Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finding Finesse

[This is another short essay exploring the roles of essence and finesse in aeronautics. Remember that "essence" is largely energy, while "finesse" is lift over drag.]

Asking how the pilot sees finesse evolving starts with asking how the pilot sees finesse.

Seeing finesse is easiest when the ship has no power. Keep your speed steady. Pick a bug on the windshield, and make a mental note of what it hid on the ground. Say it's a haystack; focus on the haystack. If the haystack falls below the bug, your glide will go beyond, and if the haystack moves above the bug, your glide will fall short.

Keep your speed steady. If you will be short, pick another dead bug further up the windshield and note the shrub that it obscures. Watch the shrub. See if it goes up or down. Pick an bug on the opposite side, and play the game again, hoping for a smooth field that moves neither up nor down.

Finesse takes you to the spot that does not move.

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