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Fundamentals of Aircraft and Airship Design
ISBN (print): 978-1-60086-751-4
eISBN: 978-1-60086-753-8
Publication Date: January 1, 2010


The aircraft is only a transport mechanism for the payload, and all design decisions must consider payload fi rst. Simply stated, the aircraft is a dust cover. Fundamentals of Aircraft and Airship Design, Volume 1: Aircraft Design emphasizes that the science and art of the aircraft design process is a compromise and that there is no right answer; however, there is always a best answer based on existing requirements and available technologies.

Concepts Discussed

The authors address the conceptual design phase comprehensively, for both civil and military aircraft, from initial consideration of user needs, material selection, and structural arrangement to the decision to iterate the design one more time. The book includes designing for

  • Survivability (stealth)

  • Solar and human power aircraft systems

  • Very high altitude operation with air breathing propulsion

This book is revision and expansion of the 1975 classic aircraft design textbook that has been used worldwide for more than 30 years. Completely updated with the latest industry processes and techniques, it will benefi t graduate and upper-level undergraduate students as well as practicing engineers.

Special Features

  • Step-by-step examples throughout the book, including designing a wing

  • Lessons captured from historical case studies of aircraft design

  • Full-color photographs of multiple aircraft

Leland M. Nicolai received his aerospace engineering degrees from University of Washington (BS), University of Oklahoma (MS), University of Michigan (PhD), and Auburn University (MBA). His 40 years of advanced aircraft design experience includes the AGM-129/Advanced Cruise Missile, the F-20A Tigershark, the T-46A Next Generation Trainer, and the F-22A Raptor, as well as classified programs at DARPA, Northrop Aircraft, and Republic Fairchild. This retired Air Force colonel is an AIAA Fellow and is currently a Lockheed Martin Fellow at the Skunk Works.

Grant E. Carichner received his BS and MS in engineering from UCLA. His career includes work at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works for DARPA and NASA on the SR-71 Blackbird, an M-5 Methane Penetrator, a supersonic stealth STOVL fi ghter, the JASSM missile, Aerocraft, and the Quiet Supersonic Platform (QSP) program. He has holds several design patents for hybrid airships as well as a vehicle patent for the JASSM missile.