Aerodynamic tests of a full-scale TBF-1 aileron installation in the Langley 16-foot high-speed tunnel

Becker, John V Korycinski, Peter F
naca-wr-l-31
December 1944


The failure of wing panels on a number of TBF-1 and TBM-1 airplanes in flight has prompted several investigations of the possible causes of failure. This report describes tests in the Langley 16-foot high-speed tunnel to determine whether these failures could be attributed to changes in the aerodynamic characteristics of the ailerons at high speeds. The tests were made of a 12-foot-span section including the tip and aileron of the right wing of a TBF-1 airplane. Hinge moments, control-link stresses due to aerodynamic buffeting, and fabric-deflection photographs were obtained at true airspeeds ranging from 110 to 365 miles per hour. The aileron hinge-moment coefficients were found to vary only slightly with airspeed in spite of the large fabric deflections that developed as the speed was increased. An analysis of these results indicated that the resultant hinge moment of the ailerons as installed in the airplane would tend to restore the ailerons to their neutral position for all the high-speed flight conditions covered in the tests. Serious aerodynamic buffeting occurred at up aileron angles of -10 degrees or greater because of stalling of the sharp projecting lip of the Frise aileron. The peak stresses set up in the aileron control linkages in the buffeting condition were as high as three times the mean stress. During the hinge-moment investigation, flutter of the test installation occurred at airspeeds of about 150 miles per hour. This flutter condition was investigated in some detail and slow-motion pictures were made of the motion of the wing tip and aileron. The flutter was found to involve simultaneous normal bending and chordwise oscillation of the wing and flapping of the aileron. The aileron motion appeared to be coupled with this flutter condition and was investigated in some detail and slow-motion pictures were made of the motion of the wing tip and aileron. The flutter was found to involve simultaneous normal bending and chordwise oscillation of the wing and flapping of the aileron. The aileron motion appeared to be coupled with the motion of the wing through the mass unbalance of the aileron in the normal-to-chord plane due to location of the hinge line 2.17 inches below the center of gravity of the aileron. Flutter did not occur when the installation was stiffened to prevent chordwise motion or when the bending frequency of the aileron system was appreciably higher than that of the wing as in the complete airplane installation.

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