Fundamentals of Aerospace Vehicles
The term aerospace is derived from the words aeronautics and spaceight. An aircraft is a vehicle which is able to y through the earth’s atmosphere. The vehicles connected with or driven by rockets are not aircraft because they are not supported in ight by the surrounding air. All the activity including the design, development, production, and the operation of an aircraft is called aviation. Aircraft can either be heavier than air or lighter than air. Lighter than air vehicles include balloons and airships whereas heavier than air vehicles are powered aircraft, gliders, helicopters, and space craft. The rst form of an aircraft was the kite, designed in the fth century BC. Later on in the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon, an English monk, performed studies which later gave him the idea that air could support a craft just like water supports boats. In the sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci studied birds’ ight, and later produced the airscrew and the parachute. The airscrew, leading to the propeller later on, and the parachute were tremendously important contributions to aviation.