Take the kid who grows up around sailboats from age 10 and grows up to be an adult and then invents the world's best sail, which assists the US Team in winning the World's Most precious Sports Cup? Last year I had the opportunity of arguing a design I had thought of for a new fighter plane wind with inflatable tips and morphing capabilities, which could handle the wing load ratings needed for the top fighter aircraft of the day.
A European Aerospace designer who is well known blasted my design something terrible.
Then last month I read an article and we see that these wings are no being designed, built and tested.
And that aerospace engineers are confident due to modeling and wind tunnel testing of these wings absolute benefits.
Now then, how is it that a complete novice to the aeronautical and aerospace design can out think the experts? I had considered this point and here is my understand of why I had an advantage as an airport bum over this French Aerospace Engineer and Designer with a PhD.
"I would say I have an immediate advantage over every aerospace engineering graduate and many of the aerospace engineers in the world; an absolute advantage over all of these folks; having sold aircraft, flown them and cleaned thousands of them.
I know the names of nearly every private aircraft, military aircraft, commercial aircraft and most all of the home builts ever built, by sight, I know every inch of them, their performance, characteristics, you name it.
Yes I have an advantage a big time advantage.
com One might say I would see more than others just by hanging around the airport, cleaning planes, bumming rides and becoming a hobbyist pilot and yes they would be correct.
You see, every day I would observe things such as; ceconite stresses, fabric, stits coverings, rivets popped out, Plexiglas and fiber glass cracks, stress stop drills, bent stabilizers, missing static discharges with corrosion near them.
I would see Zink Chromate peeling, grease fittings? I use to help people do annual inspections and take aircraft all apart, noticed where damage was, airframe fatigue occurred and birds made nests.
I have owned aircraft too, worked on them, studied them, drew pictures of them, sold them, flew them, modified them and owned experimental aircraft too.
It is for these reasons that the airport bum may indeed be the observer of more value than the book smart arrogant Frenchman with little or no hands on knowledge.
So think on these things next time you are building a think tank or designing a new widget.
You will be glad you did.
Think on this in 2006.