SailNet Community - View Single Post - Sailing and Flying
View Single Post
post #5 of Old 12-17-2007
nolatom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 1,996
Thanks: 8
Thanked 36 Times in 33 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
I've taught sailing as a sideline gig for a few years, and have found aviators to be the easiest to teach regarding why sailboats sail upwind. I know squat about aviation, but understand that for a sailor, "lift" is propulsion, while the ocean holds us "up"; lift for an aviator is what keeps you from falling out of the sky, hence absolutely critical to survival, not just speed.

I'm not saying aviators have a better feel for sailing than others, though they definitely have the understanding of angle of attack, laminar flow, turbulent flow, lift, and stall, when I describe it regarding sails. Some aviators are all thumbs at sailing, some are "naturals"--same thing with non-aviators, in my experience.

I still like that occasional student who catches a puff on a light-air day and accelerates from nada up to 4 knots and really likes it, whose "day" job is flying F-18s at 1800 knots.

I still think learning sailing is more instinctual than intellectual. That said, the aviators start out already understanding (intellectually, if not physically) the science of upwind sailing.
nolatom is offline  
Quote Share with Facebook
 
 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome