Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying / Edition 1

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  • The invisible secret of all heavier-than-air flight: the Angle of Attack. What it is, and why it can't be seen. How lift is made, and what the pilot has to do with it.
  • Why airplanes stall How do you know you're about to stall?
  • The landing approach. How the pilot's eye functions in judging the approach.
  • The visual clues by which an experienced pilot unconsciously judges: how you can quickly learn to use them.
  • "The Spot that does not move." This is the first statement of this phenomenon. A foolproof method of making a landing approach across pole lines and trees.
  • The elevator and the throttle. One controls the speed, the other controls climb and descent. Which is which?
  • The paradox of the glide. By pointing the nose down less steeply, you descend more steeply. By pointing the nose down more steeply, you can glide further.
  • What's the rudder for? The rudder does NOT turn the airplane the way a boat's rudder turns the boat. Then what does it do?
  • How a turn is flown. The role of ailerons, rudder, and elevator in making a turn.
  • The landing—how it's made. The visual clues that tell you where the ground is.
  • The "tail-dragger" landing gear and what's tricky about it. This is probably the only analysis of tail-draggers now available to those who want to fly one.
  • The tricycle landing gear and what's so good about it. A strong advocacy of the tricycle gear written at a time when almost all civil airplanes were taildraggers.
  • Why the airplane doesn't feel the wind.
  • Why the airplane usually flies a little sidewise.
  • Plus: a chapter on Air Accidents by Leighton Collins, founder and editor of AIR FACTS. His analyses of aviation's safety problems have deeply influenced pilots and aeronautical engineers and have contributed to the benign characteristics of today's airplane.

Stick and Rudder is the first exact analysis of the art of flying ever attempted. It has been continously in print for thirty-three years. It shows precisely what the pilot does when he flies, just how he does it, and why.

Because the basics are largely unchanging, the book therefore is applicable to large airplanes and small, old airplanes and new, and is of interest not only to the learner but also to the accomplished pilot and to the instructor himself.

When Stick and Rudder first came out, some of its contents were considered highly controversial. In recent years its formulations have become widely accepted. Pilots and flight instructors have found that the book works.

Today several excellent manuals offer the pilot accurate and valuable technical information. But Stick and Rudder remains the leading think-book on the art of flying. One thorough reading of it is the equivalent of many hours of practice.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This 1944 classic flight manual is still the bible of pilots, flight instructors, students, and laypeople interested in how airplanes work. With explanations in common language, no wonder it's still a top seller after all these years!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780070362406
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/1990
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Sales rank: 96,192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Wolfgang Langewiesche first soloed in 1934 in Chicago. Early in his flying he was struck by a strange discrepancy: in piloting, the words and the realities did not agree. What pilots claimed to be doing in flying an airplane, was not what they did in practice. Langewiesche set himself the task of describing more accurately and realistically what the pilot really does when he flies.

The first result was a series of articles in Air Facts, analyzing various points of piloting technique. In 1944 Stick and Rudder was published.

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Wings
Part 2: Some Air Sense
Part 3: The Controls
Part 4: The Basic Manuevers
Part 5: Getting Down
Part 6: The Dangers of the Air
Leighton Collins
Part 7: Some More Air Sense
Thin Air ..... 266
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2006

    THE How-to-Fly Book

    I read Stick and Rudder in 1978 before taking my first flight lesson, and it remains the runaway number one book for teaching the principles of flight. No other book I ever read came close to matching it for ease of reading and dead-on accuracy in answering the questions aspiring pilots have and dispelling the many misconceptions commonly held about flying. I'm glad I read it before I got into an airplane - and now I'm getting a copy for my 10-year-old nephew who wants to learn to fly some day!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2006

    Quintessential Coffee Table Book

    This is a famous old book. They are really not kidding when they call it Aviation's Bible. I remember having read it some 50 years ago, as a child, wanting to be a Private Pilot. Finally old enough to sign up for lessons, they wanted me to take a Ground School which I could not afford, but I asked them to give me a verbal test... to see if I needed their Ground School. They asked a series of questions, all inspired out of 'Stick and Rudder' material, and I was able to answer them all -- it is an easy book to know backwards and forwards -- compelling and interesting as it is. A Legendary book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    Awesome book

    If you need any help in aviation, take this book!! It's awesome and the best I really recommend it but it would be good to put an excerpt so people can have an idea or the first chapter

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2003

    The Basics of Aviation...Explained!

    I work with students from Private to ATP with a bunch of CFI's thrown in, on a daily basis. Stick & Rudder is required reading for them all. It really makes the pilots smarter and makes my job much easier. Jim Trusty...FAA/Aviation Industry National Flight Instructor of the Year (1997)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    To Student Pilots

    If you are considering basic flight training of any kind or are going through basic flight training: READ this book. I recommend it before you even get into the airplane. Wolfgang believes that you can learn to fly faster, easier, and better if you know *how it works*. He is right and in this book he tells you just how the airplane works. You will not get this kind of information from any of the usual and standard primary flight training books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2001


    If you read only one book about flying, this should be it. If you don't read any books about flying, read this one. If you haven't read a book about the art of flying in years, reread this. I recently dusted off my copy I bought as a student pilot in 1968, and twenty-three thousand hours and many type-ratings later, it was good and fun to read. A timeless classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2001


    The book was first published in 1974 but the material 'Stick and Rudder' covers is 'today.' I'm a student pilot and have read many how-to flying books but 'Stick and Rudder' explains in very clear and easily read english the 'whys' of what is happening and what to expect from an action or move of your aircraft. I highly recommend it as a Number One edition to your flying library. One reading will not be enough to absorb the great thoughts. Happy reading and happy flying.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2000

    A twelve year old can understand this Book!

    I first read Stick and Rudder when I was twelve. Always being interested in flight, I could never except the typical descriptions of how the wing flies through the air. Wolfgang not only managed to convince me of how it flies, but also increased my confidence in my flying abilities. My wife is reading it now, and she states, 'I finally understand. I want my pilot's license.' This book is truly an excellent book on the topic. Unfortuantely for Barnes and Nobles, this is the only book on flight you need. I can't recommend any other book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2010

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