Thanks are due to my colleague of many years, the late Dr. Fred Lutze, whose teaching notes, given to me over 30 years ago, formed the basis for the materials in Chapters 4 – 8. To those notes I have added material gleaned from my own experience in subsonic aerodynamic research and teaching and as a private pilot and former aircraft owner. The material presented also undoubtedly has been influenced by several textbooks that we have used in teaching various versions of an aircraft performance course in the past. The best of these influences came from my friend John Anderson whose many excellent textbooks have become an essential part of every aerospace engineering student’s basic library.

Finally, thanks always must go to the hundreds of students who have been subjected to my methods and demands in several versions of aircraft performance courses. While some of them have sat in a stupor in the back of the classroom oblivious to everything, many have responded, questioned, and even excelled, making the experience worthwhile for us all. Just as many past students have called my attention to errors in previous editions of this text, I am confident that future students will continue to delight in finding mistakes in their professor’s work; hence, this work in process cannot help but continue to improve.

James F. Marchman, III
Summer 2004

Editorial Acknowledgments

The 2021 public release of this work was made possible by the University Libraries at Virginia Tech through its Open Education Initiative ( which provides development assistance and financial support to Virginia Tech faculty who wish to use, create, or adapt openly licensed teaching materials to support student learning.

This version has benefited from editorial, accessibility, copyright and design modifications from the original manuscript as contributed or directed by the University Libraries. These include:

  • Converting the original manuscripts from PDF and MSWord into the Pressbooks publishing platform;
  • Conversion of mathematical equations from images to machine-readable formulas using MathML;
  • Replacement of pixelated graphics and in-copyright figures with redrawn, public domain, or openly-licensed figures;
  • Addition of alternative text for all figures and illustrations; and
  • Subject-matter expert naming and renumbering previously unnamed figures.

In addition, a small number of typos, formula errors, and figure details were discovered by subject matter experts and corrected by the editorial team.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team Lead / Project Manager: Anita Walz
Pressbooks / Editorial Support: Kindred Grey, Sarah Mease, Claire Colvin, Kathleen Manning
MathML Conversion: Sarah Mease, Anita Walz
Graphic Design: Claire Colvin (Ch 2 engine graphics), Kindred Grey (other graphics)
Alternative Text (alt text), and figure review and naming: Joseph Brooks
Cover Design: Kindred Grey

Special thanks to
Christa Miller, Accessible Technology, Virginia Tech
Pat Artis, Craig Woolsey, Matthew Kuester, and Joseph Brooks, Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Oceanic Engineering, Virginia Tech


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Aerodynamics and Aircraft Performance, 3rd edition Copyright © 2004, 2021 by James F. Marchman III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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