An unnamed Michigan Tech student who’s been giving interviews under the alias “Mark” got blackout drunk Friday night and stumbled home to his roommate. This would hardly be news—Mark puts his pants on one leg at a time and drinks to sloppy excess just like the rest of us—but when Mark puts his pants on and drinks to sloppy excess, he designs entire fucking airplanes.
Mark’s roommate, Keith Fraley, was blown away by what he saw, and couldn’t resist leaking the sketches and drunken calculations on Twitter:
Here’s what went down that fateful night, in Keith’s words:
It all started around 11.30pm. Mark burst into the room in a drunken sway, asking where his textbooks were and after greeting me he rushed back out of the room. From what the person who brought him up [to the shared accommodation] was saying, Mark had a ton of rum and vodka-mixed drinks.
He then came stumbling back two minutes later to grab his giant whiteboard. I just laughed as I sat on the computer listening to his murmurs. Around 1.30am, he came back and he sat on the couch with a worn look on his face.
And there it was. A finished design for a plane. Or, at least that’s what Keith—a software engineering student—though he was looking at. As Mark tried to explain to him later, the vehicle is actually an ekranoplan, “which is more like a very high speed aircraft that floats above the water.”
Will this contraption cooked up by a sloshed second-year engineer with just a whiteboard and an aerospace math textbook actually work, though? Maybe. Mark plans to try it out in remote-control model form to find out.
Some engineers have pointed out flaws in his design, Keith says, but that’s because they thought it was a plane:
One person did call Mark out on his design, saying that the tail prop would fail during steep climbs due to low pressure behind the wing, and Mark replied saying that his design was actually an ekranoplan and not an airplane – so it lead to humorous and constructive responses.
Others have a little more faith in Mark. Although he refuses to reveal his real name because he thinks his drinking might hurt his job prospects, opportunities are already opening up. Looks like the aerospace design team could use a ringer who likes to party: