NASA selects a sample return mission to Venus

In Dante Alighieri's epic poem The Divine Comedy, the famous words "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" adorn the gates of hell. Interestingly enough, Dante's vision of hell is an apt description of what conditions are like ...

Aerodynamics of perching birds could inform aircraft design

If you have ever watched a bird land on a tree branch, you may have noticed that it rapidly pitches its wings upward at a high angle to execute a smooth landing. However, for some birds, they land by folding their wings as ...

Physics instructor writes book on shock waves

A sonic boom and a thunderclap may seem like different phenomena, but their behavior is the same, according to SDState Physics Instructor W. Robert Matson. This is one of the ways he explains shock waves in "Sonic Thunder," ...

Bat-flight inspires unique design for micro air vehicles

Researchers from the University of Southampton have designed innovative membrane wings inspired by bats, paving the way for a new breed of unmanned Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) that have improved aerodynamic properties, can ...

Material simulation technology to boost EU aircraft industry

Accurately predicting the mechanical behaviour of composite aircraft structures on impact could reduce the need for physical tests, cut industry costs and ultimately save lives through better aircraft design. This is the ...

Morphing is one way to make aircraft more efficient

It is estimated that by 2050 there will be a six-fold increase in the number of flights there are today. This is going to be an environmental problem, and it will need radical change in aircraft design to deal with it.

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