From the smallest gnat to the largest aircraft, all things that
fly obey the same aerodynamic principles. In The Simple Science of
Flight, Henk Tennekes investigates just how machines and creatures
fly: what size wings they need, how much energy is required for
their journeys, how they cross deserts and oceans, how they take
off, climb, and soar. Fascinated by the similarities between nature
and technology, Tennekes offers an introduction to flight that
teaches by association. Swans and Boeings differ in numerous ways,
but they follow the same aerodynamic principles. Biological
evolution and its technical counterpart exhibit exciting parallels.
What makes some airplanes successful and others misfits? Why does
the Boeing 747 endure but the Concorde now seem a fluke? Tennekes
explains the science of flight through comparisons, examples,
equations, and anecdotes. The new edition of this popular book has
been thoroughly revised and much expanded. Highlights of the new
material include a description of the incredible performance of
bar-tailed godwits (7,000 miles nonstop from Alaska to New
Zealand), an analysis of the convergence of modern jetliners (from
both Boeing and Airbus), a discussion of the metabolization of
energy featuring Lance Armstrong, a novel treatment of the
aerodynamics of drag and trailing vortices, and an emphasis
throughout on evolution, in nature and in engineering. Tennekes
draws on new evidence on bird migration, new wind-tunnel studies,
and data on new airliners. And his analysis of the relative
efficiency of planes, trains, and automobiles is newly relevant.
(On a cost-per-seat scale, a 747 is more efficient than a passenger
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