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Civil Aviation: A Design History

Civil Aviation: A Design History

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{detailed description}The appearance of consumer goods is an integral part of their marketing. If the product is purely aesthetic, then the designer can direct his talents primarily towards appearance - ease and economy of production can take second place. However, the more complex the product and its function, the greater will be the involvement of the engineer, until, at the end of the design spectrum represented by, for example, the space satellite, no aesthetic criteria are involved.
The modern aeroplane comes much nearer to the satellite than a work of art but, in its design process, there is scope for beauty - Concorde is a classic example. Nevertheless the complexities of functional efficiency and economy mean that beauty has to take second place. Bill Stout, who in 1925 designed the classic Ford Trimotor, defined an airliner as 'a machine capable of supporting itself financially and aerodynamically at the same time'. The definition has never been improved upon, and within it is a complex equation with its elements dependent upon each other - safety, reliability, comfort, speed, capital cost and operating cost are parts of the whole. Compromise is the name of the game.
The introduction of new constructional techniques can greatly affect the total concept of the aircraft. For example, the discovery of a simple technique of fabricating and manipulating stainless steel sheet would ease the immense difficulties inherent in building a Mach 3 or 4 airliner; such a development would then introduce further problems with other materials subjected to the high kinetic heating levels which would be experienced at such speeds. The engine manufacturers would also be called upon to make considerable technological advances in propulsion methods, particularly in the field of fuel economy,
In this book, the author has endeavoured to trace the process of design evolution in its widest sense, from the early years of air transport. He does so with an erudite text and a splendid collection of photographs.
{Author / Publisher / Date}by Don Middleton
Published by Ian Allan 1986 1st edition. 144pp profusely illustrated, appendices. 22x30
{condition}fine, in loose poly-covered d/j.
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