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Author Topic: Aviation, some 40, 50 and 60 years ago...  (Read 1347 times)
FirstAscent
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April 03, 2012, 05:15:29 AM
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Some 99 years ago, around about 1903, travel by horse and buggy was the norm, and the Wright Brothers flew the first powered aircraft. Fifty-five years later, we get the F-104 Starfighter, which could climb to 82,000 feet in 266 seconds and fly at 1400 mph. That was fifty-four years ago. Extrapolate that performance trajectory to today, and well...

Fifty-four years ago (fifty-five years after Kitty Hawk), Boeing 707 service began, and you could hop on an airliner and travel at the speed of 540 knots across continents. Today, you can hop on an airliner and travel across continents at the speed of, well, 540 knots.

The first B-52s flew in 1952 - sixty years ago. They're still in service and the military is committed to operating them into the 2040s. Yes, you read that correctly. That is an intended 90 year plus service record.

The Valkyrie XB-70 flew forty-eight years ago.

The SR-71 "Blackbird" began service forty-eight years ago.

Forty-six years ago, Stanley Kubrick began production on 2001: A Space Odyssey. That film extrapolated, and it extrapolated beautifully! The future just failed to commit.

Boeing 747s began service forty-two years ago in 1970. Grumman F-14 Tomcats first flew in the same year.
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April 03, 2012, 05:28:12 AM
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If you are trying to say that progress in some ways stopped in the 70's....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XozHLoqwp_4   << one of the greatest aviation advertisements

And the fastest plane is from the 70's.  We were going twice as fast then as we are now.  I know the reasons why the Concorde program ended, high costs, high danger.... but we could do better. 




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April 03, 2012, 05:33:57 AM
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If you are trying to say that progress in some ways stopped in the 70's....

Pretty much. It's also interesting to simply point out what was going on in the fifties and sixties. I was going to mention the Concorde as well. And the whole 90 year planned service for the B-52 is pretty mind boggling.

Oh, and the farthest man has ever traveled from Earth - that happened from 1969 to 1973. Today we can't seem to get past low earth orbit.
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April 03, 2012, 05:37:40 AM
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Simple explanation - the easy parts been done, any more advancement gets exponentially more difficult.

Any of us could probably build something that will fly with some basic aerodynamic knowledge, probably not well though. With proper tools and a bit more education, its pretty damn easy to build a small plane if your determined, and theres plenty of kits and plans out there that let you do just that. While building something that'll fly mach 1 is still restricted to a select few companies and the aerodynamics of it go way over my head...

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April 03, 2012, 05:46:08 AM
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Simple explanation - the easy parts been done, any more advancement gets exponentially more difficult.

Yes. Does that analogize to other technologies and industries? Medicine? Computers? Or is it more an engineering thing? As an example, the Empire State Building was built in 1933. The Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge were also built in the '30s.
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April 03, 2012, 06:03:33 AM
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Simple explanation - the easy parts been done, any more advancement gets exponentially more difficult.

Yes. Does that analogize to other technologies and industries? Medicine? Computers? Or is it more an engineering thing. As an example, the Empire State Building was built in 1933. The Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge were also built in the '30s.

We'll hit the wall in computers pretty soon, latest chips are already 22nm, we'll hit mono-layers within 10 years and I have no idea where things will go from there.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/22_nanometer

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FirstAscent
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April 03, 2012, 06:06:05 AM
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Simple explanation - the easy parts been done, any more advancement gets exponentially more difficult.

Yes. Does that analogize to other technologies and industries? Medicine? Computers? Or is it more an engineering thing. As an example, the Empire State Building was built in 1933. The Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge were also built in the '30s.

We'll hit the wall in computers pretty soon, latest chips are already 22nm, we'll hit mono-layers within 10 years and I have no idea where things will go from there.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/22_nanometer

You might say aviation hit the wall at 70 years. Computers began in the '50s.
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April 03, 2012, 06:12:07 AM
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Some 99 years ago, around about 1903, travel by horse and buggy was the norm, and the Wright Brothers flew the first powered aircraft. Fifty-five years later, we get the F-104 Starfighter, which could climb to 82,000 feet in 266 seconds and fly at 1400 mph. That was fifty-four years ago. Extrapolate that performance trajectory to today, and well...

Fifty-four years ago (fifty-five years after Kitty Hawk), Boeing 707 service began, and you could hop on an airliner and travel at the speed of 540 knots across continents. Today, you can hop on an airliner and travel across continents at the speed of, well, 540 knots.

