Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What If We Put a Jet Pack On a Dolphin?

Have you seen the extreme daredevil sporting pilot who straps a jet pack on his back, one with a delta wing, and flies around? I'd say that's pretty cool isn't it? He jumps out of a perfectly good airplane, lights the rockets, and flies away. He steers the jet pack by moving his body side to side, and goes up and down by putting his head up and down. When he puts his head up the relative wind gets underneath his body and changes his angle of attack. Apparently, the human body seems to work good for this. Still, I have a better idea, and I'd like to explain it to you, if you have a few minutes.

What if we put a jet pack on a dolphin? You might think that my comment would be suggesting cruelty to animals. However, can you imagine the adrenaline rush, and excitement that a dolphin could experience if they could fly - especially if they could go 300 miles an hour. Dolphins already live in a 3-D environment in the ocean, and they can already go up and down and sideways by moving their body. In fact, they are much more suited to flying a jet pack than a human. They already have fins and a tail, and as you know, they are quite streamlined.

Indeed, one could argue that it is a better body style for flying because dolphins are already more aerodynamic. They are also much better at maneuvering their bodies to manipulate their environment. Therefore, I bet they'd be much better pilots. Oh, so now I have pique your curiosity and got your attention. In fact, if you put humans in jet packs and dolphins in jet packs and you wanted to have aerial dogfights, the dolphins would have the advantage. Their minds are already set up for spatial 3-D thinking, they are more maneuverable, and they are smart enough to beat us at aerial dogfighting.

Would it be very hard to design a jet pack for a dolphin? Not any harder than designing one for a human and we've already done that. In fact, it might actually be easier. Would a dolphin have trouble learning to fly it? Doubtful, they are already flying around underwater in many regards. So, it would probably come very natural for them. You might think this is a waste of time even considering. I completely disagree.

Sometimes it seems to me that humans are quite species centric, and they think they're better than everyone else. I wonder? The dolphins seem to be masters of their own environment through the evolutionary process. Humans seem to need to modify their environment, and we are hardly masters yet.

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