AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION

SYDNEY CAMM

.

AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION A Handbook on the various Methods and Details of Construction employed in the Building of Aeroplanes BY SYDNEY ' * CAMM II ASSOCIATE FELLOW ROYAL AERONAUTICAL SOCIETY LONDON CROSBY LOCKWOOD AND SON 7. LUDGATE HILL 1919 . STATIONERS' HALL COURT.

LIMITED.PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS. . LONDON AND BECCLEe.

were intended as a broad survey of the principles and details of modern aeroplane construction. representative of those most generally used in machines of present-day design. C. in the author's opinion. .PBEFACE THE articles embodied with other matter in this book. to They were written at a time when specific references modern British aircraft were forbidden. but also to those concerned with the uses will of aircraft. S. concerning which there is a noticeable deficit amongst existing aeronautical literature. It is hoped that the t book appeal not only to those engaged on the manufacture. and although from a comparative point of view this is to be regretted. the details and methods dealt with are.

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. . PAGE 1 CHAPTER ' II.. .. .. 6 CHAPTER SPARS AND STRUTS . ' ..51 CHAPTER WING-TRUSSING SYSTEMS . . . VI. 18 CHAPTER PLANE CONSTRUCTION . V. VII. . I. . . . IX. . _. . '. . IV. . .. 59 CHAPTER FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION VIII. MATERIALS . 67- CHAPTER FUSELAGE FITTINGS . '. . . . III. .. . . 40 CHAPTER INTERPLANE STRUT CONNECTIONS .. 30 CHAPTER DETAILS OF PLANE CONSTRUCTION .TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER INTRODUCTION .. ..

123 INDEX 135 . 101 CHAPTER WIRES AND CONNECTIONS . PAGE UNDERCARRIAGE TYPES 86 CHAPTER UNDERCARRIAGE DETAILS XI. ! .viii CONTENTS CHAPTER X. XIII. . 108 CHAPTER ENGINE MOUNTINGS XIV. 93 CHAPTER CONTROL SYSTEMS XII. 116 CHAPTER ERECTION AND ALIGNMENT XV.

yet the principle which it exemplifies. principles as distinct from those considerations pertaining purely to THE purpose design. the modern aeroplane has developed equally with design. that of obtaining maximum strength for a minimum of weight. the why and wherefore of certain constructional To many the aeroplane is a structure of appalling flimsiness. although occasional references to various elementary principles of aerodynamics have been found necessary to illustrate details. may with the development of efficiency be said to be indissolubly bound up and whether this is to be . is a matter upon which some diversity of opinion exists. constitutes a problem of which the solving is not only an unceasing labour. attained in improvements in aerodynamical qualities. so that. The whole future of aviation. B tional work of . by the discovery of a material giving a greatly enhanced strength to weight ratio. commerthe cially or otherwise. How- certain that the very great developments of the last few years are clue more to refinements in design rather than and it is questionable whether the construcconstruction it is . of the complete structure of the aeroplane. even taking for granted the oft-repeated. of this book is to give some indication of the and methods of construction of modern aeroplanes. but one demanding the observance of the best engineering procedure.AEROPLANE CONSTEUCTION CHAPTER I. or by progress in the arrangement of the various members ever. INTRODUCTION.

This means that if in this country there are six firms producing machines of their own design (these figures. and sundry special machine tools. Whatever may be said for the standardization of aeroplane types. . six sets of jigs. the clips fastening the longerons and cross struts could easily be of one design. of course. whatever the make of the machine. There are the interplane strut attachments. There seems no valid reason why many of the fittings for all machines within certain dimensions should not be of standard design. channelling. control-surface hinges. all showing great variations. and which offers chances of success. some built up from various parts. . there will be six sets of detail drawings. such as washer-plates. of which the design could be brought within reasonable limits. while some combine advantages and others the disadvantages of both. duralumin pressings. would consist in the standardization of metal fittings and wood components generally. being purely suppositionary). a scheme which should effect a considerable saving in labour and material. and bolted through the longeron. At present we find some clips are bent up from a stamping and attached to the longeron without the drilling of the latter. with or without . stern-post fittings.2 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION irf but very doubtful. In some cases the longerons of spruce are spindled out for lightening in others no spindling occurs while in a few instances hickory or ash. and press tools. In the construction of the fuselage. templates. and underin all carriage attachments. for in this direction there is certainly great need for improvement. Taking as a hypothesis the various makes of scouting machines. we find hardly any two details the same. there of the certainly plenty of scope for experiment and improvement in the constructional principles modern aeroplane. statement that we are approaching the limitations 01 ilengu. Standardization of Details. and is used. and a brief review of the various details which could be standardized without detracting in the least from aerodynamical efficiency will indicate the extent to which the conserving of labour could be carried.

