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.
From simple cases such as hook and latch attachments found in Velcro to articulated-wing flying vehicles, biology often has been used to inspire many creative design ideas. The scientific challenge now is to transform the paradigm into a repeatable and scalable methodology. Biologically Inspired Design explores computational techniques and tools that can help integrate the method into design practice. With an inspiring foreword from Janine Benyus, Biologically Inspired Design contains a dozen chapters written by some of the leading scholars in the transdisciplinary field of bioinspired design, such as Frank Fish, Julian Vincent and Jeannette Yen from biology, and Amaresk Chakrabarti, Satyandra Gupta and Li Shu from engineering. Based in part on discussions at two workshops sponsored by the United States National Science Foundation, this volume introduces and develops several methods and tools for bioinspired design including: Information-processing theories, Natural language techniques, Knowledge-based tools, and Functional approaches and Pedagogical techniques. By exploring these fundamental theories, techniques and tools for supporting biologically inspired design, this volume provides a comprehensive resource for design practitioners wishing to explore the paradigm, an invaluable guide to design educators interested in teaching the method, and a preliminary reading for design researchers wanting to investigate bioinspired design.
'Nature's Flyers' is a detailed account of the current scientific understanding of the primary aspects of flight in nature. The author explains the physical basis of flight, drawing upon bats, birds, insects, pterosaurs and even winged seeds.
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!
HOW THINGS WORK is about ordinary objects and the physics concepts that make them possible. Its cover illustrates how often waves appears in our world. While ocean surf is clearly an example of waves (p. 250), so is the light form the lighthouse, the rippling motion of the guitar strings, and the sound emerging from the CD in its player. When you pluck a guitar song, you fill it with waves. The strength of these waves and the timbre of the resulting sound depend upon where and how you plucked the string and on the structure of the guitar itself. You can distinguish a guitar from a piano or help by listening for the unique mixture of waves on its strings (p. 242). A lighthouse uses an enormous lens to bend light waves from its lamp into a narrow beam that sailors can see for a hundred kilometers. A large-diameter lens is needed because waves leaving a small-diameter lens spread outward like ripples on a pond and can't stay together as a bright, narrow beam (p. 427). A CD encodes the air pressure fluctuations in sound waves as a pattern of tiny pits on its shiny surface. The CD player reads these pits with a laser to reproduce the recorded sound. Arcs of audio and error-recovery information are arranged in a spinal around the disk's center so that a scratch outward from the middle of the disk is unlikely to cause any noticeable loss of music (p. 424).
Evidence for Nature's Intelligent Designer - the God of the Bible
Author: Jonathan D. Sarfati
At last, a definitive work on design by a leading biblical creationist. 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, whose Refuting Evolution has the most copies in print of any creation book ever, challenges this mindset head on. In the process, By Design is set to become a classic of the creation movement -- in the same vein as Dr. Sarfati's comprehensive Refuting Compromise, which is arguably the most powerful biblical and scientific defense of straightforward Genesis in existence. - Back cover.
The rapidly approaching battle between Dark and Light threatens to destroy mankind in this action-packed new series from New York Times bestselling author L.A. Banks. Celeste Jackson never had much hope for the future—and certainly never imagined that she would be living in an abandoned warehouse in Philadelphia with her magnificent protector Azrael, the angel of death, and a fierce battalion of warrior angels. But although her powers have bestowed the angels with the freedom to return to the Light or stay within the mortal realm, they need her more than ever. Celeste is one of the few remaining half-human, half-angel Remnant, with a unique ability to locate others of her kind. The search leads Azrael and his celestial brothers to Egypt to recover a powerful relic that can raise an army of bloodthirsty fallen if it falls into the wrong hands. It is a relic the dark angel Asmodeus will do anything to possess—and his quest puts Celeste in mortal danger. Soon Azrael faces an impossible decision: Can he surrender the woman who has become his salvation . . . or will he save her and allow all of humanity to perish?