"Engineering is not the handmaiden of physics any more than medicine is of biology" What…
When I was travelling in Chile a short while ago I took a flight from the capital Santiago de Chile to the city of Calama in the Atacama dessert. What was interesting about this flight, was that on its way to Calama the airplane landed for a short stop in Copiapó. Immediately after leaving the runway […]
Adrian Bejan is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University and as an offshoot from his thermodynamics research he has pondered the question why evolution exists in natural i.e. biological and geophysical, and man-made i.e. technological realms. To account for the progress of design in evolution Prof. Bejan conceived the constructal […]
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, […]
This blog has focused much on the technical side of aviation. One of the biggest drivers in civil aviation is passenger safety and the last 40 years have brought tremendous advances on this front, with aviation now being the safest mode of transport. A lot of this has to […]
Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined the term “Antifragility” in his book of the same name. Antifragility describes objects that gain from random perturbations, i.e. disorder. Taleb writes,
Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure , risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the […]
The flight envelope of an aeroplane can be divided into two regimes. The first is rectilinear flight in a straight line, i.e. the aircraft does not accelerate normal to the direction of flight. The second is curvilinear flight, which, as the name suggests, involves flight in a curved path with acceleration normal to tangential flight […]
Every aircraft has a certain operational environment, including aspects of flight and ground operations, that it is designed to serve in throughout its lifetime. For example the operational requirements of a fighter jet are much more strenuous than those of a commercial airliner. The flight regime is broadly defined by the range of different flight […]
Understanding the details of the atmosphere is critical for manned flight since it provides the medium through which the aircraft moves. The lift provided by the wings and drag experienced by the aircraft vary greatly with different altitudes. In fact Sir Frank Whittle was largely motivated to design a jet engine due to his insight […]
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 […]
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 […]