@kfield: And all along I thought it was your lucky traveling mustache!
I never said anything about it being lucky -- just that it was my travelling moustache (a wise man is always prepared for every eventuality, including a surprise moustache party, such as the one I was invited to at Design West 2013).
On the other hand, should the Robot Apocalypse come to pass, I guess that it will prove to be lucky as I explained here.
@alex_m1: ...to sucseed in business you must be ruthless and secretive. Such person wouldn't show the world his rubber duckie :)
"The quickness of the hand deceives the eye," as they say .. while your attention is captivated by this bright yellow duck in my left hand, the "sucker punch" is coming from another direction (Karen will pounce on you from behind :-)
I would say that your classification of their engine/design/building skills is not taking into account some factors. They had to design and build their own engine because they could not get an automotive engine. Because of the low power to weight ratio, things had to be designed with weight in mind. Lack of aero loads (due to low max speed) and need for lightness pointed towards a concept without a fuselage as we know it. Similarly the biplane concept offered structural efficiency while allowing for low tortional stiffness which was required for their wing warping method.