I remember the first time I saw it. It was summer of 1976. My family and I were on our way home from a nice long vacation. For once I was able to grab the window seat (much to the annoyance of my sisters). After an indeterminable amount of time sitting at the gate the plane pulled back and started taxiing down the runway. All of a sudden the plane came to a stop and the pilot came on the speaker system. He excitedly announced that those of us on the right side of the plane were about to see something rather spectacular. A few people sitting on the left side unhooked their seat belts and craned over us lucky folks. Looking out the window I spied what he was talking about – a Concorde. We sat there for a couple of minutes while the pilot talked about the plane. I remember being suitably impressed albeit not really comprehending the magnificence of what I’d just seen. I also remember thinking that I want to fly on one of those when I grow up.
Years later I got to board one but at a museum. The Concorde sat proudly in a large hall among a bunch of fighter planes. She stood out like a queen. This time I knew exactly what I was looking at and I couldn’t help feeling sad because I never got a chance to experience “time travel” as a passenger… What reminded me of this episode from my childhood? A colleague who knows my affinity for beautifully designed machines sent this clip to me. Flushed with the memory of my first sighting of the plane as a child, I decided to watch the next suggested video to learn more about the Concorde.
After watching the second video I started thinking…
The first successful Concorde flight was in 1969 – the same year we landed on the moon. According to Wikipedia the origins of the Concorde go as far back as the 1950s. A quick search for images from the 50s gave me a feel for what mechanical and aeronautical engineering was like back in the day. No CAD to modify designs, no CFD software producing insightful plots of air flow or engine performance. Just plain old human ingenuity and perseverance. Considering the tools at their disposal back then I can only conclude that the Concorde is one of the great feats of engineering.
Fast forward to 2015. You have such a vast array of engineering tools at your disposal so my future world is only limited by your imagination. What wonderful machines are you dreaming up now? If you need a bit of inspiration then have a look at how our solutions can help make your dreams a reality for the rest of us.
Until next time,
PS. CFD users don’t get a lot of recognition in the world – mainly because the average joe doesn’t really know what you do. Here at Mentor, we’re hoping to change that, at least a little bit. On September 1st we’re encouraging people to share how and why they use CFD (irrespective of the software) by using the hashtag #iusecfd. This is your chance to show the world that despite the stereotypical image of engineering what you do is way beyond cool. Join us by posting your own thoughts on Twitter and/or retweeting those of others.