I would foremost like to thank the Hunt Library and the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) for allowing me to participate in its Open Education Initiative (OEI). In particular, I would like to thank Cassandra Konz from the Hunt Library, who helped me with technical support and advice. She also had a team of students working in the background to review the content as it was developed and to keep the source content and attributions in close check. In addition, it is often said that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, so I am very grateful to Dr. Claudia Cornejo Happel from CTLE for opening my eyes to how millennial students learn and how to use some new educational tools, some of which are included in this ebook. Finally, I would also like to thank my department chair, Dr. Tasos Lyrintzis, for his advice and continuous support and for reading and commenting on the initial drafts.

Writing a book, especially one of this magnitude, doesn’t happen over a semester or even a summer. Indeed, it is a slowly converging process that takes many years. The origins of this ebook go back to 2018, the notes for which were fielded on students in a new introductory course, Aerospace Flight Vehicles, which is course number AE201 at ERAU. I was unsure what to expect from the students, but the response was overwhelmingly good, their enthusiasm for all things aeronautical and space-related being infectious!

One only truly understands technical material once you have to teach it to someone else. So, each time I teach the material in AE201, I learn something new or a better way to explain it. Students inevitably ask questions, forcing one to reexamine the material from different angles and also much more critically, so I am very grateful for their feedback. The advantage of having an ebook like this is instantaneous gratification in that edits, updates, and more lucid explanations can be applied immediately!

Future students will continue their treasure hunt to find mistakes in their professor’s book! I have discovered that the eye and brain are an interesting combination, a great interpolator, filling in the gaps between what is there and what is not there with what it thinks should be there. I continue to be humbled by my students’ diligence, honesty, and accomplishments, proving that they read and learn in the process. Long may that continue!

J. Gordon Leishman
Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering, ERAU, Daytona Beach, FL.
Professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Editorial Acknowledgments

This ebook was made possible by the Hunt Library and the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University through its Open Education Initiative (OEI) to support student learning and reduce educational costs.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team Lead / Project Manager: Cassandra Konz
CTLE Lead: Claudia Cornejo Happe
Cover Design: Olivia Ratliff

Special thanks to:
Dr. Zheng Zhang
Dr. Tasos Lyrintzis
Dr. Ebenezer Gnanamanickam
Dr. Dhuree Seth
Nicholas Zhu
Patrick Downs


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Introduction to Aerospace Flight Vehicles Copyright © 2022 – 2024 by J. Gordon Leishman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.