There’s Hacking, then there’s Engineering, then there’s “Doing It Right.” For me, Doing It Right is always something to aspire to, even if I don’t always have the time, tools, or expertise.
Recently, my granddad (94 years old today and one of the most inspiring people I know) gave me a notebook that he had kept roughly sixty years ago, while working for Capital Airlines (later part of United Airlines.) It’s full of great information and fascinating details about 1950s airliner technology — Lockheed Constellations and Douglas DC-4s, including details on specific aircraft owned by Capital Airlines. I’m working on scanning it in, and will post the whole book on this site when done, since he was kind enough to give me his permission.
Talking with my granddad about engineering topics — anything from multi-row propliner engines to repairing an AC blower in a Chevy van — has always been inspiring. Here is a guy who dedicated his career to Doing It Right. (How many people not only follow the proper maintenance procedures for their lawn mower and generator, but keep detailed records of the work done on a clipboard in the shed?) I’m still learning from his example.
Here are a few of the highlights I’ve found so far while going through the notebook. (I’m working on uploading higher-resolution versions.)
Happy birthday, Granddad — and thanks for being such a great role model for several generations of engineers!