side. To date the total leakage over 40 days would be a cube of oil about 60 feet on a side (if I have done my sums right)

Ideas?

airsafetyman said...

Further food for thought: the leak rate of 40,000 gal/day is 1,667 gal/ hr or 28 gal/minute or .46 gal/sec.
(The fuel pump on a large Continental or Lycoming is usually close to being maxed out at 30 gal/hr at take-off.)

The 5,000 foot depth is about 1/2 that of the Titanic at 12,000 feet.

julius said...

airsafetyman,

from above it must be a horrible view - it's just a no go, no swim,... or no landing area!
How many square miles is BP "renting" (or should it say leasing) today and for how many months? What about the licenses for fishing, hunting (better killing) all fishes, turtles,...?

Performing remote sensing or documenting the demage is important but also a very sad task...

Julius

P.S.: In thirty day there will(must) be a new federal president in Germany. The last one (Koehler)just resigned because of some ... hmmm... misunderstandings...The fourth(!) level (in terms of political practice), the president of the upper house of parliament Jens Boehrnsen, will temporarily take over his duties.

gadfly said...

Airsafetyman

There are various ways to plug a leak, if we were dealing with a simple hole . . . possibly a long hollow tapered and weighted “needle”, guided into place with four right-angle “water jets”, much like the pitch and yaw jets on the nose of the X15 rocket plane.

But there are some complicating factors. Here’s some numbers to add into your data:

Seawater pressure (specific gravity of 1.02) is about 44 psi per hundred feet, making the pressure at the leak, 2,200 psi. And I was unable to find a number for the pressure of the oil, but is something above that number.

It is reported that the pipe has an inside diameter of 20 inches . . . 314 square inch area x 2,200 psi . . . total pressure in excess of 7 million pounds (350 tons). Now, somewhere in those numbers, based on pressure differentials, viscosity, etc., a maximum flow rate could be calculated . . . maybe. The latest numbers seem to be 95,000 barrels per day (about 4,000,000 gallons per day) . . . or a cube of oil about 81 x 81 x 81 feet. Couple all that with the sudden drop in pressure of methane gas, released at the leak, and you have cooling that can cause “crystals” of methane. (Remember, it isn’t necessary to hold back the entire pressure . . . think in terms of the “differential” pressure . . . but it still isn’t a simple fix.)

Sandia has been testing explosive methods of “squeezing” copper pipes as an instant “shut-off” valve. (We cut many of these samples with the wirecut-EDM, to examine the results.) Maybe using this method in reverse with something like a balloon angioplasty, but with copper or ? . . . snake the probe into the well, down deep . . . and at various points “explode” the copper or soft metal balloons to lock them in place, then pump in the concrete or other filler (through the probe), to “set up”, making a permanent blockage. In other words, cause a coronary thrombosis . . . a heart attack, if you will. And this is directly from aerospace and weapons research.

Almost every idea has a few “gotchas”, but that shouldn’t keep folks from stretching their minds.

There are some cross-overs from aerospace, as in steering a probe using thruster jets (in this case, water jets), etc., and means of “damping” the movements, to prevent over-control.

For the moment, BP and the oil industry probably have the best tricks available. But after the crisis, it could be a golden opportunity for the aerospace industry to come up with some good ideas. Remember a few years back when Hughes . . . the “Glomar Explorer” (?) got involved with recovering the Russian sub? The public was told that the recovery was mostly a failure . . . but don’t believe what you heard or read.

gadfly

airsafetyman said...

Gad, Thanks for your reply. The pressures involved are enormous. If the break was on land no telling how high the oil geyser would be.

I used to live on the Gulf Coast while in the Air Force and still visit the region regularly. We were thinking of retiring somewhere between Pensacola and Apalachicola but I had a business trip to Pensacola shortly after Hurricane Hugo hit and it looked like Berlin after an especially nasty raid in WWII. Total devastation. They have rebuilt courageously but now this hits them.

I was being a little facetious when I said an "aerospace" solution. ANY idea at this stage, high tech or low is needed. The copper balloon idea is intriguing.

Phineas A. Ferb said...

All that talk about "enormous pressures involved" makes no sense to me. All that really matters is the *difference* between pressure of oil and pressure of surrounding water. Is this basic physics? Do the Waltons take way too long to say Good Night?

gadfly said...

PAF . . . Notice,please, I stated "differential pressure", but robotic equipment must still go from sea level to about 150 atmospheres of pressure . . . not the easiest transition in the books. Also, the smallest bubble of gas, at that depth, will expand at least 150 times by the time it reaches the surface. Throw in the distance, ocean movement, and temperature gradiants, and you have a most interesting set of problems.

gadfly

julius said...

PAF,


perhaps BP is more interested in drilling a new hole (and continuing the deep sea oil production) than closing the current one which only costs some money.
How much oil is leaking?
BP wasn't forced to publish any numbers, which might be used against the company...

Exxon gave an example how to successfully reduce the expenses after a crude oil spill.


Physics "only" describes the pressures in the pipe or of the environment - the art of engeneering is the make the best out of all these and other conditions or aspects.

Julius

airsafetyman said...

"All that really matters is the *difference* between pressure of oil and pressure of surrounding water."