The first B-52s flew in 1952 - sixty years ago. They're still in service and the military is committed to operating them into the 2040s. Yes, you read that correctly. That is an intended 90 year plus service record.

The Valkyrie XB-70 flew forty-eight years ago.

The SR-71 "Blackbird" began service forty-eight years ago.

Forty-six years ago, Stanley Kubrick began production on 2001: A Space Odyssey. That film extrapolated, and it extrapolated beautifully! The future just failed to commit.

Boeing 747s began service forty-two years ago in 1970. Grumman F-14 Tomcats first flew in the same year.

Wright Brothers does not invented the aircraft... This invention was made by Santos Dumont... With a catapult, even a rock flies! LOL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Santos-Dumont

BTW, Tesla invented the radio, NOT Marconi.

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April 03, 2012, 06:46:27 AM
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Yes, but are you ignoring the modern developments that solve today's immense problems!  Like Facebook, FourSquare and Angry Birds?

Back then do you think they could have even envisioned we'ld have such things by now?

I think not!



p.s., All kidding aside, progress is happening everywhere.  Do check out http://youtu.be/6b4ZZQkcNEo (Sand Flea Jumping Robot) for an example of technical advancement and http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/this_is_your_brain_in_love_scenes_from_the_stanford_love_competition.html (This is Your Brain in Love) for an example of progress in neurobiological science (where they measure activity in the dopamine, serotonin and ocytocin/vasopressin pathway.)

Hawker
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April 03, 2012, 10:24:11 AM
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Simple explanation - the easy parts been done, any more advancement gets exponentially more difficult.

Yes. Does that analogize to other technologies and industries? Medicine? Computers? Or is it more an engineering thing? As an example, the Empire State Building was built in 1933. The Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge were also built in the '30s.

Very much so.  Right now, a lot of drug companies are struggling with the problem that their patents are expiring without replacement drugs to sustain their revenue streams.  That has never happened before.  Medical research is struggling to find tiny advances.  We have reached a level of knowledge where you can't isolate one part of the body from another and working out what causes things is impossible.

There is a good article on it here.

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/02/features/trials-and-errors?page=all

Quote
For Pfizer, torcetrapib was the pay-off after decades of research. Little wonder that the company was so confident about its clinical trials, which involved 25,000 volunteers. Pfizer invested more than $1 billion (£650 million) in the development of the drug and $90 million (£58.33 million) to expand the factory that would manufacture the compound.

and

Quote
Given the increasing difficulty of identifying and treating the causes of illness, it's not surprising that some companies have responded by abandoning research. Most recently, two giant firms, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, announced that they were scaling back research into the brain.

Research into climate change has the exact same problem.  There seems to be a bunch of areas where science has reached a barrier at the moment.




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April 03, 2012, 12:34:18 PM
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We may be reaching humanity highest heights but that's where this steps in - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

Edit: and replaces us.

Littleshop
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April 03, 2012, 12:56:04 PM
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If you are trying to say that progress in some ways stopped in the 70's....


Oh, and the farthest man has ever traveled from Earth - that happened from 1969 to 1973. Today we can't seem to get past low earth orbit.

(USA centric) Even worse... we need to take a Russian taxi to get there.

FirstAscent
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April 03, 2012, 03:37:05 PM
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We may be reaching humanity highest heights but that's where this steps in - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity
Edit: and replaces us.

It is happening in a sense right now. What you learn with regard to tech jobs becomes obsolete much quicker. Staying relevant becomes more work than it used to be. It probably is a contributing factor to today's unemployment levels.
FirstAscent
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April 03, 2012, 07:04:43 PM
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Also, for those interested, google the Valkyrie XB-70. It was a pretty amazing (and absolutely gigantic) aircraft circa 1963 or so.
sunnankar
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April 15, 2012, 09:42:20 AM
 #15

If you are trying to say that progress in some ways stopped in the 70's....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XozHLoqwp_4   << one of the greatest aviation advertisements

And the fastest plane is from the 70's.  We were going twice as fast then as we are now.  I know the reasons why the Concorde program ended, high costs, high danger.... but we could do better. 

That video is awesome. As a fourth generation pilot I love it. I even recorded a video interview with the old fellow who taught my great-grandfather how to fly when he soloed in 1944. Sometimes I yearn for those early days; but I do love the benefits of standing on their shoulders like later generations of humanity always do.

There are actually lots of advancements going on in aviation. Space, drones and personal jets are a few examples. Plus, there is probably plenty of classified technology. All of this is bringing the costs down and making piloting easier and safer than ever before.

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