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Old 15th December 2006, 08:09 PM   #1
rwguinn
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The hardest lesson

Todeay, I witnessed the culmination of many years of teamwork, shared experience, and expertise.
I work for a major US aeropace company, as an structural analyst on internal systems in the Joint Strike fighter. We had the first flight today of the first pre-production aircraft.
This aircraft is the joint effort of several countries, and engineers and all the support people required to make things happen. It was several years in the making. Although prototypes have flown before, this was still a different aircraft. When it rolled down the runway and space appeared between the wheels and the ground, everyone went nuts. This was not because it flew, but because the obvious respect and trust the numerous disciplines involved was confirmed. I stated that "we now are reassured that all those aerodynamics and airframe guys are as good at their jobs as I am at mine".
That is a hard lesson to get through. Obviously, the test pilot had that confidence in us, or he would never have climbed in the cockpit. All of the Astronauts, and "risk takers" in the world have learned that lesson:
Anyone who has studied his trade as long as you have studied yours should at least be trusted to know his field as well as you know yours-until proven differently.
The Trufers have never learned that lesson. Whether it is because they have no expertise, or are truly shoddy in their capabilities, I won't guess. This is mainly because none of them claim any expertise (I except those who have shown by word and/or deed that they truely have no competence in their chosen field of expertise--J'doh comes immediately to mind).
The point here is that most of us are willing to grant a level of expertise, and respect, to those who have shown that they know what they are talking about. We all know that there are things we are unqualified to have an opinion on, and defer to those who are. Trufers have the philosophy that if they can't understand it (i.e., it has math above algebra level, chemistry, or physics) it must be a lie. They have not learned the lesson--and may never do so.
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Last edited by rwguinn; 15th December 2006 at 08:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 15th December 2006, 09:11 PM   #2
WildCat
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Great post, and I'm very excited to see the JSF finally make a test flight! You guys did great work there, it's a beautiful plane!
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Old 15th December 2006, 09:54 PM   #3
firecoins
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The F-35 is a beatiful plane.
http://www.jsf.mil/
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Old 16th December 2006, 03:02 AM   #4
jhunter1163
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My ex-father-in-law was a major in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Once he was doing a preflight check and saw an airman doing a repair on the aircraft's fuel system in a nonstandard manner. He asked the airman, "Is that repair safe, airman?"

The airman said "You'll be the first to know, sir."

Obviously, we've progressed a bit since then. Congratulations on the bird leaving the nest, as it were.
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