Sunday, September 14, 2008

The future of aviation?

While browsing on TED Talks, something I do often, I ran across this talk given by Burt Rutan, the designer of Space Ship One and Voyager (among dozens of other high performance planes) where he discusses his views on the future of aviation and spaceflight. It's a truly interesting 20 minutes. I also can't disagree with his opinion on the greatest aircraft ever made. You get one guess as to what that is. ;)

He also talks about something that's bothered me for many years now, the fact that the past decade was the first time in modern humanity's history (discounting the dark ages) where we've allowed some incredible technologies to lapse with no superior replacements on the horizon.

By the way, if you haven't been to before I highly recommend setting aside a few hours to spend there one day. It's a video record of a conference that is held every year in Monterey, where some of the best and brightest gather to exchange ideas on how to shape humanity's future into something amazing. Some heady and hope inspiring stuff. Given the state of the world I always find the talks on this site immensely uplifting, and occasionally feel as if I'm witnessing the formation of a real world Galt's Gulch. ;)



Mugar17 said...

I thought that was actually really cool! Rutan had a lot of good points in it about how the human race made a Concorde and retired it with no other airliner to fly like it. Also loved the part "-Oh wait I already screwed up, we're not suppose to bring politics into this" and "Doing orbits around the moon and missing it by 10 feet, oh, that would be really fun!". Loved it!

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Yeah, great isn't it? Always knew he was an amazing engineer, didn't realize he was such a compelling orator as well. If you think that's awesome though, check out the talk about how mushrooms can save the world. Pretty stunning stuff.

Sundowner said...

Sub-Orbital Fighters... now that's something I like to see :D

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Hells yeah. ;)