Review from Discovery

April, 2001

Review from Pilot Training

May, 2001 (Scroll down)

Reviews from Amazon.com

5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars

5 of 5 starsA Must-Read For everyone interested in machines that fly, February 14, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from La Grange, Illinois

. Both authors are scientists and pilots and have teamed up to scientifically challenge some of our traditional explanations of flight found in ground school texts and popular books on airplanes and flying. In fact, the authors point out (and prove) some of the traditional explanations of the physics of flight are just plain wrong. Together these co-authors present an impressive combination of knowledge about airflows, physics, aeronautics, and piloting.

The authors make the argument that the airplane wing produces lift because it is literally reacting upward in response to the huge amounts of air being drawn across the top and diverted down behind the trailing edge of a wing.

A must-read for every pilot is the book's description of the physics of flowing air bending around the a curved wing surface. We learn that it is the Coanda Effect, viscosity, and boundary layer that keep the air bent over the curvature of the wing. And without these phenomena flight is not possible. These explanations will lead us to answering such intriguing questions as how vortex generators work, why we can't hose the dust off our car, why golf balls are dimpled, why frost on airplane wings is a problem, and how baseball pitchers throw a curve ball.

This book should become a standard reference for pilot training. 


5 of 5 starsThe title of this book should have been "Wings Illustrated", January 6, 2001
Reviewer:
d_cossairt from Aurora, Illinois
This book provides an excellent, non-technical introduction to the flight of airplanes and even golf balls and baseballs. As a beautiful book, it is well-illustrated with good drawings and photographs that help the reader to understand the concepts as they are presented. The side notes on aviation history and facts add interest to the book and should, along with the main text, provide starting points for "coffee table" conversation. The book should even serve to help people who have an irrational fear of commercial aviation to overcome those concerns. I liked the book so much that I am buying three more copies for relatives.

 Reviews from barnesandnoble.com

Number of Reviews: 2 Average Rating:

A reviewer, February 28, 2001,
UNDERSTANDING FLIGHT = GOOD BOOK
I would like to say that this is the very first book on flight that I have read that not only made sense, but was written for the non-physicist to read. I enjoy books on how things work, but generally I quickly lose interest because the author spends much of his time working with formulas and mathematics that leave me in the dark. How refreshing! This book reads like a novel, yet leaves the reader with a good understanding of all aspects of flight. An excellent book!

Donald Hogue (dontrain@ameritech.net), a pilot, February 12, 2001,
A Must=Read for All Serious Pilots
Both authors are scientists and pilots and have teamed up to scientifically challenge some of our traditional explanations of flight found in ground school texts and popular books on airplanes and flying. In fact, the authors point out (and prove) some of the traditional explanations of the physics of flight are just plain wrong. Together these co-authors present an impressive combination of knowledge about airflows, physics, aeronautics, and piloting. The authors point out that the widely preached Bernoulli explanation of a wing creating lift, when applied to a Cessna 172 at gross weight, demands that the plane’s airspeed must be over 400 mph to produce the necessary lifting at minimum flyable airspeed. Obviously, this is not reality. The Bernoulli description, we also learn, depends on the rule of equal transit times of the air over the wing and the air moving under the wing. So if it is not Bernoulli, what is keeping the airplane in the air? 'Newton!', the authors reply. Our intrepid authors make the argument that the airplane wing produces lift because it is literally reacting upward in response to the huge amounts of air being drawn across the top and diverted down behind the trailing edge of a wing. A must-read for every pilot is the book's description of the physics of flowing air bending around the a curved wing surface. We learn that it is the Coanda Effect, viscosity, and boundary layer that keep the air bent over the curvature of the wing. And without these phenomena flight is not possible. These explanations will lead us to answering such intriguing questions as how vortex generators work, why we can't hose the dust off our car, why golf balls are dimpled, why frost on airplane wings is a problem, and how baseball pitchers throw a curve ball. Understanding Flight makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the physics of flight and is certain to provoke vigorous discussion in the aviation community. Some of the practical explanations in the book confirm what to pilots may have been only an intuitive suspicion. Both Anderson and Eberhardt are private pilots, which undoubtedly motivated them to keep focused on the simple highly useful physics of flight, carefully supported by flying experience and good empirical science. Highly recommended to any serious aviation enthusiast.