Not all failure is failure

Dream_Chaser_pre-drop_tests_6Which would you rather fly in, a plane that never had so much as one glitch during development or a plane that had one or two bugs to be worked through while being tested?

I’d much rather fly in the plane that had the bugs worked out, as it’s the one that got more attention. Besides, better that than having a problem show up during a production flight, yes?

And this is why our confidence in the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser manned craft just got a boost. Her first test flight occured on October 26th, 2013 and ended in a crash on the runway during landing when the port landing gear didn’t deploy. Initially thought to have flipped over, it was later determined that the vehicle came to rest upright, though it’s unclear how much damage she sustained in the accident.

On the bright side, Sierra Nevada officials did confirm that the crew compartment was intact and that all onboard systems were functional.

So why is this really a good thing?

Every mishap leads to improvement. Once it’s determined why the landing gear failed and the issue is fixed, it’s not likely to happen again. Besides, the current landing gear will be replaced with a different set anyway.

Personally, and this may sound odd, I’d sooner trust that than a system that hasn’t had any problems – yet. After all, even the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” had battery problems that weren’t even detected until after delivery and a small number of fires.

Getting it right the first time is often an illusion.

This is why we dream.


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