2nd Edition

Elementary Flight Dynamics with an Introduction to Bifurcation and Continuation Methods

By Nandan K. Sinha, N. Ananthkrishnan Copyright 2022
    389 Pages 179 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    389 Pages 179 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Elementary Flight Dynamics with an Introduction to Bifurcation and Continuation Methods, Second Edition is aimed at senior undergraduate and graduate students of aerospace and mechanical engineering.

    The book uses an optimal mix of physical insight and mathematical presentation to illustrate the core concepts of professional aircraft flight dynamics. An updated version of the aerodynamic model is presented with the corrected definition of rate (dynamic) derivatives, supported with examples of real-life airplanes and related data and by open-source computational tools. It introduces bifurcation and continuation methods as a tool for flight dynamic analysis.


    • Covers an up-to-date, corrected, ‘clean’ presentation of the elements of flight dynamics
    • Presents a blend of theory, practice and application with real-life practical examples
    • Provides a unique viewpoint of applied aerodynamicists and aircraft designers
    • Introduces bifurcation and continuation methods as a tool for flight dynamics analysis
    • Includes a computational tool with real-life examples carried throughout the chapters

    The book is enriched with case studies of flight dynamics of a bird’s flight, of a six-seater rigid-wing airplane from a design perspective, and airship dynamics to highlight the modal behaviour of similar-looking vehicles that are distinct from each other.

    Excerpts from reviews of the first edition:

    "Flight dynamics is a topic that can cause difficulties to aerospace engineering students. This text leads the reader gently through the material with plenty of practical examples and student exercises. As such, it is easy to follow the material and to gradually develop a deep understanding of a demanding topic. The book is ideal for undergraduate students and is a good text for graduate students."––James F. Whidborne, Cranfield University, United Kingdom

    "The book covers all the aspects of flight dynamics traditionally found in such texts interspersed with examples of the treatment of features of current air vehicles....In my opinion, this book covers the subject comprehensively and is a desirable reference source for undergraduates and graduates alike."––R.J. Poole, MRAeS, The Aeronautical Journal, June 2014

    "The book design and the methodology of interpretation are directed to a wide range of target audience/population interested in studying the dynamics of flight. Given the scale and organization of information, the book will also be a useful tool in the analysis of flight dynamics for professionals in this field. The book is sure to appeal to anyone interested in the dynamics of flight."––Jaroslav Salga, Advances in Military Technology, June 2014

    1. Introduction

    2. Stability Concept

    3. Longitudinal Trim and Stability

    4. Longitudinal Control

    5. Long-Period (Phugoid) Dynamics

    6. Lateral-Directional Motion

    7. Lateral-Directional Dynamic Modes

    8. Computational Flight Dynamics

    9. Appendix: Case Studies


    Dr. Nandan K Sinha is on the faculty of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, India, where he is currently serving as professor since July 2014. Dr. Sinha has Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees in Aerospace Engineering, all from IITs. Post-PhD, he worked as a visiting scholar in the applied dynamics group at the TU-Darmstadt, Germany for three years, before joining IIT Madras in 2006. Dr. Sinha has over one and half decade experience of teaching courses in flight mechanics, vibrations, controls, and nonlinear dynamics. His research interests evolve around design, dynamics, control and guidance of aerospace vehicles working on several funded projects from various agencies. He is known for his popular video lecture series on Flight Dynamics available on youtube and web-based lecture series on Introduction to Space Technology, both via NPTEL resources, an initiative of MHRD, Govt of India. He has co-authored books "Elementary Flight Dynamics with an Introduction to Bifurcation and Continuation Methods" and "Advanced Flight Dynamics with Elements of Flight Control" with Dr. N Ananthkrishnan both published by CRC press, USA in 2014 and 2017, respectively. In recognition of his contribution to the field of aerospace engineering, Dr. Sinha was nominated to and has been a participant of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) organized by the Department of State, USA in the year 2018. Dr. Sinha is a senior member of the AIAA and has served as reviewer and associate editor for many reputed journals and conferences. Dr N Ananthkrishnan is an Independent Consultant presently based out of Mumbai (India) with over twenty-five years’ experience in academia and industry in multi-disciplinary research and development across a wide spectrum from Combustion Systems to Airplane Aerodynamics to Flight Control & Guidance. Over the past decade and a half, he has largely worked with businesses in the Mumbai/Pune area and Bangalore in India, and in Daejeon (South Korea), and with a few select academic institutes. His recent work has focused on the broad area of Aerospace Systems Design & Integration with emphasis on Atmospheric Flight Mechanics & Control and Air-breathing Propulsion Systems. He has previously served on the faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, IIT Bombay at Mumbai (India) and as a Visiting Faculty Member at the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena, CA (USA) and at KAIST (South Korea). He received the “Excellence in Teaching” award at IIT Bombay in the year 2000. He has authored two books (with NK Sinha), Elementary Flight Dynamics with an Introduction to Bifurcation and Continuation Methods (2014), and Advanced Flight Dynamics with Elements of Flight Control (2017), both published by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, USA. He received his education in Aerospace Engineering at the Indian Institutes of Technology majoring in Flight Mechanics & Control, Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design, and Nonlinear Systems. He is Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) and has served a term as a member of the AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Technical Committee.