Model Aircraft Aerodynamics


Now celebrating its 5th edition with much additional material of particular interest to radio control and helicopter enthusiasts, this remains the world’s authoritative work on aerodynamic theory for model flight.

ISBN: 978 185486 270 9
Author: Martin Simons


This is the latest edition – fully revised, updated and in full colour – of the standard work on aerodynamic theory, as applied to model flight. Everything is explained in a concise and practical form for those enthusiasts who appreciate that a better understanding of model behaviour is the sure path to greater success and enjoyment, whether just for fun or in competition.

  • The revisions for this new edition reflect the significant developments in model aircraft during the last few years, and include brand new data:
  • The chapter on aerofoils has been extended to take account of the vast amount of testing carried out recently in the USA at the University of Illinois.
  • A brand new chapter explains the latest research into the flight of birds and insects which is being applied now to small drones and miniature surveillance aircraft.
  • Older wind tunnel test reports have been replaced with the latest trials and measurements.
  • All of the black-and-white photographs and line drawings have been replaced by full colour illustrations.

Contents: Fundamentals; Factors affecting Lift and Drag; Scale Effect and the Boundary Layer; Basic Model Performance Problems; Reducing Induced Drag; Aspect Ratio; Planform and Twist; Aerofoils – Camber, Turbulent Flow, Laminar Flow; Wind Tunnel; Parasite Drag; Trim and Stability; Control; Propellers; Helicopter Rotor; The Birds and the Bees; Example Calculations; Selected Wind Tunnel Test Results; Airfoil Design and XFoil.

Martin Simons’ interest in aviation goes back more than seventy years. He remains actively involved in designing, building and flying model aircraft and full-scale sailplanes. Born in England in 1930, he was a teacher and became a lecturer in education in London University. He now lives in Australia where for twenty-five years he was a senior lecturer in education at the University of Adelaide. He has published numerous articles and several books on full-sized sailplanes and model flying and was the editor of Australian Gliding magazine for ten years. In 2006 he was awarded the Gehriger Diploma by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.

Originally published by Model and Allied Publications in 1978
Revised by Argus Books in 1987 and 1994
Fourth Revised Edition published by Nexus Special Interests in 1999
Fifth Revised Edition published by Special Interest Model Books in July 2015

234 x 189 mm; 342 pages
98 colour photographs
210 colour line drawings
71 b+w illustrations