Home Automotive Reference History

Equations of Motion -
Adventure, Risk and Innovation

An Engineering Autobiography

by William F. Milliken

Softcover, 8 1/8 in. x 10 1/2 in.
708 pages
over 700 b&w photos
technical illustrations and charts
ISBN-13: 978-0-8376-1570-7
Price: $39.95

Now Available!

William F. Millikens handling research is fundamental to modern automobile design, and his definitive books on vehicle dynamics provide engineers and racers with practical understanding of chassis design for maximum performance. Equations of Motion is the story of Millikens lifetime of experimentation and innovation in vehicle stability and control.

Nine Lives or Close Shaves

Click below to read this short piece, Bill Milliken picked out 21 quotations from his book, as well as other sources, detailing situations where a seemingly hopeless event was finally overcome.

Nine Lives, or Close Shaves - An excerpt

In Equations of Motion: Adventure, Risk and Innovation, Milliken vividly recounts his experiences pushing airplanes and race cars beyond their limits. His exciting life provides singular, real-world insight into the challenge and joy of engineering and the history of vehicle dynamics as he created it in the air and on the track.


  1. Growing up Down East, 1911-1932
  2. An Engineer's Education at MIT, 1932-1936
  3. War Effort, 1936-1943
  4. Transition to Research, 1944-1947
  5. Automobile Racing, 1947-1960
  6. Automotive Research, 1956-2002

Bill Millikens acclaimed "engineering autobiography" is now available as a lower-priced paperback containing new material written exclusively for this edition.

Mister Supernatural - Award-winning biographical sketch of Bill Milliken by Karl Ludvigsen

Legendary American driver Dan Gurney wrote a very kind foreword to Equations of Motion. Download the PDF here (48 kb).

Milliken's automotive innovations have earned him the highest engineering honors, and his technical books are required reading for automotive engineers and students. But what really makes Milliken's life special is his lifelong adventure of making rollicking play of challenging work. After MIT, Milliken helped perfect some of World War II's most memorable combat aircraft. At the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratories research hotbed, he spearheaded a new methodology that fundamentally changed how aircraft are designed.

Milliken's hobbies have been his inspiration: The solo, open-cockpit flights from Seattle to Maine, and the 100-plus postwar sports car races. The math: Two upside-down airplanes plus two upside-down race cars times always giving your all equals unparalleled understanding of how vehicles move, and how to make them do it better.

The sign for Milliken's Corner along the old Watkins Glen (NY) racing circuit alerts drivers to a hairy bend. Most people slow down, but Bill steps on it. The only thing he is certain will happen is that he'll learn something. As he tells it in Equations of Motion: 80 Years of Adventure, Risk and Innovation, it has all been a lot of hard work, and nothing but fun.

Equations of Motion is an engaging portrayal of doing one's best, following one's dreams and taking the adventurous route to solving real challenges.

Click here to watch Bill Millikens interview for the EAAs Timeless Voices of Aviation
Watch Bill Millikens interview for the EAAs Timeless Voices of Aviation.
click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
Bill Milliken earned eternal fame at Watkins Glen for his daring driving in Bugattis (Type 35,1948; Type 54, 1950), and a Miller four wheel drive (1949). Photo ca 1948.
click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
Bill Milliken (far right) and other Boeing Flight Test staff members brief for a B-17 high-altitude test, ca 1942.
click to enlarge, and for longer caption if available
Bill Milliken, age 87, at the wheel of FWD Miller; 1997, Goodwood Hillclimb, England
Equations of Motion
Equations of Motion
Wholesale Case Quantity: 5
ISBN: 0-8376-1570-4 (ISBN-10)
ISBN: 978-0-8376-1570-7 (ISBN-13)
Permalink: http://www.bentleypublishers.com/c/GEMP
Associated Vehicles

This product is related to the following vehicles: