Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good News and Bad News

So, as the title suggests, I have some good news, and I have some bad news that it'll be bringing with it. The good news is that as I mentioned last post, my summer suddenly became a bit busier than I was worried it might end up. After a lot of job searching, I accepted an offer of a summer position with Ferno-Washington Inc. of Wilmington, Ohio.

Ferno is a global leaders in the manufacture of EMT and mortuary equipment, and as a test engineering intern in their R&D department, I'm going to be helping make sure that their products are as good as they can be. It's an interesting experience in reliability engineering, and I think it'll be a good experience for me as an engineer. I'm working on some very cool products with some very interesting people, but since I'm unfortunately now on the inside of one of those corporate confidentiality agreements I've lamented in aerospace in the past, I can't say much beyond how fun it is to be running automated endurance testing of products, or doing qualifying testing on new or modified products to test their adherence to the designed, specced, or regulated  capabilities. I'm hoping to find ways to talk about more general topics that occur to me in the course of my time with Ferno without talking about details that might constitute breaches of confidentiality--more reflection on the thoughts my job is bringing than the details of the work I'm doing--but I'm not sure if that's kosher yet, so don't expect to hear more about the job yet.

Which brings me to the other part of the title: the bad news. The Ferno facility in Wilmington is an hour commute one way, and as a result I'm going to have even less time for blogging than I had during the school year. I do have aerospace side projects going on that I hope to continue working on, including revisions to the Transhab Calculator, but many nights it's going to be a choice between working on them, or talking about working on them. I'll be trying to post at least once a week, but we'll see. I've got a batch update on what I've been up to over the last two weeks coming (indeed, this was originally the first few paragraphs of it), but it'll be a day or two.

Anyway, if this post seems lacking in aerospace material to you, allow me to present the game I spent much of the first few days of work playing: Name that Plane! See, Ferno's facility is located at an industrial park built around the former Clinton County Air Air Force Base (now the Wilmington Airborne Airpark), and there's a fighter parked on the road into the industrial park. I knew when I first saw it that it was an early jet, it just has the look that only the Century Series has, but despite several mental notes every time I drove past, I kept forgetting to look up what it actually was. Take a look through the pictures, and see if you can figure it out. (Answer below picture set.)

NACA Ducts! These are nifty things.

Wing fence visible on upper wing surface.
These were very common aerodynamic fixes in this era, both on  Western and Soviet aircraft.

The plane is a McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, an interceptor fighter of the mid-50s, and a relative of the later and more famous F4 Phantom, which was one of the primary US aircraft of the Vietnam War era.

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