A comparison of several tapered wings designed to avoid tip stalling

Anderson, Raymond F
June 1939

Optimum proportions of tapered wings were investigated by a method that involved a comparison of wings designed to be aerodynamically equal. The conditions of aerodynamic equality were equality in stalling speed, in induced drag at a low speed, and in the total drag at cruising speed. After the wings were adjusted to aerodynamic equivalence, the weights of the wings were calculated as a convenient method of indicating the optimum wing. The aerodynamic characteristics were calculated from wing theory and test data for the airfoil sections. Various combinations of washout, camber increase in the airfoil sections from the center to the tips, and sharp leading edges at the center were used to bring about the desired equivalence of maximum lift and center-stalling characteristics. In the calculation of the weights of the wings, a simple type of spar structure was assumed that permitted an integration across the span to determine the web and the flange weights. The covering and the remaining weight were taken in proportion to the wing area. The total weights showed the wings with camber and washout to have the lowest weights and indicated the minimum for wings with a taper ratio between 1/2 and 1/3.

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