Innovation – Creating the Path while Walking It

Innovation – Creating the Path while Walking It

I was fortunate to have the chance to get an education in a field I have had a passion for all my life – Aviation and Aerospace. I got to attend a College in the Midwest where I attended classes to learn about The Theory of Flight and Flying Machines. These classes were created and refined over many years as knowledge of these disciplines grew and evolved. I did not have to create the theory and I studied it. While studying the lessons at each stage of my Aerospace education there were opportunities to attend labs and put the theory to practice make observations and record the results, discuss the results with the instructors and so on!

Now let’s travel back to the early 20th Century. We are in Dayton, Ohio and we meet a couple of brothers by the name Orville &Wilbur Wright. They build and repair bicycles and struggle to make a living in their community. They are creative and innovative, enjoy their time off and they are fascinated with how birds fly. Birds are relatively “heavy” yet they soar and glide with ease. They move their wings to climb higher and higher, they turn and circle. They of course walk around on their feet, yet inflight their feet are tucked back and then they extend them for landing.

In addition to building bicycles the Wright Brothers fly kites. I love to fly kits, sort of connects one with the wind and the sky. Anyway in flying kites and watching birds the Wright Brothers continue studying how they work. The kites start getting larger and larger. Large enough for a man to lay down and “fly” on. During this process of discovery the Wright Brothers sought to understand how the birds could fly higher and turn by flapping their wings and changing the shape of their wings on one side or the other.

They were devolving the solutions in the minds, on paper notes and sketches; but need to test their “theories” so they built a Wind Tunnel. A small chamber where air is blown past a surface and you can watch it’s resulting reaction. So they build “wing” models and began testing, “Creating the the Path …”  Next they want their “kite” to stay up longer then a mere glide would provide, so they decided to power the kite. Well it’s 1902 or so, you can’t go down to your local engine shop and just pickup an engine, let alone one powerful enough to power their kite, a man flying it and so on. Sooooo guess what they set about to design an engine and then build it, “Creating the the Path …”

Now we got the basic kite and an engine, how do you translate the engine power to the kite and power the kite and the man forward, let alone turn right and left. A propeller was next. Using the lessons learned from their Wind Tunnel tests the Wright Brothers now understood Lift. Again using no Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Google to search, they began first imagining, sketching concepts and then carving a Propeller that would create “Lift” as it turned, that would in turn propel their kite forward, “Creating the the Path …”

Next came how to turn the kite. Again watching the birds and subsequent testing in their Wind Tunnel the Wright Brothers regards Lift as they watched how the birds maneuver they noted that they changed the shape of their wings one way to turn left and another to turn right. So the Wright Brothers used Wing Warping to increase the Lift on the right Wing to turn left and when turning right they could increase the Lift on the left Wing “Creating the the Path …”

The story goes on and I will probably share more later. The lesson is the Wright Brothers had a dream, they visualized it, wrote about it, talked about it and then began “Creating the Path while Walking It” and each of us has that opportunity each day for real innovation in our lives. Go out and Live Your Dreams each day, never stop “Creating the Path while Walking It”

– CJ

High Flight

Just a few years ago when I was growing up in Chicago late night television did not run all night. News was not 24-hours a day repeating the same tired headlines over and over ad nauseam! Evening programming ended at about 11pm some stations may have lasted past midnight; but not many.

After the evening news stations signed off. They usually played the Star Spangled Banner and some then played “High Flight”. This was a 2-minute film (not video) with a narrator reading the famous poem “High Flight” with aerial shots of a airplane with a solo pilot flying through the clouds, performing acrobatics with music in the background.

Earliest versions I remember were Back and White version with an F-104. Later it was a T-38 in full color. Other versions have been made since. My favorite was the T-38 version which came about in the late 60’s just before I got my chance at becoming a USAF pilot and trained in T-38’s.

High Flight was written by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941) who was an American aviator and poet, made famous for his poem High Flight”. Magee served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the United States officially entered the war; he died in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941.

Thinking back it, watching the sign-off each night was sure a daily motivation for me to dream about becoming a pilot; and then later fulfilling that dream and beginning my Journey towards seeing everything around me and all I encountered from a different perspective. And I now believe it help plant the seeds of my original writings and the graphics artwork I have been creating ever since the 70’s

Never give up on your Dreams. The Bigger-the-Better.

Enjoy your High Flight’s of fancy,

– CJ

Music Reflections

Through the ages music has reflected our times and our views of the times. Sometimes reflections in the present mirror back to us times that were better times, times of conflict or “… times they are a changing!” Here is a link to Musical Reflections about “American Pie” to a time that included all of these “… times …”.

– CJ


We all face challenges each day; health, finances, relationships the list goes on, add ones particular to You. Living in the time space continuum (big words HUH!) we live in today we are given a chance to reset our view of our life each day. kind of like a new perspective on our life each day – if we choose!!!

Being a pilot I have been blessed with many interesting hours flying around the world. As is sometimes said the life of a pilot is “… hours of boredom mixed with moments of shear terror – take-off and landing!” Well it has not been quite like that, rather visiting interesting places. Meeting very different people and enjoying their cultures and hours of cruising from high above our beautiful blue-green planet earth. I have had the joy of looking down at this paradise we live in and on, and noticing that within a few hundred feet above the earth your view of the earth becomes more expansive. Houses merge into communities. Roads and highways stretch into ribbons of connections among and between these communities. People disappear all together! Individual challenges and conflicts disappear into the mosaic of this beautiful planet earth. It almost looks Peaceful!

Eagle Eye View

So when you wake up each day, your first fluttering open of an eye, You are blessed with a chance to Reset Your view on the day, Your Day and Your Life. Even though you have not yet gone anywhere or met any one – clean slate! Then is the time to hold a picture in your mind and a blessing in your heart for each encounter you may have with no expectations. Try it and see what happens. See who or what comes into your life and in-turn Blesses You.

Enjoy Your New Day,

– CJ