Murmuration of Starlings

Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

Who Knew: Penguins

One of the most impressive things about penguins – and puffins – is the way they rocket out of the water to land on the ice. Not only do they stick the landing, they come out of the water with enough momentum to gain a foothold.

In this video, Helen Czerski – physicist and oceanographer based at the Institute for Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton – explains the role that fluid dynamic principles play in this amazing penguin ability.

Loop de Loops

Here’s to the intrepids! The people who not only wonder why something isn’t so, but set out to make it so. The first loop de loop was performed by Petr Nesterov on Sep 9, 1913 in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine. It’s hard to believe that this is all about fluids in motion!

LoopdeLoop

Videos: Forces on an Airplane

Another, slightly more technical, look at Cayley’s Four Forces of Flight!

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Cayley’s Four Forces

Ueli Gegenschatz: Extreme Wingsuit Flying

Ueli Gegenschatz takes everything we know about aerodynamics and puts it all into a series of brilliant extreme sports experiences in the pursuit of his dream of human flight. You can view this video and think about lift, drag, thrust, and weight, but chances are you’ll be too busy wishing you were there with him!

Says Gegenschatz: “I believe this is probably the closest possibility to come to the dream of being able to fly.”

Early Aerodynamicists

Looking back on Andre-Jacque Garnerin’s parachute ‘drop‘ of 1797, we can easily say that his parachute had to work. He, of course, had no way of knowing his parachute would work or that it would slow him sufficiently for a safe landing. He also had no experience with making a safe landing. That didn’t stop him. In fact, that didn’t stop any of the early aerodynamic innovators.

Garnerin

True to the process of scientific discovery, Garnerin’s parachute experiment would not have been possible without the work of those who came before him – most notably the Montgolfier Brothers.    Continue reading

Wright Brothers 1901 Glider

The Wright brothers were off and running with their ideas for manned flight. The camber of their wing matched that of the wings used by Lilienthal. Unfortunately, Lilienthal’s figures were incorrect due to an error in the Smeaton coefficient. To get around this, the Wright’s came up with a way to modify the curvature of the wing.

The poor results from these tests led the brothers to undertake wind tunnel tests of their own.

Read more about the Wright Brothers in Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky by Gina Hagler — Part III – Scale Model Testing Begins, Chapter Nine – The Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers Wing Warping Test 1899

The Wright brothers were able to control the flight of their manned aircraft through the use of wing warping. Far more sophisticated than Lilienthal’s use of shifting body weight, wing warping allowed aerodynamic control of the wing.

The Wright brothers were meticulous in their research. This research, along with their can-do and innovative approach to flight, resulted in their first successful, controlled, heavier than air flight at Kitty Hawk.

Read more about the Wright Brothers in Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky by Gina Hagler — Part III – Scale Model Testing Begins, Chapter Nine – The Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers 1903 Engine and Propellers

Read more about the Wright Brothers in Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky by Gina Hagler — Part III – Scale Model Testing Begins, Chapter Nine – The Wright Brothers

Wright Brother Wind Tunnel Testing 1901

This video tells the story of the Wright Brother wind tunnel. As we’ll see later, this had to do with Lilienthal’s experiments and the Smeaton coefficient. For now, enjoy this video. The concepts will be important to us in a bit.

The development of their own wind tunnel and testing apparatus transformed the Wright brothers from tinkering innovators to the first aviation engineers!

Read more about the Wright Brothers in Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky by Gina Hagler — Part III – Scale Model Testing Begins, Chapter Nine – The Wright Brothers

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