Thursday, 23 May 2013

Efficient Flight

As revision has drained most of the creativity and inspiration from me I decide to write a post on my previously mentioned extended project.

The main reason that I decided to undertake an extended project was to be able to put it in my personal statement for university. For now we’ll assume it did well in its primary purpose as I got 5 offers. As a secondary reason for writing it, I thought it might be quite nice to research and write about something that I am actually interested in. The project definitely did well in this respect as I enjoyed finding out about what’s going on in the world of aviation, but more on the interesting stuff in a second. It also did well at keeping me entertained on many train journeys all over the country, I haven’t a clue what I would have done instead.

If you do wish to read the whole project or at least glance through it then you can find it at

If you don’t wish to bore yourself with my slightly more formal writing then I shall try to give a more entertaining overview here.
Have you ever looked up at a flock a birds flying in formation? Ever thought it’s pretty cool? (Maybe you’re not as weird me if you answered no to the second.) Anyway, if you now have the iconic image of geese flying in a V formation in your head...good. Now swap the geese for passenger airliners and tell me that that as an idea isn’t cool. It gets even better when you learn that all the aircraft in the formation would experience an increase in efficiency, even the front one.

If that’s not interesting enough for you, then how does flying at 10 times the speed of sound on the edge of space sound? This would be one of the most efficient ways to fly and would cut journey times down dramatically.

Flying quickly isn’t the only cool thing in the future; taking off quickly using catapult launchers like those on aircraft carriers is also in the realms of possibility. Okay, so maybe they wouldn’t be quite so intense, but assisted takeoffs and landings are looking to be the future of air travel. They’ll save fuel and allow larger aircraft to use smaller, city based airports.

Finally, meet the aircraft of the future; blended wings, supersonic speeds and assisted takeoffs.
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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Eyes Open

For a post that’s going to be about feeling a moment it hasn’t started well if we consider that ECG was a month ago and it’s been nearly two weeks since I went out with the camera. Anyway, I shall press on regardless...

This post starts with the picture below that I noticed on Facebook the other day.

Now that’s not entirely relevant to what I wanted to say, but it reminded me of a thought that I had one of the days at ECG back in the Easter holiday. I’m guessing very few people reading this know what ECG is. So, in short, ECG stands for Equipping, Calling, Going. It is a Christian conference that has been held in ‘Sunny’ (and it was this year, though the sea was still rather chilly) Scarborough for the last couple of years and Llandudno before that.

The thought that I had was along the lines of “How can a God love something so small?” By something, I mean me... A warning at this point, if you have low self esteem you may want to skip this bit. ...What I was pondering at the time was why would a God care about me, I’m a comparatively tiny spec on a comparatively tiny planet, next to a tiny star which is one of billions in a galaxy that is unimaginably small when you attempt to think about the size of the universe.

I’m not going to pretend to have an answer at this point, but I do have a suggestion. Sit back and relax for a minute, think of all the good things that have happened in the last few days, weeks or months. Now think of the series of different circumstances that led up to that. If you’re struggling then take a simple task like making a cup of coffee, first off you’re probably in a house, there’s a readily available water supply when you turn on the tap, you have a wonderful invention for heating water which does amazing things when you flick a switch, it uses electricity that’s created a number of miles away and then you mix the water it heats with coffee created half the world away. When you start to think about making a cup of coffee like that then it starts to put some things into perspective.

I took the camera to school with me a couple of weeks ago, thinking that I would take advantage of the bit of sunshine that we had. I discovered something on the way home and I thought it was fairly intriguing, with one eye shut I could see more than with both eyes open. I’ve put some of the photos below and you will probably notice that most of them are taken quite close to the subjects. Looking closely at things smaller than I am really opened up my mind, and seeing the colours of spring filled me with joy. I only mention the photos because without staring into the viewfinder on the camera then I wouldn’t have seen anywhere near as much as I did that day, I would have just walked home looking mainly at my feet. 

So there we go, one eye closed means two eyes opened.

If you wish to ask me about anything then please feel free to leave a comment.