The Bird Is on the Wing: Aerodynamics and the Progress of the American Airplane

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$15.41
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $15.72
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 36%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (3) from $15.72   
  • New (1) from $15.72   
  • Used (2) from $18.75   

Overview


The airplane ranks as one of history’s most ingenious and phenomenal inventions—and surely one of the most world-shaking. How ideas about its aerodynamics first came together and how the science and technology evolved to forge the airplane into the revolutionary machine it became is the epic story James R. Hansen tells in The Bird Is on the Wing. Just as the airplane is a defining technology of the twentieth century, aerodynamics has been the defining element of the airplane.

Hansen provides an engaging, easily understandable introduction to the role of aerodynamics in the design of such historic American aircraft as the DC-3, X-1, and 747. Recognizing the impact individuals have had on the development of the field, he conveys not only a history of aircraft technology, but also a collective biography of the scientists, engineers, and designers who created the airplanes.

From da Vinci, whose understanding of what it took to fly was three centuries too early for practical use, to the invention of the airplane by the Wright brothers, Hansen explores the technological matrix from which aeronautical engineering emerged. He skillfully guides the reader through the development of such critical aerodynamic concepts as streamlining, flutter, laminar-flow airfoils, the mythical “sound barrier,” variable-sweep wing, supersonic cruise, blended body, and much more.

Hansen’s explanation of how vocabulary and specifications were developed to fill the gap between the perceptions of pilots and the system of engineers will fascinate all those interested in how human beings have used aerodynamics to move among, and even beyond, birds on the wing.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Roger Bilstein

“. . . a splendid overview of the R&D processes that characterized the evolution of American aerodynamics and aviation. The brevity and high readability of this study will make it an especially welcome addition to the literature on the history of flight. The author’s background in writing NASA aeronautical history also shines through in the quality of the sources cited. Hansen has clearly written for the general reader, and has eminently succeeded in constructing an informative narrative. The author has done a marvelous job of covering a considerable amount of territory, but has kept the narrative within bounds. The author’s depth of knowledge about the subject illuminates the entire book. Bravo.”--Roger Bilstein, University of Houston-Clear Lake
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585442430
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 6/17/2003
  • Series: Centennial of Flight Series , #6
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 824,286
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


James R. Hansen, a former NASA historian, teaches the history of science and technology and the history of flight at Auburn University. He has written a number of works in aviation history, including Engineer in Charge and Spaceflight Revolution. He holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Hansen has been chosen as the authorized biographer of Neil Armstrong, for a book to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2005.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
The Defining Element of a Defining Technology 3
The Winding Path to the Wright Brothers 15
Reinventing the Airplane 41
Breaking the Sound Barrier 82
The Supersonic Design Revolution 110
The Rise and Fall of the SST 143
The Progress of the Jetliner 175
The Future of Flight 212
Notes 233
Selected Bibliography 249
Index 259
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)