Suction Engineers Relieve Shutdown Despair

By Scott Spangler on September 30th, 2013

Drowning in the destructive rhetoric spewing unabated from self-important politicians, I turned to the sky to relieve the oppressive shroud of despair their words have woven around me. A beautiful autumn day here in Wisconsin, the Sunday afternoon sky is devoid of clouds and airplanes. The only thing that seems to be flying are the Canada geese gathering on the Fox River as they prepare for their escape to the south. Thank goodness for You Tube. This diverse archive of human endeavor, which includes the Dyson airborne challenge, is a distraction and a refuge from the zero-sum games of everyday life.

Dyson Challenge 2013: Airborne

I don’t have any experience with the vacuuming designs, but I really appreciate their efforts their engineers put into the Dyson Challenge for 2013: Airborne. They had to create a remotely piloted aircraft that would successfully fly an obstacle course. As you can see in the video, it included slalom gates, flying over, under, and between posts, bars, and balloons, and, from the looks of it, through one of Dyson’s bladeless fans.

The unsuccessful attempts at the course entertained, and the diversity of the flying machines the engineers cobbled together proved that our innovative spirit is not moribund. But the video’s most heartening feature was the supportive and good humored camaraderie of the participants. If only we could, as a society, follow their example. Despite their solutions to the challenge, which ranged from an ornithopter and flying wing to multi-copters, a blimp, and a tradition airplane designs, they were all working toward the common goal of successfully navigating the challenge ahead of them. –Scott Spangler, Editor.


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