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Romance of Engineering

The following paragraph from ‘Night over water’ by Ken Follett describes the excitement and wonder of Engineering so beautifully. It is worth a look.

Romance of Engineering

Imperial Airways’ mechanics serviced the clipper, supervised by Eddie. The transatlantic flight was a punishing task for the engines. On the longest leg from Newfoundland to Ireland, the plane was in the air for nine hours and on the return journey, against headwinds, the same route took sixteen and a half.

Hour after hour, the fuel flowed, the plugs sparked, the fourteen cylinders in each of the enormous engines pumped tirelessly up and down, and the fifteen root propellers chopped through the clouds and rain and gales.

For Eddie, that was the romance of engineering. It was wonderful, it was amazing that men could make engines that would work perfectly and precisely, hour after hour. There were so many things that might have gone wrong, so many moving parts that had to be precision-made and meticulously fitted together so that they would not snap,  slip, get blocked or simply wear out while they carried a 41 ton airplane over thousands of miles.

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