Improvement of aileron effectiveness by the prevention of air leakage through the hinge gap as determined in flight

Soule, H A Gracey, W

A flight investigation was made of the increase in effectiveness of ailerons that can be obtained by preventing flow of air through the wing at the hinges and of the possibility of reducing the aileron operating force by replacing ailerons having normal open hinge gaps with narrower but equally effective ailerons having sealed hinge gaps. Tests were made with a Fairchild 22 airplane with two sizes of plain unbalanced ailerons, one set having a chord equal to 0.18c, and the other chord equal to 0.09c. The results of the investigation show that improvement of the lateral-control effectiveness is obtained by completely preventing the flow of air through the wing at the hinge axis of conventional ailerons. The magnitude of the improvement depends on the aileron chord. For the 0.18c ailerons the gain in aileron effectiveness due to sealing the gap at the hinge axis was of the order of one-fifth and for the 0.09c ailerons the gain was about one-third. The importance of sealing the gap was demonstrated by the fact that the 0.09c ailerons with a slight increase in deflection range were made as effective as the 0.18c ailerons with an unsealed gap but required only about one-third as large an operating force.

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