there is scope for arrangements for the fixed gun mounting. fresh firms to the aviation industry would be at once acquainted with the general methods of manufacture.INTRODUCTION As indicating how unnecessary a good deal of the variation one may instance the fact that for the swaged streamline. The creation of a central or universal office for the design of the various jigs used in the manufacture of aircraft. while a standard instrument board would improvement in the different benefit the pilot. and this. would certainly eliminate a number of useless experiments made by the individual constructors. destroy individual initiative. cases the calls for it seems fairly certain that in some methods of manufacture must be superior. Jigs designed to produce the same work in different works often differ in detail considerably. in that much that is now left to the skill and experience of the workman would be predetermined. whereas in peace time the spur of competition would force the adoption of the most rapid methods of production. 3 is. there are at least three different terminals in use. although this would be more than compensated for by the increased benefits accruing to the State. and would also greatly of improve the interchangeability of the various components. It is also necessary by the fact that some firms have result of been developed through the exigencies of war. Although a good many factors may contribute to this result. of course. or R. with power to decide the process manufacture. Although more difficult of achievement. often influences the . which some system of standardizing the broad principles Under this arrangepertaining to manufacturing procedure. and not as a any great manufacturing ability. wires. although the machines are of the same design. It is fairly well known that the output of some firms is considerably better than others. Methods of Manufacture. this system would tend rather to initial output.F. although a somewhat far-reaching reform. which should be of considerable assistance in expediting Of course. In addition. estimate of probable output could be ment a much better made.A.

Metal Construction. in some works elaborate benches are considered necessary for the erection of fuselages. far too little regard is paid to considerations manufacture. it certainly seems more than probable that some form of metal construction will one day constitute the structure of the aeroplane. and it is conceivable that the various types will then be standardized for different purposes. The question so of the aircraft materials of the future is not In view a problem as a matter gradual evolution. which are now necessary through . As an instance. all strengthen the case in favour of wood. and the ease with which essential facture of the various changes in type can be made without the wholesale scrapping of the expensive jigs associated with the use of steel. With this system unified manufacturing procedure extreme have to be paid. in the design of various jigs for regard would and fixtures. while in others a pair of trestles of suffices. but this is unfortunately that it The advantages of not possible while present conditions obtain. metal as a material considered briefly.4 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION rate of production. It is somewhat modifications in Otherwise unfortunate that in the general design of an aeroplane. and moreover tHe transitory nature of the whole business. which may necessitate the greater use of steel. realized under Certainly the advantage of steel would be better some system of standardized design. in numerous of ease of cases. the requirements manufacture would necessitate consideration in the design of of the constructional details. and this the many changes is frequently responsible for in design after a contract has been started. dwindling supplies of suitable timber. The manuof of the much components in wood does not necessitate an extensive plant. are permits of design to close limits without the allowance of so-called factors of safety. to the adaptability design. Under an ideal system of standardization. various alterations which are bound to occur would result in an unnecessary expenditure on fresh jigs. The conclusion of hostilities would introduce another state of affairs. the labour necessary is comparatively cheap and easily available.

alloy of some authorities favouring steel. might prove advantageous to combine both metals. such as. offers It In addition the effects of crystalliza- possibilities as a material. element. manufacturing procedure would be expedited. due of largely to the increased facilities for accurate manufacture affords. it is quite possible that this will not arrive until rendered imperative by reason of the scarcity of timber. inter-plane bracing lugs. would suffer damage through shocks induced by and also rolling over rough ground. and it is The precise composition of the metal is rather a controversial matter. wing spar attachments. and indeed any part where the load to be carried is one induced by tension. These and other reasons indicate that an alloy of aluminium. of course. and others some duralumin.INTRODUCTION 5 the great variation in the strengths of wood. and certainly ample scope yet exists for the attention of the student. and one for which some allowance must always be made. a fuselage entirely of this material to withstand easily the greatest stress encountered in flying. It is quite possible. " production of a suitable alloy constitutes a real The problem and one upon which the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics have already made investigations and experiments. tion by handling. such as. such a structure. or operator introduces the unknown . using steel for the more highly stressed parts. or indeed any one interested in the future of the The foregoing aviation industry. directions in is indicative of some of the more important which improvement and development are possible. A disadvantage with steel is that." aluminium. welder. which for a given weight would be considerably more rigid than steel. although it is quite possible to produce. One cannot assert that any very decided indication exists of a trend in modern design towards metal construction. for instance. . to design to extremely close but the human factor in the limits without fear of collapse shape of fitter. while one can reasonably expect a greater degree of precision in the finished machine. owing to the thin nature of the various components. for instance. would require some considerable study. say. components which metal given a uniform grade of steel.

or centre. is the stronger. II. The choice suitable wood for aircraft construction is a matter of some difficulty. Variable Qualities of Wood. that of obtaining the maximum strength for a minimum of weight. it may be taken that the greater number of exercises a It is annual growth rings per inch. grown as a The nature of the site upon which a tree is marked influence upon its properties. The fundamental of a principle of aircraft construction. engendered by the variety of considerations of which at least some observance is essential. affords one standpoint from which a particular wood not constitute in itself may be regarded. while general rule. the timber contained in that part of the tree the greatest distance from the pith. is additionally complicated by the very great found in the strength and characteristics of trees of variation exactly the same species. the greater the strength. the total stock available. also a general rule that up to certain diameters. but this does a sufficient reason for its choice. SEEING that wood constitutes the material of the structure of the aeroplane. . the relative straightness of grain and freedom from knots as well as the durability of the wood. and also of different portions cut from The choice the same tree. Of almost equal importance are such considerations as the length and size of the balks obtainable from the log.AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION CHAPTER MATEEIALS. that is for the greater part with very few exceptions. some notes on the characteristics and qualities of those woods most commonly used may prove of interest.

