Dedicated to All Those Who Flew Behind Round Engines
We gotta get rid of those turbines, they’re ruining aviation and our hearing…
A turbine is too simple minded, it has no mystery. The air travels through it in a straight line and doesn’t pick up any of the pungent fragrance of engine oil or pilot sweat.
Anybody can start a turbine. You just need to move a switch from ‘OFF’ to ‘START’ and then remember to move it back to ‘ON’ after a while. My PC is harder to start.
Cranking a round engine requires skill, finesse and style. You have to seduce it into starting. It’s like waking up a lovely mistress. On some planes, the pilots aren’t even allowed to do it. Flight engineers do the job.
Turbines start by whining for a while, then give a lady-like poof and start whining a little louder.
Round engines give a satisfying rattle-rattle, click-click, BANG, more rattles, another BANG, a big macho FART or two, more clicks, a lot more smoke and finally a serious low pitched roar. We like that. It’s a GUY thing…
When you start a round engine, your mind is engaged and you can concentrate on the flight ahead. Starting a turbine is like flicking on a ceiling fan: useful, but hardly exciting.
When you have started his round engine successfully your Crew Chief looks up at you like he’d let you kiss his girl too!
Turbines don’t break or catch fire often enough, which leads to aircrew boredom, complacency and inattention. A round engine at speed, looks and sounds like it’s going to blow any minute. This helps concentrate the mind!
Turbines don’t have enough control levers or gauges to keep a pilot’s attention. There’s nothing to fiddle with during long flights.
Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman Lamps. Round engines smell like God intended machines to smell.
Pass this on to an old WWII guy (or his son, or anyone who flew them, ever) in remembrance of that ‘Greatest Generation’.