Vincent Burnelli lived a productive and creative life. He created a brilliant new principle of design – the lifting-body principle of design a.k.a Blended Wing Body (BWB) – that is safer and more efficient but did he get rewarded for his genius? No, it was for all intents and purposes stolen from him. Because in large part of an Air Force determination (which remains in effect to this day) he was prevented from commercializing his designs. In what kind of world is a design like Burnelli’s lifting-body principle of design left to rot away at great cost to the inventor and to society? How is this possible?
Ayn Rand’s 1957 book “Atlas Shrugged”, depicted a fictional world where creativity is either stymied or the fruit of one’s labor is plundered by legal means or otherwise. It seems that everyday we are moving closer to the kind of society she depicted so brilliantly in her book fifty-four years ago. The book is well worth reading but now there’s a movie – it’s out today – April 15, 2011 (search for “Atlas Shrugged Movie”). Go see it! And read the book! Then, think about Burnelli – why were Vincent Burnelli and his designs victims? Why aren’t we flying in Burnelli aircraft today?
Finally, if you want to help, after viewing the movie or reading the book, let us know what you would do if you were the Burnelli Company (your responses don’t necessarily have to be drawn from the book / movie, though we expect that these may stimulate your thinking.)
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