More Aircraft Design Books

Here are some more aircraft design books I recommend. Most are more general than Alex Strojnik's excellent three-book series on Laminar Aircraft, but perhaps a bit easier for the beginning designer to start his or her understanding of the aircraft design process.

The aircraft pictured above, Laminar Magic, was designed to prove that with attention to detail in the areas of surface preparation and proper shape ("laminar flow" or micro-aerodynamics), higher speeds can be acheived on much less power than most aircraft require. Ultimately this results in reduced cost and improved performance for the aviation enthusiast.

However, even Laminar Magic has to follow the "basic rules" of aircraft design: Sizing the wing area for weight and desired stall speed; locating the center of mass (or CG, "center of gravity") just ahead of the center of lift for stability; keeping the thrust line vertically close to the center of mass; et cetera. These books will help you understand those concepts.

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This is the abbreviated (and much less expensive) version of Daniel Raymer's excellent Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach (to the right). It's a great starting point for understanding aircraft design. Raymer's Conceptual Design is on the shelf of every aeronautical and aerospace engineer, and a required textbook for aeronautical and aerospace engineering students.
Crawford's book is a good, practical guide to the help the budding designer see that every design is a compromise. Heintz is the designer of the Zenith series of homebuilt and kit lightplanes. Another very practical handbook.
Martin Hollman puts a lot of information into his large-format, comb-bound volumes. Volume 1 covers layout, engineering, and performance. Hollman's Volume 2 covers computer-aided design, and composite materials.
Bill Welch's book is recommended by many 'old-school' homebuilders.    


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