About This Book...
This text was developed for a course in applied aerodynamics at Stanford
University. The first year graduate course includes topics ranging from
a review of the basic, governing equations of fluid flow to practical issues
related to airfoil and wing design. The course included approximately 26
lectures dealing with the basic topics, with weekly problem sets to encourage
students to explore topics more fully. These notes were used as part
of the course reading materials. It is impossible to discuss applied aerodynamics
without reference to computational methods, and the course makes use of several
programs for aerodynamic analysis of airfoils and wings, limited versions of which
are included here.
The material presented here complements a separate course in compressible flow
theory, and many important issues are left to that course, while a continuation
of this material is given in courses on advanced aerodynamic topics and aircraft
This digital text is intended to supplement a more conventional textbook in applied
aerodynamics. The material has been composed based on lecture notes over the last
few years and is continually under development, so your comments and suggestions
Why a Digital Textbook?
There are several reasons for using this format for the course notes:
I would like this, someday, to be a real "Hitchhiker's Guide to Aerodynamics"
complete with a cadre of editors each supplying a section at their home
institution. For the moment we are interested in your feedback for the
next edition. Please send comments to Desktop Aeronautics (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- They are easily updated and changed -- important in the development
process for the author and for students who may want to rewrite the book
- Analysis routines can be built into the notes directly. (See for example
the streamline calculations, NACA airfoils, wing analysis, canards... in
the Java-version of this text.)
- The format permits easy access to information (through the searchable index)
and organizes the information in a way that cannot be done in hardcopy.
- It is inexpensive to include color pictures and video.
- It is possible, by providing just a couple of custom pages, to tailor
the textbook for a particular course. If the material on potential flow
theory is not appropriate for the class, a new outline and contents page
may be created that avoids reference to that material.
About the Author
Ilan Kroo is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University.
He received a degree in Physics from Stanford in 1978, then continued graduate
studies in Aeronautics, leading to a Ph.D. degree in 1983.
He worked in the Advanced Aerodynamic Concepts Branch at NASA's Ames
Research Center then returned to Stanford as a member
of the Aero/Astro faculty. Prof. Kroo's research in aerodynamics and aircraft
design has focussed on the study of innovative airplane concepts and
multidisciplinary optimization. He has participated in the design of high
altitude aircraft, human-powered airplanes, America's Cup sailboats,
and high-speed research aircraft. He was one of the principal designers
of the SWIFT, tailless sailplane design and has worked with the
Advanced Research Projects Agency on high altitude long endurance aircraft.
He directs a research group at Stanford consisting of about ten Ph.D.
students and teaches aircraft design and applied aerodynamics at the graduate level.
In addition to his research and teaching interests, Prof. Kroo is Chief Scientist of
Desktop Aeronautics, Inc. and is an advanced-rated hang glider pilot.
I would like to thank the many people who contributed to this work.
To the students in AA200A who put up with beta versions that almost worked,
to many colleagues who sent valuable suggestions, to Christine Beirne who helped to
turn this into a real product, to R.T. Jones and Richard Shevell who have made
many helpful comments on this material, and to my family, just for being wonderful: thanks.
This textbook is copyright by Desktop Aeronautics, Inc. Figures and text were
either prepared originally for this book or used with permission.
In certain cases royalty payments have been arranged.
No part of this document may be reproduced in any form without express
written permission from:
P.O. Box 20384
Stanford, CA 94309
(650) 424-8588 (Phone)
Please contact Desktop Aeronautics for information on CD
versions of this work. See the Desktop
Aeronautics Home Page on the World Wide Web.