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Illustrated Guide to Aerodynamics Paperback – December 1, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0830639014 ISBN-10: 0830639012 Edition: 2nd
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hubert C. "Skip" Smith (University Park, PA) is Associate Professor Emeritus, Aerospace Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of McGraw-Hill's The illustrated Guide to Aerodynamics, Second Edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 2 edition (December 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830639012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830639014
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1997
Format: Paperback
Unless one has considerable experience interpreting mathematical formulae, it may be worth their while to consider a book such as this before reading a university level aerodynamics textbook. The textbook will be made somewhat more comprehensible knowing the basic principlew which a more descriptive book, such as this one, can teach simply. Most textbooks in the subject, even those meant as introductory, give a painfully mathematical and theoretical treatment with insufficient verbal explanation. They are meant for complete school courses, where a teacher can qualitatively describe the physical principles.
Without the benefit of professors, a book like Smith's isrequired to provide the intuitive capacity which then makes the textbooks useful. The Illustrated Guide to Aerodynamics was not prepared as a university textbook, hence its semi-quantitative, largely practical, explanation of aerodynamics principles, but students will still find it valuable in reducing the effort needed when they turn to their textbooks. The important concepts are all covered and explained well, along with aerodynamics terms and design considerations. Use this book to help you understand, the others to help your grade point average. Smith's book would also be understandable to those who are not students, but do want to know about the physical principles involved in aircraft flight. Many diagrams and graphs explain the subject matter in pictures. A knowledge of basic mechanics and basic fluid mechanics is required, however.
My only complaint is the author's use of English units on an SI continent. English units are somewhat forgiveable however, since aerodynamics and fluid mechanics are areas which continue to resist complete conversion to SI.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found Skip Smith's book to be an excellent layman's introduction to aerodynamics. Fluid mechanics does not usually make for interesting, easily comprehensible reading, but Dr. Smith's book is clearly the exception. I'm constantly irritated by the very inaccurate descriptions of aerodynamics given in many flying magazines and instructional books. This book has none of those common errors. Reading this book should greatly increase the average pilot's knowledge of how his plane flies and what huge design constraints aeronatical engineers have to live with. Highly recommended reading for all those who are interested in learning more about the principles of flight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Smith on March 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book for research that I am doing at school. In this book the author carefully and slowly explains the principles of aerodynamics. His approach is perfect for those of us who are new to the subject.

The layout of the book makes sense. The book includes many examples along with thorough explanations of these examples. (He also gives many interesting anecdotal comments.) Additionally, the author's handling of the material is simple, but not so basic that one cannot get a full understanding of aerodynamic forces acting on an airplane and on the structures than comprise the vehicle.

This book is a very useful reference for understanding aerodynamic forces and how these forces can be determined and predicted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Puccetti on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guide is an excellent primer for anyone in college, anyone who has a technical degree, or has a strong background in high school science. This is the first time I have ever seen aerodynamics presented in a form this concise and well explained. The book is a great supplement to the classic "Stick and Rudder - an explanation of the art of flying" (Wolfgange Langewiesche). My degree is in aerodynamics and the guide provided me with many hours of enjoyable reading which brought back many wonderful memories of my aerodynamics classes. The illustrations are excellent and make the material much more digestable.
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I want to know more about flying and how planes work and found little that could explain it so I can understand, until I found this book. Not only does the author give excellent details about flying, he uses a step by step approach to cover areas like lift, drag, airplane and wing design, and more. This book is fascinating and kept me interested throughout. The illustrations make it easy to understand and I have renewed confidence about physics, a subject I previously avoided. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a greater understanding of how and why flight works.Illustrated Guide to Aerodynamics
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By Mike on August 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book will be very helpful to pilots who want an "intuitive" understanding of aerodynamics. It will allow them to apply the information that is only touched on in other beginning piloting texts. I am considering using it as a textbook for a community college pilot technology curriculum. His explanation of wing lift does not emphasize Newton enough and seems to over emphasize Bernoulli, but this is not intended as a highly technical or mathematical approach. It is real world information for the pilot.
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If you want to build or just understand the dynamics of flight, including all the hard math but in an easy to read and understand format, then this book is a must have for your bookshelf.

This book totally sucked me into it, not unlike a novel, it was that easy to read and understand. Whether you are 14 or 94, you will like this book.
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