Autistic Philosophy 23, Going in Circles

Let me draw your attention back a few blog entries and create an analogy. I had mentioned that in critical situations such as aviation, the people actually doing things have very detailed and very specific knowledge about what they are using and how they are using it.
Let us consider a situation within aviation. Imagine yourself a pilot. You control the aircraft with a stick – a vertical stick which runs from the floor to a grip between your legs and which controls the aircraft in roll and pitch. The aircraft is climbing out and away from an airport. Suddenly the engine coughs and is silent. What do you do?
You push forward on the stick to cause the airplane to pitch down. This is to cause the aircraft to fly downward. As it flies down it will trade potential energy for kinetic and so will maintain its airspeed. That speed is through the air, and keeps the airplane’s wings safely above minimum flying speed. The aircraft is going down, but slowly, flying, and under control. Well, except. . .
. . . The above is based upon an assumption that the aircraft is fixed wing, which most aircraft are. Most aircraft from Pipers to Airliners have their wings rigidly attached. All of them behave well if, following total loss of power the pilot lowers the nose. There are other sorts of aircraft.
There are rotary wing aircraft, most of which have driven rotors and which are called helicopters. Here the stick is also roll and pitch control, but is referred to as a cyclic. Let us fly a hypothetical helicopter through a total loss of power on climb out.
The first thing to do is to pull the cyclic back! That is opposite of the fixed wing airplane’s stick forward.
When a helicopter is in powered forward translational flight it is flying nose down. The main rotor disc is tilted down in front so that its developed thrust – directly up in a theoretical hover – is tilted forward. That tilted thrust has a vertical component that lofts the helicopter and a horizontal component that moves it forward. Air enters the disc from front and top, and is accelerated down and back. It is the reaction force developed at the blades which are the disc that cause the disc to create the thrust.
That is when all is well and the engine is running properly. To cause a helicopter to fly without power, one must reverse the airflow through the disc! Pull back cyclic and bring the rotor disc to nose high so that air enters from the bottom and is slowed as it moves up and back. The reverse flow causes the disc to autorotate, think pinwheel – and so maintain the blades flying speed; the reverse flow generates lift as the vector change through the disc is slowed on its way upward. One can reach for the collective and lower blade pitch all around the disc, but cyclic first!
If a helicopter pilot errs by pushing the cyclic forward, then that reverse airflow will not be established, the rotation slows, and the helicopter will experience nonrecoverable blade stall. The pilot is now a passenger. The aircraft will crash.
We autistic persons are as different from neurotypicals as helicopters are from fixed wing aircraft. Fly one of us as if we were normal and we will be crashed. If the autistic child is crashed repeatedly, by external influence and control, then that person will learn nicely how to crash one’s self.
There is, as yet, no autistic flight handbook. Part of your philosophy should be exactly this. Let’s see how to develop one, personalized for you.


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