The Simple Science of Flight

Henk Tennekes

Published by Mit Pr, 1996
ISBN 10: 0262201054 / ISBN 13: 9780262201056
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Synopsis: From the smallest gnat to the largest aircraft, all things that fly obey the same aerodynamic principles. "The Simple Science of Flight" offers an 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. 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 difficult concepts like lift, drag, wing loading and cruising speed through many comparisons, anecdotes and examples. Equations are integrated into the flow of the text. Tennekes begins with a simple comparison of the relative fuel consumption of hummingbirds, cars, and airplanes, then turns to the relations between an airplane weight, its wing area and its cruising speed, showing that it is possible to collect all flying creatures and flying machines in a single flight diagram. He looks at energetics through the considerable efforts of a little 35-gram bird in a wind tunnel. There are stories on the effects of headwinds, tailwinds, and other weather conditions that both birds and planes face, on the elegance of the mechanics that makes flight possible, and on the aerodynamics of sophisticated flying toys. Tennekes concludes by comparing the Boeing 747 and the supersonic Concorde, with the former emerging as the perfect airplane for intercontinental flights: "just below the speed of sound and just above the weather".

Review: An eminently practical example of how human engineering can be informed by the billions of years of biological structural evolution.

From the smallest gnat to the largest aircraft, all things that fly obey the same aerodynamic principles. This book offers an introduction to the mechanics of flight and, beyond that, to the scientific attitude that finds wonder in simple calculations and forges connections between, say, the energy efficiency of a peanut butter sandwich that fuels your body and that of the kerosene that fuels a jumbo jet. It is the product of a lifetime of watching and investigating flight by an always wise and often witty scientist and writer.

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Title: The Simple Science of Flight
Publisher: Mit Pr
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Tennekes, Henk
Published by MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA (1998)
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Book Description MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1998. Softcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Not Applicable. Third Printing. Softcover, third printing, 334gms, 137 pages. This book offers an introduction to the mechanics of flight and, beyond that, to the scientific attitude that finds wonder in simple calculations, forging connections between the energy efficiency of a peanut butter sandwich and that of the kerosene that fuels a jumbo jet. Book is in good condition with minor general wear and tear. There is a very small pen marking from a previous owner on the inside front page, otherwise no other pre-loved markings. Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Bookseller Inventory # SCIPHY19

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Published by MIT PRESS (1996)
ISBN 10: 0262201054 ISBN 13: 9780262201056
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