978-0-262-70065-8 / 9780262700658

The Simple Science of Flight: From Insects to Jumbo Jets


Publisher:The MIT Press



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About the book:

From the smallest gnat to the largest aircraft, all things that fly obey the same aerodynamic principles. The Simple Science of Flight offers a leisurely introduction to the mechanics of flight and, beyond that, to the scientific attitude that finds wonder in simple calculations, forging connections between, say, the energy efficiency of a peanut butter sandwich and that of the kerosene that fuels a jumbo jet. It is the product of a lifetime of watching and investigating the way flight happens.

The hero of the book is the Boeing 747, which Tennekes sees as the current pinnacle of human ingenuity in mastering the science of flight. Also covered are paper airplanes, kites, gliders, and human-powered flying machines as well as birds and insects. Tennekes explains concepts like lift, drag, wing loading, and cruising speed through many fascinating comparisons, anecdotes, and examples.

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