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About the Book

From the Foreword


Sample Chapter

About the Author

Ordering Information


Simplified Aircraft Design
for Homebuilders

Daniel P. Raymer
Design Dimension Press

A design book for the rest of us from the author
of the award-winning textbook "Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach"

 Table of Contents

By Peter Garrison
Chapter 1 
Who Am I And Why Did I Write This Book? 
What Is A Homebuilt? 
A Plain Plan For Plane Planning
Step Right Up, Get Your Free Design Software
Please Read The Following Cautions: 
Chapter 2
So, You Want To Design A Homebuilt?
What Do You Want It To Do?
So, Raymer Wants To Design A Homebuilt
Chapter 3
How Big Should It Be? 
Power Loading 
Wing Loading 
Airplane Sizing 
Engine Sizing And Selection
Wing Geometry 
Airfoil Selection 
Tail Geometry 
Fuselage Size 
Chapter 4
Stuff In Some Stuff
You And Me And A Dog Or Three 
The Rubber Meets The Road 
In Goes The Engine 
Stuff Some Structure 
Fuel Tanks
Chapter 5 
Draw A Smooth Outside
Conic Lofting
Flat-Wrap Lofting
Wing/Tail Lofting 
Raymer’s Dr-4 Safety Twin
Measure What You Drew 
Chapter 6
Buckle Up For Safety
Chapter 7 
Analyze It
Preliminary Structural Sizing
Weights Estimation 
Chapter 8 
Range & Performance
Stall Speed 
Takeoff Distance
Rate Of Climb 
Maximum And Cruising Speed
Help - I Didn’t Get The Range/Performance I Wanted!
Chapter 9 
Let’s Make It Better! 
Chapter 10 
And In Conclusion….. 

Chapter 1
The following material, excerpted from Chapter One, 
introduces the book:

This book follows, step-by-step, the design of your aircraft concept. No introductory lessons in aerodynamics, no math review, and especially, no derivation of equations! The design steps in this book will work for most concepts, and you should be able to figure out how to modify the method if you have something unusual to consider.

We begin by deciding what you want your homebuilt to do, and how to set your design requirements. Next, your requirements are used to estimate how big the aircraft should be, how big the wing should be, and how big an engine you should buy. If you already have selected an engine, you’ll work backwards to determine what airplane capabilities you can hope to get out of that engine. 

Selection of wing geometry comes next, along with airfoil selection and tail geometry and size. 

Following that is a discussion of the things that you must put inside the aircraft. These include yourself and the passengers and baggage. Landing gear design, engine installation, propeller sizing, and fuel tank design are then considered. 

Then come the methods used to “loft” your airplane. This is the actual creation of the drawing, and the book explains how to develop smooth external shapes either on a drafting table or in a CAD system. 

Methods are given for analyzing the airplane you just drew, including aerodynamics, structure, weights, stability, propulsion, and performance. Last comes an introduction to design optimization - how to change your design to make a better airplane. 

In my engineering textbook I provided two design examples - a homebuilt aerobatic single-seater and a lightweight supersonic fighter to replace the F-16. At the time, I’d hoped to actually build the homebuilt concept but never got around to it. For this book I’ve designed another homebuilt airplane, and hope to build it someday. 

My basic concept for this design (to be called DR-4) is to create a low-cost twin for training and recreational flying with a design approach that minimizes engine-out controllability problems. Also, I want to use a fairly inexpensive in-production engine that can be bought with off-the-shelf components such as propeller and accessories. I want a lot of range and hopefully a pretty good cruising speed. And, I’d like a pony while I’m wishing. 

Throughout the book you’ll see how this overall wish-list was turned into a design concept, in a series of boxed discussions and drawings. 

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