Stuff for aeronautical engineering
and flight testing
Printable Books (Adobe Acrobat)
to Flight Testing / NASA Dryden
A nice book that
summaries the methods used to determine capabilities and performances of
It isolates and describes different stability derivatives, and
the intrumentation and test manoeuvers which are needed for their
determination in flight. It contains lots of color images and is a good
(Acrobat Reader PDF files, zipped, 1'896Kbytes)
- Flight Test
Manual / US Naval Test Pilot School
A detailed book on
the methods used in flight testing.
The objective of this book is to serve
as a practical reference guide for planning, executing and reporting fixed
wing performance flight testing. The FTM is intended for use as a primary
instructional tool at the US Naval Test Pilot School, and is directed to test
pilots and flight test engineers. A must have that's very concrete, and
contains lots of equations!
(Acrobat Reader PDF files, zipped,
Aircraft Performance Flight Testing / By Wayne Olson
The author of this book was employed at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards AFB,
as an aircraft performance flight test engineer and is now retired.
His book in another "must have". It is very comprehensive and covers every aspects of the
different flight tests and their related data reduction. Formulas are well described and
there are many practical examples. It is a highly useful reference source for aircraft
performance flight test engineers.
(Acrobat Reader PDF files, zipped, 2.85Mbytes)
- ISA Atmosphere - Graph Paper
This is not a book, but printable anyway.
Because graph paper with relative density (Sigma) of the ISA "Standard Atmosphere"
on the abscissa is painful to find in stationeries, I made a small program that
generates such sheets based on the standard equations and which can be printed
out with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- E-M Diagrams - Graph Paper
Yet another set of graph paper.
This one if for plotting Energy-Maneuverability charts (aka: "Doghouse" or "Turn Rate" Plots),
which are a convenient way to show the turn performance of an airplane depending on actual
speed and the g's which are pulled. To be printed out with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Technical Reports servers
- NACA (Langley)
NACA server provides hundreds of original reports resulting of research in
aeronautics throughout time.
From main aerodynamics theories to detailed wind tunnel tests,
it contains "first hand" documents written by the men who made aeronautics,
and that are still used as reference for many other books.
are from 1917 to 1958, can be downloaded as printable PDF files or viewed
online as GIFs.
This server provides original research
reports, since NACA was renamed NASA. It contains reference material from 1948
to the Space Shuttle.
The documents can be downloaded as printable PDF files or
viewed online as GIFs.
- DesignFOIL, "Airfoil/Fairing Creation
Tool", by John Dreese
DesignFOIL is a
shareware program that lets you do almost anything with airfoils, including
printing them out to scale or saving them in several formats. The best part is
the Virtual Wind Tunnel which lets you evaluate your airfoils, and will plot
lift, drag, moment coefficient curves, etc.
DesignFOIL is able to take account for flow separation and past stall
behaviour, and is also able to do some analysis of a whole wing. It's the best
freeware/shareware CFD software for PC all around.
DesignFOIL comes with the
almost 1200 airfoil coordinate files that come from the University of Illinois
- Xfoil 6.94, "Subsonic Airfoil
Development System", by Prof Mark Drela (MIT)
an interactive program for the design and analysis of subsonic isolated
airfoils. It consists of a collection of menu-driven routines which perform
functions such as:
- Viscous (or inviscid) analysis of an existing
- Multi-point airfoil design by interactive specification of
surface speed via mouse cursor.
- Direct geometric manipulation (flap,
camber, contour deformation, etc.).
- Drag polar calculation with fixed or
varying Mach and Reynolds numbers.
- Writing and reading of airfoil
geometry and polar save files.
- Plotting of geometry, pressure
distributions, and polars.
Xfoil is formerly written for UNIX (though a win32
port is available), it is not easy to use, but excellent once you have learned.
Thanks to Prof. Drela: it's freeware!
- Nonlin 3.2,
"Nonlinear Regression Analysis Program"
you to perform statistical regression analyses to estimate the values of
parameters for linear, multivariate, polynomial, and general nonlinear
functions. The regression analysis determines the values of the parameters
which cause the function to best fit the observed data that you
This tool will help you in the evaluation of the data that you get
doing flight tests, by estimating parameters for the aerodynamics equation
that you're studying.
It's an old DOS freeware, but powerful.
"Nonlinear Math Toolkit"
The zip file contains XYmath
plus several applets to form a kit. This kit will allow different non-linear
analysis of a set of data or a symbolic equation that you provide. It will
allow operations like "least square" curve fit, finding the roots of a
polynominal equation, finding minimums/maximums, integrating and
differentiating equations, or even solving a system of 1nd and 2nd order
It's plain old DOS, but quite powerful. (204Kbytes)
Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage" by David Lednicer
This site tells what airfoils were used on which aircraft. It lists
many aircraft, and new ones are added on a regular basis. Of course the list
can't be complete, since sometimes data are hard to find, especially for older
aircraft, and also because new aircraft are continuously developped.
- UIUC Airfoil
Contains coordinates of many
airfoils, to be used in virtual wind tunnel tests, in example.
included in this database cover a wide range of applications, from low
Reynolds number airfoils for UAVs and model aircraft to jet transports.
Originally this site included mostly low Reynolds number airfoils (about 160),
but in December 1995 the site was greatly expanded when David Lednicer of
Analytical Methods, Inc. contributed his airfoil collection.
brought the total number of airfoils to over 1000. More airfoils will be added
as they become available.
- ICAO Introduction to
Aerodynamics, by Prof. Ray Preston (ICAO)
college-level online textbook which covers all main topics of aerodynamics,
such as lift and drag definitions, flight controls, stability and performances
issues. It contains lots of interactive and animated examples. A very nice
starting point for aero study.
Aerodynamics / Desktop Aeronautics
This text was developed for a course in applied aerodynamics at Stanford University.
This online demo doesn't contain several chapters and some illustrative video clips, but still
covers many topics ranging from a review of the basic, governing equations of fluid flow
to practical issues related to airfoil and wing design.
The complete version is available on CD ROM for individual use or by site-license
for corporate or academic intranets.
- Aircraft Design: Synthesis and Analysis / Stanford University
This material is based on course notes for a graduate level course in aircraft design at Stanford University. The course involves individual aircraft design projects with problem sets and lectures devoted to various aspects of the design and analysis of a complete aerospace system.
On the right side of this page is a selection of books that you can get from Amazon.com.
Please, notice that if you buy some through the links here, I'd get a little commission from Amazon without
any additional cost for you, and which would help me in getting new books as well. Tall oaks from little acorns grow!
Another book I would have added but which is unavailable from Amazon is Sighard F. Hoerner's:
"FLUID-DYNAMIC DRAG, Information on Aerodynamic Drag and Hydrodynamic Resistance" However,
you can get it by ordering it from:
Hoerner Fluid Dynamics
P. O. Box 21992
Bakersfield, CA 93390