The Experimental Aviation Association or EAA has done so much for the advancement of flight and aeronautics. By allowing modern day Wright Brothers to build their own aircraft, try new things, and innovate, we've all enjoyed the fruits of their discoveries. They've come up with new materials to use, new strategies to reduce drag, increase lift, and better propulsion systems, landing gears, and many of these discoveries have made their way into other applications far and wide; from building materials to boats, and from automobiles to bicycles, and speaking of bicycles is not it interest that this is how powered flight got going?
Not long ago, I was discussing this concept with an acquaintance who was built a small aircraft "homebuilt" and it has a Rotax 912 in it. The same motor as the Altus II UAV by General Dynamics so, it's obviously reliable, which is important of course. The EAA home built aircraft was similar in design to a Lanceair, although with less performance and speed, but it hardly matters, it's still flying. You see, if you are like me you just love to fly, so if it takes you longer to get there, who cares – more time flying!
My last aircraft was a Jeanie's Teenie, a small one place, open cockpit aircraft monoplane, hell, it only had a Volkswagon Engine, I adjusted the values with a business card. The darn thing quit on me too many times, once on take-off, no fun, but an adrenaline rush, I am getting too old for that nonsense these days! Still, it is good to see that folks are willing to try new things, new designs, and new motors, and take risks – that is how innovation works.
Indeed, I just bet if we allowed a simple version of the EAA for automobiles that inventors and designers would bring forth more fuel efficient cars, using different types of motors. They'd be lighter, with better performance, and we'd get our money's worth through the innovation. The safety factors could have waived in a trade of experimentation, knowing that you have to take risks to enjoy innovation. We should not be afraid to release the rules for automobiles and develop a simple category for this invention process.
You see, the EAA model has been working in aviation, and it has brought great success in innovation, we'd be silly to not duplicate this when it comes to other industries. If we allow innovation to be stifled we lose, we should promote it at every turn, and we must do what works. It's time for humans to move up in the world. Think.