Stuff for aeronautical engineering
    and flight testing


    Printable Books (Adobe Acrobat)

  • Introduction to Flight Testing / NASA Dryden
    A nice book that summaries the methods used to determine capabilities and performances of aircraft.
    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 introduction.
    (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, 2'168Kbytes)

  • 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)
    The 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.
    The documents are from 1917 to 1958, can be downloaded as printable PDF files or viewed online as GIFs.

  • NASA (Langley)
    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 Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

  • Xfoil 6.94, "Subsonic Airfoil Development System", by Prof Mark Drela (MIT)
    Xfoil is 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 airfoil.
    - 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"
    Nonlin allows 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 provide.
    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. (230Kbytes)

  • XYmath, "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 differential equations.
    It's plain old DOS, but quite powerful. (204Kbytes)


  • "The 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 Coordinates Database
    Contains coordinates of many airfoils, to be used in virtual wind tunnel tests, in example.
    The airfoils 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.
    This addition 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)
    A nice 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.

  • Applied 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 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
    Phone/Fax: (661)665-1065

, 01/25/2001 (updated 09/15/2003)