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What’s behind the I, S, and B?

Well, one of my friends guessed from the Mission and Vision statements that ISB stands for “I Serve By…”   Although that is a GREAT guess, it is not quite the original words.


InterStellar bumbleBee or ISB:  When I was a young lad of 14 and off at a boarding school I learned in science class how airplanes fly.  I was so fascinated by this that I pondered on it quite a lot.  Later in a study hall I had this idea of how to create an airplane that could take off and land vertically.  In other words, this new airplane didn’t need a runway.  WOW, it could even land in my front yard!  It would not be like a helicopter though, as it didn’t have a huge (and dangerous) rotating blade.  It was going to be GREAT!  Now, I had had many “good” ideas on other things before and was told that “they would never work!” so I didn’t pursue them.  Well, none of the previous ideas were as GRAND as this one and I just knew it was going to change the world! 

I sketched it out as best as I could, and rushed to my science teacher and gleefully explained it to him!  Well, after he stopped giggling he replied “It Will Never Fly!”  Well, a little down but mostly defiant, I asked “Why not?”  He proceeded to tell me a little more of the details about how airplanes fly.  And then he told me of some other problems my idea would face, and I could see his point.  So, sketch (and heart) in hand, I returned to study hall.  Some time later, I had an idea for an “improved” version of the original idea that would surely work this time!  Again, I sketched it and ran to the teacher and exclaimed “what about this?”  After studying it a little longer than the first one, he said those thundering words again, “It Will Never Fly!”  And as you can imagine, I again asked “Why not?”  He again told me more details and pointed out potential flaws AND, unfortunately, I could see his point.  BUT, after considering the potential problems (and after some time), I came up with solutions to those and, you know the drill, sketched and ran, yet again.  This time, he was stumped!  He said he knew “It Would Never Fly!” but he couldn’t tell me why.  He said there had to be a flaw in it somewhere, but he couldn’t see it and that I should visit the university and talk to a professor to find out why it wouldn’t fly. 

Yep, you guessed it, I did just that.  And, can you guess how that went?  Well, it was a lot like the first visit with the high school science teacher; (copied from above as it was almost verbatim) [after he stopped giggling he replied about this latest version, “It Will Never Fly!”  Well, defiant as I had grown to be, I asked “Why not?”  He proceeded to tell me a little more of the physics about how airplanes fly.  And then he told me of some other problems my idea would face, and I could see his point.]  Only this time, the information was much more technical and the “problems” were much more daunting.  Well, summarizing quite a lot here, this was the start of very long (3 decades and still going) pursuit to recreate flight!  And very often I have heard the same phrase “It Will Never Fly!”  I have come up with many other ideas/inventions in many fields other than flight and most every time I disclose one of them I am met with the same or similar phrase “It Will Never Fly!”

Along the way while researching all manor of information on flight, aerodynamics, fluid dynamics, etc. I ran across the story of the Bumblebee.  As the story goes, Bumblebees can’t fly!  Well, that is to say, they don’t fly using typical aerodynamics.  They had to find another way to get off of the ground and stay off.  Their bodies just didn’t fit any of the aerodynamic laws, so they seem to defy those very laws.  This inspired me to keep trying even if the experts say “It Will Never Fly!”  I am please to report that many of the other (non-flight) ideas that would “Never Fly” have since “Flown”, either by me or by someone else that had the same idea, but persisted enough to make it “Fly.”  The airplane idea hasn’t flown yet, but work continues, albeit very infrequently, BUT one day…

I say it will not only fly, it will fly so well it will allow travel between the stars!!!  Hence the name Interstellar Bumblebee, or stylized a bit to InterStellar bumbleBee or … ISB, LLC.


FOOTNOTE:  I have done some preliminary test on one of the main “new” concepts of flight with encouraging results, even though they are counter-intuitive and contrary to conventional wisdom. 

PS.  Bumblebees CAN fly!