The problem is that there have been few successes between these two examples. "It's hard to make something new and different, and make it work well," says aerodynamics author and lecturer Martin Hollmann, founder of Aircraft Designs, an airplane design firm. "That's the reason you don't see many new things out there." While designers promise stunning performance advances, what they most frequently achieve are delays, endless financial crises, and test-flight crashes. In the worst cases, pilots--often the designers themselves--die. But that's not entirely unexpected in this crowd, which, after all, includes many competent and level-headed pilots who know the risks they're taking. "I put my heart and soul into this airplane," Melkuti declares. "If anyone's going to crash it, I will."