The effect of rivet heads on the characteristics of a 6 by 36 foot Clark Y metal airfoil

Dearborn, Clinton H
May 1933

An investigation was conducted in the N.A.C.A. full-scale wind tunnel to determine the effects of exposed rivet heads on the aerodynamic characteristics of a metal-covered 6 by 36 foot Clasky airfoil. Lead punching simulating 1/8inch rivet heads were attached in full-span rows at a pitch of 1 inch at various chord positions. Tests were made at velocities varying from 40 to 120 miles per hour to investigate the scale effect. Rivets at the 5 percent chord position the upper surface of the airfoil produced the greatest increase in drag for a single row. Nine rows of rivets on both surfaces, simulating rivet spacing of multispan construction, increased the drag coefficients by a constant amount at velocities between 100 and 120 miles per hour. Accordingly, if rivets spaced the same as those on the test airfoil were used on a Clark Y wing of 300 square feet area and operated at 200 miles per hour, the drag would be increased over that for the smooth wing by 55 pounds and the power required would be increased by 29 horsepower.

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