Daniel Lemire's blog

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Science and Technology links (February 29th 2020)

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  1. RAD says:

    Many traditional engineering innovations are based on empirically derived data, including the lift data that started with Otto Lilienthal:

    Lilienthal’s research was well known to the Wright brothers, and they credited him as a major inspiration for their decision to pursue manned flight. However, they abandoned his aeronautical data after two seasons of gliding and began using their own wind tunnel data.

    The Wright Flyer was perhaps the greatest example of simultaneous engineering innovation required to solve a single problem: heavier than air flight. Perhaps as a society we underestimate the applied sciences and underemphasize the importance of empirical breakthroughs. The Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel data was “good enough” in the classic refrain of engineers everywhere. It is a fantastic story and it is mostly mistold.