“Turbines Are Ruining Aviation …” *

We must get rid of turbines. They are ruining aviation. We need to go back to big round engines. Anybody can start a turbine, you just need to move a switch from "OFF" to "START" and then remember to move it back to "ON" after a while. My PC is more difficult to start. Cranking a round engine requires skill, finesse and style. On some planes, the pilots are not even allowed to do it.

Turbines start by whining for a while, then give a small lady-like 'poof' and start whining louder. Round engines give a satisfying rattle-rattle, click-click, BANG, more rattles, another BANG, a big macho fart or two, more clicks, a lot of smoke and finally a serious low pitched roar. We like that. It's a guy thing. When you start a round engine, your mind is engaged and you can concentrate on the flight ahead. Starting a turbine is like flicking on a ceiling fan: Useful, but hardly exciting. Turbines don't break often enough, leading to aircrew boredom, compla­cency and inattention. A round engine at speed looks and sounds like it's going to blow at any minute. This helps concentrate the mind. Turbines don't have enough control levers to keep a pilot's attention. There's nothing to fiddle with during the flight. Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman lanterns. Round engines smell like God intended flying machines to smell.

I think I hear the nurse coming down the hall … I gotta go.

* Flying Midshipmen LOG winter 2004; © 2004.


Pensacola Preflight Class 9-48