This chapter contains a summary of the principal analytical tools that are used in the formulation and solution of problems of flight mechanics. Much of the content will he familiar to readers with a strong mathematical background, and they should make short work of it.
The topics treated are vector/matrix algebra, Laplace and Fourier transforms, random process theory, and machine computation. This selection is a reflection of current needs in research and industry. The vector/matrix formalism has been adopted as a principal mathematical tool because it provides a single powerful framework that serves for all of kinematics, dynamics, and system theory, and because it is at the same time a most suitable way of organizing analysis for digital computation. f The treatment is intended to he of an expository and summary nature, rather than rigorous, although some derivations are included. The student who wishes to pursue any of the topics in greater detail should consult the bibliography.
f Most computation centers have library programs for the manipulation of matrices. These are routine operations.