Released in 1952, the de Havilland Comet was the world’s first commercial jetliner. But engineers did not know at that point that a forgotten feature – square windows – would be a disastrous design.
We often learn the most from our failures, this is particularly true for advancements in the field of engineering. Unfortunately for the engineers in the aviation industry, the prices to pay for failure are high. The flip-side of this unforgiving industry, is that it consistently provides learning opportunities for engineers, because failure is not an option when peoples lives are at risk.
One of the greatest examples of this occurred during the development of cabin pressurisation. The problems caused by cabin pressurisation didn’t develop until the introduction of the first commercial jet powered aircraft, The De Havilland Comet. It entered service in 1952 and initially proved to be a massive success, but just one year into service catastrophe struck. Three Comets suffered fatal mid-flight disintegrations and the entire fleet was grounded until the cause was identified.
The root of the problem was double-edged. The introduction of jet engines required planes to fly even higher in order to make the fuel hungry engines economically viable (less drag in the upper atmosphere means less fuel is needed). As a plane increases in altitude the external atmospheric pressure lowers to a greater extent than the internal cabin pressure. This creates a pressure differential that causes the fuselage to expand ever so slightly. Engineers accounted for this, but the effects of repeated pressure cycles over time were not well known at the time. Over thousands of cycles and metal begins to fatigue and cracks can form at high stress locations.
The effects of stress concentration were also not well understood at the time. Stress concentration occurs when the flow of stress is interrupted. Square windows, in contrast to modern oval windows, provide a significant barrier to the smooth flow of stress. Because of this stress peaks at the sharp corner of the window, and this is exactly where investigators determined the origin of failure to be.
These combined phenomenon proved to be fatal. Today all airliners feature oval windows to avoid this stress concentration and comprehensive fatigue testing is required before a plane can be approved by the FAA. We often learn the most from our failures, this is particularly true for advancements in the field of engineering. These are now two basic concepts that every materials engineer is taught, these events allowed us to further our understanding of materials and prevent further failures.
Photo by Rebecca Meek
12-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander makes a big chart splash thanks to his profile on CBS’ 60 Minutes (Jan. 3). His My Favorite Things album re-enters chart Billboard 200 at No. 59 (a new peak) with 9,000 sold in pure album sales — up by 3,563 percent. My Favorite Things also gives Alexander his first No. 1 on both the Jazz Albums and Traditional Jazz Albums charts. It flies 22-1 on the former, and re-enters at No. 1 on the latter. Alexander also dots the Jazz Digital Songs chart, as he places five cuts on the 25-position list, including his album’s title cut at No. 6 (1,000 downloads sold; up 1,722 percent).
Vinyl LP sales in Canada in 2015 posted the biggest overall sales total in the SoundScan era since 1991, with a sales increase of 30% over 2014. As you can see below, the numbers aren’t huge compared to digital albums, but it’s a great format building lifelong fans.
Title/Artist Vinyl Sales
1 25 / Adele 6,200
2 1989 / Taylor Swift 6,000
3 X / Ed Sheeran 4,800
4 AM / Arctic Monkeys 3,800
5 In The Lonely Hour / Sam Smith 3,700
6 Abbey Road / Beatles 3,300
7 Hozier / Hozier 3,200
8 Dark Side Of The Moon / Pink Floyd 3,200
9 Wilder Mind / Mumford & Sons 3,000
10 Led Zeppelin IV / Led Zeppelin 2,600
11 Legend / Bob Marley & The Wailers 2,400
12 Kind Of Blue / Miles Davis 2,400
13 Nevermind / Nirvana 2,300
14 Ultraviolence / Lana Del Rey 2,200
15 If I Should Go Before You / City And Colour 2,200
16 Dream Your Life Away / Vance Joy 2,100
17 Guardians Of The Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 / Soundtrack 2,100
18 Honeymoon / Lana Del Rey 2,100
19 Chronicles / Creedence Clearwater Revival 2,000
20 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / Beatles 2,000
Please welcome newcomers John, Paul, George and Ringo to Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart.
“Come Together” leads with debuts at Nos. 14 and 18, respectively, on Hot Rock Songs (where older songs are eligible to chart if they rank in the top half and show notable gains; the list launched in 2009) and Rock Streaming Songs, fueled by its 2.1 million domestic clicks in the week ending Dec. 31, according to Nielsen Music. The track, a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1969 from the Abbey Road album, also leaps by 177 percent to 4,000 sold. Its rank as the most-streamed Beatles song for the week is logical: In addition to its standing as one of the Fab Four’s inarguable classics, it’s also the first song on Spotify’s Beatles best-of playlist named Come Together.
Although “Come Together” is the only Beatles song new to Rock Streaming Songs (which runs 25 positions-deep), the band sends three other titles onto Hot Rock Songs: “Hey Jude” (No. 19), “Here Comes the Sun” (No. 20) and “Yesterday” (No. 25). (Hot Rock Songs encompasses sales, streaming and radio airplay activity.)
Over on the Billboard 200 albums chart, five of the group’s sets dot the list, including greatest-hits collection 1, which ascends 41-16. It earned 36,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 31. Forty percent of the album’s total units for the week are owed to streams of its songs, thanks to the popularity of 1’s tracks. (All 27 were No. 1 singles on either the Billboard Hot 100 or Official U.K. Singles Chart.)
It dominated the dancefloor throughout last year; and today OfficialCharts.com can reveal that Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk is the biggest song of 2015.
