Pressure distribution over the rudder and fin of an airplane in flight

Norton, F H Brown, W G

This investigation was carried out by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory for the purpose of determining the loads which occur on the vertical tail surfaces in flight. The method consisted in measuring the pressures simultaneously at 28 points on the rudder and fin by means of a recording multiple manometer. The results show that the maximum load encountered in stunting was 7 pounds per square foot on the rudder and fin, and it is probable that this might rise to 10 pounds per square foot in a violent barrel roll; but in steady flight the average loads do not exceed 0.6 pound per square foot. The maximum load on the rudder and fin may occur at the same instant as the maximum load on the horizontal tail surfaces and the maximum normal acceleration. The torsional moment about the axis of the fuselage due to the rudder and fin may rise as high as 250 foot-pound. The results obtained from this investigation have a direct application to the design of the rudder, fin, and fuselage.

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