Copyright A. Filippone (1999-2004). All Rights Reserved.


This site is an electronic book on aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, aeronautics, propulsion systems and related technology. The areas covered involve low to high speed flows, steady and unsteady flows, up-to-date computational methods.

The New Wave

A new wave of creativity is shaping the way information is shared. The new wave is the result of new technologies not yet mature but rapidly advancing. With the explosive growth of the web the possibilities have increased even faster. A recent research (The Commonwealth of Learning, 1999-2002, ISBN 1-895369-74-6) has shown that virtual education is growing rapidly, and is not just rethorics. However, the new medium requires continuous updates of information and new writing techniques. There are in fact no studies (to the author’s knowledge) about the readability of internet information, as compared with the classical written page.

Aeronautics and Related Topics

Aeronautics is at the other end of the rope, having reached a point of diminishing returns, wherein new advances are smaller steps at a larger expense. In the 1920s an aircraft could be designed, assembled and flown in a few months (The Spirit of S. Louis, 1927, was designed, built and tested in 60 days). The development of the first transatlantic airliner (Focke Wulf Condor, 1936) took exactly one year from its conception to production. In the 1930s some aircraft consisted already of several hundreds of thousands of parts, and the design of the Boeing 737 in the 1960s required 140,000 technical drawings. The Boeing 747 required over 4 years of work before the first flight, and the Concorde over 7 years.


Development of a new fighter aircraft or a new transport aircraft now require several years, major investments, and international cooperation (with a very few exceptions). New airplanes are more likely to be evolutions of older versions than brand new designs (the Boeing 747 of the late 1990s is not the same aircraft of 1972). In spite of the staggering technological advances, new projects like the Blended Wing Body, or the Supersonic Transport Aircraft are considered too risky.

Launching the Future

The maturity reached by theoretical and computational aerodynamics (expecially CFD) has extended our possibilities beyond any wildest idea. This, too, has become a mature field. Advances in computer power and software, electronics and controls have opened new frontiers in the field of unmanned aircraft, launch systems for spacecraft, high altitude flight, solar propulsion, and more. Aerodynamics is, in fact, beeing integrated in other technologies. The material in this web site is an example of multi-disciplinary know-how.


It is difficult to pinpoint priorities and achievements. To avoid that late-comers get credit for advancements made possible by earlier work, I have listed many old references. It is hoped that the reader will appreciate this choice. For up-to-date references, please inquire.


A number of professionals from industry, academia and national research centers has reviewed this work. I am particularly grateful to John Ekaterinaris (Nielsen Engineering, Mountain View, California), and Michael Selig (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

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Copyright A. Filippone (1999-2004). All Rights Reserved.