To leak at the rate that it is, the differential pressure must be very high as well. I don't think the pressure of the escaping oil is necessarily constant either which give a changing "delta P". Then is the added problem of the methane gas pockets. The gases at the wellhead would be expandable and compressible in volume with any changes in oil pressure while the fluids would not. As Gad said it is trickier than it seems.

Phineas A. Ferb said...

One would think that if they drill at that depth in the first place, they would have equipment (robots) able to operate there, adequate to solve any problems that might arise. Hey, we just found someone to send the bill to for the whole mess - the person who granted them the permit - all you BP execs can stop polishing your resumes.

Well, if nothing works, let's just start throwing rocks, gravel and whatnot into the sea at that spot, until an artificial island is created. We can kill two birds with one stone - this would probably stop the leak, and an airbase could be built on op of it - there you have the "aviation connection"

By the way, I'm an engineer too, and consider myself an artist only every now and then ;-)

airtaximan said...

dumb question....

Since there used to be a pipe from the ocean floor to the platform... what stopping them from placing a larger pipe over the end of the broken one, and collecting the oil/gas at the top? Or perhaps the back pressure would slow/stop the flow?

Like someone here is stating, seems like they have the tools and know how to place a pipe all the way down there...

I am not an engineer, BTW...

Baron95 said...

LOL - this blog is now doing deep water oil well patch engineering. Not bad ;)

-------------------

I hope you all realize that there is an easy aerospace-ish solution, that can be implemented on any such situations to shut down oil flow instantaneously.

A low yield thermonuclear weapon (preferably a penetrator-type) at the well head, would instantly shutdown the flow by the compression and fusion of materials.

If you really wanted to do the job right, you'd take a few days to insert the nuke a couple of hundred feet below the seabed so there would be zero radiation escape, but any radiation at 5,000 ft under watter from a mini nuke would not be significant.

But, the chances of that solution being used is ZERO, as we all know it.

So back to throwing old tires and golf balls at the problem ;)

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Well, pretending that piling sand, rock, old tires, and golfballs on the leak was a “serious question”, let’s do the math.

A pile of sand with maybe an ‘angle of repose’ of 18 degrees (that’s a potential figure of the minimum slope that would “stay put” . . . but may be off by a few degrees either way), the pile reaching upwards of a mile, would contain 10 cubic miles of material, and be over six miles in diameter, at the base.

To give an idea of how much that is, if every person in the US of A put their backs to it, and contributed an equal amount of dirt and whatever, each person would need to contribute about 500 cubic feet, or about 18 cubic yards. I dug our own basement, 37 years ago, and removed about twice that much dirt and rock, by hand, back and wheel barrel . . . it took the entire summer.

Or, about 100th of that amount would raise New Orleans well above sea level and there would never need to be another levy.

Or, looking at it another way, that much “fill” would solve all of Netherlands’ (Nederlands’, Holland’s) problems in a heart-beat. But, unfortunately, it cannot help the Dutch, nor BP, any more than the little Dutch boy who put his finger into the dike to plug the leak.

gadfly

gadfly said...

So . . . what’s the connection between this and aircraft design? You might have asked the same of Howard Hughes, about the time he inherited his father’s “Hughes Tool” company, which pioneered the “drill bits” that dig oil wells. And Howard (think what you will of him, but he was a genius, and knew how to run a business, and design aircraft) used his knowledge for many things that contributed greatly to modern aviation and aerospace. Sure the man was a “nut case” in some ways, but when something needed doing, right here and now, Hughes and his company didn’t wait for politics to catch up.

So, there you have a direct link between modern oil drilling methods and modern aerospace. Interesting, isn’t it!

gadfly

gadfly said...

While we’re pretending, for the purpose of learning while being entertained, think what it would be like for the present Washington crowd and our brilliant president, to confront Howard Hughes in such a disaster. ‘Katie, Bar the door!’ Man, what a show that would be!

gadfly . . . too young at the time to appreciate the first confrontation between Congress and Howard Hughes.

gadfly said...

Oh yeh! . . . I forgot to mention the score between Congress and Hughes, as reported by modern historians . . . Hughes scored second to last, and Congress, et al, was the first “runner up”.

gadfly

gadfly said...

Capiche?

gadfly

gadfly said...

A good teacher does not long keep his students in ignorance, but leads them on to knowledge, and more important, to understanding . . . and possibly, to wisdom.

"Katie, bar the door!" Or, "Catherine, keep the door."

You can look it up at "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Douglas" . . . and know as much as I.

gadfly

Phineas A. Ferb said...

Gadfly,

Are you saying that a nation that has "Manhattan Project" under its belt, wouldn't be able to pile up rocks and golf balls a mile high?

gadfly said...

“The Gleaners” . . . a great picture by Jean-Francois Millet, in 1857. It is a picture, if you will, of this blogsite. Three ladies are busy gathering the remains of the fields, after the harvest . . . providing food for their families. It is a warm picture . . . showing the rewards of working for a specific goal, even though it might be easier (in our time) to wait for someone else to supply their needs.

A very long time ago . . . over 3,000 years ago, a young widow by the name of Ruth, was a gleaner . . . and because of her diligence, a true love story came about . . . and in time, she became the grandmother of one of the greatest kings in history. (I’m not allowed, by some, to tell you my sources.)

