Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Onward & Upward

Onward & Upward is the unofficial slogan of our company, Vortex Control Technologies. Charles and I started Consulting Aviation Services, the precursor of VCT, in 1996 and just celebrated our company’s 20th anniversary. In reality I think the slogan for both companies should be “Hurry Up & Wait.” 

It has been a long slog to bring Charles’ patented inventions that reduce drag on military and commercial aircraft into the marketplace.
The team of people working on our project

A milestone on the way to production occurred this month. At Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert in California, Air Force personnel representing the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia met to review the most recent flight test results using Charles’ devices on the C-17 cargo plane. The consensus of the meeting was that the first test results reached the targeted goals. Thumbs up approval was given to proceed to the next phase of testing which should produce even more drag reduction.  

When these Finlets are installed on the C-17, the Air Force will save millions of dollars in fuel. We hope that next year, we’ll be on our way to selling Finlets. However, we’ve been on this roller coaster ride many times before. So we remain cautiously optimistic that 2017 will be the year for the C-17. That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Finlets on a C-17 Cargo Plane
For the first time, since we started this project, photos and newspaper articles are available. We can finally talk about it since the information is now declassified.The headline of the Edwards Air Force Base newspaper reads “C-17 Drag Reduction Testing Aims at Saving Fuel.” This picture shows the C-17 aircraft and the temporary installation of the orange flight test Finlets. The second phase of testing will begin in May.

Charles applied for the Finlets patent in 2004 and has been working consistently on this project for twelve years. The government contracts have been slow in coming and we have waited months and sometimes years before receiving another infusion of funds. Our patience has been tested and retested. Every time, we think the project is dead in the water, something will happen to keep the project and our hopes alive. We keep waiting for the day someone says “The check’s in the mail.” 

These two late bloomers remind each other almost daily to enjoy the journey since the destination is so elusive. Whether we profit monetarily from all this work, it has been worth the effort. Onward & Upward!

This Bible Verse from Isaiah 40:31 inspires us on the journey.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Celebrate Life

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Oprah Winfrey

Two amazing elderly women inspire me to make the most of every season of my life—no matter how old I am.

Just after her husband of 67 years died, Norma was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of getting the standard cancer treatment, she told her doctor, "I’m 90 years old. I’m hitting the road." She then began an indefinite road trip across the US with her retired son and his wife. (Excerpted from the Facebook page, Driving Miss Norma)

Accompanied by her Standard Poodle Ringo, Norma’s trip of a lifetime has so far included visiting the National Parks and Disney World. She has also enjoyed whale watching and riding in a hot air balloon. Sure beats radiation, chemotherapy, blood work, tests and more tests that might not make much difference in prolonging Norma’s life.

Miss Norma & Ringo

Jean Veloz is an American dancer born in the 1920’s. She started her dancing career when the Lindy and Jitterbug were sweeping the country. She and her husband, Ray, won many dance competitions and even stared in a movie about the new craze. Eventually, Jean married Frank Veloz, an international dancer, and they danced on Frank’s TV show until the 1950’s. She came out of retirement in 1992 and today at age 90 is “back in the swing of things” on the dance floor. She is celebrating life to the full and shows no signs of slowing down. Click on this link to see Jean dance.

The key to both of these remarkable women’s longevity is that they keep their bodies moving by staying active and keeping their minds sharp by engaging in life. 

The stated purpose of this blog is to motivate senior adults to discard the stereotypes of ageing and to find ways to celebrate life in spite of biological age. We call all discover what keeps us motivated and sharp as long as God keeps us on this earth. Just like Jean and Norma, we all have the potential to celebrate life to the fullest.

April is National Donate Life Month which is near and dear to my heart. So many lives are saved each day by families who in the midst of their grief make the difficult decision to donate their loved ones organs. You can help others have more healthy lives and enable them to live to enjoy their senior adult years, by becoming an organ donor. I will always be grateful to the family who made that a possibility for me.