Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-267) and index.
Flying animals and flying machines : birds of a feather? -- Hey buddy, need a lift? -- Power : the primary push -- To turn or not to turn -- A tail of two tails -- Flight instruments -- Dispensing with power : soaring -- Straight up : vertical take-offs and hovering -- Stoop of the falcon : predation and aerial combat -- Biology meets technology head-on : ornithopters and human-powered flight.
Why Don't Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings? offers a fascinating explanation of how nature and human engineers each arrived at powered flight. What emerges is a highly readable account of two very different approaches to solving the same fundamental problems of moving through the air, including lift, thrust, turning, and landing. The book traces the evolutionary process of animal flight-in birds, bats, and insects-over millions of years and compares it to the directed efforts of human beings to create the aircraft over the course of a single century.