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Introduction to innovation in aeronautics

T.M. Young,     University of Limerick, Ireland

M. Hirst,     Independent consultant, UK

1.1 Introduction

Innovation is a natural talent of humanity. Over several recorded millennia, curiosity has spurred discovery and the creation of artefacts that utilised natural substances or phenomena to serve human needs. The goal has been, often, to achieve something more quickly or with less effort or, in some cases, to extend curiosity by setting new goals.

Aeronautics has been one of the most recent and most significant of the latter human pursuits, at first simply answering a need expressed by curiosity-struck philosophers, who had the desire to view or traverse the earth as a bird does. Kites and balloons, ...

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