Understanding Flight, by David F. Anderson

Understanding Flight

by David F. Anderson & Scott Eberhardt

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9.3" x 7.3"
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A detailed discussion on aerodynamics for the pilot, that doesn't require an engineering degree to understand.

Get to the heart of how planes fly.

Never before has it been so easy to grasp how planes fly!

Of keen importance to pilots, essential to engineers, and intriguing even to the earthbound, the principles of flight are often parroted but widely misunderstood. Now you can be among those who truly get it.

The simplest way to master an understanding of the science of flight.

This enlightening book helps you bypass common distortions, misconceptions, and half-truths and genuinely understand how aeronautics works.

This book gives you brain- and gut-level understanding of what gets you up there and keeps you up there!
*Explains flight in simple, intuitive terms
*Spares you misinformation and confusion—this book gets it right and tells it right
*100 high-impact illustrations show you lift, propulsion, and design at work
*Provides practical insights pilots can use for improved performance and safety
*Demonstrates the why's and how's of wing shape, plane construction, flight testing, and high-speed flight
*Written by pilots (one a physicist and the other a professor of aeronautics)
*Perfect for beginning pilots

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  • Introduction
  • 1 Basic Concepts
    • Airplane nomenclature
    • The airplane; Airfoils and wings; axes of control; the turn
    • The four Forces
    • Mach number
    • Kinetic energy
    • Airpressures
    • The pitot tube; venturi and throat
    • Wrapping it up
  • 2 How airplanes fly
    • the popular description of lift
    • the mathematical description of lift
    • the physical description of lift
    • Newton's three laws
    • The Coanda effect
    • Viscosity and lift
    • Lift on a wing
    • Downwash
    • Does the earth support the airplane
    • The adjustment of lift
    • Angle of attack
    • The wing as a scoop for air
    • Putting it together
    • Power
    • Induced power; parasitic power; the power curve;
    • the effect of load on induced power.
    • Drag
    • The wing's efficiency for lift
    • the physics of efficiency
    • lift requires power
    • Wing vortices
    • Circulation
    • Flight of insects
    • Ground effect
    • Wrapping it up
  • 3 Wings
    • Airfoil selection
    • wing incidence and camber; wing thickness; leading edge;
    • wing platforms; wing loading; aspect ration; sweep taper twist.
    • Wing configuration
    • dihedral; high wings vs. low wings; cowling saves the Boeing
    • wing tip descent; winglets; canards.
    • Boundary-layer turbulence
    • Ice on a wing
    • Boundary layer turbulence
    • Form Drag
    • The golf ball
    • Vortex generators
    • High-lift devices
    • flaps; slots and sltes; deflected slipstream and jet wash
    • Wrapping it up
  • 4 Stability and Control
    • Static stability
    • Longitudinal stability
    • stability of a symmetric wing; balance; the horizontal
    • stabilizer; trim; flying wings; horizontal stabilizer
    • sizing
    • Directional stability
    • Dynamic stability
    • phugoid motion; dutch roll; spiral instability
    • Stability augmentation
    • handling
    • Fly-by-wire
    • Wrapping it up
  • 5 Airplane Propulsion
    • It's Newton again
    • Thrust
    • Power
    • Efficiency
    • Propellers - multi bladed props; propeller pitch
    • Piston engines
    • The Turbine engine - compressors; burners; turbines
    • The Turbojet
    • Jet engine power and efficiency
    • The turbofan
    • The turboprop
    • Thrust reversers
    • thrust vectoring
    • Thrust augmentation
    • Wrapping it up
  • 6 High-Speed flight
    • Mach number
    • Lift is still reaction force
    • compressible air
    • show waves
    • Wave drag and power
    • Transonic flight
    • Wing sweep
    • Area rule
    • Hypersonic flight
    • Skin Heating
    • Wrapping it up
  • 7 Airplane performance
    • Lift to drag ration
    • Lift to drag ration form the engineer's perspective
    • Glide
    • Out of fuel
    • Indicated airspeed
    • Takeoff performance
    • Climb
    • Ceiling
    • Fuel Consumption
    • Maximum endurance
    • Maximum range
    • Turns - stall speed limit; structural strength limit;
    • propulsive power limit
    • Standard-rate turns
    • Landing
    • Wrapping it up
  • 8 Aerodynamic Testing
    • Wind tunnel testing
    • Subsonic wind tunnels - closed-circuit tunnel; wind tunnel
    • data; supersonic venturis; supersonic wind tunnels;
    • hypersonic testing.
    • Flight Testing - Flight instrument calibration; the standard
    • day; power required; power required data; takeoff
    • and landing; climbing and turning; flight test accidents;
    • Wrapping it up
  • Appendix: Misapplications of Bernoulli's principle
  • Index


David F. Anderson is a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and a private pilot.

Scott Eberhardt is an associate professor in the department of aeronautics and astronautics at the University of Washington. He is also the director of the Kirsten Wind Tunnel and a private pilot.

Our intrepid authors make the argument that the airplane wing produces lift because it is literally reacting upward in response to the huge amounts of air being drawn across the top and diverted down behind the trailing edge of a wing. A must-read for every pilot is the book's description of the physics of flowing air bending around the a curved wing surface. We learn that it is the Coanda Effect, viscosity, and boundary layer that keep the air bent over the curvature of the wing. And without these phenomena flight is not possible. These explanations will lead us to answering such intriguing questions as how vortex generators work, why we can't hose the dust off our car, why golf balls are dimpled, why frost on airplane wings is a problem, and how baseball pitchers throw a curve ball.


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A Must Read. Aug 31, 2011 Donald Hogue a pilot
  A Must Read for All Serious Pilots. Both authors are scientists and pilots and have teamed up to scientifically challenge some of our traditional explanations of flight found in ground school texts and popular books on airplanes and flying. In fact, the authors point out (and prove) some of the traditional explanations of the physics of flight are just plain wrong. Together these co-authors... more...

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