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Friday, October 4, 2013

Book: RC Aero Design, aerodynamics for everyone

Few words about the writer: Franck Aguerre is engineer by education, but is also an aeromodeller for ages, and writer for specialized paper magazines. He is a very active  designer who created lots of models (some have been published) which became very popular like the Crobe, a best seller now available in short kit. Franck is also the author of the PredimRC software, available in 2 version (one is freeware, the second one with more features being commercial). After writing many technical articles about aerodynamics and aeromodel design, Franck decided to go to the next step by rpoposing use this book RC Aero Design.

152 pages to know everything !

The book is presented under at the A5 format with a soft cover. The printing quality is excellent, with lots of sketches and drawings which illustrate the text. The few pictures here and there are not as good, the paper being not glossy. Overall, this book is very good printing quality, at the level of the ones sold by the large printing companies. Congratulation to Laurent Michelet for this first publication which is a success !

After looking quickly about the support, let's see the most interresting part, the content: RC Aero Design is a popularization book which allows to everyone to better understand flight mechanics by proposing 2 parts, the first one to explain the basis, the second to describe step by step the methodology of the aeromodel design.

The first part is about 20 pages long, and address base concepts to better catch aerodymanics principles, like vocabulary, how to create lift, the reynolds number, the center of gravity, trail, induced trail. For some of you it will be new, and for some others, it will  make a good reminder.

The second part, much longer, go deeper in details, and propose a well structured path that starts with requirements, the drawing of the planform and the choice of the airfoil, after a good explanation about how to read a polar, the design of the fuselage, the tailplanes, the interactions between the differents components, the angle of incidence, etc ...
Then Franck gives some information about the design of the control surfaces, with some details about mechanics and cinematics.
A big part is then dedicated to the flying performance analysis, starting from the basic diving test to the more complex use of flaps, snapflaps, the influence of the wing loading.  A section is also dedicated to the motorisation, but we feel first that this book is written by a RC glider pilot for glider pilots, and I will not complain about that !

Along the book, we see from the author the concern to explain simply and clearly things. And this allows to have several level of reading, from the almost beginner to the expert pilot, because everyone will find what he is looking for. There is no need to read the book entirely in one time, but instead you can just read and understand a section, a paragraph, a chapter, depending of what question you have, or the problem you encountered. I do believe that this is the best way to appreciate this book and remember what you have read.

In conclusion, this is the type of book you buy and keep forever, as a reference you can rely on. Then, nothing prevent to dig a bit a particular point and go info fishing elsewhere. RC Aero Design has the big advantage to group lots of things, clearly explained, in a compact format. So if you read french and don't have this book yet, you know what to do ! Ordering it is very easy thanks to the RC pilot website.

Publisher : KoolPress. 152 pages, A5 Format, soft cover, Price 25 €. 

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