General theory of the steady motion of an airplane

De Bothezat, George
naca-report-97
1921


The writer points out briefly the history of the method proposed for the study of steady motion of an airplane, which is different from other methods now used. M. Paul Painleve has shown how convenient the drag-lift curve was for the study of airplane steady motion. The author later added to the drift-lift curve the curve called the "speed curve" which permits a direct checking of the speed of the airplane under all flying conditions. But the speed curve was plotted in the same quadrant as the drag-lift curve. Later, with the progressive development of aeronautical science, and with the continually increasing knowledge concerning engines and propellers, the author was brought to add the three other quadrants to the original quadrant, and thus was obtained the steady motion chart which is described in detail in this report. This charts permits one to read directly for a given airplane its horizontal speed at any altitude, its rate of climb at any altitude, its apparent inclination to the horizon at any moment, its ceiling, its propeller thrust, revolutions, efficiency, and power absorbed, that is the complete set of quantities involved in the subject, and to follow the variations of all these quantities both for variable altitude and for variable throttle. The chart also permits one to follow the variation of all of the above in flight as a function of the lift coefficient and of the speed. The author also discusses the interaction of the airplane and propeller through the slipstream and the question of the properties of the engine-propeller system and its dependence upon the properties of the engine considered alone and of the propeller considered alone. There is also a discussion of a standard atmosphere.

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