57° 16′ 57″ N / 0° 45′ 13″ W
The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum) is one of those most special of aviation’s history sites to visit. Just as my visit to Huffman’s Prairie and Cape Kennedy, FAST also has a power-of-place that is equally both invigorating and intimate. Farnborough is not only the site of the UK’s first powered and controlled flight, it is also the site where untold engineers, tradespeople, technicians and pilots developed significant advances in aviation. Soon after Bill Cody’s famous first powered, controlled flight for the UK, Farnborough evolved from balloon development to design of stable aircraft (the first aircraft were not inherently stable). Soon improvements to engines, flight systems, the Harrier, the Concorde and more would all occur here. FAST is now a single historic building (the historic Trenchard House) and pavilion, not Farnborough’s expanse of buildings in former days, making the museum a personal affair as one walks among the aircraft, artifacts and displays. Cheerfully, these are hardly separated from the visitor as one has to do a bit of bobbing and weaving to see them. This is perhaps rare, such an historic place that can be seen with the informality of a local museum though the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum) is a national treasure.
Parking is plentiful though not initially appearing so—simply enter and turn right at the Bill Cody Pavilion’s far side to access more than enough parking. There is no entry fee, a cozy café, facilities and plenty of space for children. Aircraft on the outside, a replica of the Cody Flyer in the Bill Cody Pavillion and the Trenchard House is a treasure chest of displays. This museum is unusual in that it can equally serve engineering as well as aviation interests.
A pleasing bonus is the expertise of the invigorating docents with many being retired aerospace engineers and technicians. During my visit there was a bit of rain but the docents were more than willing to remove the tarps covering the open cockpits.
Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum) is a world class facility with its individual blending of history, displays and staffing.
The Wright Brothers, David McCullough, 2015, ISBN 978-1-4767-2875-9, 320 pp.
McCullough has penned this most wonderful book on the Wright Brothers. No such book could be wonderful regarding the Wright Brothers without accurately describing their achievements (which is done quite correctly). And what achievements they were in pioneering not only manned flight but developing the scientific as well as engineering rigor which became aeronautics. McCullough’s writing has the reader experience, not only noting, the moment when this brother duo realized the data published by the heroic Octave Chanute, as well as Otto Lilienthal, were absurdly incorrect—that now incandescent instance marks the birth of modern aeronautics with techniques used to this day.
Naturally, the author addresses these achievements but this book goes far beyond recitation of history. McCullough’s smooth style and full research has readers magically become aware of how the Wright’s came to be the Wright Brothers, the critical importance of their mother and her genetic traits which allowed them to realize significant mechanical abilities. Quite possibly it was their father who helped forge their minds into a combined as well as superb analyzing talent. McCullough explains all as a wise and unbiased friend.
Various persons and businesses are noted making this story a tapestry. Where did the muslin for the wings originate? Who was the man who developed their engine and what manner of man was he? How was life at Kitty Hawk? Which brother cooked? Which wrote? How close were the Wright’s? Who was Katherine Wright and how much she helped over decades? McCullough has readers understand the answers to these queries and so much more–making the Wright brothers three-dimensional people, not two-dimensional historical facts. This is one of McCullough’s sublime talents as a writer, which has this book as a joy to read. The joy that comes from getting to know good people–one of life’s greatest experiences.
Do not expect this book to explain the increasingly secretive nature of the Wright Brothers, especially after the death of Wilbur Wright or Orville’s estrangement from Katherine after her marriage. Also, McCullough chose to not fully address their lawsuit against Glenn Curtiss which dragged along for a decade before ended by the federal government nor how the Wright’s became millionaires. What and how much did they sell? How were they manufacturing facilities organized? No, this book is about the Wrights, not their business empire, and the obstacles they overcame as pioneers brilliantly blazing a trail toward manned flight. McCullough presents his facts, cites his work, and explains his conclusions so that the reader has confidence in their newly realized knowledge of not only who each Wright brother was but who the Wright Brothers were so that they became giants in aviation.
Strategic Sourcing Management: Structural and operational decision-making, Olivier Bruel, 2017, ISBN 978 0 7494 7669 1, 693 pp.
Another business title of the Kogan Page publishing firm, Strategic Sourcing Management is through and modern yet each chapter can be read on its own for understanding specific niches. And author Bruel is thorough using sixteen chapters separated into four parts. The reader is taken from decisions and policies (e.g., international procurement, supplier policy) through operations (e.g., outsourcing and subbing), then organization (e.g., legal, internal and public procurement) and, ending with, performance management (e.g., information systems, procurement positioning).
This book is both for the general manager as well as the logistics specialists. It is equally suitable in the international as well as regional realms. Olivier Bruel is more than capable to write such an impressive and comprehensive title (Professor Emeritus/HEC Paris) but did so with a team of several experts within academia as well as industry. This knowledge in concert with excellent illustrations creates a book which is vital to enhance logistical operations whether large and small.
At 100% scale the GL-10 will be power lithium-ion batteries with a pair of 8 hp diesel engines which will drive 10 electric engines—eight on the wing and two on the stabilizer. The tilting nature of the wing and stabilizer gives the capability of not needing either a launch system or a large operation space. Currently, the Greased Lightning has been flown at 50% scale in vertical flight. Low propeller tip speed lends a quite nature to the GL-10 but its chief characteristic is its high cool factor.