Here we are . . . privileged, in a sense, to share the various results of our labor . . . some are simply the “gleaners”, yet may by their labors carry with them the seeds, the crop (if you will), and take some of the hard-won knowledge on into the aerospace industry . . . or into other areas, that may benefit another generation.

Gleaning involves a certain amount of work . . . determining what can be used, and what is the “chaff”, or trash. Even that requires some intelligence. And none of the remaining “bits” are free . . . they take effort, labor . . . brain activity, to determine what is valuable, and what is not.

In this blogsite, so thoughtfully continued by “Phil”, we have, sometimes, a field filled with a bountiful harvest . . . sometimes, it’s difficult to find the crop, among the weeds. But regardless, I, like many of you, am still curious . . . and come back time, and time again . . . to see if there is something to be gleaned. And just when I think there is little or no hope, something comes up that is worth the effort.

And I hope, possibly like Phil, that you, too, find this blogsite worth the effort to examine, from time to time, and learn a thing or two about airplanes, and the many other things that help us move our industry toward better things.

gadfly

(A word or two to Phineas . . . "No", but knowing something about the nuclear types that measure the "zoomies" in underground cavities, in Nevada, and the PBFA-II, at Sandia . . . I designed and built many an X-ray detector for that sort of thing, so have a certain amount of credentials in the subject. I think that if such a thing were attempted, you just might end up with a "hole", that would release the entire undersea reserve, in a few days, or hours. But my own understanding is that God has reserved that sort of end to the matter, for Himself. Whoops . . . there I go again, discussing things that are "off limits" to some.)

('Brings to mind another subject: Fossil fuels! Is it really "fossil fuels"? How come there are either planets or moons of planets, made entirely of "methane"? . . . And, guaranteed, there ain't been no big lizzards slithering across the landscape (planetscape, moonscape, whatever) on those far-away things that go round and round, in deep space, giving much material to scare the socks off the PBS listeners/viewers, as the pseudo-experts jerk their video cameras around, and show off their video editing skills? Who says the cartoon channel is dead! Sure, I watch them . . . and there's a few that are worth the time . . . but like "gleaning", you need to know the real thing.)

airsafetyman said...

Seems like the original box idea ran into problems with icing of the valve and also escaping methane mixed with the oil threatened to make the box buoyant.

Maybe put charges in a precise circular pattern around the well head a few feet deep and detonate them at exactly the same time. The resulting intersecting shock waves would collapse and seal the well head (hopefully). The first nukes were initially detonated in that way, except the charges were oriented around a sphere.

gadfly said...

Here at the shop, like many shops around the world, we have a thing that measures “hardness”, which when translated with various metals, tells us the strength of the metal being tested. It’s rather a simple test, yet requires much care and understanding. The thing is heavy . . . sits on a bench . . . is about three feet high, about ten inches wide . . . about twenty inches from front to back . . . cost us a few thousand dollars, and does absolutely nothing. But when needed, it tells us if we “got it right”.

It also requires careful preparation . . . perfectly level, a “test” into a piece of steel (a standard, calibrated in a testing lab) to calibrate the depth/hardness, etc., against that known standard. And all this is conducted at the time of the testing of the un-known specimen.

The hardest known material is the “diamond” . . . the second is much “softer”, and doesn’t even come close. (Maybe it’s the sapphire . . . I forget, but like looking for counterfeit money, if you know the “real thing”, the counterfeit becomes apparent . . . but I digress.) So, long ago, the diamond was considered the standard, against which all other materials would be measured.

In our “hardness” instrument, a small round diamond can be pushed into a material . . . and the depth to which it’s pushed, gives us a reading, on a digital read-out, that is translated into the hardness, and by cross reference, into the strength of the material.

The numbers are read with a name like “Rockwell, or Brinell, or Vickers, or Shore, or something else. But all are in reference to a diamond stylus . . . the ultimate standard. It’s good to have an “ultimate” standard . . . and then there is little or no argument about what is right. Right here, is a tremendous opportunity to refer to better things . . . but as you know, I’m limited as to what I can say.

And so, if a person has a standard, a ‘maximum’, as it were, all else can be judged, and evaluated. Some of you are going to understand what I’m saying . . . and others will need to glean the lesson. Either way, your efforts will be rewarded.

gadfly

(Oh yes, it has much application in the oil and aircraft industry . . . and without it, we’d be in deep trouble, not knowing where we are, in relation to the requirements of our final product.)

(Airsafetyman . . . you'd make a great "straight-man". Believe me . . . you do not want to go into the area of setting off multiple charges in the same instant. About eight years ago, I was given the job of re-designing some "spark triggers", to set off three charges in a more accurate sequence. Sandia could only achieve a "nano-second" miss-match. So, I set out to re-design the fancy spark triggers . . . and using 2% thoriated tungsten electrodes, pure copper (oxygen free high conductivity copper), and boron-nitride sleeves, and a special design, my "triggers" had a miss-match of 200 pico-seconds, . . . 80% improvement on the miss-match of the best that was previously possible.

But this sort of thing is "scary", to say the least . . . and other than weapons, where the purpose is to "break things" in a large manner, you don't want to go there . . . believe me.

No, leave the nuclear stuff for military items, or powering things in a carefully controlled environment. That's OK! But things that go bang, under water . . . not good!

gadfly

airsafetyman said...

