Topics in Advanced Model Rocketry

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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There was a thread on rmr about the 70s classic "Topics in Advanced Model Rocketry" (which is OOP) being available as a pdf on the MIT Press website for $70. Someone else posted it was available in paper too. I ordered a copy and promised to give feedback on rmr.

I just received it in the mail...WOW. It is a bound paperback, with "slick" cover, like a college textbook. I figured it was a hardcopy of the pdf and would be a poor quality scanned manuscript. But it is a high-quality publication.

Note the original hardcover was a photo-image of the original typewritten manuscript.

Total cost was $74, and the book arrived 7 days from time of order! The link to MIT Press is

search on Title using the search word topics and then add it to the shopping cart.....

The errata sheet does not come with the book, but you can download it from

Thanks to "shockwaveriderz" on rmr!!

Now I have lots of bedtime reading to do...
well I'm glad you think it is worth soon as I can scare up $74 I guess I'll get my copy........
And I did a search on the book title. The MIT people seem to be a bit stingy on the description of the book contents (like, NONE).

I have never seen one of these books. Without posting any contents or violating any copyrights, can you give a brief list of what subjects are covered? Maybe a list of the chapters or something? Thanks
The book is written in 4 chapters, each of which is a stand-alone

Chapter 1 is about 40 pages introducing the forces on a rocket in
flight. It introduces basic maths associated with the rocket
equation, momentum thrust, reynolds number, drag, stability,
perturbing forces.

Chapter 2 looks hard at stability over about 200 pages. It defines
Euler angles, then considers angular velocity and acceleration,
torques, moments of inertia. There is a lengthy section on the
solutions to the differential equations which define stability in
roll, pitch and yaw. Then another section uses method of moments to arrive at a Barrowman-like view of stability.

Chapter 3 is about 220 pages on drag. It starts with the basic
equation, but goes into atmospheric models, viscosity, laminar and turbulent flow, Bernoulli, Reynold number, streamlines, introduction to supersonic flight and wind tunnels.

Chapter 4 is about 200 pages on rocket trajectory analysis. It starts with the generalised differntial equations of motion, then considers various methods for solving them for verticl flight. Later on it considers the effects of oscillatory motion, and introduces some numerical methods.
Originally posted by powderburner
Thank you! That does look like a good book

It is excellent! When I first saw it, I was a sophomore in HS, and did not know what calculus was. Plus the $20 or $30 they were asking for it at the time was way out of my league! But that and the Estes TR-10 and TR-11 (altitude prediction tech report and aerodynamics tech report) started me on the road to engineering!

The book has been out of print for years, and some folks are working on a project to re-do the book and publish a second edition. Unfortunately, this project has taken much longer than they anticipated, by the looks of posts from rmr (do a google groups search on "topics in advanced model rocketry"). I decided to stop waiting for the new release when shockie posted the mit press link.

If the new ed comes out, I will probably buy it too, but I am extremely pleased with the paperback version!!