In recent years the great many persons who have become actively connected with missile science and engineering have had to rely principally on technical journals and papers for aerodynamic information. The literature in missile aerodynamics is extensive and in many respects complete, but an over-all view of the field is reserved to those few specialists familiar with the hundreds of excellent technical papers available. However, a large group of persons who would find such an over-all view useful in the performance of their duties cannot, for one reason or another, review the numerous technical papers. It is principally for this group that the present volume has been written. The book attempts to present a rational and unified account of the principal results of missile aerodynamics. A missile is described by Webster as a weapon or object capable of being thrown, hurled, or projected so as to strike a distant object. One distinction between a missile and an airplane is that, unlike an airplane, a missile is usually expendable in the accomplishment of its mission. From a configurational point of view, the distinction is frequently made that a missile is more slender than an airplane and tends to possess smaller wings in proportion to its body. These distinctions are, however, subject to many exceptions. In fact, the configurational distinctions between missiles and airplanes seem to narrow as the operational speeds increase. Therefore much of the missile aerodynamics contained herein will be directly applicable to airplanes.
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