The track, which features Bruno Mars, notched up a combined sales and streaming total of 1.76 million to finish at the top of the end of year chart. The song’s total combined sales since its release in November 2014 stand at 2.25 million.
Uptown Funk has proved unstoppable throughout 2015. As well as spending a total of seven weeks at Number 1, the track logged 39 weeks in the Top 40 before finally exiting in October.
Finishing at Number 2 is OMI’s Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix). The summer smash first entered the Official Singles Chart at Number 96 in January and steadily scaled the tally for 14 weeks until its April impact date, eventually reaching the summit in May for four consecutive weeks. Cheerleader finishes 2015 with a combined sales total of 1.52 million.
Taking third place on 2015 biggest songs list is Hozier’s Take Me To Church with 1.25 million combined sales. The stirring soul-blues track racked up huge sales over the last 12 months despite never reaching Number 1, peaking at 2 for four consecutive weeks after a 20-week climb inside the Top 40.
At Number 4 is Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do. The 50 Shades Of Grey movie song topped the chart for four weeks (holding Hozier off the top spot for three of them!) back in February. By the end of 2015, the song notched up 1.19 million combined sales.
Rounding off the end of year Top 5 is Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again. The Fast & Furious 7 tribute to actor Paul Walker, which topped the Official Singles Chart for two weeks in April, finishes close behind Goulding on 1.17 million sales and streams. It’s also the first of two entries for the song’s guest star and co-writer Charlie Puth, who places at 34 with his Meghan Trainor collaboration Marvin Gaye.
The Official Top 40 Biggest Songs of 2015 are…
||MARK RONSON FT BRUNO MARS
||CHEERLEADER (FELIX JAEHN REMIX)
||TAKE ME TO CHURCH
||LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO
||SEE YOU AGAIN
||WIZ KHALIFA FT CHARLIE PUTH
||MAJOR LAZER FT MO & DJ SNAKE
||HOLD BACK THE RIVER
||WHAT DO YOU MEAN
||YEARS & YEARS
||THINKING OUT LOUD
||HOLD MY HAND
||WHERE ARE U NOW
||SKRILLEX & DIPLO/JUSTIN BIEBER
||WANT TO WANT ME
||ARE YOU WITH ME
||SHUT UP & DANCE
||WALK THE MOON
||HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE
||CALVIN HARRIS & DISCIPLES
||CAN’T FEEL MY FACE
||KYGO FT CONRAD SEWELL
||WISH YOU WERE MINE
||RUNAWAY (U & I)
||CHARLIE PUTH FT MEGHAN TRAINOR
||OLLY MURS FT DEMI LOVATO
||NOT LETTING GO
||TINIE TEMPAH FT JESS GLYNNE
||YEARS & YEARS
||CHRIS BROWN & TYGA
||DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF
Via Official Charts
This week, Michael Jackson’s Thriller crossed the 30 million-mark in the US, edging out longtime sales rival, The Eagles. Unless something changes in the Don Henley-Glenn Frey camp, this could be the leader for a while. Fun Fact: In 2009, Thriller was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the first music video ever selected.
Via Digital Music News
With a seventh week atop the Hot 100 for “Hello” (which debuted atop the Nov. 14 chart), Adele equals her longest No. 1 stay: her first leader, “Rolling in the Deep,” ruled for seven weeks in 2011 (and went on to become the No. 1 song on the 2011 year-end Hot 100). “Hello” has spent its first seven weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. That’s the fifth-longest stretch that a No. 1-debuting song has stayed at the summit. Here’s a look at the hits to link the most consecutive weeks atop the Hot 100 from their debuts at No. 1:
16 weeks, “One Sweet Day,” Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men, 1995-96
14 weeks, “Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” Elton John, 1997-98
11 weeks, “I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy & Faith Evans feat. 112, 1997
8 weeks, “Fantasy,” Mariah Carey, 1995
7 weeks, “Hello,” Adele, 2015
Spotify unveiled its annual Year in Music results on Tuesday, with Drake topping a crowded field to become the world’s most streamed artist. The rapper had over 1.8 billion streams and 46 million listeners.
The year’s most streamed female artist was Rihanna, with over 1 billion streams and 57 million listeners.
Digging deeper, Spotify said that Major Lazer’s “Lean On” (ft. MØ and DJ Snake) was not only the most streamed song of 2015, with over 540 million listens, but that it is now the most streamed song of all time. The year’s most streamed album was The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness, with 60 million listeners. Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was second. Justin Bieber set a record for the most streams in a single day, with 36 million on Nov. 13, the day his fourth album Purpose was released.
Overall, Spotify said 75 million listeners streamed over 20 billion hours of music this year.
Adele has officially rewritten the U.K. chart record books, as confirmation arrives Friday, Nov. 27 from the Official Charts Company that 25 has recorded the biggest opening sales week in history. Unavailable on any streaming services, it has also become the most-downloaded No. 1 album ever.
The album ended the week with sales of 800,307 copies, smashing the previous record of 696,000 created by Oasis’ Be Here Now in 1997 — although it must be added that that disc was released on a Thursday, when the chart sales week ran until a Saturday night, so it reached its mark in only three days.
25 sold more than the next 86 albums on the artist chart combined, and moved 252,423 downloads; the previous best was 95,709 for Ed Sheeran’s X last year.
Justin Bieber breaks a record of his own on the singles countdown, claiming the top two places to become the first artist to achieve the feat since Madonna in 1985. “Sorry” started a second week at No. 1 and “Love Yourself” at No. 2.