“Long, rectangular wings are for slow speeds and long glides, and short, swept-back wings are for high speeds and maneuverability,” said Blackburn, when I interviewed him for my book, Brain Trust. You can see this in the difference between the condor and the swallow. The first is optimized for slow soaring, while the second — assuming an unladen European swallow — is optimized for quick dips and dives. You can also see these swept-back wings on the Space Shuttle, and because these high-speed wings have very little lift at low speeds, the Shuttle needs to keep an aggressive, nose-up angle of attack even when landing. A straight-winged Cessna can land almost flat to the runway.”A little early afternoon aeronautics. Plus, Monty Python references get me every time.