In aerospace engineering there is a natural conservatism forced on us by the laws of physics, the regulatory framework and the market. Interestingly, as much as they may believe differently, the market is almost as conservative as the laws of physics…..
Gender may have progressed from a binary to existing on a spectrum but Force will always equal Mass multiplied by Acceleration (In Newtonian physics anyway) and changes of state (solid to liquid, linear to buckled) will still be fundamentally binary no matter how progressive our politics become. Passing or failing a criteria will never exist on a spectrum.
Improvement can only occur through change.The current progressive mindset appears to be based, in part on a logical fallacy. This can be described something like this.
Everything can be improved, Improvement can only be created by change. Change is inherently good as it brings about improvement.
This approach does work until you get to ‘Change is inherently good’. Change in itself does not care about the outcome. This is why we have analysis,so we can predict the outcome of a change. We have replaced analysis with feelings and wishful thinking.
This is also the fallacy of ‘disruptive thinking’ (https://studyonline.abdn.ac.uk/resources/disruptive-thinking) this is a phrase that has fallen out of vogue of late but a few years ago disruptive thinking was essential to…….something? Getting headlines? Appearing to be dynamic and progressive?
Disruptive is a much better word as it means to break or interrupt something. Because breaking something ‘always’ yields good results – especially when applied to aircraft or society in general.
So we arrive at eVTOL. eVTOL is the progressive mindset applied to aerospace engineering.
- What if we imagine that batteries were many times more energy dense than they actually are or are likely to be?
- What if we imagine that the government will let us certify something new and high risk?
- What if we imagine that insurance costs will be very low?
- What if we imagine that the cost per ride is a fraction of what it is almost certainly going to be?
- What if we imagine that everyone has no internal risk monitoring system and will want to ride on these aircraft?
- What if we imagine that these new types of aircraft will never crash and we can fly them over densely populated urban centers?
You can see the same (ironically) type of blue sky thinking applied to society
- What if we pretend gender and sex are not binary but are infinitely variable and exist on a spectrum?
- What if it made children happier to use transsexual drag performers to teach them this ideology in school?
- What if we abolish national borders and allow uncontrolled immigration?
- What if we treat personal offense as if it is a violent crime and prosecute the offenders?
- What if we pretend that people will be happy if we take away the need to strive for anything and provide them with universal basic income?
In a previous, less progressive age, eVTOL programs would be a small number of fringe experimental projects. In that sense they would be interesting and may provide great value but at high risk of failure.
Like the memetic (and political) spread of progressive gender ideology until it now dominates the public information space, the spread of eVTOL projects and the propaganda surrounding them is endemic.
eVTOL, like progressive political ideology, is not without some merit. Electric aircraft should be safer and quieter (whether they are greener depends on how the electricity is generated, transmitted and stored).
However, unquestioning acceptance of any claim, no matter how unlikely or impossible, in both progressive politics and progressive aircraft development, leads to the idea that the value of the project is in the perceived virtue of the claim, not the end result of the policy or project.
In the realm of progressive aircraft projects this virtue value, or indeed virtual value is reflected by the level of investment that each project attracts.
Not all eVOTL projects are the same. The litmus test is to look at the range (should be low, <50miles) and projected production units (should be low, less than 500 per year – and that is pretty darn ‘sporty’).
If anyone is projecting more than these numbers, like most progressive policies, the consequence of reality is likely to significantly misalign with the predictions.
Is the aircraft industry embracing change for the sake of change regardless of the likely outcome? What is the outcome likely to be?
Even with traditional, boring, conservative aircraft development, if hundreds of aircraft OEMs are competing for the same market the outcome is reliably and predictably negative. The introduction of unfiltered progressivism into this scenario only makes the predicted outcome more reliable.
Love your website. Agree that the eVTOL is a bit ridiculous. How will they operate in real weather conditions?
I would rather see VSTOL. Conventional flight with devices to help with very short takeoff/landing like blown lift. If I was going to do something, it would be like NASA’s OV-10A project (NASA-CR-2135) with the rotating cylinder flap and put one in the tail (the original plane did not have this and ran out of tail authority) and conventional engines (2 to 4 for blown lift and redundancy; make it electric later). You could make it CATO or motorized wheels and trap for steeper approaches and margin. I don’t see any talk about this. Seems simpler and has been done.
Electrically spun cylinders would not take much power and they have a lot of inertia with a power failure.