The effect of airfoil thickness and plan form on lateral control

Hoot, H I

This investigation was carried out for the purpose of determining the effectiveness of ailerons and tests were made on six model airfoils in the no. 1 wind tunnel of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The method consisted in measuring the rolling moments and aileron moments in the ordinary way. In addition to this the wing was allowed to spin freely about an axis in the direction of the air flow and the angular velocity measured. The results show that the thickness of the airfoil has very little effect on either the rolling moment or the hinge moment, although the resulting efficiency is somewhat higher for the tapered wings. The airfoil tapered in plan form, however, shows practically no falling off in the rolling moment at the critical angle of attack, whereas the wings of rectangular plan form show a marked dropping off in the rolling moment at this point. This indicates that it is possible to obtain good lateral control with small ailerons at low speed if the plan form is tapered. The rotational speed of the different airfoils is practically the same for all of the sections tested.

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