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INTRODUCTION TO AERONAUTICS: A DESIGN PERSPECTIVE

CHAPTER 4: WINGS AND AIRPLANES


After running the engine and propellers a few minutes to get them in working order, I got on the machine
at 10:35 for the first trial. The wind, according to our anemometers at this time was lowing a little o!er
"0 miles# "$ miles according to the go!ernment anemometer at %itt& 'awk. (n slipping the rope the
machine started off increasing in speed to proal& $ or ) miles. The machine lifted from the truck *ust
as it was entering the fourth rail.+
,rom the -iar& of (r!ille .right for -ecemer 1$, 1/03
4.1 DESIGN MOTIVATION
The Lift and Da! "f Win!#
The study of airfoils in Chapter 3 gave insight into how wings generate lift, but it did not tell the
whole story. The flow over a wing near the wingtips is very different from the two-dimensional flow
around an airfoil. The differences have profound effects on the lift and drag generated by a wing.
Understanding these effects is crucial to the aircraft designer who must shape an aircrafts wing to
optimize its performance. ection !." discusses wing lift and drag theory and analysis methods.
Wh"$e Ai%aft Lift C&'e
#ther components besides the wing contribute to an aircrafts lift. The lift contributions of the
aircrafts fuselage, control surfaces, high-lift devices, stra$es, etc. must all be considered in order to
accurately predict an aircrafts lifting capability. The aircrafts ma%imum lift coefficient is one of the
governing factors in an aircrafts instantaneous turn capability, landing speed and distance, and ta$eoff
speed and distance. ection !.3 describes a variety of devices for increasing an airplanes ma%imum lift
coefficent, while ection !.! presents methods for estimating the lift curve slope and ma%imum lift
coefficient of a complete airplane, including the effects of stra$es, high-lift devices, control surfaces, etc.
Wh"$e Ai%aft Da! P"$a
The drag of all aircraft components must also be included when estimating whole aircraft drag.
The variation of an aircrafts drag coefficient with its lift coefficient is called the aircrafts da! ("$a.
The drag polar is the $ey information about an aircraft needed to estimate most types of aircraft
performance. &ircraft ma%imum speed, rate and angle of climb, range, and endurance depend so heavily
on an aircrafts drag polar that a '( change in drag can ma$e a huge difference in a )et fighters combat
effecitivenes or an airliners profit potential. ection !.* presents a simple method for predicting an
airplanes drag polar at low speeds, while ection !.+ describes how high flight ,ach numbers change an
airplanes aerodynamics. ection !.+ also presents methods for estimating a complete airplanes lift curve
slope and drag polar at high flight ,ach numbers. ection !.- is an e%ample of an aerodynamic analysis
for a supersonic )et fighter aircraft. The analysis predicts aircraft lift and drag characteristics for ,ach
numbers ranging from . to "...
4.) WINGS
The Lan!&a!e
/igure !.' illustrates a view of a wing planform with some of the important dimensions, angles
and parameters used to describe the shape of an aircraft wing. The wing span , , is measured from *in!
ti( to wing tip. The symbol c is used for the chord length of an airfoil at any point along the wing span.
The subscript r indicates the chord length at the wing ""t or the aircraft centerline. The subscript t
denotes the wing tip chord. The overbar denotes an average value of chord length for the entire wing.
The
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