Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Model Aircraft Aerodynamics
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on July 31, 2001
As a professional aerospace engineer, I am often disappointed by books and articles written for amateurs and hobbyists. This book is a rare exception in that it is accurate, understandable and well laid out. The very low Reynolds number conditions that model aircraft fly in are sufficiently different from full scale that most engineers don't really understand what is going on. This book led me through unfamiliar territory and gave me a much fuller appreciation for the aerodynamics I encountered in very-high-altitude and planetary flight.
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on August 7, 2004
Even though its focus is models, this book is a great inexpensive companion to the far more costly textbooks on full-scale airplane design. A lot of its discussion is applicable to aircraft of any scale. About 1/3 of the book is devoted to airfoils, including discussions of section shape, camber, turbulent flow, laminar flow and the impact of Reynolds number. Like the other reviewer I particular like the appendixes which cover almost 130 pages of this book. The appendixes contain most of the math in the book, including the mathematical formulas for computing lift coefficient, camber, drag, static margin, etc. Mostly, though, they contain wind tunnel test results and profile shapes for many airfoils, not just the NACA ones, but also Eppler, Wortmann and Selig profiles and a few others that I had never heard of. The NACA profiles are easy to find (like in 'Theory of Wing Sections') but its nice to see such an extensive list of the harder-to-find profiles as well.
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on August 21, 1999
This is without a doubt the most useful book in my library and is a "must have" for any serious modeler. It not only gives the basics that any modeler should be able to understand but backs the concepts up with some basic math to prove the points. In addition, Martin has used the metric SI system of units which makes everything much easier to understand.
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on August 31, 2001
This is an excellent book, applicable to much more than model aircraft. Most of it's material is applicable to full size sailplanes and aircraft also. The book is not heavily mathematical, and chapters start with basic fundamentals and build from there. Significant prior knowledge is not required, but helpful. I actually bought the book after reading a copy of a friend's. I was pleasantly suprized to find that the later edition that I bought had more material in the same down to earth style as the first. Great book.
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on March 9, 1998
Model aircraft aerodynamics is a delightfully well-written book about a topic which is perhaps not so easily understood by the majority of model builders. Concentrating on airfoil performance, Simons' book is a densely packed source of information on nearly every detail one could possibly wish to know about the principles behind airplane lift. The book devotes several chapters to the presentation and explanation of wind tunnel experiments, as well as an in-depth discussion about the possible limitations of such results, together with historical notes and references. Furthermore, by calculated examples, Simons shows the reader how aerodynamic data are put to good use in the design of a real flying device. Some of the test results presented in the book are produced in cooperation with modelers in order to ensure the usefulness of the outcome. Other topics like Reynolds number and special details concerning propellers are of course also found. A very good choice of book for someone who wants to get a flying start into the secrets of wings.
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on January 28, 2010
I have recently studied the 2009 edition. First, I confess prejudice, since he references my work on airfoils. But this is a truly excellent volume, well written, well illustrated, virtually without equations and correct in every respect. I could not find a single item that was wrong, or even required more precise expression. I expect that readers who do not have college aerodynamics may find it a little abstruse. But the truth is seldom simple.
Most of the reviews give good, useful descriptions of the content. It is a pity that one reviewer was so totally ignorant as to knock the book because it "used Bernoulli for airfoil lift"!! The book he quotes as a basis for this nonsense is actually incorrect, and is widely known as a joke in the professional business. It is sad how definite fools may be. And how harmful!
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on November 6, 2001
The book is, to me, hard to read because there is little to no "scenery" in the book. Every sentence is packed with information which results in a slow read particular for a newcomer to the field of aerodynamics like myself.
Inevitably, every page is filled with "Why didn't I think of that" - type revelations. Don't rush into the book. Take it a page at a time because the pace builds up quickly - particularly in the first few chapters. If you don't understand a chapter, you will waste your time on the next. A Book for the patient, but eager to learn.
Martin Simons is an expert in his field and in this conversational, intense, book his knowledge is shared well.
Definitely the pride of my library.
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on July 4, 1998
Having designed my own uniquely different model aircraft (spans of 2-3 meters), I found this book to be indespensable. The explainations of forces and the effects of many different designs factors was superb. The appendix 3 (with nearly 200 different aerofoils alone!) is worth the price.
For anyone who designs or just flies Model Aircraft, this book will allow you to understand how and why Aircraft fly, which will make you a better 'Pilot' and/or designer.
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on February 2, 2013
Covers fundamentals of model aircraft design and engineering in a way that ferrets out the subtle and significant considerations for building a small scale aircraft. Martin Simons long experience with small scale aircraft shows the value and limits of advanced math applied to aircraft. Yet, the book use of math is practical and does not require advanced math. This book is one of the most useful relevant books I have read in this area. It is a how-to cookbook to improve most aspects of model aircraft construction and can be used for ARF (almost ready to Fly) kit planes and really tweak them for high performance flying. You will not regret getting this book!
Someone liked my copy so much I had to re-order, the newer version is definitely an improvement.
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on December 15, 2012
This book contains a lot of information about wing design, theory and applied aerodynamics. It's not for the feint of heart, or someone who is intimidated by math. Though the author does a good job of minimizing equations and complex physics. One of my complaints is that a lot of the illustrations are on different pages than the text that references them. I realize this is hard to get around, but I found it annoying when trying to understand a concept in the text I had to bounce back and forth to an illustration on another page. If you are a serious glider pilot or someone who likes to design RC airframes, this book should be on your shelf.
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