April Newsletter

Hello Everyone!


I hope you all are doing well and adjusting to your new virtual classes.

Although, all AIAA in person events are cancelled this semester AIAA will be putting together some activities to enrich your aerospace engineering education!


Listed below are some changes and updates for AIAA:

  • The Spring Trip to New Orleans was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. AIAA hopes to take the same trip next year with many members attending!
  • Normally AIAA holds elections in the Spring. Because campus is closed until the end of the semester, AIAA will be postponing elections until the fall semester when everyone is back.
  • Midwest Rocket Launch has been delayed until the fall and will not be held in North Branch, MN. This year AIAA received good to excellent marks on the Preliminary Design Report (Good job to everyone that helped out with putting that document together!). While AIAA has the majority of the rocket design completed, none of the manufacturing has begun. If you will be on campus this summer and would like to help build the rocket, please let me know! The new target date is September 19th and 20th for initial test flights of the rocket.
  • All Tripoli Wisconsin launches at Bong Recreational Facility are cancelled until further notice.


Listed below are some ideas of aerospace activities to do while at home. Highlighted are some of the things I have found particularly interesting or useful…

  • Kerbal Space Program
  • Books to Read – There are many Aerospace related books out there but here are a few. Many of these can be found on audible or google play books.
    • Non-Technical Books
      • Skunk Works by Ben Rich
        • Takes you through the development of the F-117 Nighthawk, U-2 Spy Plane, and SR-71 Blackbird. This book gives great insight to the amazing engineering done at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and the genius of Kelly Johnson.
      • Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John Drury Clark
        • This book talks about much of the development and design of various rocket engines. No math or technical experience is required to read this.
      • Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche
        • This book is a MUST READ if you want to pursue a pilots license. Although this book is a little dated, the concepts are fundamental and are written in an easy to understand way. This is written by a pilot, not an engineer, so the perspective is less technical.
      • Failure is not an Option By Gene Kranz
        • This is a memoir by the former NASA Flight Director that served during Apollo 11, and Apollo 13.
    • More-Technical Books:
      • Handbook of Model Rocketry by Harry G. Stine
        • This is a great book to read if you are new to model rocketry. This easy to read book guides you through the design, manufacturing, and analysis of model rockets. No advanced math knowledge is required to read this.
      • Topics in Advanced Model Rocketry by Mandell, Caporaso, and Bengen
        • This is a very advanced text that takes you through all of the derivations of equations that govern model rocket flight. Knowledge of Differential Equations and Fluid Mechanics is highly recommended to read this book. Finding a copy of this book may be extremely difficult because a pdf does not exist and the book is out of print. There is one copy in Steenbock if they are open.
    • Textbooks – If you want to design a plane or rocket in quarantine…
      • Introduction to Flight by John D. Anderson
        • This is an excellent book that is much more engineering oriented but takes an introductory approach to introducing history of aerospace engineering, aerodynamic principles, airplane performance, Airplane Stability and Control, Astrodynamics, Propulsion (both airbreathing and rocket), as well as hypersonic vehicles. If you want a text that supplements what you are learning in your classes right now.
      • Aircraft Structures for Engineering Students by T. H. G. Megson
        • This book gives an introduction to Mechanics of Materials, Strength of Materials, and Vibrations in the first part of the book. In the second part of the book concepts from the first part are built on by structural analysis of aircraft. This may be a good text to take a look at if you are in EMA 303, 506, or 545 right now.
  • NASA Glenn Research Center
    • Has some interactive tutorials on propulsion, aerodynamics, and hypersonics. Much of the content is for Middle School and High School students however a few of the tutorials are for undergraduates and could help supplement course material.
  • Model Rocketry Seminar
    • Attached are the slides that I put together for the Model Rocketry Seminar in early March.
  • Making your own rocket engines


AIAA may be holding a virtual meeting in the coming months to discuss any projects or research people have been doing.

Stay tuned for when that will be and what platform that will be on.

Please let me know if you have any question or concerns!


Stay healthy and safe!


Sam Jaeger

Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics

UW-Madison AIAA President

(608) 556-7514