Editor's comment: Out of the blue

AMApril20Features - comment
AMApril20Features - comment

Last Sunday, I was sitting in our garden relaxing in splendid isolation during the coronavirus lockdown. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but there were quite a few aircraft flying around. I was intrigued: where were all these people, sitting a lot less than 2m apart I’ll wager, going?

A cursory look on Flightradar24’s website www.flightradar24.com revealed that there were 57,065 aircraft flying on Sunday 5th April of which 26,769 were commercial flights. Hmm? Despite what I read or hear in the news lately, there are clearly some things ‘I didn’t know I didn’t know’.

Another unknown that appears to be rearing its head in an untimely fashion is the ‘Black Swan’ theory. Not to be confused with the Natalie Portman movie about ballet, Black Swan is used as a metaphor to highlight the phenomenon of unexpected events that we cannot possibly predict, and occurred some 10 years ago during the last economic downturn.

The implication here is that airline operators, aerospace manufacturers and indeed entire markets are now having to deal with Black Swan or disruptive events in order to ensure that aircraft keep flying and products continually evolve and adapt to the ever-changing environment in which they operate.

Meanwhile, the smartest financial people in the world are struggling to figure out whether this pandemic now presents a much longer-term threat that will radically change the lives of millions of people around the world.

Let me end on a more positive note. The unprecedented response from the various manufacturing industries in providing ventilator components that help meet the needs of medical services like the NHS once again proves how adept at adaptation our engineering community really is. Well done to all involved. Now, that really is something that came out of the blue.

Mike Richardson, editor

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