NASA-LEAPTech X57-Maxwell

Aircraft Engines Part 3: Future of Aircraft Engines

Throughout this 3-part editorial, I have explored the key developments of the aircraft engine and what has influenced this evolution. Upon reflection, one can see two major overlying themes behind the factors; Firstly, the desire for speed, and secondly, the desire for efficiency. These two factors may seem obvious, but I feel that they can sometimes be overlooked. Continue reading Aircraft Engines Part 3: Future of Aircraft Engines

Lockheed Martin SR-72

Aircraft Engines Part 2: The Jet Age

In the 1920s an RAF cadet by the name of Frank Whittle wrote a short paper entitled Speculation which detailed the shortcomings of reciprocating engines but also showed how an aircraft could be powered by an engine which drew in air, heated it and then expelled it at high speed. Published in the RAF college journal, he also published the basic thermodynamic equations for this type of propulsion. Continue reading Aircraft Engines Part 2: The Jet Age

A North American P-51 Mustang

Aircraft Engines Part 1: Ancient Flight & Early Aircraft

Flight is not a new idea – the concept has been around for millennia. Artefacts have been discovered in both Colombia and Egypt with remarkable resemblances to the aircraft of today, with the inclusion of engineered structures not found in nature (notably tailfins). Indeed, history is littered with myths of flight; Daedalus and Icarus of Ancient Greece, India’s vimana, and the ancient Chinese Emperor Cheng T­ang Li, to name a few. Even some of the greatest minds in history were intrigued by flight. Continue reading Aircraft Engines Part 1: Ancient Flight & Early Aircraft

North Korean nuclear weapons

Are Nuclear Weapons a Real Threat?

Tomorrow marks 50 years since the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons opened for signatures. To date, 191 countries have signed the treaty, including the five designated nuclear states. The treaty entered into force in 1970 and more countries have adhered to this treaty than any other arms limitation or disarmament agreement in history. In 1963, John F. Kennedy speculated that by the 1970s … Continue reading Are Nuclear Weapons a Real Threat?

Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins: Is it time for a name change?

With three Superbowl titles to its name, the Washington Redskins are one of the most historic and successful teams in the NFL. But in recent years the team has faced increasing pressure to change its franchise name. Redskins is a racial slur towards Native American Indians and many feel that one of the most prolific sports teams in the US shouldn’t have a name with … Continue reading Washington Redskins: Is it time for a name change?

Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in

The Kim Dynasty Mantra

Jiří Louda states that every monarch in Europe today are descendants of William I of England. Nobility would marry into this prestigious family line so that their descendants might one day be a king or queen. Many of the stories from history we are familiar with are bedazzled with romance, courtship, and beatitude. Too often, however, is it a mask of a grim truth, a gruesome notion familiar to the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Chinese. The disturbingly morbid notion of dynasties. Continue reading The Kim Dynasty Mantra

Economy of Trees

Trees are pleasant to have around us. They offer protection from harsh sunlight and shelter from the rain. They provide homes for whole ecosystems and nesting places for birds. But there’s no escaping that they can be a nuisance. Roots spread and cause disruption to roads, pavements, and buildings. Branches have to be chopped if they pose a risk to falling onto vehicles or people. All this comes at a cost. But what is the true value of a tree? Continue reading Economy of Trees