Last week, I was preparing for a visit to customers in the Washington DC area. This involves only a short flight from my office in New Hampshire. Then came winter storm Juno and with it myriad flight cancellations — and the end of my trip before it had even started. While these events can be frustrating at the time, the priority is obviously safety. It is because aircraft designers and airline operators follow strict aircraft certification guidance from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulatory bodies that air travel is as safe and reliable as it is today. Continue reading
A few days ago, while I was waiting to board a flight, I ran into a childhood friend who I hadn’t seen in 20 years, and he was waiting for the same flight. We talked about all the developments in our lives over the last two decades, and it was wonderful catching up. I told my friend about how I had graduated in aerospace engineering, that my specialization is in CFD, and that I get to work with aerospace customers. He was quite interested in learning more about how our software helps with aircraft design.
We could see our aircraft approaching the gate through the pane glass window as we started to discuss how external aerodynamics analysis influences the design of wings, fuselage, engines and flaps. Just around that time, the announcer issued the boarding, and so we boarded the flight and managed to get seats side by side.
While we continued our discussion, the aircraft was on the tarmac and began acceleration for take off. All of a sudden, my friend grabbed my hand. I was quite surprised and looked at him, even more shocked to see his tensed face with eyes closed and ears filled with cotton. Continue reading