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Dr. John Anderson

Born October 1, 1937 (1937-10-01) (age 72)
Nationality United States
Fields Engineering
Institutions Smithsonian Institution
Alma mater University of Florida
Ohio State University
Known for Curator of Aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum

John D. Anderson, Jr. (born October 1, 1937) is the Curator of Aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Anderson is active and known for his professional and educational activities both nationally and internationally. He has given over 40 short courses to the major aerospace companies, the Air Force Academy, the government, and in Europe at Rolls-Royce in England, and the von Karman Institute in Belgium. This includes a pioneering hypersonic aerodynamic course jointly sponsored by the AIAA and the University of Maryland and televised live nationally by satellite. In terms of the publishing world, in 1987 McGraw-Hill chose Dr. Anderson to be the senior consulting editor on the McGraw-Hill Series in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.


John David Anderson, Jr. was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on October 1, 1937. He attended the University of Florida, graduating in 1959 with High Honors and a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering Degree. From 1959 to 1962, he was a Lieutenant and Task Scientist at the Aerospace Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. From 1962 to 1966, he attended the Ohio State University under the National Science Foundation and NASA Fellowships, graduating with a Ph.D in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. In 1966, he joined the U. S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory as Chief of the Hypersonic Group. In 1973, he became Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, and since 1980 has been a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Maryland. In 1982, he was designated a Distinguished Scholar/Teacher by the University. During 1986-87, while on sabbatical from the university, Dr. Anderson occupied the Charles Lindbergh chair at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. He continued with the Air and Space Museum one day each week as their Special Assistant for Aerodynamics, doing research and writing a book on the history of aerodynamics. In addition to his position as professor of aerospace engineering, in 1993 he was made a full faculty member of the Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science and in 1996 an affiliate member of the History Department at the University of Maryland. In 1996 he became the Glenn L. Martin Distinguished Professor for Education in Aerospace Engineering. In 1999 he retired from the University of Maryland and was appointed Professor Emeritus. He is currently the Curator for Aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.


  • Gasdynamic Lasers: An Introduction, Academic Press (1976), and under McGraw-Hill
  • Introduction to Flight, McGraw-Hill, 1st Edition (1978), 2nd Edition, (1985), 3rd Edition (1989), 4th Edition (2000), 5th Edition (2005), 6th Edition (2008)
  • Modern Compressible Flow, McGraw Hill, 1st Edition (1982), 2nd Edition (1990), 3rd Edition (2002)
  • Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, 1st Edition (1984), 2nd Edition (1991), 3rd Edition (2001), 4th Edition (2006)
  • Hypersonic and High Temperature Gas Dynamics, 1st Edition (1989), 2nd Edition (2000)
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics: The Basics with Applications, McGraw Hill, (1995)
  • A History of Aerodynamics and Its Impact on Flying Machines, Cambridge University Press, (1997)
  • Aircraft Performance and Design, McGraw-Hill, (1999)
  • The Airplane: A History of Its Technology, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (2002)
  • Inventing Flight: The Wright Brothers and Their Predecessors, Johns Hopkins University Press, (2004)




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