The evolution of air and maritime transport


The literature reviewed in this article shows that the evolution of vehicles is in line with the evolution of animal locomotion and that it is predictable from the constructal law of design and evolution in nature. The evolution of ships and airplanes illustrates the evolutionary design of the “human-and-machine species” as it moves and spreads on Earth: farther, faster, more efficiently, and with greater lasting power (sustainability). Every vehicle size has its design. The bigger vehicle is not a magnified facsimile of the smaller. The size fraction that the lifting organs occupy in the overall vehicle increases with the body size. Every vehicle size has its niche, the supporting territory, and population to which it belongs. All the designs of movement on the globe evolve. Vehicles do not evolve by themselves; they evolve hand in glove with the humans who design and use them. The result is hierarchy, and it is why hierarchy is natural and unavoidable. We see it in geophysical movement (river basins), animal movement (food chain), human social movement (global air and maritime traffic), and everywhere else. The appearance of a new hierarchical design of movement on earth does not eliminate the existing hierarchical designs of movement. The new hierarchy joins the old, and what works is kept. No evolving system deviates from the features dictated by the law of physics of evolution in nature.


Applied Physics Reviews

June 15, 2019
Volume / Issue

6 / 2



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