Sunday, July 24, 2011
Chicken guns, mongol bows, rockets and bicycle pumps
We just watched the first episode of Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections. This one was about the Airbus A380 - the world's largest aircraft - and the engineering challenges associated with its design and building. He showed how inspiration for the wings came from the steppe eagle, the use of composites in the aluminium are inspired by mongol bows - the strength of the aluminium is tested using chicken guns (where they fire chickens at it at high speed). The idea of the landing gear is based on the idea of a bicycle pump, and they use the idea behind rockets to inflate the emergency chutes.
I'm sure its far more complex than that, but he has a good way of 'dumbing it down' so that its understandable. Once again, a very enjoyable and educational show.