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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mistitled but excellent., 22 April 2010
This review is from: Low-Speed Aerodynamics: Second Edition (Cambridge Aerospace Series) (Paperback)
Lets get this straight (perhaps addressing the comments of a couple of other reviewers at the same time):
This book is NOT about low speed aerodynamics.

It should be called "The Panel Method for final year and graduate engineers".

Chapters 1-3 are about general theory pertaining to panel methods, which is useful although better taught elsewhere. I was already familiar with the theory but think a beginner would have more success perhaps with one of John D Anderson's textbooks, or using the MIT OpenCourseWare lecture series.

Chapters 4-7 are about niche solutions for aerodynamic modeling. While useful, the computational ability of most lifting line and panel codes simply negates the usefulness of this stuff, as it requires a lot of theoretical work and simplifies geometries substantially.

Chapter 8 is a useful expose of lifting line theory, which is where things start to get useful for modern practical aerodynamics.

Chapters 9-10 are about the general theory of panel methods.

Chapters 11-13 are about the theory pertaining to specific types of panel methods (2D, 3D, Unsteady).

Chapter 14 is about the use of boundary layer modeling (momentum integral equation etc) to predict drag and separation characteristics. Health warning: this is only for 2D flows, it can be applied for 3D geometries but that implementation is not considered here.

Chapter 15 contains a discussion of various additions/ modifications which can be made to the panel method to extend it's functionality (free surfaces, internal flows, jet engine sources etc) but does not give technical details.

Appendices include panel codes (in FORTRAN 77). They're OK but not astonishingly clear. The book should probably be updated for vectorial expressions (F90 or MATLAB). MATLAB would be a better choice, as it has ready-coded matrix solver routines and various other useful functions.

** SUMMARY **

My position is that I'm implementing a panel method for a tidal stream turbine. I've found this to be a tremendously useful book - the theory of panel methods is not well dealt with elsewhere, so I'd previously trying to patch it together from the 'method' sections of people's theses. Fantastic.

The numerical explanations are also very good - it teaches you how to construct the matrix and RHS ready for solution (which was my problem). It does not concentrate on the matrix solution routine (rightly so, that's a subject all in itself, and there are many off-the-shelf routines available).

I have four criticisms:
- No mention of a rotating reference frame (e.g. propellers)
- No mention (that I've seen) of wake interaction with a solid component (e.g. wake from a wing intersects a pylon downstream)
- All formulations are for quadrilateral panels rather than triangular (although of course the theory extends)
- Codes would be clearer if updated to a vectorial language. They're also not supplied on CD or online, so if you want to use them, get typing!
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Location: Linton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom

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