Airplane balance

L. Huguet
naca-tn-51
Jun 1921


The authors argue that the center of gravity has a preponderating influence on the longitudinal stability of an airplane in flight, but that manufacturers, although aware of this influence, are still content to apply empirical rules to the balancing of their airplanes instead of conducting wind tunnel tests. The author examines the following points: 1) longitudinal stability, in flight, of a glider with coinciding centers; 2) the influence exercised on the stability of flight by the position of the axis of thrust with respect to the center of gravity and the whole of the glider; 3) the stability on the ground before taking off, and the influence of the position of the landing gear. 4) the influence of the elements of the glider on the balance, the possibility of sometimes correcting defective balance, and the valuable information given on this point by wind tunnel tests; 5) and a brief examination of the equilibrium of power in horizontal flight, where the conditions of stability peculiar to this kind of flight are added to previously existing conditions of the stability of the glider, and interfere in fixing the safety limits of certain evolutions.

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