From the smallest gnat to the largest aircraft, all things that fly obey the same aerodynamic principles. "The Simple Science of Flight" offers an introduction to the mechanics of flight and, beyond that, to the scientific attitude that finds wonder in simple calculations, forging connections between, say, the energy efficiency of a peanut butter sandwich and that of the kerosene that fuels a jumbo jet. The hero of the book is the Boeing 747, which Tennekes sees as the current pinnacle of human ingenuity in mastering the science of flight. Also covered are paper airplanes, kites, gliders, and human-powered flying machines as well as birds and insects. Tennekes explains difficult concepts like lift, drag, wing loading and cruising speed through many fascinating comparisons, anecdotes and examples. Equations are integrated into the flow of the text. Tennekes begins with a simple comparison of the relative fuel consumption of hummingbirds cars, and airplanes, then turns to the relations between an airplane weight, its wing area and its cruising speed, showing that it is possible to collect all flying creatures and flying machines in a single flight diagram. He looks at energetics through the considerable efforts of a little 35-gram bird in a wind tunnel. There are stories on the effects of headwinds, tailwinds, and other weather conditions that both birds and planes face, on the elegance of the mechanics that makes flight possible, and on the aerodynamics of sophisticated flying toys. Tennekes concludes by comparing the Boeing 747 and the supersonic Concorde, with the former emerging as the perfect airplane for intercontinental flights: "just below the speed of sound and just above the weather".