Gad, I am not for using more bang than necessary but if they could engineer simultaneous detonations on the first nukes in 1945 seems they could do it today. Not talking about ANY use of nuclear materials, just the shock wave from the conventional explosives coming together at the well-head to seal the well off. Any reason it might not work?

gadfly said...

airsafetyman

Yes, there are any number of ways to set off conventional explosives in the manner you state. The good part about all that is that the civilian world has been doing it for a long, long time . . . and there isn't the interference from the "experts" that usually clutters the government programs. But this time around, Obama has confused the issue with threats of lawsuit . . . so any move is hampered by government interference. What more can I say?

gadfly

gadfly said...

airsafetyman . . . One more little item that I failed to mention: The first bombs were "fission" bombs . . . but the more recent experiments are "fusion" . . . a horse of a differnt color. Timing is everything. Concerning the spark triggers, I have no idea as to their purpose . . . I had no "need to know", and my security clearance ("Q" or "Secret") was no longer required, nor active at the time. I just did what they asked, and nothing more.

gadfly

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

RR . . . at least we got some conversation going again . . . and maybe you can take over and bring the discussion back into focus on things that fly.

In the mean time, I'll drag my animal skin back to a dark corner in the cave and get some shut-eye.

gadfly

(Seriously, get something going, again.)

Baron95 said...

LOL RR - and the entire flotilla that BP has assembled above and below water to "fix" the problem is using the mother of all aerospace inventions - GPS - to keep station.

Now I really, really want to see them hit a one-foot diameter pipe with another angled 1-foot diameter pipe after going through 300-feet of sea bed rock.

If they nail it, I'll buy BP gas preferentially for life.

P.S. My first GF is a dptmt treasurer at Transocean, and started at the company as a drilling rig (ship and platform) procurement manager - she tells me the amount of money being thrown at this is out of this world. This is a very tough problem to solve. It is not out of the question that this thing will spew oil for many months and even that the well will rupture further will flow rates going much higher.

The US Gvmt should support BP and Transocean and all the others involved in solving the problem, not threaten them.

Oi exploration in deep sea water is dangerous, every once in a while things will go wrong, just like they did with the space shuttle despite all the safeguards.

Best to just work to solve the problem.

julius said...

baron95,

The US Gvmt should support BP and Transocean and all the others involved in solving the problem, not threaten them.

If the rumors are correct then the "Deep Water Horizon" operations got too much "gvmt support"! And at least 11 people died...

Perhaps there will be a wake up if the oil appraoches the Tampa bay area...

BTW: Thanks to Reagan an EPA research project was stopped which investigated the impact to the environment after a major oil spill in the Gulf area.

I remember one incident when a pipeline broke and gas(?) was leaking. Some people decided to put a lot of concrete on the hole....
When the concrete became hard gas was still leaking and it had to be removed to solve the problem.

Anyhow, good luck for the affected people and the teams which must solve the problems!

Julius

airsafetyman said...

In a way the government's response is similar to an airliner crash with all the local, state, and federal politicians, and bureaucrats trying to get their face time on camera (while fleeing responsibility) but in a way it's different as the accident portion is still ongoing. Very curious and interesting.

Black Tulip said...

British Petroleum should have had Vern Raburn in charge and none of this would have happened. If not him, then Roel Pieper. Hindsight is twenty-twenty.

Could any or all of the 260 Eclipsii in existence play a role in plugging the well?

airsafetyman said...

Will Obama be known as the....Tar Baby?

Is that too mean?

Phineas A. Ferb said...

Build a (crude) concrete structure around the leak - sort of a bunker, with an opening on top, and anchored well to the sea floor. Put reinforced steel sliding door on that opening. Slide the door shut. If it's still leaking, build a second one around it - the pressure should be reduced enough by that first one.

gadfly said...

PAF . . . ‘Was hoping someone else would supply some numbers for you, on your concrete bunker idea.

Your bunker would need to be at least big enough to safely fit over the shut-off valves (the ones that didn’t work) . . . so if we assume a ten by ten foot square bunker, and assume a pressure in the well of say only 100psi greater than the pressure of the water at 5,000 feet, we come up with a pressure to “lift” your bunker off the bottom of about 720 tons (1.44 million pounds). For every 100 pounds “Delta P”, you add another 700 tons of lift on the bunker (assuming those numbers) . . . and that is a bunch.

And then there is the problem of sealing around the bottom edge of the entire concrete bunker . . . not practical, in this case. A single “gopher hole” would quickly bring it all back to square one.

It comes back to dealing with the hole in the pipe . . . 20 inch diameter or so . . . and even that is a lot of force.

gadfly

(There are catfish . . . are there “gopher fish”?)

(There’s an old rule about “O” rings . . . if one won’t seal it, neither will two.)

Phineas A. Ferb said...

Okay. How about digging a little below the pipe, and making the bottom of the "bunker" part of the whole structure. There's the question of delivering concrete to that depth, but maybe some prefabricated elements could be used (maybe not concrete at all). The opening at the top would allow the oil to escape while taking the time to make the whole thing structurally sound. The way I see it, this situation is starting to resemble Chernobyl disaster, and requires similar, decisive response (minus sending people to certain death).

gadfly said...

