Dear Bob Lutz,
Please allow me to wish you a hearty "good luck!" for your latest trip to Washington. If everything goes right, you're going to need it. If anything goes wrong, all the luck in the world won't help you. Via con Dios, amigo!
It's a pity that you never took up soaring, Bob. You'd probably be pretty good at this glider racing stuff, and soaring has a lot to teach you. Stuff that you desperately need to know and apply if you want to help run GM much longer than its current plummet through its cash reserves allows. Stuff that GM seems to be demonstrating that it has little desire to either understand or apply.
Soaring teaches you that life turns on a dime, and that either you are prepared to turn with it, or you get turned from soaring aviator into limping pedestrian. You can be cruising along up near the Flight Levels, and five minutes later you are standing in a muddy bean field asking the angry farmer for help. All it takes is a few mis-steps, a few missed contingencies, and there you are. Soaring shows you how to take it in stride, how to roll with the punches, how to keep a few ideas on hot standby. It also teaches you to understand that sometimes you have to call it quits and count yourself lucky to escape with your life.
Soaring also teaches you to do a lot with a little. It demonstrates time and again the incredible power that runs around loose in the atmosphere. The atmosphere is home to a diffuse power, but one that adds up fast into the giga- and terawatts. Going faster than the top speeds of most of GM's cars? No problem. Going higher than the service ceiling of either your Alpha or L-39 trainers? Pretty typical. Twice as high? In progress, please stand by.
Even the machinery of soaring teaches you about doing a lot with a little. Done right, every part does two or three things. Each part must work well with the other parts around it. Each must contribute the least possible drag and weight. The materials and the shapes combine into a celebration of engineering and of the essential principles that underpin the world in which we live.
If you do decide to give it a try, I know where you can get a nice economical glider - Just give my friend David Nadler a call. Considering your involvement in the EV-1 and Chevy Volt projects, I think Dave's Antares gliders are perfect for you. Be sure and tell him I sent you!
Thanks, and best regards
Homebuilt aviation is not for folks who don't try things at home.
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page updated 3 December 2008 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2008 HP Aircraft,
page updated 3 December 2008 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2008 HP Aircraft, LLC