i'm looking for a good (theoretical) book about aerodynamics and flight theory. Currently doing atpl ground school via distance learning and the aerodynamics module is exceptionally bad, which is a shame as i'm particularly interested in that field. I already got myself a copy of Richard v. Mises "Theory of flight" (due to my background in physics i'm pretty familiar with calculus of complex variables etc.) which is ok but a bit old (1945, a bit more modern would be nice) and only covers the subsonic part. So any recommendations?
I would also heartily recommend this book. It's a fantastic text book on aerodynamics. Every pilot should have a copy in his bookcase.
I would also recommend AC Kermode's 'Flight without Formulae' - another excellent text book without the mathematics of 'Mechanics of Flight'. Very easy to read and understand and is a great introduction to the subject.
Author: Richard S. Shevell Edition: 2 Format: Hardcover ISBN: 0133390608
My view, just as Bookworm has his and many others too. Unfortunately we can't buy 'em all so if there was one book to take to the Desert Island (on the basis that you can only escape by passing an interview) it would be Shevell. He doesn't do it all but he doesn't make mistakes. I have got wise to McCormick on aircraft and Mattingly on engines... when they publish mistakes, they do not willingly retract.
I have a shelf full of textbooks on aerodynamics, and they're all excellent from one perspective or another (well most of them anyhow) - but bear in mind that many of them were not written for pilots to understand the subject - they were written for engineers, whose type and level of understanding is different (not necessarily better, just different) to that required or wanted by a pilot.
So Stinton, McCormick, Anderson are all superb books, but probably not what you want. Nor are other excellent books by Caruthers or Glauert for example.
Of those listed above, Kermode is almost certainly the one you want, which is one of the rare books that is equally suitable for engineers and pilots - very thorough, very clear, and no maths.
Increasingly another book is being used instead of Kermode, although in my opinion there's little to choose between them - that's Barnard and Philpot; they're both brilliant (and a quick look on Amazon will show that many people agree, both have nothing but 5* reviews!).
On the other hand, if you want an Engineers perspective as well and enjoy the maths, then I'd still start with either of those books anyhow, but progress to Houghton and Carpenter.
So Stinton, McCormick, Anderson are all superb books, but probably not what you want.
It's very important to get a text at the right level. But Parkbremse has already confessed to "a familiarity with calculus of complex variables" so I hardly think he's going to be troubled by the level of maths in Anderson or McCormick. While Stick and Rudder has its place on a bookshelf for different reasons I think Parkbremse would find it rather unsatisfying.
(If you genuinely want to study aerodynamics using complex variables, Holt Ashley is probably appropriate as an adjunct to von Mises, but I always feel slightly cheated by complex variables formulations which are intrinsically two dimensional. That was fun before computers but it's "only" a PDE...)
The very best book on my shelf ( for aerodynamics, I do have some real fun ones sadly beyond the scope of this forum) is "The Illustrated guide to Aerodynamics" by H C 'Skip' Smith. ISBN 0-8306-3901-2
Amazon - USA or UK is the best bet but be aware that should you purchase and not find it suitable I'll not be refunding any money.
"Handling the Big Jets" by D.P. Davies is also more than readable and good for explaining ...well ....how to handle the big jets.
Read the above two titles and you'll be all set for "Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators". A complicated book - you'll need some serious masochistic traits to plough through this nasty tome. Funny thing is that Naval Aviators of my acquaintance have problems tying their shoelaces and simply wouldn't be able to grasp advanced aerodynamics. Maybe they use the book for something nautically weird or some other endeavour.... a cheese board perhaps.
All the air navigation theory you'll ever need is in one concise volume : Air Navigation by W H P Canner. A bit dated but still on target.
Two books to avoid at all costs: Stick and Rudder by Langewiesche - he admits in it that he's rewriting the theory of flight and really does try to (unsuccessfully) - and the Naked Pilot by David Beaty. I use them both as a door stop.
But Beaty's "Naked Pilot" book is hardly about aerodynamics. It's about human factors in accidents. It may have been superseded in places, but it's still a good introduction into human factors, systemic causes and the error chain in aviation accidents.