Laurence Joseph Clancy (15 March 1929 to 16 October 2014) was an Education Officer in aerodynamics at Royal Air Force College Cranwell whose textbook became standard.
Laurence was born in Egypt to Alfred Joseph Clancy and Agnes Hunter.
In 1951 University of Liverpool conferred the bachelor of science (honours) degree.
Clancy studied aerodynamics at the College of Aeronautics, Cranfield. His teachers were Terence Nonweiler, later of Glasgow University, and Geoffrey Lilley, later of Southampton University.
Clancy qualified as an Education Officer with the RAF and began teaching at Royal Airforce College Cranwell.
After 16 years with the Royal Air Force, Clancy had a long career at the University of Bradford where he served as Dean of Engineering. He was a colleague of John Brian Helliwell.
Laurence assembled a book manuscript from his lectures. In 1975 John Wiley & Sons and Pitman issued his textbook Aerodynamics. It was re-issued in 1978 by Wiley, and in 1986 by Longman. A book review in Journal of Fluid Mechanics described the book as follows:
- The scope of the book is wide and includes the mechanics of flight and aircraft performance in addition to the usual topics of basic fluid mechanics, aerofoil and wing theory, boundary layer theory, gas dynamics and experimental techniques.
In his preface, Clancy portrayed aerodynamics as both an exact and experimental science:
- The true aerodynamicist ... must combine [mathematics and experiment], using analysis to deepen and extend his knowledge, but continually experimenting in order to check the validity of his assumptions and to improve his understanding of the physical problem. (page xviii)
Reviewer M.W. for Flight International wrote, "The author has a lucid style and puts across a traditionally difficult subject in such a way that the less prepared reader is able to follow the arguments of even the knottiest topics."