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Aircraft and Aero Coaching

How Much Should non- Professionals Be Coached? by corgum
Posted: 16 Oct 03 (Edited 17 Oct 03)

The rules for the Eng-Tips forums (see red note under the "Your Reply" box at the bottom of any thread) exclude students, recruiters, and salesmen; because the intent is for professionals within a field  to share technical support and provide mutual help among themselves.  

Of course, some odd questions from others can sometimes be fun, too; and professionals are free to offer whatever help they like; but aeronautics tends to attract too many un-serious and off-the-wall ideas;  and questions about them dilute the professionalism of these forums, especially when most of the responses on many threads are from other non-professionals and non-aerodynamics people.

Professionals usually don't mind giving a little time to help sort out real problems, but questions in these forums that show little understanding of aircraft or aerodynamics sometimes lead to a little resentment.

In addition, we occasionally see questions that turn out to be entirely hypothetical.  Some of the response posts have clearly taken considerable time to craft; and there is some good material in them.  So these questions can be interesting for many of us, but at the same time, it isn't entirely fair to ask professionals to consider these things without being clear about your purpose.

Most particularly, however, the aircraft design and aerodynamics professionals on this site usually prefer to avoid a certain type of airplane modeler -- who often seems to be from a different universe, unencumbered by Newtonian physics, the rich history of aeronautics, or the rigorous discipline of proven aerodynamics theories.  

Many of these same comments apply to some pilots, both private and professional, whose aerodynamic background is limited to over-simplified flight training manuals and pilot lore; early-stage homebuilders, who tend to argue passionately, but without as much knowledge as they think they have; and race car drivers, who are generally like modelers, but at least operate at full scale.

These comments are not intended to be a blanket insult to all modelers, pilots, or racers, especially since I have been all three myself;  but if the shoe fits....

This just isnÆt the place to make aerodynamicists and airplane designers out of amateurs.  There are universities for that, it takes years of work and study, and it requires a strong commitment to mental discipline and linear thinking.


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