How Things Work

Louis A. Bloomfield, 4th Ed. 2010

530 BLO 2010 Beaverton City Library

So so, not recommended, the cover blurb tells the story: Showing the wing of the Helios solar power airplane prototype. Nice picture, but the blurb (and section 6.3 "Airplanes" inside claims "Like any airplane, it keeps itself aloft by pushing down on the air that flows past it's wings". Not true! The wings have obvious camber, with the top surface curved and the bottom surface flat ... though the wings are tilted a little, due to the excessive lift that this monster needs to lift solar cells and batteries.

Most normal planes in level flight (like the Cessna 150 I learned to fly, decades ago) have flat wings on the bottom, camber on the top. The air must move faster over the top of the wing, which creates reduced pressure above the wing due to the Bernoulli effect. The Bernoulli effect is incorrectly described on page 170, using incompressible water as an example. Extra lift (and some tilt) is needed to lift off a runway, but after the aircraft reaches flight altitude, the wings are flat for normal cruise. Surprising goof for a physics professor (now emeritus?) at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

I did not read the entire book; I was hoping for an accessible description of magnetic field divergence, and also atomic nucleus versus atomic lattice spacing, to share with a biologist friend. Nope, I'll use Halliday and Resnick.

HowThingsWork (last edited 2024-01-25 07:22:04 by KeithLofstrom)