Bird Design and Aircraft Evolution
Speaker: Geoffrey Spedding, University of Southern California
Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Location: Bowen Hall Room 222
Date/Time: Friday, February 22, 2013, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Alternative flying machines (in the sense that they differ from our usual designs) can be invented, or studied. In all cases, it is reasonable to wonder whether a particular design is optimal, or perhaps what it is optimal for. Definitions of optimality quickly become complex: minimum drag:lift ratio for n passengers that allows our company to outcompete our rival(s) or something that can be grown fast, still works when 50% of the aft surfaces are missing, and that fits in a nest. We will consider two examples of flying devices, one evolved and one invented, and we will look for parallels that exist between them, or perhaps ought to.