Take the 2-minute tour ×
Aviation Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for aircraft pilots, mechanics, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Well, since this stack is in beta, I thought I'd take a wack at asking a book question to see how it fits in this particular community (of if it even fits to begin with).

I'm very curious about how aerodynamics work in plane design (especially wing design), but it's hard for me to ask questions here because I'm lack knowledge of so many of the basics. So I wondered if I could get a recommendation on a good book to learn the basics of aerodynamics? Keeping in mind that my understanding of math is limited, so I would need a book that explains the math being used to some extent.

Bear in mind when answering: This is a Q&A site, so try and have some reasoning behind why your book is the best. Especially if you could show it has good explanations of the math and, also, the books is good for the somewhat beginner.

Let's see if this works...

share|improve this question
    
Book recommendations are generally not good fit for this Q&A format, but as you say lets see how the rest of the community respond –  Jamiec Jun 17 at 16:14
1  
@Jamiec. Basically. I kind of wish that SE had a special area for book recommendations, as I think it would be awful useful. There's just a lot of smart people here, so I'd like to know their recommendations. –  Jay Carr Jun 17 at 16:16
    
I neither agree nor disagree, but its certainly something relevant to the wider community. Make the suggestion: meta.stackexchange.com –  Jamiec Jun 17 at 16:29
1  
Theres a stack of books for aerodynamics here -- goodreads.com/shelf/show/aerodynamics –  Tasos Jun 17 at 18:50
3  
I've converted this to a Wiki so if the community decides it gets to stay it can have one authoritative answer ala The C++ question. (The side effect is "Sorry guys, no rep" :-/ ) –  voretaq7 Jun 17 at 19:00

2 Answers 2

Beginner

  1. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics by John D. Anderson, Jr.
    Introduces the basics of aerodynamics with historical background, the mathematical explanation and some practical applications. In the latest edition, Computational Fluid Dynamics is also discussed.

  2. Mechanics Of Flight by Warren F. Phillips.
    Anderson's book is a good text for understanding the building blocks of fluid dynamics, such as the different types of flow. It is good for understanding how airfoils and wings work, as well as understanding the microscopic flow considerations. Phillips' text also talks plenty about flight dynamics and control, so you can better picture the forces acting on an airplane.
    Anderson's and Phillips' make a very good learning pack.

Intermediate

Advanced

  1. Fluid Dynamic Lift & Fluid Dynamic Drag both by Hoerner
    I wouldn't consider these to be great "learning" textbooks, and the math can get very intensive at times, but these are still go-to reference text, and they are a great resource if you want to start a "deep dive" into aerodynamics and the practical effects of various design decisions. Both books are replete with wind-tunnel testing information and diagrams, as well as the supporting equations to back it all up.

Classics / Older

  1. Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators by H. H. Hurt Jr.
    This is a good primer on basic aerodynamics - as the title implies it's primarily aimed at naval aviators, but the material is pretty accessible and much of it is applicable to all fixed-wing aviation. There's even some helicopter stuff in there, though the section is rather thin.
    This book is available from a number of publishers. It is also known as NAVAIR 00-80T-80 or NAVWEPS 00-80T-80 and available from the FAA in PDF form.


Additional references

As far as mathematics goes, you can get Stewart's Calculus text. It is a pretty good book with quite satisfactory explanations, and you can get an older edition for almost nothing (make sure you get the full text with both single variable calculus and multivariable calculus sections). Without a basic understanding of calculus it will be difficult for you to get a good grasp of the aerodynamics material.

share|improve this answer

I'm with DeltaLima's book recommendation [pdf].

Otherwise, this chapter of a larger ebook covers some basic aerodynamics: http://www.av8n.com/how/htm/airfoils.html

share|improve this answer
    
I'm thinking we should keep this answer around as "the web pages list" -- not necessarily textbooks, but web pages with good explanations? –  voretaq7 Jun 17 at 19:08

protected by voretaq7 Jun 19 at 4:35

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.