On January 15 2009, six minutes after takeoff, US Airways Flight 1549 was ditched into the Hudson River, partly a result of the heroic efforts of Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger. The aircraft had sustained perilous engine damage due to a bird strike. With both engines disabled and therefore incapable of generating thrust, the plane had […]Read more "The Miracle on the Hudson Revisited"
“What a delightful irony it will be if the real age of sail has yet to dawn – not only on the oceans of Earth, but also in the far wider seas of space” This is how Arthur C. Clarke envisioned the future of interstellar exploration in the great anthology of essays, poems, and essays […]Read more "A Sail Through the Cosmos"
One’s perception of butterfly flight is that it is typically characterized as some undefined haphazard flitter, but quite astoundingly butterflies flutter about from flower to flower and from bush to bush in quite a precisely targeted fashion. The mechanism of aerial locomotion in butterflies is quite intriguing indeed, ranging from steady undulations to rapid, erratic […]Read more "On the Aerial Locomotion of Butterfly Wings"
Penguins can fly? The title of this article is sure to elicit raised eyebrows and deep furrows of confusion, but it is true — penguins do, in fact, fly. But, they fly underwater. Penguin flippers evolved in order to “fly” underwater, employing similar mechanisms of flight that birds use. Penguin wings are modified as paddles that […]Read more "Penguins Can Fly!"
Few people today have heard of Sir George Cayley but indeed much of the intellectual edifice, upon which the principles of modern aerodynamics rest, can be attributed to the genius of this great thinker. Born in December 1773, this Yorkshire baronet was the first to imagine the airplane. A hundred years before the Wright Brothers, […]Read more "Sir George Cayley: The Father of the Airplane"