Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book Review: Aircraft Design

E. Heinemann, R. Rausa, K. Van Every
Aircraft Design
Baltimore, MD: Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1985
Category: Aerospace Engineering

Rating: 4-Stars

This slim volume contains a collection of aircraft design fundamentals, as told by Ed Heinemann - the chief designer in charge of naval attack aviation at Douglas Aircraft during the 1940s and 50s.  Although not as broad or deep in its scope as Jan Roskam's multi-volume set, and not as up-to-date as Dan Raymer's text, Heinemann's classic study still retains its practical charm.

Heinemann presents the fundamentals of combat aircraft design, without going too deep into the underlying details.  His book is therefore appropriate as an introductory text for someone who wants to understand the lay of the land, but who is not yet ready for all of the mathematics that preliminary aircraft design would demand.  The true attraction of this particular text for me, however, lies in the seasoned wisdom of the man behind it: a real airplane designer, not a professor ensconced in academia.  It is the practical perspective and advice that sets this book apart.

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