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Understanding Flight, Second Edition [Paperback]

David W. Anderson , Scott Eberhardt
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 12, 2009 0071626964 978-0071626965 2

Discover how planes get--and stay--airborne

Now you can truly master an understanding of the phenomenon of flight. This practical guide is the most intuitive introduction to basic flight mechanics available. Understanding Flight, Second Edition, explains the principles of aeronautics in terms, descriptions, and illustrations that make sense--without complicated mathematics. Updated to include helicopter flight fundamentals and aircraft structures, this aviation classic is required reading for new pilots, students, engineers, and anyone fascinated with flight.

Understanding Flight, Second Edition, covers:

  • Physics of flight
  • Wing design and configuration
  • Stability and control
  • Propulsion
  • High-speed flight
  • Performance and safety
  • Aerodynamic testing
  • Helicopters and autogyros
  • Aircraft structures and materials


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Understanding Flight, Second Edition + Illustrated Guide to Aerodynamics + Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying
Price for all three: $61.69

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Anderson is a lifelong pilot. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University.

Scott Eberhardt works in high-lift aerodynamics with Product Development, at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 2 edition (August 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071626964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071626965
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic enough for young ages January 11, 2012
By Runner
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my daughter, who is 13 and enamored with flight. She has spent hours with the book. The pictures and drawings help bring the topics down to an understandable level for all ages.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game-changer: GREAT BOOK January 22, 2011
By Vanda
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What are you looking for?

This book is written by very accomplished aeronautical industry/academic professionals. Do you want their insights? Or, do you want their formulae?

Many want the formulae, but I wanted the insights. And that is exactly what this book provides.

If you are looking for a fresh, experienced, and non-dogmatic view of the principles of flight then this is the book for you.

You'll get it as soon as you get through about 20 pages. This isn't your sad physics teacher's regurgitation text on flight. It is real and begins to point light on lift and aerodynamics for those of a more philosophically curious nature.

Simple, straight-forward, and with the gravity of experience. Excellent.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Table of Contents August 6, 2012
By jhkjh
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the electronic version of this book to have as a quick cheap reference, but was shocked to find the electronic version of it doesn't have a table of contents. What I don't understand is that Amazon displays a table of contents on the website. But for some reason they figured that a Kindle readers prefer clicking through the book page by page rather than jumping straight to the section of interest. If this were a novel I wouldn't care, but for a technical book it's totally unacceptable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Flight, Second Edition May 9, 2013
I taught for the TCDSB for 23 years. I now do science workshops for school children and educators. I currectly sit on the editorial board of the Science Teachers Association of Ontario for our two e- magazines.

The authors scientifically challenge the Bernoulli explanation of flight found in many textbooks and pilot's manuals. Anderson and Eberhardt explain and prove that the Bernoulli explanation is just plain wrong.

The book is written for the average reader who does not have a degree in physics. It is a non-mathematical approach to the physics of flight that reads like a novel.

There are insertions, like sidebars, which contain facts about flight and aviation history. These make for fascinating reading, yet do not take away from the flow of the book. The many illustrations and pictures complement the points the authors are making.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aerodynamics made clear April 29, 2013
As a long-time flight instructer (airplanes and instruments), I've searched for this kind of book for my students and flying buddies. In Robin Old's autobiography "Fighter Pilot" he tells of his encounter with compressibility in the P-38 in WW11. Now I understand the concept. For the curious, the part about swept wing and area rule concepts is enlightening. A must read and great gift to pilot friends. James H. Thorsen FAA #1678207 CFI A&I.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Understand (MUCH MORE about) Flight now!!! April 24, 2013
I intended this book for an Aeronautics Aficionado in my life, but ended up learning about aviation myself!
I was a novice (at best) when it comes to understanding how enormous chunks of metal can fly... but this book is beyond informational, it is also a joy to read! I highly recommend this Second Edition, whatever your working knowledge of air travel.
For the record, this gift soared with its recipient, but now there's an ETA for it to land on my own coffee table. Props (ugh, another plane pun!) to the authors for presenting a thoughtful and visually-stimulating read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must to read book!!! January 18, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book cover all expectations you need about the secrets of air navigation, The book treats not only the theory of flights, and its myths, in addition you will find inside the power explanation, propellers and much more!!!
This is a book I strongly suggest you!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great explanation of concepts
This was great for the gifted middle schooler I have it to. He dove in right away. The book has nice narrative explanations of the concepts without overwhelming with formulas. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Really1234
5.0 out of 5 stars great book-very good explanations
This is a great book. I found it refreshing and eye opening. It debunks the popular myths about the principles of lift and of flight. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cesar Levy
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book
Flight has always eluded me so my quest to get some answers started here.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading, learning, highlighting and finally understanding, in basic... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Hblue
5.0 out of 5 stars Text book example
Great information and insight! I bought both the electronic and online versions and have no complaints about either. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Josh
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff!!
This book is easy to read, with lots of great facts and pictures! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in flight.
Published 14 months ago by Sarasodapop
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read.
I found this book to be extremely easy to read and understand. I especially enjoy that it is written for both the lay person and the more knowledgeable reader. Read more
Published 14 months ago by GREGORY E ANDERSON
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard to follow
I've been using this textbook for my Applied Aerodynamics course, and it's just SO DENSE. Very hard to get through, and it skips around a lot. The index is almost worthless. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jason Haugen
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