Blog
FDC
Stretching your Python – Part 2
on May 22, 2013

In this, the second of a two-part thriller, I promised to look at the numerical python library Numpy. Numpy is one of a pair of extensions to the Python library, with a partner Scipy dealing with scientific

FDC
on May 17, 2013

The Python programming language (actually, it’s named after Monty Python, not the snakes) is very popular and its user base is growing rapidly. I don’t plan to go into the reasons for this here, just take

FDC
Key Point Values
on May 9, 2013

Those of you who have downloaded the POLARIS software will have seen a module key_point_values.py which computes all the Key Point Values (KPVs) from a flight segment. This blog will just scratch the surface

FDC
All in a Flap
on May 1, 2013

To allow an aircraft to fly slowly flaps and slats of various forms are used. These both increase the effective wing area and increase the camber of the wing, which increase the lift that can be achieved

FDC
Breaking Runways
on April 19, 2013

This week I am at a conference in the USA, so it’s a quick blog from the hotel room between presentations. Let’s talk about runway_snap, one of the POLARIS library routines. The POLARIS open source

FDC
Truck and Trailer
on April 10, 2013

After a short Easter break from blogging, it’s time for a nice easy topic. As you will see, I really should have posted this one two weeks ago… Imagine, if you will, a delivery truck bringing chocolate

FDC
Ground Cushions Are Not Fair
on March 27, 2013

Imagine you are a particle of air way up in the atmosphere. An aircraft flies past 100ft above you, and for a moment you duck to let it pass by. This is a happy way of thinking about the local air movements

FDC
Inertial Smoothing
on March 21, 2013

Aircraft height and speed are typically sampled once per second. Sometimes this is not good enough for the question we are trying to answer, for example “what was the vertical speed at the moment of touchdown?”.

FDC
Beware of Trolls
on March 14, 2013

We all get asked to agree to license agreements from time to time, and if you are anything like me, you won’t bother to read all the pages of small print before installing the latest software update. In

FDC
Which way to the North Pole?
on March 7, 2013

So it’s really easy to measure heading. You just get out a compass and it will point North. Easy, eh? But, you’ve guessed it, life is never that easy. Firstly, the compass in an aircraft has to compensate