A Practival Guide to Aircraft Handling, Stability, and Performance
As an editor for LearnToFly.ca, I read many Aviation Magazines and Aviation Books. Recently, I received a copy of Steve Pomroy’s aviation book Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots: A practical guide to aircraft handling, stability, and performance.
I just finished reading Steve’s book, and I really enjoyed it. Once I started reading this book, I eagerly looked forward to having a few minutes of spare time to sit down and enjoy reading the next chapter.
I strongly suggest this book to both student pilots, and accomplished pilots. It’s a very technical book, and at times it may even remind you of a college physics text book. But, I say this in a positive manner.
Physics and Applied Aerodynamics
Chapter 1 of the book begins with Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. The author, (Steve Pomroy) wastes no time immediately jumping right into the theory of Basic Physics. Perhaps Physics was never your favourite course at high school or college, and you were quite happy to be done with such studies. But, as a pilot, a thorough knowledge of the physics of flight will make you a better and safer aviator.
A solid knowledge of the applied aerodynamics of flight will give you a great foundation for a better understanding of what’s happening when you control and manoeuvre your airplane. When you understand the invisible forces at work, you can better work within the safe flight envelope of your aircraft.
I think Flight Instructors will especially benefit from Steve’s book. This technical background in applied aerodynamics will help instructors to see the “big picture” of the environment they fly within when it comes to the laws of physics and the forces being applied on the aircraft and the pilot. Flight Instructors should also encourage their students to get a copy of this book. As they progress through their flight training, the theory of applied aerodynamics will be a long-term asset in their learning.
But I’m not Albert Einstein
At age 42, Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics (1921). As we all know, Albert Einstein was the theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity. For Albert Einstein, Physics was really, really important… but I’m no Albert Einstein. How could I possibly understand all the advanced mathematics, formulas and equations?
Steve does a great job of simplifying many of the formulas. After explaining the detailed formulas and equations, Steve then goes on to provide a simpler version of the formula for rough estimates. As a pilot, we don’t always need the precise calculations for forces at work, but a reliable estimation will often be all that is necessary. Steve also includes a “List of Formulae” in the Chapter summaries as a helpful reference.
Summary of Formulae
Steve’s Applied Aerodynamics book will guide you through the physics of flight, and summarize many of the formulas used for advanced aeronautical calculations. In addition to Newton’s Laws, you will learn formulas for:
- Linear Motion
- Conservation of Energy
- Uniform Circular Motion
- Magnitude of Force
What makes an Airplane Fly?
We’ve all enjoyed making Paper Airplanes. Remember competing with others for the best paper airplane flight? Who could have the longest time in the air or best glide distance?
Physics Physics Physics
Even with a paper airplane, the Physics of Flight come into play! The weight or mass of the airplane, and the force of the throw, and the angle of attack and the coefficient of lift. It all matters! Applied Aerodynamics is the science behind Flight.
Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots
Steve Pomroy’s text is a 254 page book, plus appendices. There are 23 chapters, and each chapter includes a Chapter Summary, List of Formulae and Questions and Problems. One of the Appendices (Appendix III) is dedicated to providing complete and detailed answers to all the questions and problems from each chapter.
Theory and Practice
Steve’s book introduces pilots (and student pilots) to the theory of flight, and it’s application to flight operations. The book is divided into two parts: Theory and Practice.
Part 1, the Theory of Flight, introduces the topics of flight mechanics as they apply to pilots. Part 2, the Practice of Flight, applies the theory from Part 1 to the practical operation of aircraft. Together, the two parts combine to provide an excellent foundation to supplement flight instruction.
Click on the sample page (Chapter 18: Slow Flight) to take a look inside Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots by Steve Pomroy.
As you can see, the writing is detailed, informative and easy to understand. In this chapter on Slow Flight, you will learn more about the Region of Reversed Command, A.K.A. being “Behind the Power Curve”. The reader will learn about the characteristics of Slow Flight and recognition of Slow Flight including detailed explanations on Entry to Slow Flight.
In addition to a chapter on Slow Flight, the book covers many other topics including: aerodynamic forces, stalls and spins, stability, control, performance, aircraft limitations, aircraft handling methods, and applications to flight operations. These aviation topics are ideal for student pilots, private pilots, commercial pilots, instructor pilots and airline pilots.
Aerodynamics and the Pilot
An understanding of aerodynamics, flight mechanics, and their applications is important to every pilot. During flight training, the student pilot will have a better grasp of the knowledge necessary to safely handle the aircraft. Later, during regular flight operations, the aerodynamics knowledge taught in this book will help the pilot to safely operate their aircraft to the limits of the flight envelope, without slipping beyond critical boundaries.
Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots – Outline
Part 1: Theory
- Basic Physics
- The Production of Lift
- Drag and Power Required
- Thrust and Power Available
- Flight Controls
- Stalls and Spins
- Aircraft Stability
- Aircraft Performance
- Aircraft Limitations
Part 2: Application
- Weight and Balance
- Attitudes and Movements
- Climbs and Descents
- Aircraft Control Considerations
- Range and Endurance
- Slow Flight
- Stalls and Spins
- Unusual Attitudes
- Approach and Landing
Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots author, Steve Pomroy, has a love for aviation, and he enjoys sharing his passion with others. Steve is based in Manitoba, Canada, and he has over 2,500 hours of flight time.
Steve holds an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), Class I Flight Instructor Rating and Class II Aerobatic Flight Instructor Rating. Steve has accumulated over 2,000 hours of in-flight Instructional experience as a Flight Instructor, and Steve has been involved in flight training since 1995.
Steve provides flight instruction towards various ratings, endorsements and licences including: Recreational Pilot Permit, Private Pilot Licence, Commercial Pilot Licence, Night Rating, Multi-Engine Rating, VFR Over the Top Rating, Aerobatic Training and Instructor Rating.
Steve worked for seven years as a Transport Canada delegated Pilot Examiner. (RPP, PPL, CPL) (Rec, Private, Commercial) Steve has conducted hundreds of Private and Commercial Flight Tests on behalf of Transport Canada.
Steve also teaches the Primary Flight Training course to Military Pilot candidates through Allied Wings. Steve has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and he is an accomplished author of various Aviation Books including Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots.
Steve Pomroy has helped many student pilots Learn to Fly, and his aviation books are recommended to student pilots, new pilots and seasoned pilots.
SkyWriters Publishing is an Aviation Publishing Company based in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. They provide various aviation publications in the Flight Training Industry in Canada. These books help to enhance the flight training experience and the success rate of student pilots.
Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots: A practical guide to aircraft handling, stability, and performance.
Available directly from SkyWriters Publishing
Be a better pilot. Learn the Physics of Flight.