Red Line

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Mon Mar 31 21:50:39 UTC 2003

In a message dated 3/31/2003 4:22:32 PM Eastern Standard Time,
mworden at WIZZARDS.NET writes:

> Dict Amer Slang traces  verb use from red line WWII (To cross a soldier's
> name off
> the payroll for some wrongdoing) through 1973 (denial of loans based on
> race), to
> established use in the 1990s (achieve maximum speed, ie had the car
> redlined),

The "red line" on the airplane speedometer was from _Private Pilot Manual_
Englewood CO: Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc, 1984, and was long-established usage
then.  I'm pretty sure the care I learned to drive on in 1963 had a redline
on the tachometer (I think it was at 5,000 RPM).  Also "achieve maximum
speed" is incorrect.  The redline is the maximum SAFE speed or maximum
ALLOWABLE speed.  The existence of a redline implies that the engine is
capable of going faster and therefore the operator has to be warned.

            James A. Landau
            systems engineer
            FAA Technical Center (ACB-510/BCI)
            Atlantic City Int'l Airport   NJ   08405   USA

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