The Battle of Hastings in 1066 marked the last successful conquer of the British Isles.…
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of working on a research project at NASA’s Langley Research Centre. Apart from interacting with world-renowned scientists and engineers, what impressed me most was the mind-blowing heritage of the site.
NASA Langley is the birthplace of large-scale, government-funded aeronautical research in the US. It was home to […]
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, […]
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 […]
Aircraft have changed enormously over the last century from the early Wright Flyer flown at Kittyhawk to the supersonic SR-71 Blackbird flown today. Of course the developments in aeronautical engineering can be broken down into separate divisions that have developed at different rates: a) the aerodynamics, b) power plant engineering, c) control, radios and navigation […]
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 […]
Although the exploitation of advanced composite materials in the aerospace industry is steadily increasing, high strength metallic materials, particularly aluminium alloys, are still the first choice for large-scale fleets such as the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737. Since the introduction of stressed-skin “semi-monocoque” aircraft structures in the 1930’s the structural design philosophy has developed […]
In a previous post I introduced the concept of skin-friction and pressure drag, and discussed the contradicting aerodynamic conditions to minimise either of the two types of drag. Overall the minimum resistance of slender shapes (such as aerofoils) to a fluid is attained with an attached laminar […]
Put frankly, the Space Shuttle is probably the most powerful machine ever constructed. One of the earliest astronauts aptly described the Shuttle as “A very beautiful butterfly bolted to a bullet”!
During launch the three solid-rocket boosters output 37 MILLION horsepower sucking fuel through a 17-inch diameter pipe at a rate that would empty an Olympic […]
The Battle of Hastings in 1066 marked the last successful conquer of the British Isles. In the summer of 1940 the Spitfire prevented the most recent attempt of invasion and marked one of the turning points in WWII. Between July and October 1940 an astonishing 747 Spitfires were delivered of which 361 were destroyed and […]
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