It’s winter here. So cold!!  It’s been around 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit for a week (right around -30 C). I took the fence picture on a really cold morning walk. And we have months of this ahead of us. During this cold dark time when we have had plans disrupted over and over, I have found it very easy to lose motivation. Especially if that motivation was aimed at completing a specific task or achieving a goal. Why even try anymore? What’s the use and what hope is there anyway?

Those of us who fly owe a great deal to German aerodynamicists who worked during the 1930s.  Ironically the iconic elliptical wing design of the Supermarine Spitfire was influenced by several men.  Most notably a young man named BeverScreen_Shot_2021-12-24_at_11.48.18_AM.pngly Shenstone.  Shenstone was a Canadian who had been working for Junkers in Germany for a couple of years before being hired on by Supermarine in England.  While in Germany Shenstone met a man named Ludwig Prandtl who was the first aero engineer to describe Elliptical Lift Distribution and how it influenced Induced Drag.  Other innovations learned in Germany by Shenstone included the use of a thin wing section and flush rivets.  It was from this information that the elliptical wing design for the spitfire was born.  So, the legendary Spitfire, that came to the world’s attention during the Battle of Britain had some roots in German soil.

Scripture tells us that it takes many minds coming together to help create a successful outcome:

Proverbs 15:22  If you don’t ask for advice, your plans will fail. With many advisors, they will succeed. 

In this example a very important piece of machinery, the spitfire, was developed from information collected from several sources.  Many of you will be asking where is R.J. Mitchell in all of this?  Mr., Mitchell was the man who put together the design team at Supermarine that came up with the Type 300 airframe we now call the Spitfire.  While his input on the design of the aircraft was considerable, he did not do it alone. He applied the lesson from Proverbs 15:22


December 11th, 2021
There is an unsung hero involved in the events at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903, and that’s the guy who built the engine that powered the Wright Flyer.  His name was Charles Taylor.  He was a mechanic that had been hired by the Wright Brothers to manufacture parts for and to build the 4-cylinder engine that powered the Wright Flyer.  The Wright Brothers had designed the engine because there were none available that satisfied the parameters they had set for their airplane, particularly maximum takeoff weight.  They needed an engine that weighed less than 200Lbs.    
It was instructive that the Wright Brothers had gone to someone else for help to get their project done.  If you were to examine your own life you can probably identify people who helped you on your way.  In my own situation doctors have played significant roles due to the medical challenges I’ve had.  Without these skilled men and women I would either be severely disabled or dead.  Instead, I have been able to do useful things in my life. 
In Christian scripture there is teaching that supports the notion that we need each other to accomplish things in life.  As an example one of the passages is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.”
Flight Blog,
What Careful Observation Can Do
Nov 30th, 2021
I have always wondered why early aviator wanabe’s hadn’t studied the wings of birds more closely before designing and attempting to fly their crazy flying machines. It took a thoughtful careful researcher like Otto Lilienthal, an engineer and scientist, to carefully study the wings of birds.  Otto studied the wings of the white stork and came up with a series of manned gliders that flew well.

His studies in the creation of lift were foundational in the design and construction of aircraft.  What Lilienthal did made it possible for aircraft like the Boeing 747 to be flying, providing service, less than one hundred years after his death.  Anyone who looks at the timeline of development of the airplane must be impressed by the speed with which this has taken place since Lilienthal’s success with gliders.  In my mind every time I leave the ground it’s a miracle. I often say “and the miracle happens again” as we ease the aircraft off the ground.  All of this reminds me of a verse from the Bible found in Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”  So, God hid the principles of flight in the smallest birds that are all around us and it took an Otto Lilienthal to seek this out.  This makes me wonder how many things we have left to discover about our world.  

Flight Blog
November 24th, 2021
Flight, Learning The Hard Way

There is a saying in aviation circles that goes like this “We all start out with a full bag of luck and an empty bag of wisdom.  The trick is to fill the bag of wisdom before you run out of luck.”BLOG_b17g-profile-phil-rispin.jpg
  Unfortunately, many of the lessons learned in flying airplanes are written in blood.  Flight is very unforgiving of even small errors.
One example resulted in the development of a simple thing called a “check list”.  In the 1930’s aircraft manufactures in the USA were in a competition to design an aircraft that would fill the need for a heavy bomber.  Boeing’s entry was the prototype Model 299/XB-17 that would eventually become the famed B-17.  In an early demonstration flight, a test aircraft crashed causing injury and death to the crew.  This almost sealed the fate of the Boeing Company that had invested so much time and money on the aircraft.   As it turned out the post-crash investigation showed that the pilot had neglected to remove the control locks prior to take-off making it impossible to control the airplane once it was airborne.
Boeing’s best and brightest had a meeting with the aim of solving the problem and they came up with the idea of using a written checklist, a simple piece of paper that would guide the pilot through all the phases of flight
Having solved the problem Boeing and other licensed US companies went on to build 12,731 B-17s in several variants.  
There are several places in scripture that look like check lists to be applied to our Christian life.  2nd Peter 1:5-7 is an example “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
It would be good if, before we went to work in the morning, we checked that list.

  By Phil Rispin

The first and second World Wars were hard on my family. In World War I, my grandmother lost her father and brother. My grandfather came home with a gunshot wound and died later of septicemia.  He lived long enough after his medical discharge to sire my dad and his older brother Ronnie. In World War II, Ronnie served as a tail gunner in a Wellinton Bomber and was killed. Dad lied about

Wild Flax by Karen Rispin

Throughout nature there is a pattern sometimes called the golden mean.  Medieval monks saw them as an echo of the trinity, evidence of the hand of God.  Monks called this proportion “The Divine Section”.  It’s everywhere in nature and we find it beautiful. More than that, they felt, (and so do I) that it is echoing the nature of the trinity.  There is “three in one” in this pattern. The shorter section is to the longer as the longer is to the whole.  Patterns using this relationship are found at many scales from spiral galaxies to sea shells, the proportions of the human body and the spiral in the double helix of the DNA molecule.