The Bird is on the Wing Aerodynamics and the Progress of the American Airplane

by James R. (Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama and former NASA Historian, USA) Hansen

Part of the Centennial of Flight Series Series

The Bird is on the Wing Aerodynamics and the Progress of the American Airplane Synopsis

Just as the airplane has been a defining technology of the 20th century, aerodynamics has been the defining element of the airplane. In The Bird Is on the Wing , Hansen provides an easily understandable introduction to the role of aerodynamics in the design of such historic American aircraft as the DC-3, X-1, and 747. He presents a history of aircraft technology and a collective biography of the scientists, engineers, and designers who created the airplanes. He skillfully guides the reader through the development of such critical 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 systems of engineers should appeal to all those interested in how human beings have used aerodynamics to move among, and even beyond, birds on the wing.

The Bird is on the Wing Aerodynamics and the Progress of the American Airplane Press Reviews

. . .a splendid overview of the R&D processes that characterized the evolution of American aerodynamics and aviation. Bravo. . . . 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

Book Information

ISBN: 9781585442430
Publication date: 31st December 2003
Author: James R. (Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama and former NASA Historian, USA) Hansen
Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Categories: Aircraft: general interest, Popular science, Aerospace & aviation technology,

About James R. (Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama and former NASA Historian, USA) Hansen

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.

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