A load factor formula

Roy G. Miller
naca-tn-263
Aug 1927


The ultimate test of a load factor formula is experience. The chief advantages of a semi rational formula over arbitrary factors are that it fairs in between points of experience and it differentiates according to variables within a type. Structural failure of an airplane apparently safe according to the formula would call for a specific change in the formula. The best class of airplanes with which to check a load factor formula seems to be those which have experienced structural failure. Table I comprises a list of the airplanes which have experienced failure in flight traceable to the wing structure. The load factor by formula is observed to be greater than the designed strength in each case, without a single exception. Table II comprises the load factor by formula with the designed strength of a number of well-known service types. The formula indicates that by far the majority of these have ample structural strength. One case considered here in deriving a suitable formula is that of a heavy load carrier of large size and practically no reserve power.

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