View Full Version : Aerodynamics textbook

Final 3 Greens
4th Jul 2001, 17:34
I am PPL, 200 hrs+, wishing to learn more about aerodynamics, so that I can better understand what is happening around me when flying.

Can anyone recommend a book that is not rocket science, but will take me through the subject in a practical manner?



4th Jul 2001, 20:29
try this,

Mechanics of Flight
by R. H., Phd Barnard (Editor), D. R., Phd Philpott (Editor), Alfred C. Kermode

which is available in www.amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com) at $44.95+pp or u can try your neighbourhood public library.

don't have to be a noble laureate to read it. pretty straight-forward and easy to understand.

Not much of an engineer

4th Jul 2001, 20:49

Have a look at this site, the people who set it up are really good and the animation really helps to explain things. I used it to study supersonic airflow. Hopefully you shouldn't come across this in a light aircraft, but you never know ??????? http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif

4th Jul 2001, 22:15
Flight with formulae, Kermode,old but unbeaten....cheers

4th Jul 2001, 22:19
John Denker's See How It Flies (http://www.monmouth.com/~jsd/how/) is one of the best texts that bridges the gap between the trivia books designed to be accessible to every PPL and aerodynamics books designed for professional engineers. I think it does a fantastic job of capturing the essential physics, without getting too heavy, and without bending the truth for expediency. The best bit of all is that the book, complete with full text and graphics, is on the WWW.

If you want to get 'heavier', Barnes McCormick's 'Aerodynamics, Aeronautics and Flight Mechanics' is hard to beat.

5th Jul 2001, 04:13
I am going to again recommend what I believe is the best all around book on this subject, and that is Flightwise, Volume 1, by Chris Carpenter, available at www.amazon.co.uk (http://www.amazon.co.uk) (the UK site has it, the U.S. one doesn't). The second volume is worth reading as well, Stability and Control.

For a less in depth but good book, I'd also recommend the Illustrated Guide to Aerodyamics, very good read, can't recall the author offhand, but Amazon has it as well.

Final 3 Greens
5th Jul 2001, 19:24
Many thanks to everyone for all your helpful suggestions.

I am sure that I wil be much better informed after a couple of months readin!


5th Jul 2001, 20:20
'Mechanics of Flight' by A.C. Kermode.

One of my favourites for not being too mathematical, but also for not being written for the hard of thinking.

When I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.

Transition Layer
6th Jul 2001, 14:06
What do you guys think about Naval Aviators?

Not sure of the author.

"Tears, crying, wish you'd never learnt to fly. Should have taken that job at the Council."

Nick Figaretto
6th Jul 2001, 14:30
Might be good if you are interested in aerodynamics in a 12G turn at mach 2.5 at FL 850. On your one engine.

In other words: I found it a little bit too heavy for a "regular" commercial (or private)pilot.


"I have found that alcohol taken in sufficient quantity produces all the effects of drunkenness."
~ Oscar Wilde

Flight Safety
6th Jul 2001, 20:42
Just to add to what Prof2MDA said:

The Illustrated Guide to Aerodymanics
H.C. "Skip" Smith
TAB - McGraw Hill

Like Prof2MDA said, a good (rather easy) read, with basic formulas.

Final 3 Greens
8th Jul 2001, 12:57
To the people who have posted since my last message, many thanks for this very comprehensive reading list.


11th Jul 2001, 12:22
OK, if you really want to understand how things are, without being warded off by a bunch of formulae, read "Understanding flight" by David F. Anderson (and some other guy). It can be found at Amazon.com
It will give you an intuitive and correct presentation of it all!

11th Jul 2001, 16:54
Suggest "Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators" as a very good intermediate treatment. Not so much maths that it is accessable only to engineers and a lot more than the usual cartoons etc in PPL materials.

Not sure where it would be available (I got mine when I worked for the Navy from a retired ensign I knew) Try Amazon and then as I believe it is a publication of the U.S. N. start with the Navy Air Systems COmmand or the Navy Test Pilot School or wade into the U.S. Government Printing Office (the U.S. counterpart to HMSO).

Good Luck