AERONAUTICAL research has until recently been conducted by men trained in other and varied branches of science and engineering. Mathematicians and physicists, civil and mechanical engineers, have all taken part from time to time, and their work has naturally borne the imprint of their several outlooks. Structural research, which has hitherto been largely overshadowed by aerodynamic and engine work, has suffered particularly from a continual changing of personalities and a confusion of interest. As a result it has in many respects failed either to adopt the traditions of the general body of structural engineers or to build up a fully ordered tradition of its own. And so we may sometimes see on the one hand, for example, the anomaly of an approach to the local buckling problems of monocoque construction as though Stephenson had never built and experimented upon his Britannia Tubular Bridge; and, on the other hand, a growth of stressing methods inadequately linked by generally accepted basic principles.
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