Have you ever looked at an airplane and thought, “gee whiz” or “wonder why they did that?” If not, then perhaps you should. I read this quote sometime in the past few weeks and thought it was appropriate for this column:
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka’ but ‘That’s funny’…” (Issac Asimov).1
The purpose of Airplanes by Design includes the idea in this quote: On the one hand, I hope someone will see a picture and pause in wonder.
But I hope these pictures do so much more. In fact, I have at least 4 reasons for this column: Inspire, Inform, Invest, and Illustrate.
It was chance or Providence that had me taking pictures of the C-17 on a cloudless morning at Edwards AFB before the moon had set. With the moon in the background, I can’t help but think of flying higher, of someday walking on its surface and taking a similar photo of a spacecraft with the earthrise in the background.
I had no idea what a flying test bed was until I went to Test Pilot School, but they are a very important part of the design and development of new aerospace planes. Almost every week there is also a link to additional resources on the airplanes that appear in this column, giving you direction and access to a wealth of information.
Sometimes the pictures are graphic or unsightly, but we can learn from our mistakes and invest in our future. You’ve heard of a drip irrigation system, and I hope that the weekly updates of airplane photos provides the same kind of valuable investment in your safety and knowledge.
I strongly believe that we can communicate 10,000 words with pictures, and words are extremely powerful. This is not only one of the fundamental ATOMs but also an elementary and critical element in the overarching strategy to inform and invest. These are just a few of the reasons that this weekly column exists.
Will you share photos of what inspires you?
Airplanes by Design features photographs of aircraft from a test pilot perspective, highlighting aeronautical engineering characteristics and flight test facts. To see all of the these pictures (and many more of this aircraft and it’s unique design characteristics), click here. You will always be able to access any of these pictures by selecting the Flickr icon in the top menu bar.