Why do you design and build airplanes?

28 Nov

When I was involved with rock climb it was very common to hear the question: – Why do you climb? Before that I was addicted to ride road bicycles and on one Saturday morning I was able to ride more than 100km and the question still on: Why do you spend so many time suffering on a bike? So, now my life is, more than normal, based on design and build airplanes, and in my case as much performance as much better. And the question still on: – Why do you design and build these kinds of machines… I must confess, as in the previous cases, I don’t know. Maybe I am addicted, maybe I am crazy, maybe… In this particular case, design and build airplane inside a university environment has a special propose in the quality of academical life of our students, but if this is the only reason for that, I must confess, it is not enough. It is easy to infer that just few universities around the world has this kind of treatment to their students, and must be have another reason to do it in such way.

Backing on my memory I can remember when I was an young boy and my father was always putting me closing to airplanes and specially with air models. I still can remember some mornings at Jardim Canada field, where my dad was playing with his models (with our friend “Biscoito”) and I was playing with that red dirt (iron mineral). I still can remember of few models, a big white Styrofoam glider and one elastic prop model made with steel wires that my dad bring me from Germany. But this is only my memories and until few years ago I can’t explain why to do this… Today I had a experience, just before one “crux” of my career, that give me an insight of why I do it! Take a look on this picture. While I was build an omniglider for my son (and myself) he was paying attention, careful, on my hands…Yes, the same that I did with my father! And I can remember this! I can remember his using cianoacrilate for this first time, I remember “Biscoito” cutting his finger on a running propeller, I remember details of the construction of a Stevens Akro Model (painted in blue – you can ask my dad if it is true!). So this is the explanation! It is, at least, one part of the explanation. For my son, I hope, it will be an inspiration for his life. He don’t need to became an airplane designer or builder, but I hope that he can remember good times that we will spend together between the airplanes and the airmodels, in a same way that I remember my time with my dad. For my students, as adopted sons, I hope that they remember about our dedication, our success, our difficulties, and our obstinacy! In both cases I hope that I can do the best type of education, where the best class is my example. The airplane design, build and operation, in both cases, are just one excuse to try to educate, it is just one “lovely” reason to be together, to exchange experiences and to, I hope, influence lifes…



One Response to “Why do you design and build airplanes?”

  1. Gustavo Junqueira December 3, 2010 at 10:14 PM #

    I spent a shorter than usual time in this university. 3 years. It was not enough to sit in one of Iscold’s high level classes, but I tried to use a big part of this time around his “environment”. What I learned from him during this time I can’t write down in my curriculum nor gives me a profession, but will stick with me for all my life. That made my time studying to be an engineer worthwhile even know I might not design airplanes, but fly them. I hope his students don’t take for granted his teaching and EXAMPLE, and that they can also be caught by this bug called INSPIRATION. Thank you Iscold! And congratulations!!!

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