Tests of a gust-alleviating wing in the gust tunnel

Shufflebarger, C C
April 1941

Tests were made in the NACA gust tunnel to determine the effectiveness of a torsionally flexible wing with the torsion axis ahead of the locus of the section aerodynamic centers in reducing airplane accelerations due to atmospheric gusts. For three gust shapes, a series of flights was made with the airplane model equipped with either a torsionally flexible or a rigid wing. The results indicated that the torsionally flexible wing reduced the maximum acceleration increment 5 percent for the sharp-edge gust and about 17 percent for gust shapes with gradient distances of 6.8 and 15 chord lengths. The analysis indicated that the effectiveness of this method of gust alleviation was independent of the gust velocity and that, for the same total load increment, the torsionally flexible wing would have 10 percent less bending-moment increment at the root section of the wing than a rigid wing in all but the sharpest gusts. The results also indicated that the torsionally flexible wing slightly increased the longitudinal stability of the airplane model in a gust.

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