and this latter point is of some considerable importance. than not the parts are assembled almost immediately they are made. In this . more often complete machine. but it also renders useless any attempt at precision of workmanship. which is a matter of guess- work. although latterly some considerable advances have been made with artificial methods of seasoning. It this very point of shrinkage. and only practicable where some time will elapse between the finishing of the part and its erection in the Under present conditions. as not only is a large amount of moisture detrimental to the strength values of the timber. this being due to the various fittings which in the majority of machines are of set dimensions and clip or surround the material. disabilities of It is wood as a material aircraft now necessary in the production of finished parts to make some allowance for resultant shrinkage. The prejudice against kiln drying is founded on the belief that the strength of the timber is reduced. which constitutes the greatest bar to the achievement of a measure of component standardis ization. A method which is a distinct improvement on those systems. between the cutting of the tree and its conversion into aeroplane parts. and it is also one of the for most serious construction. which means that no allowance over the actual size is possible. is now being used with apparently good results. attachment As a natural sequence shrinkage occurs subsequent to the of the fitting. followed by looseness and loss of Until the proper period for alignment in the structure. 7 The wood obtained from the base of a tree is heavier than and one finds the influence of this in the of necessity for balancing and alternating the different laminae air. Another point. is the amount of moisture contained in a specimen.screws before gluing. seasoning can elapse. and that extraneous defects are induced. using superheated steam and hot air.MATERIALS that at the top. and one which is intimately concerned with the proper seasoning of timber. it is difficult to see how this disability can be obviated. Shrinkage.

8 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION system. and although it is difficult to give a precise per able. Again.. but in most cases their value is greatly diminished by reason of the greater weight. so that tables indicating the properties of woods should include the percentage of moisture contained in the examples tested. or Sitka spruce. or for general design. and that only a limited portion straight of grain and free from knots is obtain- The weight of Sitka spruce varies from 26 to 33 Ibs. greatly affects the figures relating to the strength and weight of timber. an extremely variable quantity. it can be (at least in long until recently) obtained lengths up to 80ft. its particularly good. and. There are other woods possessing higher is strength qualities. cubic foot. and particularly straight grained and free from knots other defects. IN USE. The wood most construction is extensively used for the main items of silver spruce. certain woods possessing relatively and high strength values. in some cases fallacious. are frequently short-grained brittle. and characteristics of various woods are of very doubtful utility. weight. moreover. The foregoing enumeration of some of the variations existing with of obtaining wood will indicate the enormous difficulty with any exactitude a result representative of the of wood tested. and therefore not so suitable as other woods of lower strength values. Unreliability of Tabulated Tests. wood pre-eminently suitable for found in great has proved this Experience strength-weight ratio is aeroplane construction. and in nearly all cases far too specific. The moisture content of timber. quantities in British Columbia. WOODS Silver Spruce. . but of greater elasticity and resiliency. The various tables which exist indicating the strength. drying being effected by a gradual reduction in the humidity of the atmosphere. steam under very low compression is constantly circulated through the timber. and which could be regarded as reliable species data for the calculation of stresses.

a 9 good average specimen fairly dry would weigh about Some impression of the extent to per cubic foot. but does not possess such a good strength value. weight per cubic foot than Sitka spruce. Selected balks can be obtained to weigh no more than 30 Ibs. For the main spars of the planes spruce is almost universally used. A material known as Baltic yellow deal and Northern pine is procured . which limit the straight-grained its lengths procurable. The cross struts of the fuselage are invariably of spruce. but it is subject to the presence of small hard knots and streaks of resin. whiteness of Norwegian Spruce. which it enters into the construction of the aeroplane will be 28 Ibs. ribs. cannot be obtained in such large pieces. This wood is also known is as spruce fir and white deal. while a consideration almost as important is the necessity of a good average length. although the writer has seen consignments with very few knots. which compares very favourably with silver spruce. although in this instance ash and is to hickory are used to a moderate extent. It can be grown principally in obtained in average lengths. as here great strength for the least weight is of extreme importance. machines are spruce. gathered if the components usually of spruce are detailed. straight grained and free from defects. It is distinguishable from Sitka spruce by colour and general closeness of grain.MATEEIALS figure. per cubic foot. The growing practice make the front portion of the fuselage of ash. the greater stress. and North Europe. It is also used for the webs and flanges of the wing the leading and trailing edges and wing structure The longerons or rails of the fuselage of many generally. as well as such items as inter-plane carriage struts and streamline fairings. while the tail portion is of but in a number of cases the latter material is used throughout. and is generally subject to This is of a lower small knots. as this is subject to spruce . and under- Virginia Spruce.

as this wood can be obtained of almost the same weight per cubic foot as silver spruce. it may weight would result. carriage struts. being more rigid than silver spruce at least that is the slightly writer's experience of it. For fuselage struts. The practical application of this could be arranged for. most valuable of those employed. It is inclined to brittleness from the same source. and is heavier than white deal.10 AEKOPLANE CONSTRUCTION is more durable than Norwegian when dry. The strength and characteristics of ash vary greatly with the and for all kinds of bent work. being extremely tough and resilient. and longerons. and straight-grained lengths are not absolutely essential. interplane struts. would be the increased amount of silver spruce available for such highly stressed items as wing spars. undert It possesses the quality of being readily steamed to comparatively sharp curves. Difficulty is also experienced in obtaining lengths . to resist the is stiff- bending strain produced by inequalities of wiring. It is used mainly for longerons. actually give better results.. the lengths needed for the fuselage struts being approximately 3 feet and less. The defect usually met with in this wood. of knots occurring at intervals. and generally for those components for which long spruce. very little increase in etc. There are two varieties in use. the weight per cubic foot ranging between 40 and 50 Ibs. varying lengths. climate under which it is grown. hollow fairings to tubular struts. the former being considered This wood is one of the the better material. the webs and flanges of the plane ribs. English and American. would be of no great detriment. with care in selection and conversion. weighing about 36 Ibs. The recent shortage of silver spruce has led to the employment of Norwegian spruce for items such as fuselage struts. and will retain the bend for a considerable period. and it is also much heavier than spruce. In addition. fittings. per cubic foot. which. where the chief consideration ness. Ash. and it would therefore be easily possible to procure wood of this The other items enumerated are of length free from knots.

