While cleaning out my newsletter file, I ran across the following opinion provided by CAF Col Dick Christiansen, of Lincoln, NE. Somehow I never had room for it in the regular newsletter, so I am reproducing it for you now.
“We gotta get rid of turbines; they are ruining aviation. We need to go back to big round engines.
“Anybody can start a turbine; you just need to move a switch from ‘Off’ to ‘Start’ and move it back to ‘On’ after a while. My PC is harder to start. Cranking a round engine requires skill, finesse and style. On some planes, the pilots are not even allowed to do it.
“Turbines start by whining for a while, and then give a small lady-like poot and start whining louder. Round engines give a satisfying rattle-rattle, click-click BANG, more rattles, another BANG or two, more clicks, a lot of smoke and, finally, a serious, low-pitched roar.
“We like that. It’s a guy thing. When you start a round engine, your mind is engaged and you can concentrate on the flight ahead. Starting a turbine is like flicking on a ceiling fan: useful, but hardly exciting.
“Turbines don’t break often enough, leading to aircrew boredom, complacency, and inattention. A round engine at speed looks and sounds like it’s going to blow at any minute.
“Turbines don’t have enough control levers to keep a pilot’s attention. There’s nothing to field with during the flight.
“Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman lanterns. Round engines smell like God intended flying machines to smell.
“I think I hear the nurse coming down the hall. I gotta go.”
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