Death to Turbines!


I wrote the original of this as a newsgroup post back in June of 2002. It was just a bit of fluff posted one evening. By the next morning it had started bouncing all over the internet. Of course, my name was immediately dropped off as it got forwarded and reforwarded.

6/29/02



We gotta get rid of these turbines, they are ruining aviation. We need to go back to big round engines.

[Ed. note: Turbines are as round as you can get. What the hell are you talking about?]

[Author's note: Go away! They know what I mean.]

Anybody can start a turbine, you just need to move a switch from "OFF" to "START", and then remember to 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 aren't even allowed to do it.

Turbines start by whining for a while, 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, a big macho fart 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. This helps concentrate the mind.

Turbines don't have enough control levers to keep a pilot's attention. There's nothing to fiddle with during long flights.

Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman lanterns. Round engined planes smell like God intended flying machines to smell.

I think I hear the nurse coming down the hall. I gotta go.

Bob McKellar

( Who has ridden behind at least 8 round engines, but never laid a hand on a throttle).
I didn't really mind this sailing around the world, but it would be nice to get credit. I realize that once the first forwarder dropped my name, all the subsequent ones had no idea who wrote it, or just gave credit to whoever sent it to them.

A lot of people modified the text before passing it on. Some of these embellishments were pretty good. Many, though were annoying.

Every now and then on a boring evening, I'll Google a few of the phrases and see what I get. If I find the piece on a website, I often email the site and stake my claim. Usually I get credit. It's not really a big deal, it's not like there's any money involved.

However, one time sombody who should have known better posted it back to the original newsgroup over their name. THAT irritated me!

But then I found this video. They didn't give me credit either, but it was so well done and so in the spirit of the original I just had to share it myself.