The Fundamentals of Aircraft Combat Survivability Analysis and Design,
Revised 2nd Edition
by Robert Ball, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

In 1985, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) published The Fundamentals of Aircraft Combat Survivability Analysis and Design as the fourth book in their new Educational Series. The world’s first textbook on aircraft survivability was authored by Professor Robert E. Ball, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Naval Postgraduate School, and funded by the JTCG/AS (now JASPO). The 400-page textbook became an overnight sensation. In the next 18 years, approximately 10,000 copies were sold, and the book was a perennial best seller.


In 2007 Dr. Ball won the AIAA Summerfield Book Award for the publication of The Fundamentals of Aircraft Combat Survivability Analysis and Design, Second Edition.

In 2003, AIAA published the 2nd edition of Professor Ball’s textbook. From the Preface of the 2nd edition —

This second edition is more than just an expansion of the 1985 textbook. It is now, truly, a student’s textbook. It should also be more useful to the person who wants to learn what the discipline is all about. It has been rewritten into a form that should be useful to those who want to know only the essentials of the discipline (read Chapter 1), as well as to those who want to know all of the details (read the rest of the textbook). Large amounts of new material have been added throughout the textbook, and a new appendix on probability theory and its application to survivability assessment has been introduced. Learning objectives have been added at the beginning of each major section, and problems are now at the end of each section for those who are serious about learning the material. This second edition also provides the author with an opportunity to present information on the survivability features of several current U.S. military aircraft and some of the combat data from the SEA conflict and Operation Desert Storm. This information has only recently been released to the public.

The major sections of the over 900-page second edition include:

  • Preface
  • Prologue
  • Acknowledgement
  • Acronyms
  • Chapter 1 Introduction to the Aircraft Combat Survivability Discipline
  • Chapter 2 Aircraft Anatomy
  • Chapter 3 Missions, Threats, and Threat Effects
  • Chapter 4 Susceptibility (PH and PF)
  • Chapter 5 Vulnerability (PK|H and PK|F)
  • Chapter 6 Survivability (PS and PK)
  • Appendix A Survivability Features of Several Aircraft Used in World War II
  • Appendix B Probability Theory and Its Application to Survivability Assessment.

A separate Solutions Manual for the problems in the textbook is also available.

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