post #121 of 121
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

In the summer of 1969 I flew a Monocoque-design Beechcraft Musketeer Sport airplane ("Fighter plane design" they called it) through power lines over the midwest USA. Stopped the prop, bent the nosegear sideways, shoved the exhaust stacks back 3 inches. Loose wire ends popped out the side window, showering us in glass. Another ripped an 8-inch gash in the top of the left wing.

We got the engine restarted at about 25 feet above ground, flew it back to an airport 80 miles away, and landed safely. The FAA accident investigator told us if it had been any other brand of light aircraft, we'd have been decorating the Kansas wheat. Monocoque structural engineering saved my life.

I expect I could hold a new polycarbonate (the stuff they use to make F22 Raptor canopies, BTW) MacBook in front of me and take a direct hit from a subway train without so much as a rumple in my corduroys. Maybe a hangnail where my fingers gripped the edge.

Wowsers! This story alone was more than worth bringing "monococque" into the thread (on a whim)!

Originally Posted by PeterO View Post

From F1 cars and skis to submarines, buildings, and aircraft, monocoque structure today is pervasive. Yet there's probably no better example of its strength (and engineering beauty) than the common egg. Chickens may be dim but everyday they produce a natural marvel.

...and I pity the poor train.

Which came first: The unibody MacBook or the monocoque egg? I fear the answer may get confused in the far future where St. Jobs in the Church of the Holy Binary Ocelot will be credited by followers with the miracle of inventing the egg....
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was going to mention the term monocoque earlier, but decided not to when a seeminlgy simple term like unibody was misunderstood.

Has there ever been an AI thread when something "seemingly simple" wasn't misunderstood??

Ergo, merely increasing the discussion's total entropy with actual ideas is likely to be minimally disruptive in the larger scheme. And turns out every reply (including yours) was instructive, or as above, even exciting. About time to break some of the stereotypical repetitive modes around here.
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

To put too fine a point on it: ;-)
Unibody - yes, monocoque - no. Cool shrink might cause the polycarbonate skin to stress slightly, but not much -- certainly not enough to qualify as a stressed skin, which is integral to the monocoque concept.

It all depends on how the 'skin' functions. Much more likely the "skin" is more of a shell than a skin and that shell depends more on the overall nature of the material (polycarbonate) than upon internal tension for its rigidity. But of course its possible to design structures that overlap the two concepts to some extent.

Cool. Or polycarbonaceous! Again, glad I brought up something I admittedly don't know much about and now know a bit more.

Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post

At least hopefully it won't fall apart like the piece of sh!t white plastic MacBooks. Anyone that owns one knows what I'm talking about! The pieces on the wrist rest. Which are of course nice and razor-sharp anyway, practically sharp enough to cut your wrists and kill you.

Uhhh, well, I'm writing this on "a piece of shit white plastic" iBook which still looks (and runs) pretty much as it did the day I bought it over four years ago (better, actually, since I bumped the mem and HD) - and that's after dragging it all over the country and several unplanned trips to the floor (I did have to replace the bezel mount and fix a hinge after one of these drops, but still).

PS: my friend introduced me to a great plastic polish that totally keeps the original lustre and my wrists are scar-free.

PPS: I really want a new toy like an MBP 15" and SL, but this thing keeps doing what I need done and won't give me the damn excuse!

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou... is complete.


An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou... is complete.