Flying Animals, Flying Machines, and How They Are Different
Author: David Alexander
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
What do a bumble bee and a 747 jet have in common? It’s not a trick question. The fact is they have quite a lot in common. They both have wings. They both fly. And they’re both ideally suited to it. They just do it differently. Why Don’t Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings? offers a fascinating explanation of how nature and human engineers each arrived at powered flight. What emerges is a highly readable account of two very different approaches to solving the same fundamental problems of moving through the air, including lift, thrust, turning, and landing. The book traces the slow and deliberate evolutionary process of animal flight—in birds, bats, and insects—over millions of years and compares it to the directed efforts of human beings to create the aircraft over the course of a single century. Among the many questions the book answers: Why are wings necessary for flight? How do different wings fly differently? When did flight evolve in animals? What vision, knowledge, and technology was needed before humans could learn to fly? Why are animals and aircrafts perfectly suited to the kind of flying they do? David E. Alexander first describes the basic properties of wings before launching into the diverse challenges of flight and the concepts of flight aerodynamics and control to present an integrated view that shows both why birds have historically had little influence on aeronautical engineering and exciting new areas of technology where engineers are successfully borrowing ideas from animals.
Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight
Author: David E. Alexander
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Ask anybody what superpower they wished to possess and odds are the answer just might be "the ability to fly." What is it about soaring through the air held up by the power of one's own body that has captivated humans for so long? David Alexander examines the evolution of flight in the only four animals to have evolved this ability: insects, pterosaurs, birds, and bats. With an accessible writing style grounded in rigorous research, Alexander breaks new ground in a field that has previously been confined to specialists. While birds have received the majority of attention from flight researchers, Alexander pays equal attention to all four groups of flyers-something that no other book on the subject has done before now. In a streamlined and captivating way, David Alexander demonstrates the links between the tiny 2-mm thrip and the enormous albatross with the 12 feet wingspan used to cross oceans. The book delves into the fossil record of flyers enough to satisfy the budding paleontologist, while also pleasing ornithologists and entomologists alike with its treatment of animal behavior, flapping mechanisms, and wing-origin theory. Alexander uses relatable examples to draw in readers even without a natural interest in birds, bees, and bats. He takes something that is so off-limits and unfamiliar to humans-the act of flying-and puts it in the context of experiences that many readers can relate to. Alexander guides readers through the anomalies of the flying world: hovering hummingbirds, unexpected gliders (squirrels, for instance), and the flyers that went extinct (pterosaurs). Alexander also delves into wing-origin theory and explores whether birds entered the skies from the trees down (as gliders) or from the ground up (as runners) and uses the latest fossil evidence to present readers with an answer.
Nature’s Machines: An Introduction to Organismal Biomechanics presents the fundamental principles of biomechanics in a concise, accessible way while maintaining necessary rigor. It covers the central principles of whole-organism biomechanics as they apply across the animal and plant kingdoms, featuring brief, tightly-focused coverage that does for biologists what H. M. Frost’s 1967 Introduction to Biomechanics did for physicians. Frequently encountered, basic concepts such as stress and strain, Young’s modulus, force coefficients, viscosity, and Reynolds number are introduced in early chapters in a self-contained format, making them quickly available for learning and as a refresher. More sophisticated, integrative concepts such as viscoelasticity or properties of hydrostats are covered in the later chapters, where they draw on information from multiple earlier sections of the book. Animal and plant biomechanics is now a common research area widely acknowledged by organismal biologists to have broad relevance. Most of the day-to-day activities of an animal involve mechanical processes, and to the extent that organisms are shaped by adaptive evolution, many of those adaptations are constrained and channelized by mechanical properties. The similarity in body shape of a porpoise and a tuna is no coincidence. Many may feel that they have an intuitive understanding of many of the mechanical processes that affect animals and plants, but careful biomechanical analyses often yield counterintuitive results: soft, squishy kelp may be better at withstanding pounding waves during storms than hard-shelled mollusks; really small swimmers might benefit from being spherical rather than streamlined; our bones can operate without breaking for decades, whereas steel surgical implants exhibit fatigue failures in a few months if not fully supported by bone. Offers organismal biologists and biologists in other areas a background in biomechanics to better understand the research literature and to explore the possibility of using biomechanics approaches in their own work Provides an introductory presentation of the everyday mechanical challenges faced by animals and plants Functions as recommended or required reading for advanced undergraduate biology majors taking courses in biomechanics, supplemental reading in a general organismal biology course, or background reading for a biomechanics seminar course
This book will give students an understanding of the history of flight right up to the technology and scientific discoveries that allow us to fly planes as large as today's super jumbo jets. How are airplanes designed so they can operate safely? What is the future of flight? All of these questions and more will be answered as students take a look at super jumbo jets, inside and out!
Essentials of Aeronautical Disciplines and Technology, with Historical Notes
Author: E. Torenbeek
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Technology & Engineering
Knowledge is not merely everything we have come to know, but also ideas we have pondered long enough to know in which way they are related, and 1 how these ideas can be put to practical use. Modern aviation has been made possible as a result of much scienti c - search. However, the very rst useful results of this research became ava- able a considerable length of time after the aviation pioneers had made their rst ights. Apparently, researchers were not able to nd an adequate exp- nation for the occurrence of lift until the beginning of the 21st century. Also, for the fundamentals of stability and control, there was no theory available that the pioneers could rely on. Only after the rst motorized ights had been successfully made did researchers become more interested in the science of aviation, which from then on began to take shape. In modern day life, many millions of passengers are transported every year by air. People in the western societies take to the skies, on average, several times a year. Especially in areas surrounding busy airports, travel by plane has been on the rise since the end of the Second World War. Despite becoming familiar with the sight of a jumbo jet commencing its ight once or twice a day, many nd it astonishing that such a colossus with a mass of several hundred thousands of kilograms can actually lift off from the ground.
Evidence for Nature's Intelligent Designer - the God of the Bible
Author: Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
Today, the ID ("intelligent design") movement is capturing headlines (and igniting controversy) around the world. But in the process, many are coming to think that a credible challenge to the dominant Darwinian naturalism of our time means backing away from a clear stand for the truth of the Bible. Now creationist heavyweight Jonathan Sarfati challenges this mindset head on - - Back cover.