although the dwindling supplies and the very short lengths obtainable has practically enforced the employment of other woods for this purpose.. It is obtainable in about the same lengths as ash. such as longerons. a species of walnut. as it is inclined to as brittleness. as it is not defect peculiar to Honduras mahogany A the occurrence of irregular fractures across the grain known as thunder shakes. Although other so-called mahoganies are . ash in conjunction with a species of mahogany is used for the laminae of the air-screw. Hickory. is longerons. but is not really suitable for parts of comparatively small section. and it has also been used to a limited extent for It is subject to excessive warping in drying. somewhat rare. possessing widely different characteristics. is responsible for its waning Walnut. many of the species being quite unsuitable for the requirements of aircraft work. The term " mahogany " covers an infinite variety of woods. It has been used on some rib German machines for such parts webs. This wood is almost entirely devoted to the making of airscrews. is imported from New Zealand and America. 11 continuity of grain various German machines. foot. per cubic in general use for airscrews and seaplane floats. Mahogany. That known as Honduras mahogany possesses the best strength values. which makes it especially suitable for skids.MATERIALS greater than 20 ft. is and even in lengths up to that figure. and possesses characteristics similar to those of ash. and is is of medium weight. flying-boat type of machine. and the great difficulty experienced in obtaining straight-grained lengths popularity. It is of particular value for seaplane floats and the hulls of the affected is by water. not so durable as ash. It is notable that on Hickory. but in the writer's experience is is of greater weight. Its chief property extreme resiliency. about 35 Ibs.

and does not take glue well. one of the largest being an average. which of darker colour. of the fir species. The scarcity of silver spruce has led to the adoption of the wood known as Oregon pine for most of the components for which 'the former wood has hitherto been used. and also differs greatly in appearance. Oregon Pine. Under this name is included such woods as American whitewood. but is much affected by climatic changes. and much heavier in weight. possessing a reddish-brown grain. weighing about 34 Ibs. The term " " Oregon pine is applied to the Douglas fir. a species quite appearance is that known as Cuban or Spanish is mahogany. which latter factor almost precludes its use for aeroplane construction. Its strength to weight ratios are practically equal to those of silver spruce. Its weight is about 44 Ibs. per cubic foot. and might conceivably be used instead of ash for small bent work details. and is not so suitable as Sitka spruce for components of small scantling. It is altogether heavier than silver spruce. With some specimens of this . weighing about 30 Ibs. a length of 200 ft. It possesses a high value of compressive strength across the grain. which it only moderately suited. etc. and although of a light nature. One America finds very few instances of the use of this it wood is for aeroplane details. per cubic foot. with very distinct annual rings. per cubic foot and discussion. It is useful for bent work. it is of very little utility for the work under has been used for minor parts such as rib webs. cotton wood.12 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION distinct in similar in appearance to the Honduras variety. It less. per cubic foot. and fairings to tubular struts. averaging about 50 Ibs. Poplar. although for is used fairly extensively in for air-screw construction. bass wood. The wood sold under one or other of these names is generally very soft and brittle. although in the writer's experience it has a tendency towards brittleness. Birch.

a species of mahogany. fractured almost square across the grain. Of the conifer species. of course. is This term applied to the sheets of wood composed of a glued together with the grain reversed. for which wood it is sometimes substituted in connection with building. was found to be exceedingly brittle. It is. is Parang. very use for one purpose many other varieties. and one As an realizes this more as the various substitutes instance. is the is noticeable that the effect of drying on freshly " of sawn " appearance shakes or Its appearance generally cracks. at one time much-advertised wood. but it certainly does not enter into the construction of modern aeroplanes.. reminiscent of pitch pine. being also well up the table of strengths. are tried. As the layers are obtained by rotating the tree against cutters in such a manner that a continuous cut is taken from the of thin layers number outside almost to the centre.MATERIALS wood it is 13 lengths for longerons. however. which It is made it is possible to get very great particularly suitable for aircraft work. widths. not previously discernible. some of which may be called into use The foregoing constitute woods with the progress of the industry. etc. cypress is straight of grain with no very great increase over the weight of spruce. in varying widths up to 4 ft. much too brittle for the various members of small section of which an aeroplane is composed. Other Woods. and although standing a good load. in a " carrot-like. Another. and in thickness makes it . silver spruce is easily the most suitable timber for aeroplane construction." colloquially in the workshop as is manner known The latter term of indicative of a characteristic which precludes the use many woods possessing other physical properties especially suitable for aircraft work.. It has been reputed to bend well.. and does not seem to have any extensive future for aircraft work. A consignment handled by the writer some years ago and intended for bending. which are in fairly general or another. there being. Multi-ply Wood.

