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John Roncz - Career Retrospective of a Genius Aerodynamicist by Marvin McInnis
Started on: 06-06-2014 11:20 AM
Replies: 7 (697 views)
Last post by: TK on 06-06-2014 05:21 PM
Marvin McInnis
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Report this Post06-06-2014 11:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Marvin McInnisClick Here to visit Marvin McInnis's HomePageSend a Private Message to Marvin McInnisEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

John Roncz is a self-taught genius aerodynamicist who, among other things, designed the airfoils (wings) and propellers for virtually all of Burt Rutan's aircraft designs. (Of course, Burt is a design genius in his own right.) I stumbled across the following video on YouTube, a talk John presented at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association convention and fly-in in Oshkosh (WI) in 2011 ... a retrospective of more than 30 years of his career as an aerodynamicist. Pilots, engineers, and gearheads should all find this talk interesting and informative. Enjoy.



Some highlights: Designing the wings and propellers for Voyager, Rutan's round-the-world-nonstop-without-refueling airplane that now hangs in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. An airfoil with a lift coefficient (CL) ~ 4. (A CL above about 2.8 was previously considered unattainable.) Another airfoil with drag coefficient (CD) that actually decreases in the transonic range, harnessing shock waves to help "push" the wing through the air.

I was particularly struck by one statement near the end, during the question-and-answer session. When asked about his recommendations for a young person interested in aero engineering as a career, John (who had early-on joked about his own lack of academic credentials) answered, in part, as follows:

“The young aero engineers who work for me today know more than I know … which is good … but I understand everything that I know.”

[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 06-06-2014).]

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kwagner
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Report this Post06-06-2014 11:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for sharing I love stuff like this. Will definitely take a while to digest.

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heybjorn
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Report this Post06-06-2014 12:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for heybjornClick Here to Email heybjornSend a Private Message to heybjornEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

What kwagner said.

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Formula88
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Report this Post06-06-2014 12:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Marvin McInnis:
“The young aero engineers who work for me today ... know more than I know … which is good … but I understand everything that I know.”



That should be driven home to anyone seeking an education, engineering or otherwise.

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Zeb
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Report this Post06-06-2014 12:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Marvin McInnis:

....

“The young aero engineers who work for me today ... know more than I know … which is good … but I understand everything that I know.”



Dang. That's the hard part, isn't it? That's what puts him in the genius class.

"Some men can read the great works of science, literature, and religion, and learn nothing. Others can read the back of a cereal box and unlock the secrets of the universe."

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84fiero123
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Report this Post06-06-2014 12:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Marvin McInnis:

John Roncz is a self-taught genius aerodynamicist

I was particularly struck by one statement near the end, during the question-and-answer session. When asked about his recommendations for a young person interested in aero engineering as a career, John (who had early-on joked about his own lack of academic credentials) answered, in part, as follows:

“The young aero engineers who work for me today ... know more than I know … which is good … but I understand everything that I know.”






What can I say that I haven't already said about people who graduate with degrees that he didn't say better.
A degree doesn't mean you know everything, just that you studied all of one particular subject in a school, doesn't mean you understood it, or that all of it was right or wrong.

give me a mechanic in a shop down some dirt road with no ASE certs who has taught himself from day one about everything there is to know about anything related to a car and its working components and mechanical parts and workings, like Smokey Yunick.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokey_Yunick

School ain't everything or the end all do all to learning,

"If you don't learn something new every day you may as well just lay down and die."
Quote from me.

Those are the people to look up to, people like that who learned it the hard way, trial and error.

http://www.cracked.com/arti...s-changed-world.html

http://people.howstuffworks...of-school.htm#page=1

http://learnfinancialplanni...didnt-go-to-college/

And an even bigger list.

http://collegedropoutshalloffame.com/

Steve

------------------
Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 06-06-2014).]

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heybjorn
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Report this Post06-06-2014 01:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for heybjornClick Here to Email heybjornSend a Private Message to heybjornEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Steve, get a copy Chuck Yeager's autobiography. Read pages 107-109.

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TK
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Report this Post06-06-2014 05:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TKSend a Private Message to TKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:




What can I say that I haven't already said about people who graduate with degrees that he didn't say better.
A degree doesn't mean you know everything, just that you studied all of one particular subject in a school, doesn't mean you understood it, or that all of it was right or wrong.

give me a mechanic in a shop down some dirt road with no ASE certs who has taught himself from day one about everything there is to know about anything related to a car and its working components and mechanical parts and workings, like Smokey Yunick.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokey_Yunick

School ain't everything or the end all do all to learning,

"If you don't learn something new every day you may as well just lay down and die."
Quote from me.

Those are the people to look up to, people like that who learned it the hard way, trial and error.

http://www.cracked.com/arti...s-changed-world.html

http://people.howstuffworks...of-school.htm#page=1

http://learnfinancialplanni...didnt-go-to-college/

And an even bigger list.

http://collegedropoutshalloffame.com/

Steve


The world runs on self-education. Every company runs on self-education. Every degree has value and anyone with a chance to get one should do it. There is ZERO downside ... but after you are done you have to learn how a particular company wants something done. Maybe you can lean on the degree, maybe not , but in the end it's all self-education. You learn what is needed. Some people have difficulties with this and they are the ones that fail, get frustrated or just settle for good enough.

It sounds like this guy embraced self-education and made it work.

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