Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mentoring Aviation, Planting The Seed

Men and boys who follow aviation and are engulfed and addicted to many or all of its aspects generally can trace their interest to an adult in their early life. This is not meant to be a sexist remark that excludes women from aviation, I have met Patty Wagsstaff, and she would offer an argument. But aviation has traditionally been the bastion of men and boys for much of its history.

The Philippines is full of young aviation genius ready to be exploited and cultured by an interested adult. What I refer to is the talent even the youngest Filipino boy has for constructing a kite. I am continually amazed at the variety and ingenuity of these simple flying machines. Almost always made from discarded plastic bags and Tocino sticks they float above my Mactan home at every conceivable altitude. On occasion they are merely towed skillfully down a winding alley narrowly evading electric wires (sometimes). Others soar in the prevailing winds above the island. Gracefully hovering as stationary sentinals overlooking the barrios.

The makers are natural aerodynamicists, without formal education, let alone aerospace engineering. They fully understand fluid dynamics, strength to weight ratios, center of pressure, COG, and meteorology.

What boy in any culture can resist the lure of flight?
I sit at evening time making paper airplanes, they teach me kite making, I show them the joy of untethered flight. We connect. no language required. I guess it is the boy in all of us that drives us.

1 comment:

AeroEgz said...

whoa, i love this article!

that boy, can also be me, who loves everything about aviation!

(i'm a follower of your blog, by the way)