Phineas . . . Like Mason told Dixon, "We've got to draw the line, somewhere!" And so it is with the "skirt" . . . at some depth, the skirt ends and the ocean bottom begins.

Digging the hole (footing) is a major problem. Delivering concrete under water, and having it "cure" is simple, in comparison . . . the Romans used hydraulic concrete in Caesarea harbor, off the coast of Israel, 2,100 years ago.

The problems with this discussion, as with the time we were attempting to figure out how Boeing was fixing their "wing-root" problems with the Dreamliner, is that we don't have sufficient information, to even come up with potentially viable solutions.

But the brain exercise is still worth the discussion.

gadfly

Phineas A. Ferb said...

Suck the sand? ;-)
Anyway, you're right.

gadfly said...

Designing aircraft, or oil drilling platforms . . . or even a bridge, requires a "practical" knowledge of many things that overlap . . . often in ways that cannot be predicted, nor ignored. A good book is "The Great Bridge" by David McCullough. A reading of the problems of digging underwater, to set the foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge on wood blocks (Pine timbers), deep under the riverbed, (to this day supporting the massive stone structure and heavy daily traffic) . . . will give some insight into precision digging under water, and the problems encountered. And, by the way, the problems and engineering practices of the Roebling Company, will give the reader much understanding as to the stress problems in designing wings . . . and especially, fiber re-enforced composites. All this, from the late 1860's.

gadfly

Floating Cloud said...

Just spent the day tromping around Mexico City going from meeting to meeting talking about socio/economics and sustainable development in Mexico and the US. (Gadfly, that is part of what I do.) People have always used their environment to learn about materials in order to create new technologies and survive. It is no different today in a global economy except we are even more dependent upon each other and it does become harder and harder to maintain cultural identity. Is that important? I think so.
Diversity is creativity.

Made a point to walk to the Zocolo to see the main Cathedral for the umpteenth time, built upon an Aztec world much different than ours -- or is it just more of the same? Human sacrifice seems to be a universally accepted practice among humankind. (Some things just never change.) My silly laptop (like I really needed it) weighed me down as if it were some sort of penitence while on pilgrimage to the church built upon the same sacred grounds where Aztec human sacrifices took place... Walked into the last part of a Catholic mass and heard “go in peace, and God be with you,” and I did with my laptop burden.

Took the Metro. I may be one of the only "tourists" in Mexico City. WE are hurting Mexico by ignoring it. And by not visiting it, we are hurting ourselves. Sweet innocent people here think we are not coming because of the flu! There’s a huge festival/market along the Reforma supported by the “Friends of Mexico.” Over 200 countries are represented, but the US did not represent itself this year and people are taking notice. (I’m writing the Obamas.)

Glad RR you said ALL is connected to aviation, because it is.

And I am super glad you guys are discussing the Gulf oil problem -- that would be the American Gulf oil problem. (Seriously really, I am amazed at all of your knowledge. And what you all do is fascinating to me – God knows I brought my laptop because of it.)

Oddly, wasn’t the Gulf of Mexico where a meteor struck and wiped out the Cretaceous period and created all that oil in the first place?

To be Og or not to be Og is the question. Is there a choice?

I chose to go to my favorite Bellenhausen restaurant tomorrow and enjoy.

FC

airsafetyman said...

If it were possible to put a floor in PAF's 10 foot box with only 20 inch diameter opening for the pipe in the floor then the buoyancy force due to the Delta P would be equal to the area of the top of the box minus the area of the floor of the box (which would be the area of the hole for the pipe). At 100 psi differential that works out to 31,400 pounds as opposed to 1.4 million pounds for a 10 foot box with no floor.

julius said...

gadfly,

for me it is difficult to understand that it is easier for BP to cut (not saw) the pipe with a huge machine than to squeeze the pipe to an extend the it could be sealed or closed.
But perhaps the pipe(line) is only secure if it has an open end....

Anyhow, BP's boss says that the company was not prepaired for any problems or spills at this well. But now the company is again drilling in the same environment!

Learning by doing...

Julius

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

On another note, as I was arriving at the shop about 9AM, Albuquerque time, what appeared to be an "Eclipse" was either on downwind leg to make a tight (left) turn to land east at ABQ, or on its way west. It must be Spring . . . when one of these rare birds comes back near its original nest.

gadfly

julius said...

RonRoe,

BP is now saying that they are afraid that if the well is capped, that it will start leaking out the "side", wherever that is.


Thank you - that is new for me!
But I think that is not the state of art of oil drilling...

Back to GA:
Cirrus is still accepting deposits for the sf50 orders...(see flight global 03/06/10 or flight international). So there is some hope for better times.

gadfly said...

Finally . . . enough intelligent information about the leak, and the “riser”, to form some good opinions . . . possibly even, intelligent evaluation. It appears that BP has sheared off the riser, including the shut-off valves (that didn’t work the first time), and will capture the end of the 20 inch (inside diameter) pipe . . . and do some significant good in greatly reducing the leakage of oil.

In my opinion (which is worth two or three cents on a good day), BP “Technicians”, the ones with the dirty fingernails, have a handle on the situation, and we’ll see in the coming days their approach . . . maybe, if we can get past all the nonsense and miss-reporting by the media.

