Products and Inventions I would like to use
29 Oct 03 - When a planes are on a converging path there is no movement of the opposing airplane in either of the airplanes' wind screens. The size of the airplanes will grow as the airplanes approach but they will not change position. Since the eye most easily observes movement relative to other objects the hardest airplane in the sky to see is the one on a collision course with your airplane. Most airplanes do have beacons - a flashing white light. I was thinking a prism like sphere that turns in the wind would be a cheap and effective way to reflect sunlight and catch the attention of other pilots in the air. There would be some technical difficulties. We'd like the sphere to not cause any additional drag. And we'd like to be able to put a number of these spheres on the airplane.
27 Oct 03 - I've wondered for a long time why there isn't a thin
soft layer covering the hard shell of football players helmets. I remember
when Jeff Nixon was having concussion problems he wore a large soft covering
that was obvious and looked peculiar. However, it seemed to correct his
problem with getting lots of concussions. Since concussions can be a
problem for everyone it seems to make sense that a thin layer of a soft
substance would be a good idea for all players. This would be especially
true for high school and college players also.
The man that lived across the street finished his culinary degree. We talked and I mentioned that someday someone would get rich by making a salad dressing from peppercine. It seems so obvious, they've got a nice tang but they're not to hot. They aren't that expensive and they are low calorie with no fat. My neighbor liked the idea. But instead of taking it and going for it he would keep asking if I'd been working on the project and if he could get involved. He just couldn't understand the idea was to make him rich. Sure it would be nice if in the company literature he would mention that I was the inspiration. Nicer still if after his company became successful he'd throw some money my way but neither of these were compulsory to his using the concept. I just wanted confirmation the idea was as good as I perceived. The same concept works for any of you that may be inspired by the suggestions found in this essay. It would be really nice for you to mention the source of your inspiration and if you become really successful a token of appreciation would be welcome. None of this is mandatory though. One word of advice, someone else almost always thinks of the same product I think up - so if you think it's a good idea - you better work fast. If they haven't already someone is probably going to bring it to market soon.
Real Time Radar Images for General Aviation Aircraft
Being a private pilot naturally promotes the notion of owning a small airplane. This fantasy takes many forms and often leads to thoughts about the avionics. Radar images of current weather provide important situational awareness information to pilots. The systems available today are expensive and bulky and generally are not feasible for light general purpose aircraft. A large airplane normally has no difficulty carrying the radar equipment but a smaller aircraft runs into problems in payload capacity and weight and balance considerations. With current technology a system that broadcasts national satellite photos and current local radar and weather information can be set up. These broadcast can work through either a dedicated cell phone number or through the satellites that currently broadcast internet information. In either case the radar image would be sent to the receiver on the airplane. This information would be packaged like an email and sent out at specific time periods so any receiver can pick it up. The receiver works with the GPS system to orientate the image. Then a display of the image overlay on the GPS route provides the pilot with real time precipitation information.
If this system works by utilizing cell towers and frequencies each tower could send just the national satellite images and the local radar images for that area. Then the airplane receiver would need to determine the "best" tower to receive the information from and disregard the others. If the system works by utilizing satellites the satellites could send separate bundles of information and the receivers would then judge which bundle to pick up and display. This could occur by comparing a predetermined code relating location to radar images and coordinating these codes with the GPS position.
This system provides the most benefit to general aviation aircraft simply because ground based radar depictions of precipitation may not show an accurate depiction of what a jet may encounter at higher altitudes. For aircraft that fly 15,000 or less, if a ground based radar shows rain or thunderstorms, they can probably expect to find those same conditions at altitude. A larger jet sometimes can fly at an altitude above the weather. This doesn't mean this information wouldn't come in handy for airlines and cargo haulers. These aircraft would benefit from seeing a ground based radar image of the destination airport. Although these aircraft most likely have an onboard system, before they descend sometimes it is difficult to determine the weather at lower altitudes. Also, currently destination and takeoff weather is broadcast over the radio. This is called the ATIS. If you incorporate this information in the electronic bundle it is possible to develop a system that allows the pilot to review the weather and then "one punch" the information into the flight system thus reducing the work load of the pilot and the chance of transcribing and input errors. Implementing a system utilized by airlines increases the profit potential of the endeavor.
Just because the idea of the system originated because of a need of many general aviation aircraft doesn't mean it couldn't be used by other travelers and commuters. Many truckers and car drivers employ GPS devices and the percentage will certainly grow. Systems to notify drivers of traffic jams and construction areas currently exist. With little work adding weather information to these systems improves the appeal and profitability of both the airborne and the ground based tools.
Gas Price Listings
Still using internet technology, we could develop a means for publishing gas prices for travelers. I'm cheap. A fundamental truth about gas prices - the stations located at an exist price their gas 6 or 7 cents higher than the locals pay. Often just traveling a couple blocks from the exit can lead to a significant price reduction. Great feeling when you can find the station without much difficulty, but frustrating when you search and end up coming back to the on ramp stations. Sometimes crossing a state border means a price change of 10 to 15 cents a gallon. How frustrated do you get when you chose not to stop because you still have a quarter of a tank only to realize 25 minutes later that decision cost you $3.00. Truck drivers could potentially save even greater amounts. A invaluable program that works with the mapping programs available through Yahoo, Excite or any of the other search engines that list gas prices and directions to the stations certainly would attract internet users to the site. Gas stations would pay a small fee to "advertise" their prices and then be required to do most of the work in keeping the site information current. The users could then print out likely gas stops when they print out the directions to the destination.