What kind of books should I read?
It’s a question I have answered before, but this time with a different slant. Previously, I shared several types of reading material here that you can read to explore the life and stories of flight test and aerospace engineers and test pilots. This question, however, is for the person who wants to dig deeper into the theory and mechanics of flight test.
3 Flight Test Textbook Authors
These are highly experienced test pilots and engineers (with affiliate links to their books on Amazon).
Darrol Stinton hails from the United Kingdom and wrote many books, including this one, Flying Qualities and Flight Testing of the Airplane, as well as Anatomy of the Airplane and Design of the Airplane. I’ve read all three of these titles and enjoy them thoroughly.
Ralph Kimberlin is a professional American equivalent of Stinton and was a professor at the University of Tennessee’s Space Institute in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and he wrote Flight Test of Fixed Wing Aircraft. I’ve also used Kimberlin’s text countless times as a reference in my professional life.
2 other references
A text book might be too long or detailed, so I suggest the following as 2 other starting points.
1. Where Do We Go From Here, a colorful white paper I’ve written about analytical tools of mathematics and statistics applied to flight test.
2. Weekly reference column which lists handbooks and papers about flight test–many are much shorter introductions to specific topics in the subject of flight test engineering.
Don’t just imagine your dreams–explore them, because we need you. The aerospace industry needs innovators. The flight test community is looking for the next Neil Armstrong, and that’s what this column is about, helping you take that next small step.
Thanks for reading Launch Your Flight Test Career #11. Send a message to @FlightTestFact on Twitter to ask questions about launching your flight test career.