Before he studied philosophy under Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein was trained as an engineer at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. He then worked as a graduate research engineer at the University of Manchester, where he designed a variable volume combustion chamber and received a patent for an innovative propeller design in 1911. I argue that the methodology of contemporary aeronautical engineering research, involving the systematic use of experiments and scale models, affected the Bild theory of language in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The principle of similitude, underlying the mathematical resolution of scale effect problems associated with wind tunnel research on models, is reºected in the law of projection in the Tractatus.

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