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"push the envelope"

Posted by V-MAN on December 10, 1999

I will accept the premise that "push the envelope"
originated with airline pilots, but I would like to
know in exactly what context: the actual practical
mechanics of flying as in the use of the controls
relative to a certain aspect of aircraft performance,
the theory of flight as in aerodynamics or the
efficiency with which the aircraft performs relative
to outside forces, or some other practical
explanation?