Damping coefficients due to tail surfaces in aircraft

Chu, Lynn

The object of the investigation described in this report was to compare the damping coefficients of an airfoil as calculated from a knowledge of the static characteristics of the section with those obtained experimentally with an oscillation. The damping coefficients as obtained, according to the conventional notation, can be considered either as due to pitching or as due to yawing, the oscillation in these experiments being so arranged that the surfaces oscillate about a vertical axis. This is in reality the case when the influence is yawing about the standard Z-axis, but it can also be considered as a pitching motion when the model is so rigged that its standard Y-axis becomes vertical. The horizontal oscillation has the advantage of eliminating the gravity action and avoiding the use of counterweights, whose presence in the wind tunnel is undesirable because of their interference with the air flow. The real point of the investigation was to separate the damping due to rotation from that due to translation. By varying the distance between the center of pressure and the center of rotation on the oscillator, the variation of damping moment can be observed and the rotational and translational effects can be separated.

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