A Brief History of Human Powered Transportation

Table of Contents





The development of theoretical concepts in aerodynamics accompanied the experiments in wing design and lift and drag measurement. An important contribution to the understanding of lift was made by Frederick Lanchester in his 1907 book "Aerodynamics." The diagram shown is from this book and depicts the wing-tip vortex associated with the flow around an airfoil of finite span. This vortex was predicted by the circulation theory of lift that Lanchester developed.

It is interesting to note that although Lanchester studied at the Royal College of Science in London between 1886 and 1889 he failed to graduate. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Birmingham in 1920 in recognition of his contributions to engineering science and aeronautics. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. In 1931 he was awarded the Daniel Guggenheim Medal for his contributions to the fundamental theory of aerodynamics

From: Gibbs-Smith, "Flight Through the Ages,"
Crowell (1974)