Curiosity is key to creative thinkers. They are always asking questions, and always seeking knowledge.
Creative thinkers have a willingness to change. The recognition that unwillingness or inability to change is fatal is something they have. By being able to change they are in charge of their lives, as they can adapt and have more mental flexibility. This is an important quality.
Highly creative thinkers have the ability to admit their wrong. Instead of wasting time defending against admitting they made a wrong decision they move on, admit their mistake, and learn from it. Truly intelligent, highly creative people are open minded, fluid, flexible and willing to admit mistakes – which ultimately make them freer. Not fearing failure is essential to success.
Cait Hurst, Nero Global Tracking
There seems to be a profound human tendency to assume that just because things operate a certain way—or we think and behave a certain way—that’s the natural order of things.
We have a tendency to do this even though intellectually we may know perfectly well that our current assumptions would have been entirely different a few hundred years ago—and quite likely will be different again a few decades in the future. Or even tomorrow. We are conditioned—both by human nature and by vested interests—to embrace the status quo. We do so willingly. It’s familiar and it’s comfortable.
It seems clear that we crave a high degree of predictability in our lives—and though we accept a degree of change—by and large we would prefer that it be minimal.
Yet creativity is all about change—and one of the best ways of inducing creative thoughts is to question the fundamental.
Should citizenship be attached to a particular geographical entity—or could it be global and relate to a particular set of beliefs?
Do we really need an Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force—organizations which spend a great deal of time, energy, and resources competing with other—or might we be better off with one defense service?
Could a car-free city work?
The team that came up with the supersonic bi-directional flying wing seem to have been asking such fundamental questions. The solutions they have come up with are both simple in concept—and ingenious. Let me quote Gizmag on the subject.
Aircraft design is usually a compromise between subsonic and supersonic performance. At low speeds, broad wings provide more lift and help minimize takeoff distance, while swept back wings with a smaller profile enhance performance at high speeds. Variable-sweep wing (or swing wing) aircraft, such as the F-14 Tomcat and B-1 Lancer, get around this with wings that are spread broadly at takeoff and low speeds and can be swept back while in flight for improved performance at high speeds.
The supersonic bi-directional flying wing (SBiDir-FW) aircraft tackles the problem in a different way. It would take off in one orientation with broader wings, before rotating 90 degrees in flight to transition to high-speed mode with a shorter wing span.
“No matter how fast a supersonic plane can fly, it needs to take off and land at very low speed, which severely hurts the high-speed supersonic performance for a conventional airplane,” said Ge-Chen Zha, a professor in the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and principal investigator of the project. “The SBiDir-FW removes this performance conflict by rotating the airplane to fly in two different directions at subsonic and supersonic. Such rotation enables the SBiDir-FW to achieve superior performance at both supersonic and subsonic speeds.”
Zha hopes his SBiDir-FW will produce no sonic boom, have low supersonic wave drag, and low fuel consumption. A preliminary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation for a SBiDir-FW business jet indicates that at speeds of Mach 1.6 to 2.0, there is no sonic boom.
“I am hoping to develop an environmentally friendly and economically viable airplane for supersonic civil transport in the next 20 to 30 years,” said Zha. “Imagine flying from New York to Tokyo in four hours instead of 15 hours.”
The $100,000 NIAC grant is intended to help the research team refine the aircraft design using CFD, examine the feasibility of the design, and conduct wind tunnel testing to verify the aircraft’s performance at supersonic speeds and its sonic boom signature. If all goes well, the team will be eligible for an addition $500,000 to continue development of the aircraft.