January 2018 Outing to iFLY

So, you are an aerospace engineer. You know how to design airplanes. You know how control surfaces work. So — how to you fly a human?

AIAA-Atlanta members found out for themselves on Monday 8 January 2018. While much of Atlanta was preoccupied with the college football championship downtown at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, six members gathered at iFLY, 2778 Cobb Parkway. This is at Cobb Parkway and I-285, near the Atlanta Braves stadium, SunTrust Park. AIAA-Atlanta purchased a block of tickets at a highly-reduced price during the Black Friday sale. This enabled us to offer this experience to our members at a special price.

Left to right: Lorenzo E. Capasso, Neil Sutherland, Bob Greene, Dr. Eric Feron, Jolie Elder, & Matthew Salter

If you are wondering, flying is about staying very still but relaxed. Stability comes with symmetry, both left-to-right and front-to-back. Part of it is also about trusting that the wind is not going to drop you. The first flight or two can be a little scary. But once you realize the wind tunnel is literally providing the wind beneath your wings, it is easier to relax and enjoy the experience. And can I just say Matthew deserves bonus points for flying with his full beard, which kept blowing into his mouth? Dr. Feron should now be considered the coolest professor in the Georgia Tech aerospace department. Lorenzo is leading the student AIAA chapter at Georgia Tech. Neil is our Secretary. And Bob is our Section Chair. Draw your own conclusions about what it takes to fly.