Wonder Woman’s Invisible Airplane – Ingeniously Ridiculous or Ridiculously Ingenious?Posted: October 5, 2013
Stealth aircraft have been an important part of our military for years. Their invisibility to radar helps keep air crews safe; that is very cool.
I’m not sure how good being invisible to radar is for those of us flying commercial. Seeing and being seen is important for thousands of us every day as we fly on business or for vacations. Because people smarter than I am are on that issue, we don’t have a lot of problems with military stealth planes and other planes running afoul of one another.
But what about the first stealth plane? Remember the forerunner of today’s radar resistant bomber, Wonder Woman’s Invisible Plane? I’m very concerned about that particular plane. It doesn’t seem that people smarter than me were involved in the idea.
Did You See That?
Let’s get the most obvious issue with this aircraft out of the way first. While the plane isn’t visible, the person flying it is. What the person on the ground sees is a woman in a seated position flying through the air while wearing a bathing suit.
If her goal is discreet transportation, Wonder Woman has not met her own standard.
It isn’t unusual for me to look up and see an airplane. A woman zipping through the air, sitting on what looks like nothing, would be an attention getter. I’d certainly point that out to whoever was close to me. I’d have to, if only to confirm that I wasn’t losing my mind. This proves that being invisible does not always equal being discreet.
Invisible Check Engine Light
One thing all planes have in common are gauges. The first innovation the Wright Brothers made to their flyer was to add a gauge. It didn’t tell them anything, Wilbur just thought it looked cool.
As history marched on, aviation became more complex. The single gauge the Wrights strapped on to their plane was quickly multiplied by five. The trend continues even today. Airliner cockpits seem to be more of a place to keep all the gauges and less about the people who are flying the plane.
Wonder Woman’s plane has to have gauges or it wouldn’t fly. It wouldn’t even really be an airplane. But her gauges are invisible, so she can’t read them. When she takes off, she has no idea if the check engine light is on. How fast is she going? She doesn’t know. Is she close to her destination? Her navigational instruments might be working, but she can’t tell.
Good, But There Is An Easier Way
The one place where the invisible plane might be an advantage is on the ground. Perhaps you’ve experienced stopping in to see someone but recognizing that the car parked in front of their house belongs to someone you don’t like. When that happens to me, I usually decide to come back another time.
That doesn’t happen to Wonder Woman. Once she’s landed, bad guys don’t tell each other “be cool, I just saw Wonder Woman’s plane parked at the airport.” Nope, they’re clueless that she’s in town. That allows her to take care of business.
On the other hand, she could accomplish the same thing by tipping the guy at the place where she parks her plane to throw a tarp over her aircraft. That’s got to be cheaper than invisibility.
Today, I’d like your help in putting this issue behind me. Is Wonder Woman’s invisible airplane…
…ingeniously ridiculous (so innovative that it makes no sense)?
…ridiculously ingenious ((so innovative that it is beyond comprehension)