although from is in. up more commonly used. annual rings. layers. as an otherwise perfect specimen frequently happens that in the conversion of useless timber so affected the usable portions do not permit of the The sizes necessary for such items as wing spars and struts. ash. " centre. and satin-walnut. which are due to different causes. 2. and is defect of twisted grain (Fig. five. Perhaps the most with the use of common and is prolific defect encountered the presence of cracks or shakes of different character. forming cup shakes. a star dividing the timber at the centre is really a number of heart shakes diverging from the shake. poplar. is often found in ash. while poplar. although exceptionally light. Defects in Timber. 2. is very soft and only used for minor parts. but those mostly utilized in the aeroplane industry are birch.14 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION 2\> to -J i n -> consisting of three. Star shake. 4) caused by the action of the wind when the tree is growing. Satin-walnut is very even in quality but is apt to warp. 1. 1 " indicates a very common form. The process It of seasoning sometimes results in the separation of the in Fig. while Fig. Ash ply-wood in some 'instances tends towards brittleness. . Cup shake." timber FIG. birch being superior by reason of its closeness of grain. Fig. 3. 3. and seven the three-ply variety in thicknesses up to 3% in. as shown should be understood that the presence of FIG. FIG. Heart shake." . 4. known as a heart shake. FIG. It is made up in nearly all woods. shakes may render it of timber. Twisted grain.

MATERIALS
and renders such wood
all

15

of limited utility.
its

timber in varying degrees, and
their

effect

Shrinkage affects on boards due

position in the log is shown by Fig. 5, while 6 indicates the effect of drying on a squared-up section. Fig. Incidentally one may point out that the annual rings, viewed
to

from the end of the which would obviate

section, should be as straight as possible, to an extent the distortion due to drying

in a component subsequent to its finishing. Another defect, and one somewhat difficult to detect, is the presence of a brownish speckled tint in the grain. Any evidence of this in

FIG.

5.

Shrinkage of boards due
to position in log.

FIG.

6.

Effect of drying on a squared-up section.

insufficient

a specimen indicates the beginning of decay, and is caused by seasoning and lengthy exposure in a stagnant

situation.

Steel.

The greater proportion
the construction

of the various fittings

of the aeroplane are built

employed in up from sheet

nickel steel, usually of a low tensile strength, to permit of working in a cold state, as, with a higher grade steeJ, the

process of bending to template by hand, in many cases a none too careful procedure, would result in a considerable weaken-

ing of the material at the bend. In addition, the operation of welding, which now enters into the construction of a number
of fittings, also

necessitates a

moderate grade of

steel.

A

higher class of sheet steel, from 35 to 50 tons tensile, is used for parts subject to stress, such as interplane strut-fittings,
wiring-lugs, etc.

As a higher grade
its

of steel is better

from a

strength-for-weight point of view,

employment

for bent-up

16
clips

AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION

is desirable, although where such a steel is used it is almost necessary, if the original strength of the material is to be retained in the finished fitting, to effect the various bends

a machine, in conjunction with bending jigs. Careful heat-treatment after bending to shape is an important factor in removing the stresses set up by working, and in rendering
in

the structure of the material more uniform.

Steel Tube.
the form of tubing of various sections, enters largely into aeroplane construction, and may be said to contribute largely to the efficiency of the structure. It is now
Steel, in

being used for the different items of the undercarriage, for
struts in the fuselage, interplane struts, and in many cases control surfaces, such as the ailerons, elevators, and rudder, are being built of this material entirely. In the early days of

aviation steel tubing attained

some considerable popularity,
but

many

machines being

built

almost entirely of tubing;

manipulation, and the fact that very often the methods of attachment reduced its strength considerably, gradually led to the general employment of wood. The great
difficulties in its

advances lately made in the production of a high-grade nickelchrome steel, with a high ultimate tensile stress, are responsible for its present increasing use.

Aluminium.
of the engine,
it is

The present use of aluminium is restricted to the cowling and occasionally as a body covering. Although
light in weight, its extremely low strength values render It attained some very little use for other purposes.

it

of

of popularity in the early days of aviation, particularly for the manufacture of different strut- sockets, which were cast from aluminium ; but the general bulkiness of the fittings,

measure

in addition to the fact that

it was generally necessary to incorporate a steel lug to form the wire anchorage, caused it to

gradually
flake

fall

into disuse.
is

The tendency
intensified

of

aluminium

to

and corrode, which
its

water, also limits

by the action of salt use for seaplane construction. Many

MATERIALS
attempts have been

17

made through

various alloys to impart

greater strength to the material, and although progress has resulted, the characteristics of most of the products are
unreliable.

Duralumin.
Of the different alloys, duralumin is probably the best, although one believes that its qualities are principally the Its use is at present result of special heat treatment.
restricted to those parts not subjected to any great tensile It is considerably less than half the weight of steel, strain.

bulk for bulk, and, properly used,
saving
in

may
it

effect

a considerable
the difficulties

popularity

weight. it deserves

The

fact

that

has not achieved the
to

may

be

ascribed

experienced in working it, especially for such parts as body clips, where several bends are necessary, and to -the rather
If properly annealed, no difficulty arbitrary methods in use. should occur in obtaining a reasonably sharp bend. The process recommended by the makers consists in heating the

metal in a muffled furnace to a temperature of approximately 350 C., and the necessary work done as -soon as possible after
cooling.