At least, with the riser and valves out of the way, there is the somewhat “clean” area around the pipe sticking up, to get something over it . . . and seal it off around the smallest diameter possible, and reduce the leakage to minimal amounts . . . and in time, reduce the leakage to zero. It may very well be that the second or third drilled holes will not be necessary . . . except for the purpose of shutting up the garbage from the media, etc., and the many lawsuits that are already in the works.

BP, et al, probably did some bad things . . . and failed to do some important things . . . but focusing on the folks that actually do the work, and have to clean up after management . . . these folks seem to be doing great things under heavy pressure, politically. And I would give them great credit for working under fire.

Every engineer, designer, technician makes mistakes . . . some are extremely bad. Often it’s not how many mistakes you make, but how you solve them, while accepting the blame. That’s how we evaluate true “character” . . . ‘would that the folks in charge had a clue.

gadfly

(And now a moment of silence for the birds that gave their lives in this crisis, and I quote from the latest report from the media: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported 522 dead birds — at least 38 of them oiled — along the Gulf coast states, and more than 80 oiled birds have been rescued. It's not clear exactly how many of the deaths can be attributed to the spill.”)

(Next, we’ll be treated with a class action suit against “Sully”, the “Bird Killer”. Hey, laugh a bit . . . and tell me that all this is not somehow inter-related, deep sea oil spills, aviation, and politics. We live in a small world, after all . . . sorry, Disney, but you were right!)

gadfly said...
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gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

"38 oiled birds" . . . Sorry, but that one got me, right in the gut . . . and I can hardly stand the pain in my side!

On any good weekend, with the state and local police conducting sobriety tests at check points, they can round up more than "38 well-oiled birds" within a few hours,driving cars . . . and to the credit of the New Mexico judicial system, those birds will be out and flying before you can ruffle your feathers.

gadfly

('Had to correct some spelling, a time or two . . . so the two deletions.)

BassMaster said...

Gad regarding an earlier post Boaz was a good husband.

BassMaster said...

Btw Gad that's just to let you know your not the only one. You know what I mean.

gadfly said...

Bassmaster . . . I missed that one, but Boaz was one of the best husbands in history.

Boaz was at the top, when it comes to conduct, and the man you would want to court your daughter.

How did I miss that? Give me a clue when that came up.

gadfly

(For those on the side who wonder "what" . . . you'll find it in a hated book, under the title, "Ruth". And forget I told you where to find it . . . possibly, the greatest love story ever written.)

(To quote a famous "Schultz", "I know nothing!")

gadfly said...

"Ain't life absolutely wonderful?!", in spite of popular opinion. Life is positively, absolutely, pure Joy . . . regardless of all you have read.

But then, there are certain requirements.

gadfly

BassMaster said...

To quote you Gad...

"A very long time ago . . . over 3,000 years ago, a young widow by the name of Ruth, was a gleaner . . . and because of her diligence, a true love story came about . . . and in time, she became the grandmother of one of the greatest kings in history. (I’m not allowed, by some, to tell you my sources.)"

gadfly said...

Yep . . . BassMaster . . . like last night's pizza, it all comes back to me.

Now, there's really no love affair with this blogsite, but it's worth "gleaning" from time to time.

With that said . . . we continue.

Thanks!

gadfly

gadfly said...

The focus seems to be on “Jim Joyce” more than on “Armando Galarraga”.

Now I’m no baseball fan by any means . . . even though a very long time ago, as part of the “Summer Fun Club”, sponsored by the YMCA in Burbank, California, a bunch of us kids would travel in the back of a “flat-bed” stake truck, on Saturdays, to watch the Los Angeles “Angels” play the San Francisco “Seals”, in the Pacific Coast League. For seven dollars, we had four events each week for seven weeks . . . and four times each week in the summer, our parents could get rid of us . . . sometimes we’d spend the day swimming up at the pool at Indian Springs (above Glendale) . . . sometimes we’d go to a big indoor pool (I forget where, but somewhere down in Los Angeles) . . . and sometimes out to Sunland, California . . . and dive for pennies, to spend in the amusement park. One time we went down to “San Juan Capistrano”, to the mission, to “feed the pigeons” and learn about early California history, and one of the many missions established by “Father Serra” (a basic requirement of most students in the California grammar schools . . . at least, back then). From Burbank to the mission, without freeways is an extremely long trip for a bunch of kids with tiny bladders, and no rest stops . . . in the back of a flat-bed stake truck . . . and I’ll never forget that trip! But baseball? . . . that, to me, was the most boring thing to watch . . . sit in the hot bleachers for a bunch of hours . . . while someone out in a field did their thing.
But here we are confronted with a test of character. Sure, the world knows that Jim Joyce made a bad call . . . but my focus is on Armando Galarraga. Here is one of those opportunities for Armando to come out as the real winner . . . and a life-time friend of Jim Joyce.

And does all this apply to our common concern with aviation? Or the oil leak? Or things at the top . . . back in “DC”? You know it does! It involves taking responsibility for mistakes . . . sometime the mistakes of those under your control. And it has been my experience that sometimes the most long lasting and binding relationships involve “forgiveness”, and “reconciliation”. Oops . . . there I go, relating things that might be construed as “religious”, or “Bible oriented” . . . Sorry, I just can’t help it.

gadfly

(Better stop before I get much further behind.)

