I noticed that, jake2465 has been the new member for weeks.
Also the active member number has dropped.
I, too, noticed that some of our most active contributors have gone silent. They may be sitting on a park bench like Forest Gump, and saying “That’s all I got to say about that”. :gig:
i read. pretty much ran out of things to say.
If new members want to join and ask questions and dream there's absolutely nothing stopping them here. This forum is extremely accepting towards anyone who joins....
It is sad to hear that peoples ideas no matter how out there are shot down outright,
I have been know to shoot out an idea on many occasions knowing it won't work, but maybe it will spark an idea in someone else or perhaps someone will say you know if you change x to y just maybe.
I wish that were really true. It's gotten a little better than it was last year, but then it's still a lot worse than it was five years ago. Biggest change? Our loss of Orion. He had a gift not only of a deep and thorough understanding of design issues, but also a way of pointing out the flaws in someone's plan that encouraged them to keep the plan and fix the flaws. I can think of two members that have Orion's touch in that way. One is very rarely online anymore due to a personal tragedy, and the other routinely gets challenged in his area of professional, corporation-level expertise by people who really haven't a clue what they're talking about. That's rough to watch. Since Orion's passing, the tenor of the forum's response to new ideas has been to tell the person how their idea is bad and shouldn't be attempted at all. "Go get a nice kit and get building today, and stop this foolish idea. You're just wasting your time."
Overall, I agree with RJW that the emphasis of the forum has shifted from design to building, and that's a double-edged sword, IMHO. On the one hand, it's all "academic" if nothing gets built. Actually building something is a critical part of the process, but so is basic research. Without research, without new, sometimes "stupid" ideas, nothing new is born. Some here seem to think that nothing new is needed, and that what we've got is all anyone could ever want. The "only building matters" attitude has gotten to the point that, in the last year, I've seen direct posts to the effect that if you're not actually building an airplane today you shouldn't be allowed on HBA at all. I've been told myself to "save the designing for later and just build an existing kit." The membership dog-piled and nay-sayed a NASA reasearcher so badly a couple-three years ago that he's never come back. All he wanted to do was share his team's research project and preliminary results with the us, and he was blasted out of the forum to such an extent that just before he left he was being accused of ripping off the general public by doing the research at all, it was so "useless" or ill-founded. I managed to coax one long-term member, who has extensive design and fabrication experience with a significant aerospace-prime R&D house, back to HBA after he got fed up with it all and left. Well, the forum proved him right and me wrong and he's gone again, this time for good. We've lost several really knowledgeable members simply because of the way the forum treats "design" in the last five years. The PM's are depressing to read. I'm sure you'll also note that most of the remaining "design oriented" members aren't nearly as active any more. Why bother, when we're told repeatedly that "building right now" is the only legitimate reason for the forum to exist? I'm not as happy here as I once was, either. I'm getting tired of the "if you're not building today you're a worthless dreamer" attitude I see developing. That's hyperbole, of course, but not by much. Now, I don't think there is anyone here actively trying to be hostile or mean to those interested in design. I do think some here don't think much of design and think the entire forum should be dedicated purely to building airplanes. Well, it's Jake's forum, not theirs, and HBA has had an "Airplane Design" section since day one.
Now, to be utterly clear, I'm NOT saying that "builders" and "doers" are unwanted here. The act of building is absolutely important to homebuilt aviation. Not trying to shoot down those of you who have a particular love of building and don't have much interest in design. The practical how-to aspect of the forum has really grown because you guys are here, and that's an absolute positive for HBA. What I'm saying, and what others are asking, is that you let there be room for other aspects of homebuilt aviation as well. Designers, even dreamers, have their place here, too, whether that's of interest to you or not. If parts of someone's dream are dangerous, or has already been tried and shown to be a bad road, then help them fix the parts and fulfill their dream instead of shooting them down completely and telling them to go get a nice kit to build. For some of us, design is as important as building and, whether you agree with that yourself or not, it's just as valid and important as how to make a good weld or which tools you use to build your kitplane. It deserves a place here without the kind of attitudes it's been receiving the last five years. When design was the larger emphasis here, HBA had a larger active membership, and was really going strong. Sure, we had our share of village idiots peddling their way to the stars on Home-Depot cardboard, but we had a lot of good ideas, too. A few threads are still alive in the old vein, and they tend to be the largest and longest the forum sees.
This is an internet forum. It exists to promote the exchange of stories, tips, lessons-learned, and ideas. Last five years, that last one seems to be whittled ever farther and farther down. Personally, I think that's a real shame, and I think it reflects in the declining membership and active-member numbers. Some of that decline is definitely Nathan's purge of 'bots, but the number of real-person posts and the number of real-person "faces" I see here has certainly gone down as well.
I think the napkin sketch thread is for that sort of thing: http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27417I am one of those dreamers and have a pretty good imagination but I probably wouldn't post many of my ideas here since I do not have the experience many others do. I do love solving problems but original designs, not sure if I'm comfortable with posting them. For me, new ideas however weird can stimulate thinking outside the box creating a solution to an existing problem. That's the value in it.
I think the napkin sketch thread is for that sort of thing: http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27417
You can post any idea you want in there without anyone analyzing it too deeply
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