The importance
of

of this is

due to the

fact that the

a tendency to annealing imparts process become brittle with time. The writer has often contended
to
that,

the metal

to reduce weight.

where duralumin is used, it should be with a real desire Too often one sees a fitting of such lavish

dimensions as to entirely nullify the advantage of the lighter
metal.

channel teristic steel proved much too flexible. Looking back at the days one usually associates with the aero shows at Olympia. and it is is obvious that in the case of a circular steel tube the material evenly distributed about the neutral axis. HAVING thus considered generally the craft chief materials of air- construction. Various reasons and causes have combined to eliminate these methods of construction. for with this arrangement a certain amount of flexibility in the wing structure is essential. Now. this feature becomes of real value. Some composed of three-ply and ash others. of . still encounters its use on modern machines indeed. either plain or wood filled. the strength of a varies as the square of the depth of the beam. which are beam stressed essentially as beams. less common. For instance. multitudinous methods of building wing spars can be recalled. and therefore its strength in both horizontal and vertical directions is equal. One. we will proceed to examine the various types of spars and the wings are by struts in present use. it must not be supposed that the progress . and a few of steel tubing. although employed as a strut. and very great care is always taken to ensure that only the best of materials and workmanship are concerned with their manufacture. While steel tubing is excellent for many details it can hardly be said to be really suitable for wing spars. . although this charac- was no great disadvantage in those machines employing wing-warping for lateral control.18 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION CHAPTER III. The main spars of far the most important items of the complete structure. SPARS AND STRUTS. the spar of channel steel . however.

will much free from defects than one large easier to procure three pieces of small section timber piece. stronger. popularity. 7. 8. Solid spar. is an improvement on the . is in general use. which in a measure explains its of Spar Sections. shown by Fig. Fig. and it also disposes the material in probably the The laminated spar. from a consideration of the which are in use to-day on one wing spar. solid channelled spar it is withstand distortion to a greater degree without injury. being spindled from the solid. and this will be realized accompanying spar sections make of machine or another. which. while both spars are left solid at the point of attachment of the interplane strut fittings and wire . the laminations failing. It is comparatively easy to produce. and the strength is also more uniform than with the An additional point in its favour is that it is solid spar.SPARS AND STRUTS made 19 in construction generally since 1914 has tended greatly towards a reduction in the number of different methods em- ployed. best manner for the stresses involved. 7. The I section form FIG. the usual practice is to copper rivet or bolt the flange portion. is an important conIn order to minimize the risk of the glue between sideration. in view of the increasing scarcity of perfect timber.

The joint is strengthened by the provision of small gether. 8. box where FIG.20 anchorages. chiefly used for of large wing surface. weight reduction is an important factor. Laminated spar. Comparing the . and in some instances the complete spar is bound with glued fabric. AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION The spar shown by machines Fig. 9. Hollow box-spar. fillets or tongues of hard wood. 9 is of the hollow variety. The two halves of channel section are spindled from the solid and glued to- FIG.

The wing spar shown screwed. 10. The principle underlying the construction of the spar FIG.SPARS AND STRUTS 21 hollow spar with the solid. A different version of the hollow spar by Fig. FIG. these being glued. while for a given weight it shows an increase in strength. and for equal strength it is much lighter. 12 is unique in that it really constitutes two spars placed closed together. shown by Fig. The sides of this spar up with a centre of spruce about -J in. in a machine with planes of small chord. in section by Fig. consisting of system is that indicated two channelled sections. but of very deep are built side of . is that in its manufacture the lengths of wood necessary are of small section. Hollow spar with multi-ply sides. 9. the sides being stiffened with three-ply. 11. laterally is The tendency of of the I-section spar to buckle much lesser moment in a hollow spar of the type shown by Fig. Hollow spar with stiffened sides. and neglecting the cost factor. and bradded to the flanges. 11. to each which is glued thin three-ply. the connection being formed by This spar was used the top and bottom flanges of three-ply. The disposition of the joint in a vertical plane is a distinct improvement on the hollow spar previously considered. mainly in that better resistance to a shearing stress is afforded. the writer contends that the advantage is indisputably with the former. 10. tongued together at the joint. thick.

the strength and almost entirely dependent on the glue used. Twin box spar. is However. and if so tion in the glue affected is of greatly reduced strength.22 section. assuming that the era of the all-steel machine has not arrived. Hollow Spar Construction. by reason of the doubtful character of the glue problematic quantity. Its chief advantage is great rigidity for a low weight. the glue is susceptible to a damp atmosphere. rather an unmechanical job. for abilities. (2) it can be produced from wood of small section. to permit the carrying of the greatest possible useful load. and is not in general use. but such a spar necessitates a deep wing section. will be a primary consideration. however well the joint may be made. Now. AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION and in which no interplaiie wiring occurred. This. the wings functioning as cantilevers. 12. are of the hollow type of spar summarized greater strength for a given weight . FIG. while possible depreciadue to age renders the life of the spar a up. of course. Where the various fittings occur also necessary to place blocks before the spar is glued is it is which used in its manufacture. there with these the question of maximum strength for minimum weight. arid is therefore a better (1) The advantages manufacturing proposition. in spite of these dis- a future for hollow spar construction in the manufacture of the big commercial machines of the future. The practice of forming vertical sides of a hollow spar from three-ply is not to be commended. . of a hollow spar is greatly On the other hand.

