Preface to Third Edition
The first edition of Basic Helicopter Aerodynamics was written by John Seddon and quickly found a place in educating new helicopter engineers and technologists in addition to undergraduates and postgraduates. Very sadly his early demise prevented him from seeing his creation develop. The publishers kindly approached me to conduct the first revision of the book and it was completed nearly a decade ago. It was a real pleasure to provide my own input to the book's evolution; it was certainly daunting but I believe it still has a firm place in the helicopter world. This same daunting feeling returned about two years ago when the present publishers asked me to prepare a third edition. It is imperative in an introductory text, as this book is, not to take the reader too far into the fine details of the subject; however, it is being unfair to lightly touch on the subject and gloss over important factors which link the various theories and analyses together.
The linking of technical methods is particularly relevant in the helicopter since it is not possible to isolate the aerodynamics of the rotor and overall aircraft from the dynamic responses of the blades themselves. Each influences the other and the complete problem has to be solved.
In 1970, after graduating in mathematics, I arrived at Westland Helicopters in Yeovil to begin my career. I walked into a subject in which I had the mathematical skills but very soon became aware that I needed to learn how to ...