Preface to the Third Edition

The purpose of this third edition is the same as the first two—to be read, understood, and enjoyed. Due to the extremely favorable comments from readers and users of the first two editions, virtually all of the earlier editions have been carried over intact to the third edition. Therefore, all the basic philosophy, approach, and content discussed and itemized by the author in the Preface to the First Edition is equally applicable now. Since that preface was repeated earlier, no further elaboration will be given here.

Question: What distinguishes the third edition from the first two? Answer: Much new material has been added in order to enhance and expand that covered in the earlier editions. In particular, the third edition has:

1. A series of Design Boxes scattered throughout the book. These design boxes are special sections for the purpose of discussing design aspects associated with the fundamental material covered throughout the book. These sections are literally placed in boxes to set them apart from the mainline text. Modern engineering education is placing more emphasis on design, and the design boxes in this book are in this spirit. They are a means of making the fundamental material more relevant, and making the whole process of learning aerodynamics more fun.

2. Additional sections highlighting the role of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In the practice of modern aerodynamics, CFD has become a new “third dimen­sion” existing side-by-side with the previous classic dimensions of pure theory and pure experiment. In recognition of the growing significance of CFD, new material has been added to give the reader a broader image of aerodynamics in today’s world.

3. More material on viscous flow. Part 4 on viscous flow has been somewhat rear­ranged and expanded, and now contains two additional chapters in comparison to the previous editions. The new material includes aspects of stagnation point aerodynamic heating, engineering methods of calculation such as the reference temperature method, turbulence modeling, and expanded coverage of modern CFD Navier-Stokes solutions. However, every effort has been made to keep this material within reasonable bounds both in respect to its space and the level of its presentation.

4. Additional historical content scattered throughout the book. It is the author’s opinion that knowledge of the history of aerodynamics plays an important role in the overall education and practice of modern aerodynamics. This additional historical content simply complements the historical material already contained in the previous editions.

5. Many additional worked examples. When learning new technical material, es­pecially material of a fundamental nature as emphasized in this book, one can

never have too many examples of how the fundamentals can be applied to the solution of problems.

6. A large number of new, additional figures and illustrations. The additional ma­terial just itemized is heavily supported with visual figures. I vigorously believe that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

7. New homework problems added to those carried over from the second edition.

Much of the new material in this third edition is motivated by my experiences over the decade that has elapsed since the second edition. In particular, the design boxes follow the objectives and philosophy that dominate my new book Aircraft Per­formance and Design, McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1999. Moreover, the feature of design boxes has recently been introduced in my new edition of Introduction to Flight, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill, Boston, 2000, and has already met with success. The importance of CFD reflected in this third edition is part of my efforts to introduce aspects of CFD into undergraduate education; my book Computational Fluid Dynamics: The Basics with Applications, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1995, is intended to provide a window into the subject of CFD at a level suitable for advanced undergraduates. Finally, the new historical notes contained here are a product of my research and maturity gained while writing A History of Aerodynamics, and Its Impact on Flying Machines, Cam­bridge University Press, New York, 1997 (hardback), 1998 (paperback). I would like to think this third edition of Fundamentals of Aerodynamics has benefited from the above experience.

All the new additions not withstanding, the main thrust of this book remains the presentation of the fundamentals of aerodynamics; the new material is simply intended to enhance and support this thrust. The book is organized along classical lines, dealing with inviscid incompressible flow, inviscid compressible flow, and viscous flow in sequence. My experience in teaching this material to undergraduates finds that it nicely divides into a two-semester course, with Parts 1 and 2 in the first semester, and Parts 3 and 4 in the second semester. Also, for the past eight years I have taught the entire book in a fast-paced, first-semester graduate course intended to introduce the fundamentals of aerodynamics to new graduate students who have not had this material as part of their undergraduate education. The book works well in such a mode.

I would like to thank the McGraw-Hill editorial staff for their excellent help in producing this book, especially Jonathan Plant and Kristen Druffner in Boston, and Kay Brimeyer in Dubuque. Also, special thanks go to my long-time friend and associate, Sue Cunningham, whose expertise as a scientific typist is beyond comparison, and who has typed all my book manuscripts for me, including this one, with great care and precision.

As a final comment, aerodynamics is a subject of intellectual beauty, composed and drawn by many great minds over the centuries. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics is intended to portray and convey this beauty. Do you feel challenged and interested by these thoughts? If so, then read on, and enjoy!

John D. Anderson, Jr.

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