Submitted by Richard Smith on September 22, 2008 - 13:42
Turbine blades inspired by whales (that's the mammals and not a misspelling of the country Wales) show promise in delivering improved efficiency and operational range. This example of reverse engineering of a naturally evolved design (referred to as biomimicry) demonstrates that nature is still a rich resource of inspiration for traditional engineering disciplines.
Submitted by Richard Smith on September 16, 2008 - 20:15
It's fast approaching 50 years since US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the US Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA to its friends). October 1, 1958 marks the moment when the US started taking space seriously and the rest, as they say, is history - a glorious history.
Buzz Aldrin and Apollo 11 Lunar Module: NASA's finest hourImage courtesy of NASA
Submitted by Richard Smith on September 8, 2008 - 14:26
Wind power, with its green credentials, is a primary force in our attempt to reduce our reliance on fossils fuels in order to reduce global warming. The majority of effort to exploit wind power is focused on converting its energy into electricity. However, if you are willing to live on the edge you'll find examples of wind energy used directly to power land-based vehicles, and very quickly in Greenbird's case - a world land yacht speed record contender.
Submitted by Richard Smith on September 2, 2008 - 16:19
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a bold green-power vision for New York. As a first step his administration has issued a formal request for proposals to exploit natural energy sources (wind, solar and water) to power the city.
Submitted by Richard Smith on August 25, 2008 - 13:41
August is a busy month for competition fans, what with the Beijing Olympics just wrapping up, the US Open Tennis Championship about to start, numerous motor racing events, such as Formula 1 Grand Prix, and the 2008 General Aviation Technology (GAT) Challenge. OK, so maybe the GAT Challenge isn't quite in the same league as those other competitions, but with US$300,000 up for grabs, it's a serious competition intended to stimulate innovation in the personal air vehicle (PAV) arena.
2008 CAFE 400 Start LineupImage courtesy of Pipistrel
Submitted by Richard Smith on August 11, 2008 - 16:18
Prior to the August 8 start date of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, there was already evidence of outstanding performances; not from athletes (their turn will come), but instead from the army of engineers and architects responsible for the design and construction of the Olympic sports venues.
Submitted by Richard Smith on July 29, 2008 - 08:02
To many observers the rivalry between wind tunnels and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a zero-sum game - as CFD matures it simply replaces wind tunnels. However, this is far from the truth. Often you'll find wind tunnels and CFD used together in a symbiotic process where one technique fills in knowledge gaps left by the other.
Boeing F/A-18 Hornet Wind Tunnel ModelImage courtesy of NASA Ames