A few years after the Wright brothers gave wings to machines, each pilot went with his own “flight”. Some flew for honor and made the next continent his one-day neighbor. The world witnessed the world’s most spectacular fireworks display in the time called World War II, proudly brought to us by men-driven tin birds trying to shoot each other down (I wonder why they call it dog-fighting? ) A few survivors of this child’s play made it to a country called “Land of the Rising Sun” for a dose of morning sunshine and let hell lose in the process.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki did a duet of the Funebre on their way to Oblivion with scorched souls singing, “Tora! Tora! ,” in the background. Nice blending though. The world is in standing ovation. Others made a show of their own every once in a while doing a perfect 10 take off and landing with a flat 0. Hooray! Behold, the mean, tin flying machines. Thanks to the Wright-eous brothers for that great performance. If the Popes of Planes taught machineries to fly, the Federal Aviation Agency taught them how to flock.
Formed in 1958 by the guiding hands of the Federal Aviation Act after discovering that mid-air collision is indeed dangerous to passengers, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) handed down air safety regulations to the newly-born FAA. Aside from the task of scanning the air for instances of reckless flying and hit and runs, FAA was also put in charge of common military air navigation systems (Rumors say that since jay-walking is rarely committed in midair, FAA got bored of its functions and demanded for more toys to play with. ) In 1967, the U. S.
Department of Transportation (DOT), like a man in love, took FAA’s hand in marriage, thus, changing FAA’s name from Federal Aviation Agency to Federal Aviation Administration. Hand in hand, they enforced regulations in land and air safety and traffic control. At that same time, hijacking instances is skyrocketing and for the first time in 40 years the cry for civil aviation security was heard of since the government first got in touch with aviation regulations. By the period between the 60’s up to the 70’s, FAA once again added to its collections some new toys, kites and balloons flying over 500 feet. Sweet!
Modern Advances to the FAA Semi-automated air traffic control system entered into the scene by the mid of 1970’s carrying with them radar and computer technologies. But cables and discs proved short-handed to keep hold of its control against the growing needs of civil air traffic and found itself in the midst of a nationwide air traffic controllers union strike in 1981. Step by step, FAA guided itself into advancements. The light finally clicked after 13 years when they came up with solutions to its problems in 1994 and finally supplied new equipments to the raging console hotdoggers of air traffic controls.
This gave significant advancement to communication, navigation and air traffic management. In the 1990’s satellite technologies started to play a great part on all aspects of ground to air control enabling them to take initiative of eyeing commercial airspace transportation. One of its apparent achievements gave them the great honor of overseeing the success of the famous attempt to attach a jetliner to the side of a skyscraper during the 9/11 incident. The landing was successful but the building proved to be too fragile as a landing pad. Too bad the satellites didn’t tell them much about common sense.
Probably running out of juice to squeeze from among the avian creatures, aviation engineers started looking for alternative source of inspiration. Their search lead them to a very close relative of the birds, the horse (I am referring to the perspective of the Greeks and their Pegasus. ) In December 2003, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a paper called “The H-Metaphor as a Guideline for Vehicle Automation and Interaction” This paper is like a layman’s guidebook to the emerging technology in automated transportation particularly in unmanned spacecrafts.
Although its principles also apply to land transportation engineering, its fundamental role focuses in aviation sketch works and concepts. The “H” literally stands for “horse” (see Pegasus above… or maybe not. ) Its concept is taken from the principle that riding a horse is like driving in semi-automatic mode because the horse will instinctively avoid any obstacles in its path. This same principle can then be applied to automated aircrafts and automobiles cutting down or even eliminating the need for human interference during flight enabling it to steer around obstacles.
REFERENCES Wikipedia. org. 6 October 2008. Federal Aviation Administration. <http://www. wikipedia. org/Federal_aviation_administration> NASA. (December 2003). The H-Metaphor as a Guideline for Vehicle Automation and Interaction. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia FAA, H. F. T. (1996). The Interfaces Between Flight Crews And Modern Flight Deck Systems. Washington DC: Federal Aviation Administration.