Phineas A. Ferb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Before I could get this on the blogsite, the writer removed his comments . . . yet there was no reason . . . they were "good", . . . excellent, in fact, and far more on target that maybe even he realized.

And every time I see the “moniker” (of the earlier delete comments), I think of a kid name “Robert Pfaff”, and his little dog, “Poochy” . . . saved him from a rattle snake, back around 1943, or so.

"Poochy" was a little Scotch Terrier, or something . . . barked like crazy at something in the strawberry patch, just before my friend, Robert Pfaff, was to go there. His mother came out with a "hoe", and killed the rattlesnake. It was a small snake, but the size that is most deadly.

Robert was my nearest neighbor . . . and one of three of us our age living in the Verdugo Foothills, between Burbank and Roscoe, back then. But you’re right about the “kitchen sink” (mentioned in the deleted comments) . . . that usually does it.

Every morning I spend a lot of time at the “kitchen sink”, making coffee for my wife, and taking it up-stairs . . . it’s worth the effort, believe me, all you married guys that may need a hint as to a successful marriage. (It’s not the total answer, but it helps.)

Back to the “kitchen sink”! If you have been paying attention, and doing your duty as a husband and father, (or “grand father” . . . to include myself) each and every day, you have had a practical demonstration within your focus . . . about physics, drainage, siphons, pressure differential (Delta P, etc.) . . . and I suspect that those that have the final solution to the “BP” leak, are the ones that bring a fresh cup of coffee to their wives, each and every morning, and “do the dishes”, without being “told”.

Prove me wrong! I’m absolutely right, this time . . . and you all know it. Period! . . . End of discussion. And I thank you.

gadfly

(Gotcha!)

gadfly said...

Esther Weinstock . . . that dear old thing in high-school that made me hate English . . . and later I found the problem not with the subject but with the “teacher” . . . at that time I didn’t have the “charisma” to be a teacher’s pet. For the record, I was one of the “Black Beggars” . . . I’m not black, but that was my classification, in the 12th grade. And by the way, my dearest friend, Sam Way, a black man, died within the past two years . . . I visited his grave, recently, where we buried him on the side of a hill, in a snow storm, not many months ago. And I miss that man more than you can possibly understand . . . one of his sons called me “Uncle” . . . an honor beyond any other .)

But playing with the English language is fun . . . there are over 400,000 words . . . carefully used they are a complete “palette”, to paint almost any word-picture.

And here we are, privileged to use the finest “palette” of shades of meaning in the history of man since our creation, to express ourselves. Let’s not “blow it” with silly carelessness in expressing our thoughts . . . throwing away valuable “brain time”, as if we had unlimited resources to go on and on . . . forever.

Here is the challenge, for you and me: Carefully consider your thoughts . . . economize your thinking into a few words, and express them to the rest of us, who want to know your thoughts and opinions.

Are we going to get it right? . . . or “write”? . . . No, we won’t! But we can work toward a common goal of clearly defining our thoughts, our opinions, etc., and maybe . . . maybe make an impact in aviation, and other important subjects that come to mind.

It would appear that much of the present problems are all wrapped up in “communication”. I’ll buy that, to some extent . . . the basic thoughts and beliefs determine the foundations. So let’s go on that premise, and see if we can’t solve part of the communication problem.

gadfly

gadfly said...

Communication . . . that’s a wonderful subject:

Many times, I have taught classes on various subjects. Most often, they were folks that came of their own volition . . . and that is a compliment to the teacher.

Sometimes, we had serious problems . . . getting some cross-ventilation, for a couple dozen or more folks, staying alive and awake for an hour or so, as I presented my “lesson”. (I used to figure . . . how big the room, how many cubic feet, times two, and divided by the number of folks in my class . . . . a half cubic foot of air per minute per person . . . how many minutes would the crew survive . . . numbers of an earlier time, when the solution was not simply walking out a door, opening some windows, etc. There was a time, when such numbers meant the difference between life and death. And yet, there I was . . . teaching a Bible lesson . . . maybe about Isaiah, or Jeremiah . . . or maybe in Hebrews, etc. And in the back of my mind, I’m doing the math, to determine the hours of survival, using only the air within the room to which I was assigned.

Strange, is it not, how the mind works. But the biggest problem was not the volume of the classroom, but those “eraseable markers” . . . many folks could not tolerate the chemical smell, and fumes . . . so I had to dis-continue their use.

Communication . . . so important, so little respected, so often abused. How many times I wish that I had not responded as I did . . . and I hurt so many people, that I loved.

gadfly

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Yes, R, and yet takes definition/explanation for some.

gad

gadfly said...

Your turn . . . How brief?

gadfly said...

The shortest story, earning an "A" in English Rhetoric, including 'Mystery, Religion, and Sex': "Oh God, I'm pregnant . . . Who did it?"

gadfly

Enough, already!

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Well, RR . . . Please, by all means take over . . . add something, anything . . . whatever pleases you.

gadfly

(Voltaire? . . . that is indeed a strange one to quote! But then, some dogs like Alpo . . . some don't!)

gadfly said...

And, RR . . . so you will know I did not miss it, Pascal was correct. It takes far more effort in anything, to make it simple, and brief. And for that, I truly applaud your comment.

