Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review: The Design of the Airplane

Darrol Stinton
The Design of the Airplane
New York: Von Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1983
Category: Aerospace Engineering

Rating: 4-Stars

Unlike many of the other airplane design texts reviewed here, Darrol Stinton's book was aimed not at the commercial or military aircraft designer, but at the home-built airplane market.  As such, the author has striven to provide additional descriptions and explanation in an attempt to keep his text accessible.

This then, is what makes Stinton's book unique, and for some, a treasure.  Well written, with plenty of figures, Stinton succeeded in producing a useful text for a market that is less well served by other, more detailed volumes.  You won't find any methods for dealing with transonic drag rise or the effects of compressibility on control surface effectiveness, for example, but you will find plenty of practical advise and descriptions for the subsonic aircraft designer.

Stinton's book was actually my own first aircraft engineering text - long before I had entered graduate school, or the university.  Even today as an aviation professional, I continue to appreciate Stinton's text as a good go-to guide under circumstances where other volumes might be less clear or practical.  An excellent starting point for many analyses, or even just to gain an understanding of the mechanics of airplane flight in general.

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