- Sep 17, 2008
If we have to build idiot-proof airplanes so that we don't have to learn to fly, we're lost. Cars have been getting more and more idiot-proofing gizmos, and now the computers want to take over altogether and keep us from taking control. The autonomous car. Sounds good, except that it removes a certain satisfaction and liberty from your life in the name of safety. And the stuff that shows up in cars soon shows up in airplanes, and you will one day no longer be allowed to fly yourself around. Just sit there and tell the thing where you want to go, and it might obey you or it might say that it will take you somewhere else--or nowhere at all--because it has determined what's best for you.So, we all agree that a "flat turn" has no utility in real flying, right? It offers no advantage over a normal, coordinated banked turn.
You are citing the SS as noteworthy because, if a pilot performs this maneuver at low speed (on purpose or by mistake), the results are less likely to be disastrous than in some other airplanes? Is that what all these threads have been about? Is this really a significant measure of merit for an airplane?
If we build idiot-proof devices, society just comes up with better idiots. A stall/spin-proof airplane can still be flown VFR into IMC where control is lost and it crashes. An autopilot can be connected to the GPS so the airplane is flown safely through IMC, until the pilot runs out of fuel. So we connect the fuel gauges to the computer so the airplane won't start for a programmed cross-country if the tanks don't have enough fuel. We fill the tanks and take off, and mishandle the airplane on landing in a crosswind and wreck it. So the autopilot is upgraded to an autoland unit so we don't need to do the landing, either. Oh, and anti-skid brakes for the slippery runways, and a ballistic parachute just in case. At this point, the airplane--a 172--has an empty weight that has increased from 1450 to 1850 and is now a single-place, full-fuel airplane that costs $2.3 million. See where it leads? Do you want to learn to actually fly safely and affordably, or not fly at all?