Effect of the surface condition of a wing on the aerodynamic characteristics of an airplane

Defrance, S J
naca-tn-495
April 1934


In order to determine the effect of the surface conditions of a wing on the aerodynamic characteristics of an airplane, tests were conducted in the N.A.C.A. full-scale wind tunnel on the Fairchild F-22 airplane first with normal commercial finish of wing surface and later with the same wing polished. Comparison of the characteristics of the airplane with the two surface conditions shows that the polish caused a negligible change in the lift curve, but reduced the minimum drag coefficient by 0.001. This reduction in drag if applied to an airplane with a given speed of 200 miles per hour and a minimum drag coefficient of 0.025 would increase the speed only 2.9 miles per hour, but if the speed remained the same, the power would be reduced 4 percent.

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