This strut is of practically equal strength in both lateral and longitudinal directions. 14. 13. Owing to the rather extensive nature of the latter sides of spruce are . although the interplane strut spindled In the construction from the types Fig. Steel tube strut with fairing bound on. 15 is arranged so that a stiffening web is formed in the spindling process. but always possesses a tendency to buckle laterally. 14 indicates a hollow plane strut.SPAKS AND STEUTS Strut Sections. 13 is solid to a streamline section is aircraft. which is usually of great strength in the fore and aft direction. this being bound to FIG. which the . one does particular method. 23 of the interplane and undercarriage not find a very decided preference for any one struts. doped and varnished. FIGS. n glued to a central stiffening piece of spindled from the solid. Fig. 15. This consists of ordinary round section steel tubing. to which attached a tail piece or fairing of wood. and from this point of view is superior to the solid spindled strut. Inter-plane struts spindled from the solid. the tube by linen tape or fabric. common to many by of is modern The strut shown in section in use for both interplane and undercarriage struts. and ash while Fig.

owing to the tendency to buckle under This would be more pronounced extra heavy landing shocks. It is employed for both the inter-plane and A undercarriage struts. whatever the material. satisfactory results. but for the latter has not given entirely FIG. is In some machines the top plane is supported from the fuselage by struts which are formed integrally with a horithe section of zontal compression member. Where the hollow wood struts used are not completely bound with tape or fabric. This point made with referred to later. . type of strut which is now being widely used is that of streamline section steel tubing. drawn or rolled from the round section. 17. Section of built-up strut. 16 the vertical struts being shown by Fig. FIG. a strut of parallel section. Inter-plane support from body. as in Fig.24 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION operation. with a tube of fine section than with one possessing a bluff contour but in any case. The ply. 16. as there is always the possibility of the glued joint failing under the combined attentions of rain and heat. Seeing that progress is being the production of a seamless streamline tapered strut this defect should soon disappear. they should at least be bound at intervals with tape or fine twine. 17. is not well suited to withstand sudden shocks.wood is . . one does not find many instances of its use.

that of making the maximum cross-section at the centre.e. The correct shaping of struts longitudinally. silver spruce. however. indicate that an interstressed essentially in compression. admittedly possible that unless carefully done. clearly there must be an amount of superfluous material at the ends. Strut Materials. One method of tapering. and forms a tie for the spruce layers. is undoubtedly open to criticism. and there- same weight. ash forms the material. The plane strut is fore the chief characteristic of ash. as on a strength-for-weight ratio the latter wood is slightly the better material. for the points already detailed. it is evident that the greatest stress will be located at or near the centre. Tapering of Interplane Struts. so that if at this point the section is strong enough. great tensile strength. is apparently a rather controversial subject. i. However. So it has always appeared to the writer. which are jointed at the junction of the vertical and horizontal members. much stronger strut It is is. for the same weight a possible. in machines of the flying-boat class. and from this point diminishing in a straight line to the ends. it is perhaps necessary to explain further the reasons for its predominance over ash. particularly those for interplane use. where the engine is invariably mounted between the four central plane struts. suitably reducing or tapering the strut from the centre one can obtain the same degree of strength for less weight. There is also the fact that. Taking the case of an untapered strut. the operation of tapering a strut may actually diminish the strength. and a way more nearly approximating to the correct method of shaping is to reduce the cross-section at various points so . and correspondingly more able to resist collapse. and consequently subjected to an amount of vibration varying with the type of engine used. Referring again to the material generally employed for struts. is of but secondary importance.SPARS AND STRUTS 25 cut to the shape of the complete component. By Conversely. spruce would be thicker.

accepted feature of all streamline forms is an easy curve. the and also the is need for careful construction. affects The generally the performance in flight of the aeroplane. 18. 18. to In this connection it is ensuring that all pertinent emphasize the importance of strut ends are cut to the correct bevels. it would be better to choose a section of high fineness ratio. However.26 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION is that the finished contour curvilinear. design of strut shapes is outside the scope of this book. Considering only the point of head resistance. a few remarks anent the development of streamline may emphasize the advances made.e. called the fineness varies in modern machines. of the speed. Although. The slightest irregularity will cause considerable the tension of the bracing wires. and this is particularly applicable to those struts which seat directly in a socket. and frequently the writer has seen an ostensibly perfect distortion when assembled under FIG. edge. it is certain that the correct shaping or otherwise of the struts ment has proved and other exposed members. strictly speaking. 3 to 1 and in others 5 to 1. experi- a body that for high speeds. strut lines directly the operation of Design of Strut Sections. exceeding say 100 miles resistance increases at rather less than as the square per hour. as in Fig. and while this is true for a moderate range of speeds. having a fairly bluff entrance and gradually tapering to a fine The ratio of length to diameter. double the speed and head resistance is doubled. being in some instances ratio. The resistance of generally considered to increase as the square of the i. assume the most hopeless truing up is commenced. a good average being 4 to 1. Tapering of inter-plane struts. and therefore the cross section must be sufficient . speed. but constructionally such a strut would buckle sideways under a moderate load.

such as the Wright biplane. 23. Fig. 21. FIGS. FIG. 20. 19. 20 shows a development of Fig. 27 earliest aerois The strut section used on the planes. Strut sections. Alec . FIG. shown by Fig. FIG. 21. 19 consisting of a semicircular head with a cone-shaped tail. 19. -Col.SPARS AND STRUTS to resist this. evolution has resulted in the section Fig. nothing more than a rectangle with the corners rounded off. Some experi- ments carried out a considerable time ago by Lieut. 22. Showing inefficiency of pointed section in a side wind. which by gradual FIG. FIG. 19 22.

