Preface to the First Edition

This book is for students—to be read, understood, and enjoyed. It is consciously written in a clear, informal, and direct style designed to talk to the reader and to gain his or her immediate interest in the challenging and yet beautiful discipline of aerodynamics. The explanation of each topic is carefully constructed to make sense to the reader. Moreover, the structure of each chapter is highly organized in order to keep the reader aware of where we are, where we were, and where we are going. Too frequently the student of aerodynamics loses sight of what is trying to be accomplished; to avoid this, we attempt to keep the reader informed of our intent at all times. For example, virtually each chapter contains a road map—a block diagram designed to keep the reader well aware of the proper flow of ideas and concepts. The use of such chapter road maps is one of the unique features of this book. Also, to help organize the reader’s thoughts, there are special summary sections at the end of most chapters.

The material in this book is at the level of college juniors and seniors in aerospace or mechanical engineering. It assumes no prior knowledge of fluid dynamics in general, or aerodynamics in particular. It does assume a familiarity with differential and integral calculus, as well as the usual physics background common to most students of science and engineering. Also, the language of vector analysis is used liberally; a compact review of the necessary elements of vector algebra and vector calculus is given in Chapter 2 in such a fashion that it can either educate or refresh the reader, whichever may be the case for each individual.

This book is designed for a 1-year course in aerodynamics. Chapters 1 to 6 constitute a solid semester emphasizing inviscid, incompressible flow. Chapters 7 to 14 occupy a second semester dealing with inviscid, compressible flow. Finally, Chapters 15 to 18 introduce some basic elements of viscous flow, mainly to serve as a contrast to and comparison with the inviscid flows treated throughout the bulk of the text.

This book contains several unique features:

1. The use of chapter road maps to help organize the material in the mind of the reader, as discussed earlier.

2. An introduction to computational fluid dynamics as an integral part of the begin­ning study of aerodynamics. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has recently become a third dimension in aerodynamics, complementing the previously ex­isting dimensions of pure experiment and pure theory. It is absolutely necessary that the modem student of aerodynamics be introduced to some of the basic ideas of CFD—he or she will most certainly come face to face with either its “machinery” or its results after entering the professional ranks of practicing aero – dynamicists. Hence, such subjects as the source and vortex panel techniques, the method of characteristics, and explicit finite-difference solutions are introduced

and discussed as they naturally arise during the course of our discussions. In particular, Chapter 13 is devoted exclusively to numerical techniques, couched at a level suitable to an introductory aerodynamics text.

3. A short chapter is devoted entirely to hypersonic flow. Although hypersonics is at one extreme end of the flight spectrum, it has current important applications to the design of the space shuttle, hypervelocity missiles, and planetary entry vehicles. Therefore, hypersonic flow deserves some attention in any modern presentation of aerodynamics. This is the purpose of Chapter 14.

4. Historical notes are placed at the end of many of the chapters. This follows in the tradition of the author’s previous books, Introduction to Flight: Its Engineering and History (McGraw-Hill, 1978), and Modem Compressible Flow: With His­torical Perspective (McGraw-Hill, 1982). Although aerodynamics is a rapidly evolving subject, its foundations are deeply rooted in the history of science and technology. It is important for the modem student of aerodynamics to have an appreciation for the historical origin of the tools of the trade. Therefore, this book addresses such questions as who were Bernoulli, Euler, d’Alembert, Kutta, Joukowski, and Prandtl; how was the circulation theory of lift developed; and what excitement surrounded the early development of high-speed aerodynamics? The author wishes to thank various members of the staff of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution for opening their extensive files for some of the historical research behind these history sections. Also, a con­stant biographical reference was the Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by С. C. Gillespie, Charles Schribner’s Sons, New York, 1980. This is a 16-volume set of books which is a valuable source of biographic information on the leading scientists in history.

This book has developed from the author’s experience in teaching both incom­pressible and compressible flow to undergraduate students at the University of Mary­land. Such courses require careful attention to the structure and sequence of the presentation of basic material, and to the manner in which sophisticated subjects are described to the uninitiated reader. This book meets the author’s needs at Maryland; it is hoped that it will also meet the needs of others, both in the formal atmosphere of the classroom and in the informal pleasure of self-study.

Readers who are already familiar with the author’s Introduction to Flight will find the present book to be a logical sequel. Many of the aerodynamic concepts first introduced in the most elementary sense in Introduction to Flight are revisited and greatly expanded in the present book. For example, at Maryland, Introduction to Flight is used in a sophomore-level introductory course, followed by the material of the present book in junior – and senior-level courses in incompressible and com­pressible flow. On the other hand, the present book is entirely self-contained; no prior familiarity with aerodynamics on the part of the reader is assumed. All basic principles and concepts are introduced and developed from their beginnings.

The author wishes to thank his students for many stimulating discussions on the subject of aerodynamics—discussions which ultimately resulted in the present book. Special thanks go to two of the author’s graduate students, Tae-Hwan Cho and

Kevin Bowcutt, who provided illustrative results from the source and vortex panel techniques. Of course, all of the author’s efforts would have gone for nought if it had not been for the excellent preparation of the typed manuscript by Ms. Sue Osborn.

Finally, special thanks go to two institutions: (1) the University of Maryland for providing a challenging intellectual atmosphere in which the author has basked for the past 9 years and (2) the Anderson household—Sarah-Alien, Katherine, and Elizabeth—who have been patient and understanding while their husband and father was in his ivory tower.

John D. Anderson, Jr.

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