Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Science of Air

Those who know me well enough will know that I'm really quite a sucker for anything transport or automotive related.

I could tell you the different engines that the Volvo B10 series of buses have used, including engine type, cylinders, displacement, horsepower, that kinda stuff.

I could tell you the mathematics behind how buses bunch up. And the rationale behind why on a congested road bus drivers get numerous beeps from the schedule device, a call on the speakerphone, then they decide to remove the service number display and speed on without taking on any more passengers. (So as to compound the delay and not let it snowball.)

Not to mention the various methods cars can shift its own gears, and emerging technologies.

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Now that I've gotten pretty sick of land transport, I got bored and started reading up on air transport on Wikipedia.

It's a natural choice, being a cyclist. Bicycles pretty much share the same design difficulties as aeroplanes - essentially, it has to be a highly aerodynamic, lightweight, strong, yet safe vehicle.

Don't underestimate wind on the bike. at 30+kmh, about 80% of the energy at the pedals is literally used to push the air in front of you. All that tyre rolling resistance, friction in the gears and all merely add up to 20%

No surprises when you learn about the materials used in high-end bicycles - 6xxx and 7xxx aluminium alloys, titanium-aluminium alloys and carbon-fibre composites, all found in your Boeings and Airbuses and Cessnas.

Yay. So now you know how I've been wasting my time online. I now know the difference between ailerons and elevators, the importance of flow separation and how to design a good plane.

And I also know the rough idea of how planes navigate when they take off and land. Terms like ILS, visual approach, VOR and CFIT, they're no longer alien.

Damn, I'm a geek.

I guess catamarans, hulls and ports will be what I'm reading up in the near future.

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Morning jog was a total failure, too fatigued from the previous day's bike ride. No use flogging the weary horse, eh?

Orchard today, and finally got a pair of spare shoes after my spare pair of self-repaired shoes started to become rather... scary to wear. Bata, simply cause it's cheap. Cheapo me.And a polycarbonate Camelbak bottle at Carrefour. Was $30 and now it's $15, which means, it's discounted overpriced stuff, which works out to, a roughly reasonable price.

Bumped into Wanru, caught up and stuff, and I gotta say I prolly acted really distracted and cold, since I was pretty worn-down by hunger and weaving through the Sunday crowds by then.

Decided against a haircut, considering the utter chaos Orchard is today. There's lotsa AIDS Day people selling flowers for charity, and I think there's an AIDS Day walk later on.

I really should put in more effort at my schoolwork, rather than working on my case write-up for nary an hour and then throwing in the towel for the day.