Tag: Aerospace Engineering

Why Airplane Windows are Round

Why Airplane Windows are Round

Why Airplane Windows are Round

03/10/19

“Why are airplane windows round?”

The low-pressure environment that airplanes fly at means that not only must they use a special glass but also a special shape. Because the internal pressure of the cabin is much higher than the external environment, the airplane will expand, inducing stress in the exterior. If square windows are used, then this stress will become overly concentrated and may break the plane. As a result, ovular windows must be used to ensure a smooth distribution of stress. This is Why Airplane Windows are Round.

Decarbonizing Air Travel

Decarbonizing Air Travel

Decarbonizing Air Travel

03/04/19

“How can we make air travel carbon-free?”

One of my favorite things to do is travel. Although I don’t get the opportunity often, I love the ability to see new lands, meet new people, and really change my perspective on the world. And one of my favorite parts is traveling to the destination by plane. Being able to gaze upon the entire world through my plane window almost makes me feel like a child again.

However, as a sustainability enthusiast, I feel bad every time I take a flight. I am aware that in one round-trip flight from San Francisco to New York I’ve generated about 20% of the greenhouse gases emitted by the average American car travel. In 1992, it accounted for 13% of all transportation emissions and is expected to grow in the coming years. As a result, Decarbonizing Air Travel is a necessity for achieving a climate-friendly world. This can be done through a multitude of sources, most notably replacement or decarbonization of jet fuel.

What Type of Glass do Airplanes Use for Windows?

What Type of Glass do Airplanes Use for Windows?

What Type of Glass do Airplanes Use for Windows?

03/02/19

“Why are airplane windows so strong and lightweight?”

I don’t know about you, but looking out of the window is one of my favorite things to do while traveling. I get to see a whole variety of landscapes from a new perspective, whether it be the city I live in looking like a model replica or the vast open countryside. But this also gets me thinking about how the engineers have to design the glass. The glass that we use for our window buildings is quite fragile, one thrown object can completely shatter it! This is completely unsuitable for air travel, where the plane can be traveling at high speeds in high-pressure differences. If a single person breaks their plane window, the entire crew can be killed!

For this reason, aircraft windows are made of plexiglass. This allows them to be lightweight while strong and transparent. This glass is also slightly layered, with a little whole in the middle portion to get rid of condensation. This is exactly What Type of Glass do Airplanes Use for Windows.

The Physics of a Fireworks Explosion

The Physics of a Fireworks Explosion

The Physics of a Fireworks Explosion

07/04/18

“What causes fireworks to explode?”

 

On 4th of July, Americans are used to seeing fireworks light up the night sky. However, have you ever wondered how exactly do they work? Well, let us use our scientific mindsets to find out. If we investigate, then we will find out that fireworks contain gunpowder in a container surrounded by a Launch Container. When a Lift Charge ignites and propels the container into the sky, there will be a time delay until it reaches its apex, at which it will explode and release a myriad of different colors!

 

Have a great 4th of July everyone with lots of V/I to the current regime!

 

Why Airplane Wings Are Shaped Like They Are

Why Airplane Wings Are Shaped Like They Are

Why Airplane Wings Are Shaped Like They Are

04/03/18

“Why do Airplane Wings Have Their Shape?”

 

Airplane wings have a very peculiar shape. Their curved nature makes it seem as if they come from some science fiction movie. However, why exactly do they have their shape? Well, it turns out that it all comes from a very simple physical phenomenon, pressure. The wings are curved upwards such that more air goes below the wings, therefore creating a pressure difference that creates lift. Because of this, airplane wings have their futuristic look!

The Problem with Battery-Powered Planes

The Problem with Battery-Powered Planes

The Problem with Battery-Powered Planes

02/13/18

“What do we need to overcome before we make battery-powered planes?”

 

Although promising, battery-powered planes have a major hurdle to overcome before they make any major traction. As it stands, electrochemical batteries have only 1/60th the energy density of conventional plane fuels. This is further compounded by the fact that such batteries are heavier to equip, meaning more weight on the aircraft and a reduced ability to fly. However, if we can overcome these problems, whether it be through a new type of battery or improved electrical motors, then battery-powered planes are poised to disrupt the entire aviation industry!

Battery-Powered Planes

Battery-Powered Planes

Battery-Powered Planes

02/11/18

“How can we make planes that do not rely on fuel?”

 

As it stands, the vast majority of the world’s air travel infrastructure rests upon hydrocarbon-based fuel. However, is there a more sustainable model to this approach? Well, if we use our engineering mindset, then we would be able to see that this jet fuel is fundamentally just energy storage, and that another option is batteries. Therefore, we can create battery-powered planes in place of their traditional alternatives. One caveat is that current battery technologies have 1/60th the energy density of plane fuels, making them a much less viable option.