Saturday, September 5, 2015

Book Review: Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion

Philip G. Hill and Carl R. Paterson
Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1970
Category: Aerospace Engineering

Rating: 4-Stars

As its title suggests, Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion tackles the broad subject of modern aerospace propulsion, spanning everything from jet engines, to rocket motors, to the electric thrusters used by spacecraft.  As with any attempt to cover such a broad subject, the book covers its material in general, theoretical terms.

Much like Gas Turbine Theory, Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion provides an introductory, theoretical background without delving into the details necessary for engine design.  First published in 1965, it is still in use in college classrooms today, a testament to its enduring value as an introductory resource.  In my experience, it provides a solid thermodynamic foundation, but leaves its readers hungry for more solid meats.  Much like Gas Turbine Theory, it has served well for this intended purpose.  For those of us intent on delving into the details of propulsion system development and design, however, a more detailed account - such as that supplied by Aircraft Engine Design - will be needed.

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