Cumulus Partners

27. August 2014 22:08


Airplanes are built to fly, cars are built to crash

27. August 2014 22:08 by mike barlow | 3 Comments

I read an interesting story in the New York Times recently about why we don't have flying cars yet. The author of the story noted that while almost all aircraft are designed to eliminate every unnecessary ounce of weight, car designers have a bit more freedom around the weight issue. It's a good article and worth reading.

Here's my perspective, as a pilot and a driver: The culture of driving and the culture of flying are very different. A car is built with the assumption that at some point, a driver will do something idiotic and the car will be involved in an accident. An airplane is designed with the assumption that every pilot will do his or her utmost to avoid an accident. Cars are basically "crash worthy," and airplanes, which are generally built for maximum "lightness," are not. As a pilot, you learn that difference very quickly, and as a result, you try to fly carefully all the time. That said, I suppose it's only a matter of time before a "texting while flying" accident occurs ... 

Comments (3) -

Nice point-counterpoint. Original. Never thought to compare cars and planes from a strategic design and use perspective.

Your post comparing the cultures of flying and driving made me think about how our comfort zones--or lack thereof-- at work influence the effectiveness of how those of us who are writers or strategists or marketers create and communicate our ideas.

I suspect I'm not the only professional who has evolved the equivalent of  a "car" to aid in her daily work. Over the years, I've developed a bag of tricks that constitutes the equivalent of reclining seats and cup holders--the PowerPoint templates, the SEO-friendly opening blog sentences, the postings to social media. I "drive" these roads so often that I know I can multi-task or sip my coffee and not crash.

But what your post has made me realize is that I really need to "fly" more--and not simply by attempting to create more soaring prose. I mean that I should resolve to treat each project as a chance to travel somewhere I haven't gone, savor the view while I'm there, and have a healthy sense of vigilance rather than complacency while I'm in transit. Wish me a good flight!

Love the analogy and style Mike!

Remember the goal in aviation....have the same number of landings as take offs.

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