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Way to go Herb!!!

qxeplt

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Monday March 18 08:26 PM EST
Southwest Airlines co-founder inducted into Aerospace Museum's hall of fame
Once the scrappy underdog, Southwest Airlines still maintains a "warriorlike mentality" as the nation's most successful airliner.

IMAGE#herb_kelleher.gif#Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines co-founder and chairman of the board, was inducted into the Aerospace Museum hall of fame Friday.

Co-founder and Chairman of the Board Herb Kelleher discussed how Southwest Airlines' (NYSE: LUV) low-cost, no-frills model keeps the company solvent while other carriers struggle financially.

Kelleher, along with satellite navigation pioneer Ivan Getting and 18th Century Swiss physicist Daniel Bernoulli, were inducted into the San Diego Aerospace Museum's hall of fame Friday.

Their portraits hang alongside other aerospace innovators from astronauts and cosmonauts to rocket scientists and test pilots.

Also on Friday, the Aerospace Museum unveiled a Global Positioning System (news - web sites) satellite donated by the Air Force. The first-series GPS satellite was never in orbit, but was a model for future design. It's on display in a new exhibit in the Space Flight Gallery.

Kelleher, who is said to have sketched his idea for Southwest Airlines on a cocktail napkin, is known for his flamboyancy and love of Wild Turkey whiskey.

Still, the Dallas-based carrier missed profitability only a few quarters, and has 30 years in the black, including last year's $511 million profit.

The company plans to hire 4,000 employees this year while other carriers have laid off or furloughed thousands of workers.

And after Sept. 11, Kelleher, 71, said his responsibilities grew.

"I had intended to reduce my workload as of Oct. 1," he said. "(After Sept. 11) it was all hands on deck, and they asked me to keep working full time."

The company is planning to add three nonstop flights between Chicago's Midway airport and San Diego in June, he said. Southwest is the largest carrier in San Diego in terms of flights and passengers.

Southwest flies only Boeing 737s, which Kelleher said helps keep costs down. However, the year is going to be tough for all the carriers, he said.

"Southwest Airlines, because of its low-cost, strong balance sheet and its tremendous liquidity, will finish out the year in tact," Kelleher said.

The rest of the airline industry is on hold until the economy turns around, he said.

Other low-cost carriers such as Frontier (FRNT: Nasdaq), Jet Blue and Air Tran (AAI: NYSE) could flourish in the current environment, Kelleher said. On a comparative basis, they are financially strong and expanding their service.

Considered a short-haul carrier, Southwest's biggest competitor is the car.

"We make sure we keep our fares low enough to compete with the automobile," he said. "We have to make sure that we make the customer service at the airport as quick and convenient as it can be, which is a chore at the present time with the new security regulations."

Airport security personnel randomly searched him at least a half dozen times in recent weeks, he said. Loopholes in the system still need to be resolved, he said.

Another element of Southwest's success is finding cities to fly into that are underserved and overpriced, he said. In selecting so-called "city pairs," Kelleher said a 30-year-old formula determines within 5 percent what the air traffic will be at any given time.

"We can come in with higher frequency that equals convenience and of course with lower fares," he said.

In addition, employees are treated like family, he said. Southwest sends congratulatory notes on birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions. It's what separates their company from other airlines, he said.

"When other carriers were determined to put Southwest Airlines out of business it fostered a warrior-like mentality from its people and they still maintain a warrior sprit," Kelleher said.

Also inducted into the hall of fame was Ivan Getting, a physicist and engineer. Coronado resident Getting, 90, founded Aerospace Corp., which later developed the Global Positioning System for satellite-based navigation.

The third hall of fame inductee, Bernoulli, developed a theory in 1738 that eventually led to aircraft design. The Bernoulli Principle explains factors that cause air to generate lift.

In simplest terms, Bernouilli's principle explains how a shower curtain gets "sucked inward" when the water is first turned on.
 

mar

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I'm a big fan of Kelleher and Bernoulli

I'd vote for Kelleher for President--too bad Bernoulli couldn't be Veep...

Anyway, I don't buy the shower curtain analogy. A better one would've been the garden hose with the thumb over the opening resulting in a greater velocity.

Though I don't totally discount a little Bernoulli going on in the shower I think what's really at play is heavier, colder, drier air pushing in on the curtain against warmer, lighter, moister air...

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.:)
 

Slug

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garden hose

Not to be a total geek, but I do have a lot of spare time on my hands..................

The water hose analogy would be the law of conservation of mass flow (rho x A x V = rho x A x V), not Mr B's principle. Its primary aero application that I can see is why subsonic wind tunnels narrow the throat down at the test section.

I think a real world example of Mr B's principle would be why soft top convertibles look "bulbous" on top going down the interstate.

slug
 

RightBettor

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Stimulating indeed...

While this discussion is very stimulating, did anyone get a call for the April 25 class??? I cannot wait to have these physics discussions over a beer (or two or three or four... you get the idea) in Dallas. In fact, the more beer, the more clear these discussions become. "Yesh... an anuder ting I wanna say sumtin here guys!"

;)
 

qxeplt

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Calls? What calls?

Well, I know my phone hasn't been ringing off the hook...

Maybe later this week or maybe in May, if they decide on classes.
 

Slug

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No call

No call and the waiting (one way or the other) is killin' me
 

HPaul3

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No call...

RightBettor sez:

"Yesh... an anuder ting I wanna say sumtin here guys!"

Hey Right, you from Chicago? You sound like my brudder-in-law. He just taught my three-year-old the word: "dabotayous", that's "the both of you (s)"

No call yet either. Gotta go take the library books back.

Go Herb!
HP
 
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