This post is a first. Up to now, all content on this blog has been…
The technological jump from no functional aeroplane to the first serious military fighter occurred in a mere 10 years. The Wright brothers conducted their first flight in late 1903 and by 1914 WWI broke out with an associated expansion in military flying. This expansion occurred almost entirely without the benefits of organised science in formal […]
This post is a first. Up to now, all content on this blog has been exclusively written by myself. But recently Nick Mehlig and Ben Names from Structural Design and Analysis, Inc. (SDA), a team of stress engineers that design lightweight and load efficient structures, contacted me with a proposal for a guest […]
Aeroelasticity is the study of the interactions between dynamic, inertial and aerodynamic forces that arise when a body is immersed in airflow. The unique challenge of aeroelasticity is to analyse how vibrations, static deflections and lift and drag forces combine, and to make sure that any interaction of these three forces does not lead to inferior aircraft […]
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 […]
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Aeroelasticity is the study of the interactions between dynamic, inertial and aerodynamic forces that arise…
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined the term "Antifragility" in his book of the same name. Antifragility…