January 15, 2010

FROM CHUCK SIMMINS: Some Haiti Relief Fundraising Numbers.

UPDATE: Stan “Wild Kingdom” Brock and Remote Area Medical are taking a DC-3 (yes, that’s right) full of supplies to a stricken outlying area of Haiti.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Thoughts on the DC-3 from reader John Kahn:

I work for a regional aircraft manufacturer as a pilot and tech support engineering specialist. Interesting thing about the DC-3. As we all know, in engineering and especially in aviation, development of a product is more or less by committee and involves thousands of trade offs and compromises. Usually the compromises have some kind of imbalance that limit a product’s effectiveness and service life. However, like a monkey throwing down alphabet blocks where on some rare occasion they spell a word, sometimes, the compromises just happen to come together in a state of balance resulting in a machine that, for its intended use, is something close to perfection. This is the DC 3.

Imagine, a complex transportation machine designed almost 80 freaking years ago (the DC 2 upon which the 3 is based first flew in ’33), that a businessman can purchase today, not as a tourist attraction, but as a business tool that can still be put to work to make money hauling freight in North America (and in the case of an operator in northern Canada, run a daily scheduled passenger service!).

I can’t think of any other transportation device, and very few machines of any kind, that can still function as a profit making business tool nearly 80 years after they were designed. This incredible aircraft gets my vote as the greatest transportation conveyance of modern times.

Good point.

MORE: On Facebook, Xeni Jardin comments: “Man, we should ship Gnl Russell Honoré to Haiti on one of them cargo loads, stat. View from my sofa looks like NoLa clusterfuckery x1000.”

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