|Sailplane Design - 2nd
A Guide for Students and Designers, From Drafting to First Flight
Author: Vittorio Pajno
Paperback, 479 pages
about 80 graphs and about 60 color
Dimensions: 6.7 x 9.4 x 0.8 inches (170 x
240 x 20 mm)
Review in "The Aeronautical Journal" from July, 2009 by Howard Torode,
Chairman of the British Gliding Association Technical Committee
A very complete and thorough "bible" on
sailplane design for students and designers. Please take a look at
the Table of
Contents for a complete list of the many subjects covered. It
is similar in concept to the book "Fundamentals of Sailplane Design",
but (according to the author) this book takes the idea farther and includes practical design examples.
Changes in this 2nd Edition
- This version has a smaller physical
size - making it lighter and reducing shipping costs
- The "meat" of the book is the same
as the first version but the chapter related to the winglet design
has been rewritten by the author in a pragmatic way. In
character with the rest of the book. As a consequence, the
writing of Maughmer has been substituted with the Chapter written by
Note on International Shipping Charges
This is a very heavy book (2 pounds, 3 oz.) and is therefore expensive to ship outside the
USA. I often do ship it to customers outside the USA, but please
be aware that the shipping charge will likely be $30 to $40 depending
on the destination. Shipping within the USA is not expensive at
all (~$7) because I ship using US Media Mail rates.
Overview from the Author
The book is written with technical language but is addressed to the
aviation and gliding lovers with pragmatism - enabling them really to
design a flying machine. A person with a technical background
reading the book can really start drafting and calculating a glider.
A mass of information is given together with the calculation examples
showing "how to do it". Ancient Romans say "generalia non ledent"
i.e. "if you talk generally of principles you don't compromise
yourself". This book is the opposite: I am specific and I show how
to calculate or find further information, giving suggestions also.
I have specific experience having designed several gliders as you will
see in the photos and computer generated images.
I have always loved gliders from my youth and I went to study in Torino
at the Politecnico (Institute of Technology) because there it was
operating a sort of Akaflieg: the CVT. At the time they were
building the “Strale” and I arrived in Torino in 1957. I met a
student who showed me a book written by Stelio Frati (the designer of
the Falco built still now as a kit in USA) titled ”L’aliante” (The
glider). At the time to design a glider was relatively easy. RAI (Registro
Aeronautico Italiano) first and BVS after, were the followed rules for
the design of gliders. I was impressed by the straightforwardness and
pragmatism of the book and this inspired me in writing my future books.
In 1997, forty years after, I published a book in Italian language “Il
progetto dell’aliante moderno” or Modern Glider Design, followed by
another book “Il progetto dell’aereo leggero” or Light Aircraft design.
The latter has reached the second edition meanwhile of the first have
been sold about 3000 copies. People are more interested in small,
possibly very quick and difficult to handle airplanes than in glider
requiring brain and knowledge to fly them instead of big engines and
propellers. It is an emotional preference.
In the year 2000 I wrote an enlarged and implemented version of my first
book, this time in the English language, but for several reasons I did
not proceed to publish the book, and the main one was that my English is
not very good. At the SAS in November 2005 I met Prof. Maughmer
and the revision and the correction of the book restarted - meanwhile I
was following other projects.
Mr Macchione, editor of an historical
book, ”Alianti Italiani”, written by myself supported me for the
printing of the book and, having stopped other activities, from the 15th
of July 2006 I am working on the book revision. Maughmer corrected
three Chapters meanwhile Anna Azzolari Ronalds made a first general
correction and Roger Hurley - in England - corrected my English in all
the Calculation Examples and Chapter 12. At about the 15th of
September, 2006 we hope to have the book printed.
So far for the history of the book but
Sailplane Builder readers wants to know more about the book content.
My friend, Stelio Frati, writing the foreword of my book dedicated to
the light aircraft design was impressed by the pragmatism of this book.
The same spirit has been transferred in “Sailplane Design”.
My aim is to show “how” to design a glider to amateurs and students
mainly. Many times, after having had a look at the content of some
books you can find at airshows, I bought them just because I like
airplanes. The purpose of this book is to provide elements and
show the way to follow to design a glider. Theory is supported
with concrete examples inside the Chapters and the Calculation Examples
support the reader in the theory application. A short review of
the chapters content better illustrate what above said.
- Chapter 1 shows how to organize the
place where design the glider but provide also, in scale 1:1,
drawings of parts and details to be used during the glider drafting.
Safety features, ergonomics, and more are shown as well as the list
of drawing an calculations to be made. In this way the readers
start to know what they are going to face and they can make plans in
terms of time and money to be spent.
- Chapter 2 deals with materials and
the allowed stresses mainly. Sandwich construction, glues,
paints, composite materials and many other items are treated to
avoid waste of time in searching for info. Information given
in this Chapter are of paramount importance.
- Chapter 3 has been conceived in
order to give to the reader more than the usual basic widespread
ideas about flight mechanics. Climbing performance estimates
methods and especially the quick and slow oscillations and the
phugoid have been shown explaining what is the practical meaning of
the formulae with examples made in the same chapter related to the
- Chapter 4 deals with aerodynamics.
The practical side interesting the designer is predominant.
Polar calculations with the explanation of the actual state of the
art and of some theoretical details to be used in the next chapter
are shown as well as particular features such as the V tail or the
- Chapter 5 is intended as an
introduction to Chapter 6. Before introducing the reader in
the mathematics of the stability equations it is in my opinion that
it is better to pass trough the physical meaning of the glider
stability. In this way the reader understands better the
formulae and at the some time the influence of the terms composing
them on the stability calculation results.
