Archive for the ‘ pushing the limits ’ Category

Pushing the limits

Why am I interested in pushing the limits instead of doing a known safe solution (meaning thinking more than usual aerodynamics, low weight, low power, low production cost, manufacturing technology, integrated advanced avionics)?

This could be asked with a counter question: why not? What would be the motivation of replicating some existing aircraft with existing technology with learning nothing new?

Someone might say that because of business, to sell these things. But to be sincere, I believe that this business scene is already congested, and it there is anecdotal evidence that the profitability of this business is questionable at times. And there are already number of manufacturers which are doing this and their planes are just fine. If one wants an average plane which is not supposed to push any limits, there is plenty of selection with all kinds of colors, at least one can choose if the plane is white or white or maybe metallic gray, and gluing red or blue tape stripes is optional.

If we look back 50 years and think what has been happening in general aviation. We can conclude that we are entering yet another year with virtually a very little or no progress. Engine technology is still the same, aerodynamics have only moderately improved (laminar flow wings are nowadays somewhat utilized (Cirrus and Cessna 400), but not laminar flow fuselages) but not much, and avionics are still the same (but only gradually improved) rather than inventing a question for the answer that this is always been done that way and answering to it before it is asked.

One could ask, what is there to improve? Why to change anything. If one has nothing better to offer, then the whole venture is worthless. The easiest way to copy and not learn anything new is not to design own aircraft, but buy an existing one. If time spent for engineering is counted with any kind of monetary value, then purchasing an existing aircraft is potentially also the cheapest way to get flying. It is also the safest way, and the chances of big disappointment is small. You get what you pay and it is potentially a good compromise and biggest bugs are already fixed.

But one thing is that for some, pushing the limits is the meaning of life.

I see that the future of general aviation is not very bright without radical new designs which are better performing than the current aircraft, a lot more economical than current models, and essentially less expensive to buy and operate than the current aircraft.

This requires couple of breakthroughs to happen. I am not interested in solving all of them, I do not have unlimited time and can not have solution for everything.

I rather prefer to think everything through a filter which is the compromise I have found best suitable during the couple of years I have been thinking what do I want and now I am finding reasons why I want it. As the answer to the question can not be seen as a singularity, to make the others with a different experience base and collection of individual goals to understand the questions and the answers in this specific case in a give time fragment, can be seen as a challenging endeavor which leads to a setup where all the sides of the multidimensional coin are not fully seen.

When I know what do I want, I can more easily tackle down, what is the minimum resemblance to what I want which still is an acceptable compromise but is feasible technologically and economically and evidently this is a moving target which evolves in the flow of time.

The limits being pushed also evolve but the end result is a snapshot of the broken limits of that time and the frozen design parameters of the evolving concept and today’s limits no longer exist as limits but are by then generally accepted known solutions. If this did not take place, the eventual outdatedness of the design would outweight the thought benefits of the whole reason of doing it in the first place and the understanding of the question of why to do it would be remaining essentially unanswered in a light of the evolving circumstances where the answers are integrating variables rather than constants.

The only sensible way to follow the flow of things is to ensure being a step further than the current state of the art, otherwise the train left the station before it was built and one arrived there to travel to a place which no longer exists. This way the coin has a chance to drop the right side up in a place where the relative up is defined by the eye of the beholder, which by definition, defines the answer to the questions who I am and what do I want.

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>Pushing the limits

>Why am I interested in pushing the limits instead of doing a known safe solution (meaning thinking more than usual aerodynamics, low weight, low power, low production cost, manufacturing technology, integrated advanced avionics)?

This could be asked with a counter question: why not? What would be the motivation of replicating some existing aircraft with existing technology with learning nothing new?

Someone might say that because of business, to sell these things. But to be sincere, I believe that this business scene is already congested, and it there is anecdotal evidence that the profitability of this business is questionable at times. And there are already number of manufacturers which are doing this and their planes are just fine. If one wants an average plane which is not supposed to push any limits, there is plenty of selection with all kinds of colors, at least one can choose if the plane is white or white or maybe metallic gray, and gluing red or blue tape stripes is optional.

If we look back 50 years and think what has been happening in general aviation. We can conclude that we are entering yet another year with virtually a very little or no progress. Engine technology is still the same, aerodynamics have only moderately improved (laminar flow wings are nowadays somewhat utilized (Cirrus and Cessna 400), but not laminar flow fuselages) but not much, and avionics are still the same (but only gradually improved) rather than inventing a question for the answer that this is always been done that way and answering to it before it is asked.

One could ask, what is there to improve? Why to change anything. If one has nothing better to offer, then the whole venture is worthless. The easiest way to copy and not learn anything new is not to design own aircraft, but buy an existing one. If time spent for engineering is counted with any kind of monetary value, then purchasing an existing aircraft is potentially also the cheapest way to get flying. It is also the safest way, and the chances of big disappointment is small. You get what you pay and it is potentially a good compromise and biggest bugs are already fixed.

But one thing is that for some, pushing the limits is the meaning of life.

I see that the future of general aviation is not very bright without radical new designs which are better performing than the current aircraft, a lot more economical than current models, and essentially less expensive to buy and operate than the current aircraft.

This requires couple of breakthroughs to happen. I am not interested in solving all of them, I do not have unlimited time and can not have solution for everything.

I rather prefer to think everything through a filter which is the compromise I have found best suitable during the couple of years I have been thinking what do I want and now I am finding reasons why I want it. As the answer to the question can not be seen as a singularity, to make the others with a different experience base and collection of individual goals to understand the questions and the answers in this specific case in a give time fragment, can be seen as a challenging endeavor which leads to a setup where all the sides of the multidimensional coin are not fully seen.

When I know what do I want, I can more easily tackle down, what is the minimum resemblance to what I want which still is an acceptable compromise but is feasible technologically and economically and evidently this is a moving target which evolves in the flow of time.

The limits being pushed also evolve but the end result is a snapshot of the broken limits of that time and the frozen design parameters of the evolving concept and today’s limits no longer exist as limits but are by then generally accepted known solutions. If this did not take place, the eventual outdatedness of the design would outweight the thought benefits of the whole reason of doing it in the first place and the understanding of the question of why to do it would be remaining essentially unanswered in a light of the evolving circumstances where the answers are integrating variables rather than constants.

The only sensible way to follow the flow of things is to ensure being a step further than the current state of the art, otherwise the train left the station before it was built and one arrived there to travel to a place which no longer exists. This way the coin has a chance to drop the right side up in a place where the relative up is defined by the eye of the beholder, which by definition, defines the answer to the questions who I am and what do I want.