In fact, Thank you! Thank you, very much.

gadfly

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

RR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_de_Saint-Exup%C3%A9ry

gadfly

Phineas A. Ferb said...

As distinquished as the audience of this blog is, it apparently does not include any of bp engineers. As a result, it appears the Gulf of Mexico is about to be converted into a reservoir of pure crude oil.

I wouldn't be myself, if I didn't try to find a way aviation could benefit from that. How about flights between North America and Europe refueling mid-air by descending to a low altitude in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean over oil on its way to northern Europe propelled by the Gulf Stream. Those planes could scoop up oil directly from the surface with, say, an extensible tube mounted to the underbelly. High-proof agent (like moonshine) would have to be mixed in to improve combustion, but overall fuel cost savings could be significant.

gadfly said...

Of late, we’ve been exposed to the problems of working a mile beneath the ocean . . . and some of the problems of robotics. And we know that BP and others have their hands full. More and more, we are placing our lives into the “hands” (if that is the right term) of computers and machines.

Some of us have, for years, been able to allow machines to perform extremely complicated operations, completely un-attended for hours, and even days . . . isolated in massive factories, attended only by the occasional night watchman, etc. (Ref: Mazak, Yamazaki Corp. of Japan in Florence, Kentucky, for thirty of more years . . . machines building machines, three shifts per day . . . humans present two shifts per day.) Even in our little shop, we have for years allowed our multi-axis Mazak machines to operate unattended . . . and our Mitsubishi Wirecut-EDM’s have been operating unattended, round the clock and over week-ends, since the early 1980's.

So, in our shop . . . what happens when things go wrong, and no human will be present for another day, or two, or more? The machine simply “shuts down”, waiting for further instructions, repair, or a change of tool, or a new spool of brass wire, etc.

But what happens if this is applied to the next generation of aircraft? . . . and it’s coming . . . maybe not tomorrow, but sometime.

To stimulate your thinking with a couple neat videos, check out the following. There was a “hoax” sometime back, that a university had built a machine that spit out ball-bearings, and produced music . . . but the video was excellent, although only in the skill and imagination of the programmers of the animation.

Look at these two videos . . . notice the precision of the mechanics . . . the “anticipation” of the next move, and the follow-on results of each “note”, etc. Note the fine elements of the “fingers” in the one, and the “actuators” in the other, aren’t possible, as shown . . . but there is enough to get you thinking about anticipation of the next problem/possibility and the results of that action. And then apply it in your thinking to aerodynamic control, and the many possibilities of "re-gaining control" in unexpected circomstances.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgE0m5C5PCc&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toXNVbvFXyk&feature=related

Notice how the organic feel and touch is incorporated in all this. For people, the general public, to accept automatic flight, there needs to be that added “soulishness” connected with the system.

For others, who haven’t a clue as to the subject, try this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVXmtckavDQ

Enjoy!

gadfly

gadfly said...

It’s always nice to get something you didn’t anticipate . . . like the “out-takes” at the end of “A Bug’s Life” . . . or in the YouTube video “Cathedral Pictures”. Did you catch it? The music was by Mussorgsky . . . as he walked through an exhibition of his departed friend’s paintings. The last picture in his “promenade” was “The Great Gate of Kiev”. And the clever folks at “Animusic” put that picture on the sides of the two big drums. It’s a great story . . . have fun looking it up.

gadfly

(Oh . . . you want more? . . . something you didn’t expect? . . . right in Eclipse own back yard? Well, a few miles east, but not far. OK . . . here goes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGr0YMMp0f8&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9bzQQl8Y_w&feature=related

The pilot/owner came over to the shop recently, to check on some (minor) parts we were making for him . . . not at liberty to tell you what. Somewhere in all that, you can see his “retractable” jet engine go through its first paces. Neat. A good start, for sure.)

gadfly said...

Phineas . . . Sure, you were being extremely facetious . . . but sometimes that’s “OK”. Take your pickup of crude oil on the surface, take it to the next level, and do a serious study . . . What would it take to drag something along the surface of a body of water, and pick-up the maximum volume of liquid in the shortest time, while maintaining maximum speed (velocity). You solve that one, and firefighters world wide will call you a genius.

It’s easy to think of aviation as a quick way to get from “A” to “B”, and lose sight of the many other things that can be of great assistance in life. It would seem that most have been addressed . . . and yet, I venture, we’re barely scratched the surface of the real issues. What are they? . . . Frankly, I do not know . . . but maybe some folks can come up with practical applications . . . some that we’ve never before considered.

As a kid, “Dick Tracey” had his wrist radio. I didn’t follow “him” . . . I was more into Donald Duck, and Bugs Bunny . . . but now his wrist radio, et al, are long gone as ancient relics.

OK . . . now what? Put your mind and imagination to the problem . . . and propose the ridiculous . . . possibility is that somewhere along the line, it won’t be so ridiculous. Hey, . . . it doesn’t have to be at the speed of sound . . . sometimes faster than walking will do. But whatever . . . dare to be a “nut case”, and propose something that most people will “shoot down” . . . it’s alright. You’ll fail many times . . . but success only requires “once”. (I could tell you a story about that one . . . but not here.)

gadfly

Phil Bell said...

New headline post is -finally!- up.

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