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Principles of Aeronautical Science

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By zelshayner
Words 1374
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As early as 400BC, an Eygptian model glider was made. Following that, Leonardo Da Vinci produced his “helix” design sketch of a helicopter. He was also the first to design a parachute. Emanuel Swedenborg came up with a flying machine which consists of a light frame cover with strong canvas, provided with two large oars or wings moving on a horizontal axis, arranged so that the upstroke met with no resistance while the downstroke provided lifting power in 1716. Early thinkers and innovators like Sir George Cayley, Henri Giffard, Jean Joseph Etienne and Charles de Louvrie made a significant impact in the history of aviation. Sir George Cayley who was known as the father of modern aeronautics, produced an airplane design with fixed wings and a cruciform tail. In 1799 he exhibited a plan for a glider, which except for planform was completely modern in having a separate tail for control and having the pilot suspended below the center of gravity to provide stability, and flew it as a model in 1804. Over the next five decades Sir George Cayley worked on and off on the problem, during which he invented most of basic aerodynamics and introduced such terms as lift and drag. He used both internal and external combustion engines, fueled by gunpowder. Henri Giffard invented the world’s 1st passenger carrying powered balloon which is powered by a heavy steam engine. In 1860, Jean Joseph Etienne invented the internal combustion engine. Five years later in 1865, Charles de Louvrie designed the 1st jet engine design.
In the 1880s, this three people in particular were active: Otto Lilienthal, Percy Pilcher and Octave Chanute. Otto Lilienthal of Germany duplicated Wenham's work and greatly expanded on it in 1874, publishing his research in 1889. He also produced a series of ever-better gliders and promoted the idea of "jumping before you fly", suggesting that researchers should start with gliders and work their way up, instead of simply designing a powered machine on paper and hoping it would work. Picking up where Lilienthal left off, Octave Chanute was particularly interested in solving the problem of aerodynamic instability of the aircraft in flight, one which birds corrected for by instant corrections, but one that humans would have to address with stabilizing and control surfaces. The most disconcerting problem was divergence, because as the angle of attack of a wing increased, the center of pressure moved forward and made the angle increase more. Without immediate correction, the craft would pitch up and stall. Much more difficult to understand was the mixing of lateral/directional stability and control.

Whereas, the first flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft was made by the Wright Brothers on December 17, 1903. The Wright Brothers stress on fully and accurately describing all the requirements for controlled, powered flight and put them into use in an aircraft which took off from a level launching rail, with the aid of a headwind to achieve sufficient airspeed before reaching the end of the rail.
The years between World War I and World War II saw great advancements in aircraft technology. Aeroplanes evolved from low-powered biplanes made from wood and fabric to sleek, high-powered monoplanes made of aluminum, based primarily on the founding work of Hugo Junkers during the World War I period. The age of the great airships came and went. By 1929, airship technology had advanced to the point that the first round-the-world flight was completed by the Graf Zeppelin in September and in October, the same aircraft inaugurated the first commercial transatlantic service. 1929 also saw the first flight of by far the largest plane ever built until then: the Dornier Do X with a wing span of 48 m. On its 70th test flight on October 21 there were 169 people on board, a record that was not broken for 20 years. In the 1930s development of the jet engine began in Germany and in England.
After World War II, commercial aviation grew rapidly. This growth was accelerated by the glut of heavy and super-heavy bomber airframes like the B-29 and Lancaster that could be converted into commercial aircraft. While a technical achievement, the plane suffered a series of highly public failures, as the shape of the windows led to cracks due to metal fatigue. The fatigue was caused by cycles of pressurization and depressurization of the cabin, and eventually led to catastrophic failure of the plane's fuselage. By the time the problems were overcome, other jet airliner designs had already taken to the skies. USSR's Aeroflot became the first airline in the world to operate sustained regular jet services on September 15, 1956 with the Tupolev Tu-104. Boeing 707, which established new levels of comfort, safety and passenger expectations, ushered in the age of mass commercial air travel, dubbed the Jet Age. In October 1947 Chuck Yeager took the rocket powered Bell X-1 past the speed of sound. Further barriers of distance fell in 1948 and 1952 with the first jet crossing of the Atlantic and the first nonstop flight to Australia. In 1961, the sky was no longer the limit for manned flight, as Yuri Gagarin orbited once around the planet within 108 minutes, and then used the descent module of Vostok I to safely reenter the atmosphere and reduce speed from Mach 25 using friction and converting velocity into heat.. The 747 plane was the largest aircraft ever to fly, and still carries millions of passengers each year and Boeing unveiled the Boeing 747 and the Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic passenger airliner had its maiden flight. The 747 plane was the largest aircraft ever to fly, and still carries millions of passengers each year. The last quarter of the 20th century saw a slowing of the pace of advancement. No longer was revolutionary progress made in flight speeds, distances and technology. This part of the century saw the steady improvement of flight avionics, and a few minor milestones in flight progress. In commercial aviation, the early 21st century saw the end of an era with the retirement of Concorde. Supersonic flight was not commercially viable, as the planes were required to fly over the oceans if they wanted to break the sound barrier. Concorde also was fuel hungry and could carry a limited amount of passengers due to its highly streamlined design Soon after, Airbus A380 replaced the Boeing 737 as the largest passenger carrying aircraft.
Russians launched Earth’s first ever spacecraft and artificial satellite called Sputnik on October 4, 1957. This action showed everyone in the world that space travel was actually possible and it mark the start of space travel. In 2001, the first space tourist travelled into space, making space travel a new kind of tourism. Personally, I feel that space travel will be a new level of air transport. Russia's Energia and Mircorp plan to have 1 week space voyages using the Soyuz-TM as the spacecraft. Researchers also said that, “In the distant future, we may use space elevators to get to orbit and if its possible we might be able to beam in space like in Star Trek " Beam me up Scotty". Time will only tell.” As time goes on, space travel may be so common that it may even have low cost carriers just like the aircrafts.
In 2000, for the 1st time Airbus records more sales than Boeing. A significant impact was made with the 4 engine double deck wide body long haul airliner --- Airbus A380 entering service as it allows the aircraft to take on more passengers. This event marked the evolution of aircraft in the 21st century. Aviation industry has always been very concern about its impacts on the environment. As we all know, aircrafts emissions brings about global climatic change and changes in air quality which may lead to undesirable consequences. Now, we are using eco-friendly products, promoting recycling to protect the environment, and using solar energy to replace electricity. Hence, 10 to 20 years down the road, we may even have aircrafts that do not require fuel but solar energy instead. By then, I would say, aviation industry will once again be brought to greater heights.
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