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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

The Vortex and The Jet

A Journey into the Beauty and Mystery of Flight


  • Gives great introduction to the inner working of the modern jet engine

  • Explains the airflow phenomena for the lay reader

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

  • 13k Accesses

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. The Vortex—A Journey into Beauty and Mystery

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 1-4Open Access
  3. The Vortex and Wing Lift

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 5-15Open Access
  4. Frictionless Air Cannot Provide Lift: A Paradox

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 17-22Open Access
  5. Drag, a Nightmare and a Challenge

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 23-36Open Access
  6. Pressure, Pressure, It’s All About Pressure!

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 49-64Open Access
  7. Putting It All Together

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 65-84Open Access
  8. The Jet: Fluid in Motion and More Vorticity

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 85-93Open Access
  9. Propulsion for Flight: Power or Thrust?

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 95-107Open Access
  10. The Compressor: Gas Turbine Engine Keystone

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 109-119Open Access
  11. Bypass and Other Engines

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 121-124Open Access
  12. Other Components of the Jet Engine

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 125-135Open Access
  13. More Components: Inlets, Mixers, and Nozzles

    • Reiner Decher
    Pages 137-154Open Access
  14. Back Matter

    Pages 155-175

About this book

This open access book is an introduction for the lay reader to understand the basics of flight. The exposure is to the mysteries of lift generation by wings and the basic function of the jet propulsion engine. The text relies on simple descriptions of the physics of air flow without unduly involving mathematics. The text is richly illustrated with sketches and photographs to enrich verbal descriptions. 

The book takes the viewpoint that a reader does not have a background in the engineering of airplane components but is interested in the subject. The description is in terms of easy-to-understand terminology, occasional use of humor, references to everyday experiences, and occasionally to an algebraic relationship when that is unavoidable. 

This book would serve a student aspiring to be an engineer to begin grappling with the phenomena involved and the techniques used to analyze these phenomena. The practitioner, as well as the beginner, in the art of flying an airplane is well served with the knowledge exposed here.  

The text makes no apology for technical complexity. Its introduction is rigorous and provides a sound footing for further study.


  • Jet propulsion
  • Wings
  • Jet engine
  • Wing aerodynamics
  • Inlets and nozzles
  • Open Access

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

    Reiner Decher

About the author

Reiner Decher is ​Professor Emeritus at University of Washington, Seattle WA USA (Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics). He completed his PhD degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prof. Decher has published numerous technical papers in the subjects of aerodynamics, propulsion, energy conversion and gas dynamics. He has published several books in these fields, Energy Conversion (Oxford UP 1994), Direct Energy Conversion (Oxford UP 1997), Powering the World’s Airliners (Pen & Sword, 2020), 2 books on rail transportation, 1 book history of engine technology: Turbulent Journey (Schiffer 2021), and 1 book as editor on WW II history: Invading Hitler’s Europe (Pen & Sword 2020).

Prof. Decher has been Fulbright Research Professor at University of Karlsruhe Germany (1981-82), Fulbright Research Professor at Technical University of Berlin Germany (1998-99), Visiting Research Professor at Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne Switzerland (1992) and Visiting Professor at MIT, (1991).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Vortex and The Jet

  • Book Subtitle: A Journey into the Beauty and Mystery of Flight

  • Authors: Reiner Decher

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Engineering, Engineering (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Author(s) 2022

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-16-8027-4

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-16-8030-4

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-16-8028-1

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XV, 175

  • Number of Illustrations: 17 b/w illustrations, 72 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Aerospace Technology and Astronautics

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)