The optical wing aligning device of the Langley Field tunnel

F. H. Norton, D. L. Bacon
Jan 1921

Described here is a convenient and accurate method of aligning the wing chord with the airflow. The device was developed to permit rapid and accurate alignment of airfoils and models with the airstream passing through the tunnel. It consists of three main parts: a projector, a reflector, and a target. The arrangement, which is shown in a figure, has proven satisfactory in operation. It is far better than the old method of sighting across a long batten, as the operator of a balance may see the target and correctly judge the accuracy of his alignment. Whereas the old method required two operators and several minutes time to align to within 1/10 degree, this method enables one operator to align a wing to within 1/100 of a degree in a few seconds. This method also has the advantage of being able to measure the angle of the wing while the tunnel is running. Thus, the true angle of incidence is shown.

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