"Engineering is not the handmaiden of physics any more than medicine is of biology" What…
“We must ensure this never happens again.”
This is a common reaction to instances of catastrophic failure. However, in complex engineering systems, this statement is inherently paradoxical. If the right lessons are learned and the appropriate measures are taken, the same failure will most likely never happen again. But, catastrophes in themselves are not completely preventable, […]
“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, […]
The name we use for our little blue planet “Earth” is rather misleading. Water makes up about 71% of Earth’s surface while the other 29% consists of continents and islands. In fact, this patchwork of blue and brown, earth and water, makes our planet very unlike any other planet we know to be orbiting other stars. […]
“Engineering is not the handmaiden of physics any more than medicine is of biology”
What is science? And how is it different from engineering? The two disciplines are closely related and the differences seem subtle at first, but science and engineering ultimately have different goals.
A scientist attempts to gain knowledge about the underlying structure of the […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
The treatment of defects in aircraft structural design has been an important aspect in aircraft structural design during the last 50 years. Various different catastrophic events have led to key insights that now shape the design philosophy for primary aircraft structures. One of these […]
In this post I want to use the sandwich panel as an example to explain some basic concepts about bending of structures. The explanations in this post are kept very basic and are similar to a first semester course in structural mechanics. Sandwich panels are an important composite structure in aerospace applications as well as in […]
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