Rocket technology has evolved for more than 2000 years. Today’s rockets are a product of…
On December 17 1903, the bicycle mechanic Orville Wright completed the first successful flight in a heavier-than-air machine. A flight that lasted a mere 12 seconds, reaching an altitude of 10 feet and landing 120 feet from the starting point. The Wright Flyer was made of wood and canvas, powered by a 12 horsepower internal combustion engine […]
On November 8, 1940 newspapers across America opened with the headline “TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE COLLAPSES”. The headline caught the eye of a prominent engineering professor who, from reading the news story, intuitively realised that a specific aerodynamical phenomenon must have led to the collapse. He was correct, and became publicly famous for what is now known as […]
How quickly do the small bubbles of gas rise in a pint of beer?
To answer this question we will use the concept of aerodynamic drag introduced in the last two posts […]
(Caveat: There is a little bit more maths in this post than usual. I have tried to explain the equations as good as possible using diagrams. In any case, the real treat is at the end of the post where I go through the design of rocket nozzles. However, understanding this design methodology is naturally easier […]
“Outsourcing” is a loaded term. In today’s globalised world it has become to mean many things – from using technology to outsource rote work over the internet to sharing capacity with external partners that are more specialised to complete a certain task. However, inherent in the idea of outsourcing is the promise of reduced costs, […]
Vanity Fair recently featured an excellent article on Air France Flight 447 that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009. It is a long read, but if you have 30 min to spare it will be a great educational investment.
The author, William Langewiesche, does a good job at weaving multiple aspects of aeronautics, […]
I have just returned from the International Conference for Composite Materials (ICCM) in Montreal, Canada and would like to share a few observations and key points about the developments in the composite world that may not be so easily accessible to a broader audience.
1) The Great Advance – Applications
ICCM is the biggest conference […]
For aircraft jet propulsion there are in general four distinct designs: the turbojet, turbofan (or bypass engine), turboprop and turboshaft. This post will address the layout and design of the two most common engines used in modern aircraft, the turbojet and turbofan, and explain how their characteristics make each engine applicable for a specific task. […]
The DeHavilland Comet was the first production commercial jet airliner that went into service in 1952. The earliest production aircraft designated G-ALYP was loaned to the British Overseas Airways Company and inaugurated the first scheduled overseas flight from London to Johannesburg with fare-paying customers on-board. Much of the design is similar to the commercial airliners seen […]
For many years engineers have been trying to harness mechanical work from thermal energy by taking advantage of the crystallographic phase change of shape memory alloys (SMA’s). SMA’s can exhibit strains of up to 8% actuated by a transformation of the internal crystal structure from martensite to austenite as the metal is heated. This solid […]
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