- In Chapter 6 the stability
calculations are shown in detail, supported by Calculation Examples.
In the same chapter, aileron dimensioning and effectiveness
calculations together with forces per “g” and their meaning, i.e.
handling qualities, wing and tail settings, complete the panorama.
- Chapter 7 is a “concentration” of
the dynamic stability theory implemented by a practical example of
calculation showing mainly “how” to introduce in the equation the
terms so every designer can make his own calculations.
- Chapter 8 is the hearth of the
design, i.e. the CS 22 rules. Rules are born long time ago but
their development must be shown to the reader to give him a
panoramic idea of what has been done and of the actual rules that
must be enforced by the designer.
- Chapter 9 show how to calculate
wing, fuselage and empennages air loads. The glider dimensioning in
all the main parts is shown. No structural stress analysis is
done but the important point is to show how to find out the air
loads on the structure in order to check them. Of course in
the Calculation Examples the reader is brought step by step trough
the procedures to follow to determine them.
- Chapter 10 deals with flutter.
I wrote two times this chapter because more than providing formulae
that can give the illusion to the reader to have reached results I
passed trough the results of an experience, the SB 14 glider flutter
calculations, leading to sure and illuminating results. Ground
vibration tests, FEA models and other details have been treated in
order to show to the reader what to do and how to proceed in this
very delicate matter.
- Chapter 11 is dedicated to the
static tests looking at them from two point of view: the amateurial
and the industrial. Dynamic test, certification tests and many
other details are shown with the scope to make aware the reader of
the importance of this part of the project.
- In Chapter 12 I have collected all
my experience in this field and shown the available literature.
Useless to say flight tests are of paramount importance and I have
explained in all the details how to organize them also from the
point of view of the glider certification
- Chapter 13 goes into the
certification details showing what is required and how to proceed in
Europe. With the due variations, I believe that USA
certification will follow the same main path.
- The appendix is divided in four
sections dealing with instruments, flight manual, maintenance manual
and, the last one is of particular and actual importance: the
winglets. The latter have been treated in 2005 at the SAS in
Milano by Prof Maughmer. This part of the book Appendix has
been entirely made and written by him as well as the photos shown.
- Twenty four Calculation Examples
provide the backbone of the book showing “how to do it”, which in my
opinion is the essence of the engineering.
I hope to have been capable to transmit
in simplicity the concepts. The book is illustrated by graphs and
diagrams. ”Generalia non ledent” use to say the ancient Romans
(general concepts do not touch anybody) meanwhile I have been specific
trying to show what we talking about.
Many photos have been added. They where
shot at the DG open day held this year in Germany by Adolf Wilsch and
sent to me trough our common friend Peter Selinger.
The scope is always the same: show
through photos how construction details are made.
What has been written is the result of an
experience still leaved on my skin trough the commercial and technical
action I am still doing for the sale of the single seater “Rondine” and
for the construction of the prototype of the two-seater Rondone. Moulds of the latter should be
under construction by the end of the year.
I hope to have been able to illustrate, shortly the book content.
Review from the December 2007 Edition of
Sailplane and Gliding
This excellent book is squarely aimed at engineering students and
practicing glider and light aircraft designers, and provides a very
thorough summary of all practical aspects of sailplane design from
initial conceptual design through to detailed aerodynamic, performance,
loads, stability and structural strength calculations. The author,
Vittorio Pajno, is the designer of the V1/2 Rondine sailplane and many
calculation examples in the book use the Rondine as their basis.
An understanding of mathematics and engineering is required to get the
most from the book but even the keen non-engineer glider pilot will
learn much from studying the text and diagrams in its 466 pages.
Perhaps what marks this book out from others in the field is the
practical information provided, such as, for example, the allowable
stresses for different composite materials and laminating methods
provided in chapter 2, summarizing Vittorio's own design experiences
alongside data derived from academic journals and the German Akafliegs.
The end of the book also has many calculation examples covering 24
design subjects over 86 pages showing the student and designer how to do
it rather than just leaving the reader with a generic equation to deal
A detailed description of
airworthiness requirements for gliders, CS-22, is provided along with a
description of the certification process itself. A typical list of
design loadcases is included, running to 117 cases, illustrating to the
reader the degree of detail necessary in properly stressing a glider to
meet CS-22 requirements.
A note is
included stating that over 350 loadcases were investigated for an
Akaflieg Braunschweig two-seater glider project so whilst the loadcase
list in the book is not comprehensive, it does give the reader a good
feel for the size of the design task in hand.
Chapter 11 of the book also contains a good
section on static and dynamic tests made for certification of a
sailplane, describing the test facilities required, testing procedure
and typical testing rig setup for structural strength testing of the
wings and tailplane of a glider.
Much of the content of the book is clearly derived from Vittorio's
personal experiences during design and testing of the V1/2 Rondine and
it would have been interesting to see photos and descriptions of
structural failures discovered during certification testing, which are
often unexpected and therefore of interest. A chapter with examples of
design details - for example, differing approaches to designing
automatic elevator connections - would have also been a useful addition
for aspiring designers; having said this, though, there are some
excellent pictures of DG gliders in production showing much interior
detail of a modern sailplane.
heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in the design, testing
and construction of modern sailplanes and light aircraft; it has much to
a glider pilot who flies at Lasham (U.K.). He is a graduate of
Imperial College London and is an aircraft designer, having worked on
the design of the A340-600 and A380 airliners at Airbus. He is
currently Technical Director at Farnborough Aircraft Corporation and
Chief Designer of the Kestrel single-engine turboprop business aircraft.