Saturday, July 18, 2015
Book Review: Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach
Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach
Washington DC: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1989
Category: Aerospace Engineering
Airplane design is an extremely broad topic, embodying many competing disciplines and spanning decades of learning - much of it earned the hard way: through tragic failure. The young engineer therefore needs to start somewhere, and I know of no better introductory text than Daniel Raymer's Aircraft Design.
Daniel Raymer's book forms a worthy compliment to Jan Roskam's more expansive Airplane Design series. While it doesn't have all of the calculations and formulae of Roskam's multi-volume set, Raymer's text is far more readable and accessible to the new engineer. He also includes a number of subjects that Roskam omits, including approximation methods for drag rise and supersonic wave drag, as well as how to estimate drag rise due to external stores.
The chief advantage of this text, however, remains its readable prose. While Roskam's more detailed works take time and patience to absorb, Raymer provides the concepts and outlines in a more friendly format. The book does have its weaknesses. Raymer's treatment of stability and control, as well as sizing methods for control surfaces, pales beside that of Roskam's volumes. But for a new engineer intent on making a career in this industry, Raymer's book is the place to start.
Again, none of these books is aimed at the casual reader. These are engineering texts. But for someone with the right background, Raymer's work provides the starting point for the decades of professional learning that will follow throughout a career.