Donate Now!
Events and Registration
 
Signup for FOTO's Update Newsletter
The Minimum Induced Drag of Wings
April 25th, 2016 7:30pm
Birds Don't Have Vertical Tails, and Would This Work on Mars?
Register Now

COSMIC MUSINGS LECTURE SERIES PRESENTED BY UNITED

 

The Minimum Induced Drag of Wings: Birds Don't Have Vertical Tails, and Would This Work on Mars?

 

The original model of flight was the flight of birds. The Wright Brothers added the vertical tail to their aircraft, and today we continue to use some method of direct yaw control. But why don't birds need vertical tails? The solution to this problem is a story, the story of what we're missing. And how the minimum drag of wings, the minimum structure of a wing, and why birds don't need vertical tails all intersect. And it's the story of a small model airplane, properly instrumented as a research UAV, a team of dedicated and incredibly bright young people, and the dream of flying the first aircraft on Mars. An old man of the sky and young people who figured out the minimum drag of wings, why birds do what they do, and flight on Mars.

 

AL BOWERS (above photo) is the Chief Scientist at the NASA Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center located at Edwards Air Force Base. Al spent 33 years working for NASA as a research aerodynamicist and as chief engineer of many aircraft projects including the NASA F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle, the NASA SR-71s, and the NASA Kelly Eclipse Aerotow F-106 project. Al was an aerodynamicist on the F-8 Oblique Wing, the X-30 National Aerospace Plane, and the X-29 Forward Swept Wing. Al has also served as the Chief of Aerodynamics, the Deputy Director of Research and Engineering, the Special Assistant to the Associate Director of Aeronautics in Washington DC, the Director of Aeronautics Projects, and now as the Chief Scientist. Al has spent over 20 years working on the problem of flying wings, how birds fly without vertical tails, and the dream of flight on Mars.

 



Space is limited. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. RSVP deadline is FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2016. Thank you for using our automated electronic registration system.

If your membership has lapsed or you would like to become a new FOTO member, renew or join easily on-line at www.FOTO.org. If you have any questions please send an email to Marc at mmeehan@friendsoftheobservatory.org or call 213.473.0879 about joining/renewing.

 

Parking will be made available to you only with advance reservations.

 

Save gas and frustration by carpooling! Sign up for free at www.erideshare.com and offer or request a ride in "Day Trips, Errands and Carsharing."

Events and Registration
2017-12-16: Public Star Party 2017-12-16
...and more! click here
Your Contributions at Work

School Visit Program for 30,000 students per year

New projector for the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater

Support excellence at Griffith Observatory with your donations to FOTO

...and more! click here
FOTO Newsletter and Blog

Back issues of FOTO's newsletter

Current issue for members

Stay updated with all the latest about FOTO and Griffith Observatory

...and more! click here
Visiting Griffith Observatory

Print self-guided tours

Interested in a show?

How do I look through a telescope?

Exclusive members-only opportunities!

...and more! click here
Looking up! Astronomy at Home

What is up in the sky?

Print your own star chart

Astronomy Experiments at Home

Turn your computer into a telescope

...and more! click here