Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2005). All Rights Reserved.

Reference Desk
  • Aerodynamic Design

There are only a few books on analytical methods for aerodynamic design. In the interim, many collections of technical papers have been published. For specific papers, please inquire.

  1. Miele A (editor). Theory of Optimum Aerodynamic Shapes, Academic Press, 1965.
    Review: This is a book with theoretical contributions from several specialists, and is concerned with minimum problems at supersonic and hypersonic speeds, including free molecular flows. Some useful topics are: bodies of revolution with minimum pressure drag, 2D/3D wings with minimum pressure drag, slender and non slender bodies of minimum total drag, optimum rocket nozzles. Interesting.

  2. Eppler R., Airfoil Design and Data, Springer Verlag, 1990.
    Review: Prof. Eppler discusses the theoretical bases of his successful design method. There is some boundary layer theory, bubble warning and inverse design program. Large airfoil data base (coordinates, CD, CL), including airfoils for general aviation, helicopter rotors, propellers, high lift, etc, with basic design considerations and parametric constraints. An important reference book.

  3. Special Course on Inverse Methods for Inverse Airfoil Design for Aeronautical and Turbomachinery Applications, AGARD Report 780, 1990.

  4. Optimum Design Methods for Aerodynamics, AGARD R-803, November 1994.
    Review: Lecture notes from the VKI, comprehensive overview of analytical design methods for 2D and 3D problems, from airfoil design to the full aicraft shape optimization. Both low and high speed flows.

  5. Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 35, No. 1, January 1999-2002 (monographic issue on aerodynamic design).
    Review: Current trends in computational aerodynamic design.

  6. AGARD, Turbomachinery Design Using CFD, AGARD LS-195, May 1994.
    Review: Application of CFD for analysis and design of turbomachinery in industry. State-of-the-art, anno 1994. Start from here to check methods for preliminary design/sizing and detailed CFD investigation.

  7. Elizarov AM, Il’inskij NB, Potashev AV. Mathematical Methods of Airfoil Design, Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 1997 (ISBN 3-05-501701-3).
    Review: It is a summary of inverse boundary-value problems in aerodynamic design (as the subtitle implies) with some selected cases such as: single airfoil in incompressible flow; viscosity and compressibility, design for a range of angles of attacks, airfoils with suction/blowing, cascades and more. This is very mathematical book aimed at specialists in the field. Excellent.

Aircraft Design

Aircraft design is technology related to aerodynamics only to some extent. Here are a few books.

  1. Stinton D. Anatomy of the Aeroplane, Foulis and Co., London, 1966. (also available in 2nd edition from AIAA)
    Review: This is a book of general interest, to explore ideas, as the author says. There is no mathematics, and is well written. Very entairtaining reading. Later edition contains discussion of Ekranoplanes, seaplanes and flying boats. MUST HAVE.

  2. Davies DP. Handling the Big Jets, Civil Aviation Authority, London, 1973.
    Review: The book focuses on first order differences in size and weight, discusses the flight handling qualities, speed, altitude, take-off, with simple charts. The very big jets (Boeing 747) qualify for a detailed discussion. Useful with some performance data (B-707, Vickers VC-10, etc.)

  3. Küchemann D. The Aerodynamic Design of the Aircraft, Pergamon Press, 1978.
    Review: Published posthoumous, yet a landmark of clarity and generality. For this reason it is also confined to mostly theoretical issues. I like particularly the reasoning for flying hypersonic, and the chapter on hypersonic waveriders (Chapt. 9).

  4. Stinton D. The Design of the Aeroplane, BSP Professional Books, 1983.
    Review: It seems an unfinished book, some parts are written by hand, and so are the sketches. The book is geared toward small airplanes and includes a fair number of project examples.

  5. Torenbeek E. Synthesis of Subsonic Airplane Design, Kluwer Academic Press, 1982.
    Review: An important book that covers all the essential aspects of the preliminary design of aircraft (configuration, fuselage, tail, engine installation, performance, etc). I regret that the formatting of the book did not go further than plain typing.

  6. Loftin LK. Quest for Performance: The Evolution of Modern Aircraft, NASA SP-367, Washington, 1985.
    Review: This is a history of aircraft evolution from the point of view of the engineer, and is well referenced. It goes from the design explorations of the 1910s to the design trends of the modern days. The report contains lots of useful design data (including drag, wind characteristics. etc).

  7. Nickel K, Wohlfahrt M. Tailless Aircraft in Theory and Practice, Edward Arnold, London 1994 (also available from AIAA).
    Review: This is an original book with discussion of flying wings, sailplanes, gliders and real life tailless aircraft. Of interest: lateral, longitudinal and directional stability, stability and control, detailed discussion of swept back wings, wing flutter and ground effects.

  8. Stinton D. Flying Qualities and Flight Testing, Blackwell Science, 1996.
    Review: Useful information for the design engineer with the pilot in mind. There is a large number of case design studies, plenty of photos and graphics. This is an extensive text. (see also
    Flight Dynamics)

  9. Raymer DP. Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, AIAA, Washington DC, 1999 (3rd edition).
    Review: This is the design book that most people study these days. It is a source of information and data on several aircraft types, it contains chapters devoted entirely to aerodynamics, and treats pragmatically the problem of preliminary sizing and design. Compared to other design books, there is a lot more. MUST HAVE.

  10. Anderson JD. Aircraft Perfomance and Design, McGraw-Hill, 1998.
    Review: This book is a mix of aerodynamics and aircraft design, two volumes bound into one, I might say. Limiting the discussion to the aircraft design, it is very general, but it reports an intersting chapter on the evolution of the aircraft and some detailed case studies, including the Douglas DC-3, Boeing 707 and 727 the MD F-16, the Lockheed SR-71, and more.

  11. Fielding J. Introduction to Aircraft Design, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999.
    Review: I am not impressed by this book.

  12. Jenkinson LR, Simpson P, Rhodes D. Civil Jet Aircraft Design, Arnold Publ, 1999 (also available from AIAA).
    Review: It is limited to regional jets for civil transports. This book points to an extensive database, like no one else. Interesting data on over 70 jet aircraft, 40 turbofan engines, and hundreds of airports.

  13. Howe D. Aircraft Conceptual Design Synthesis, Prof. Engineering Ltd, London, 2000.
    Review: This book contains a general introduction on aircraft configuration, with examples from all types, and several addenda with aircraft syntesis and other problems. Poor on aerodynamics and hard data, and with some extra simplifications.

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Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2005). All Rights Reserved.