What Makes Airplanes Fly?: History, Science, and Applications of Aerodynamics / Edition 2

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Dealing with aerodynamics in the broadest sense, this book discusses, in addition to aeroplanes, the aerodynamics of cars and birds, and the motion of diverse objects through air and water. The fundamental notions of mechanics and fluid dynamics are clearly explained, while the underlying science is discussed rigorously, but using only elementary mathematics, and then only occasionally. To put the science into its human context, the author describes — with many illustrations — the history of human attempts to fly and discusses the social impact of commercial aviation as well as the outlook for future developments. This new edition has been brought up to date throughout; solutions to selected exercises have been added, as have new problems and other study aids.

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Editorial Reviews

For the white-knuckled passenger and others with no background in physics or engineering, explains how wings that don't seem to be doing anything keep that huge plane up in the air. Reviews the fundamental concepts of fluid dynamics and aerodynamics, the motion of animals and other vehicles, and the history of aviation. Well illustrated with drawings and diagrams. Also usable as an undergraduate text for nonmajors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"Peter Wegener has written the perfect book for those of us who nurse some doubts to our understanding of what makes airplanes fly … The volume is filled with clear and useful examples that illustrate the essential concepts … [Anyone] who has ever tried to explain the principles of flight to a spouse or child without resorting to a blackboard full of equations will appreciate What Makes Airplanes Fly? Take heart! The author proves it can be done." American Journal of Physics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387947846
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 12/5/1996
  • Edition description: 2nd ed. 1997. Corr. 2nd printing 1998
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 8.29 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

A Dream Comes True: The Wright Brothers and Their Predecessors
Milestones of the Modern Age
The Nature of Liquids and Gases
The Atmosphere of the Earth
Air in Motion
Turning to Aerodynamics
Aerodynamic Drag
Aerodynamic Lift
Notes on the Whole Airplane
Toward High Speed: Supersonic and Hypersonic Flight
Air Transportation and the Outlook for the Future
Appendices: Facts from Algebra; Model Testing and Similarity; The Metric System; Further Reading; Study Guide

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