Dan Raymer was born in 1954 at the Fort Ord US Army base. His father is Gordon Raymer, a US Navy pilot then attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. While growing up, his family lived in Patuxent River, Maryland, where his father attended test pilot school at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Later, his family also lived in Taiwan, while his father served as a Lockheed P-2 Neptune instructor pilot and mission planner with the Black Bat Squadron. This was a joint operation run by the CIA and the Republic of China Air Force.
After leaving the Navy, his father went to work in the Advanced Design Department at Lockheed and Dan ended up graduating from Simi Valley High School in 1972. While in high school, he started flying lessons at the Santa Paula Airport. After graduating, he attended Purdue University on a US Air Force ROTC scholarship. While at Purdue, he finished his flying lessons and got his pilot's license. One of his teachers at Purdue was the legendary John McMasters, who went on to work at Boeing and publish technical papers on the flight of insects and dinosaurs. Dan graduated from Purdue with BS and MS degrees in aeronautical engineering.
After graduating in 1976, he went to work at Rockwell North American Aviation as an aircraft configuration designer. While at Rockwell, he developed the computer-aided Configuration Development System (CDS) and served as Chief Engineer on Rockwell's design for the Advanced Tactical Fighter. He was also Head of Air Vehicle Design in the early stages of the design of the Rockwell-MBB X-31. In addition, he attended the University of Southern California and earned a MBA.
In 1986 he left Rockwell to start a new organization, the Aerojet Propulsion Research Institute. After six months, Aerojet got purchased and the Institute was shut down. He used his six months of severance pay to write Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach.
After this, he went to work at Lockheed as Director of Advanced Design and later became Director of Advanced Concept Design at the Lockheed Skunk Works. After three years (1987-1990) at Lockheed, he left to teach at California State University, Northridge (1990-1993). During this time, he founded Conceptual Research Corporation (1990) and started consulting at the RAND Corporation (1993-2004).
As president of Conceptual Research Corporation, he has worked on the Orbital Sciences Stargazer and the Pioneer Rocketplane. He also earned a Doctorate of Engineering (Ph. D) from the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
Dr. Raymer is most well known for publishing the professional textbooks Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, now in its 5th edition and Dan Raymer's Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders; which have become recognized as premier textbooks in the field of aircraft conceptual design. He regularly teaches conceptual design courses for aircraft and UAVs through the AIAA and other professional organizations.
Honors and awards
- AIAA Aircraft Design Award (2010)
- AIAA Sustained Service Award (2003)
- AIAA Summerfield Book Award (2000)
- Purdue University Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Alumni Award (2000)
- Rockwell Engineer of the Year (1979)
- Aviation/Space Writers Association 1991 Award of Excellence
- San Fernando Valley Engineers' Council 1991 Engineering Merit Award.
- AIAA Distinguished Lecturer, 1990-1992
- American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics - Fellow
- Institute for the Advancement of Engineering (IAE) - Fellow
- Editorial Board Member - Chinese Journal of Aeronautics, Chinese Society of Aeronautics & Astronautics
- Editorial Board Member - Journal of Aerospace Sciences and Technologies, Aeronautical Society of India.
- Editorial Board Member (former) - AIAA Journal of Aircraft
- Editorial Board Member (former) - Aircraft Design: An International Journal (Pergamon)
- Member (former), Board of Advisors, UC-Davis Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering
- AIAA to Present Awards For Technical Excellence and Service at September Conferences Archived 2011-10-08 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- 1991 Aviation-Space Writers Association Award of Excellence
- 2000 Summerfield Book Award Archived 2005-04-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Raymer, Daniel P. Living in the Future; The Education and Adventures of an Advanced Aircraft Designer, Design Dimension Press, Los Angeles, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9722397-2-1.
- Pocock, Chris. The Black Bats: CIA Spy Flights over China from Taiwan 1951-1969, Schiffer Military History, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7643-3513-6.
- McMasters, John H. "Reflections of a Paleoaerodynamicist", AIAA paper 84-2167.
- Raymer, Daniel P., Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, 1st Edition, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1989
- Enhancing Aircraft Conceptual Design using Multidisciplinary Optimization Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Raymer, Daniel P., Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, 5th Edition, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2012. ISBN 978-1-60086-911-2.
- Raymer, Daniel P., Dan Raymer's Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders, Design Dimension Press, Los Angeles, 2003. ISBN 0-9722397-0-7.
- Aircraftdesign.com - Raymer's Official Web Site