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.”

Did Jon Lester Cheat?

Baseball in GloveThere are claims that Boston pitcher Jon Lester cheated in the Series opener against St. Louis in Boston on Wednesday night. These claims are based upon an observable blob of something – I think I’d rather not know precisely what – in his glove. The substance in his glove does not necessarily equate to cheating. It’s what Lester did or did not do with the substance that counts.

A major league pitch moves through the air at speeds of 90 mph or more. As the ball moves forward, it is subject to aerodynamic forces known as the Magnus Force – a variation of the Bernoulli effect. In the case of the Magnus Force, it is the spinning of the ball and the raised surface of the stitches that create a whirlpool of rotating air around the ball. The moving air exerts pressure – think Bernoulli effect – and the ball moves in the direction of least resistance. A perfect curve ball curves right at the plate because of the Magnus Force.  Continue reading

Bernoulli Effect in Action

Wait! There’s more!

Bernoulli Effect

Daniel Bernoulli’s (1700-1782) work is integral to the field of aerodynamics. It explains the way that air moves over a curved surface. As the air moves up and over the curved surface of an airplane wing, it must flow more quickly than the air moving in a straight path across the underside of the wing. The faster flow atop the wing results in less pressure over the top of the wing. This reduction in pressure on the top of the wing is offset by increased pressure upward from beneath the wing. The net result is what is known as lift. It is this lift that enables an airplane to fly, whales to stay afloat, and birds to take to the air.

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Daniel Bernoulli

UnknownDaniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) was a member of a well-respected family of Swiss scientists and mathematicians. His book, “Hydrodynamica,” published in 1793, coined the term “hydrodynamics.” Bernoulli’s fluid flow equations contributed to the success of the modern practice of testing scale models early in the design process. Continue reading

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