It’s a strange thing when you have too much time on your hands. The things that go through your mind I mean.
Take now for instance. I’m on a plane.
I’ve been sat in more or less the same position for nigh on 3 1/2 hours and I’m likely to do so for a further 5 1/2. Despicable Me 3 has just finished and you get to thinking,
1. Should I go to the loo, just for something to do?
2. When are they feeding me again?
3. What the bejasus is holding this thing in the air?
I know, I know – you can get all scientific on me.
You can tell me about differential air pressure until you’re blue in the face.
Yes, and thrust too madam. I thought you might put your twopennorth in!
But it’s me sitting here over the wing and believe you me, there’s very little between the underside of the aerilon (or whatever that flappy thing is called) and the tip of bloody Greenland as far as I can see.
And 39000 feet straight down looks pretty far at the moment, I can tell you.
Between us and Arsuk (it’s true, Google it. What an unfortunate postal address that is! Where do you live? Arsuk. Well I only asked!) there is air. A lot of it admittedly, but it’s not exactly heavy. We breath the stuff in and out constantly and it doesn’t take a great deal of effort. Can it really hold up God knows how many tons (yes I know it’s tonnes but we’re going to the USA. And anyway, after Brexit do we get our measurements back?) of aircraft, fuel, cargo and us poor bloody passengers?
Furthermore, have you had the chance to study an aeroplane wing in detail?
And rivets! Don’t talk to me about rivets! I used rivets in metalwork at school once. Not the sturdiest of fixings in my opinion.
Pardon? Yes, that was rather a long time ago, thank you for pointing that out.
As I was saying I have used the odd rivet in various metallurgical disasters and they do in my experience tend to shear as soon as you look at them. Yes, I know that there are rather a lot of them dotted about the aerodynamic surfaces, but personally and particularly now that my mind is working overtime, I would have preferred to see row upon row of nice half inch diameter bolts. In super high tensile steel!
So what is it holding us up?
I’ve had a lot of time to think.
And I have come to the conclusion that there is only on possible logical answer.