23. 22 gave the same results as a similar strut taken to a fine edge. the majority of constructors favouring a square spruce strut. A defect with this type of strut is the tendency.28 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION Ogilvy. 24. fuselage strut. T section fuselage strut. engendered by irregularities in the fittings and wiring. to buckle laterally. In the general features of those struts associated with the construction of the fuselage and nacelle. Fuselage Struts. It would seem that the piece is of wood necessary its to obtain such a strut out of proportion to actual finished dimensions. 24. consisting of spruce spindled to a T section the web being of considerable width at the centre. showing the action of a side wind with the resultant dead air region. diversity of practice. Fig. revealed the rather interesting point that a strut shaped as in Fig. although this can be obviated by the provision of a strut of larger section at the centre and diminishing in width to the ends. 25. Channel-section FIG. is A strut not nearly so popular but nevertheless in use that indicated by Fig. The reasons for the non-suitability of a sharp-pointed section are apparent from a consideration of Fig. 25. . channelled out for lightness. there is very little FIG.

SPARS AND STRUTS and from the standpoint material is 29 both labour and of economy in The circular turned and tapered not justified. although it necessitates the provision of tubular ferrules in the fuselage clip. On one modern machine the fuselage struts are circular. as the fact that all aeroplane bodies are now fabric covered renders it unnecessary. built up of in two pieces glued together. strut noticeable on a number of machines disposes the material in probably the best manner for the conditions applicable to this component. . An obsolescent method is that which the strut is shaped to something approaching a streamline section. but of hollow section.

point out the detrimental effects of undue standardization as applied to an industry in its preIncidentally. rate and extent of climb is . the wings. the average performance of modern British aircraft in range of speeds. From ideas this it might be deduced that the methods of construction were equally well determined. 'These effects are well exemplified by certain machines. one may liminary stages. but in which desirable improvements are incorporated as they occur. in which standardization has been studied to an almost meticulous extent. PLANE CONSTRUCTION. the various components which comprise the complete machine. and have been the subject of a great number of experiments. so that the actual design of the wing section for machines of given purpose is almost standardized. resulting in the clearing away of many hazy and notions. the wing construction of most machines is similar. and although absolute uniformity of practice does not exist. or planes. aerofoils. as these items are variously designated.30 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION CHAPTER IV. as far as the main assembly is concerned. Effects of Standardization. OF aerodynamical properties of a wing are now fairly well determined. Although at present one cannot give actual figures. may be said to contribute the greater The part of the ultimate success of the complete machine. with the logical result that their performance is considerably inferior to that of other machines of contemporary design.

leaving the realms of vaticination for the more prosaic subject of wing construction. for would entail. . one may expect the various manufacturers to produce one type of machine per year. this the impracticability of standardization is apparent. assembly typical of modern practice. is of importance. Seeing that. accurately conforming to the measurements. deduced from experiment. wing sections are frequently altered detail.. as a in minor typical instance. 26 shows diagrammatically the plan view of a wing Fig. etc. the various improvements adduced from the year's experience would be incorporated in the type of the succeeding year. As one or two of the spar sections in use were dealt with in the first chapter.sized wing. etc. it will be realized that the process of producing the full. and one certainly cannot cite the construction of the average British machine as an example of standardization.PLANE CONSTRUCTION 31 superior to the products of any other country. to a firm wishing to keep pace with develop- ments. it will be unnecessary again to consider them in detail. However. 26. a considerable loss. When the principles of aeroplane design are as well defined as those pertaining to internal combustion engines. Plan view of wing assembly. and so constructed that the chief characteristic of the section will permanently remain. so far as the disposition of the various components is concerned. and POOT SC*L Vf FEET FIG. consequent upon the new design.. through scrapping of jigs.

It is possible to channel the spar right through. so that.32 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION of Shaping Main Spars. There are two methods of shaping the spar longitudinally. 27. . 27. this construction is hardly justiIt will fied. entailing a greater number of jigs. from root to tip. with a consequent increase in cost. it is apparent that the spars form the nucleus of the general arrangement. the one consists of leaving it parallel for the greater part of its length. Taking in greater detail the different parts. and differs in it is that constantly tapering from root to The advantage of this spar construction is the improved distribution of the Fia. the anchorage for the wires. taking things into consideration. be noted that at the point of attachment of the interplane strut fittings. and although there is a possible saving of labour thereby. is illustrative of The other method which is monoplane tip. practice not used to anything like the same extent. This may be said to constitute prevailing practice. as shown by Fig. Shaping of main spars. while the end forming the tip of the wing is gradually tapered to a comparatively fine edge. In all addition. the spar is left solid. or. and also that a wing built may possibly possess a greater degree of lateral owing to the weight of the complete wing being located nearer the centre of gravity. with this spar stability material for the stresses involved. an increase in the time taken in building. it hardly conforms to the standards of modern workshop practice. and to glue blocks where fittings occur . all strut fittings would differ in size. Against this one must balance the fact that each rib must necessarily be different in contour. in the case of the monoplane wing. and.

It has a tendency to deteriorate with time. and should the spar be out of ''truth.PLANE CONSTRUCTION Defects of Glue in is 33 Wing Spars." the This section will vary at different points. uniformity and interchangeability the wing spars are set out for the wing positions. it is not what one would call an engineering proposition. If a spar should happen to be cut from a wet log. before being handed over to the wing erectors. of the scout type is The usual arrangement on machines for the lower plane to butt against the lower members of the fuselage. the width Another method is of the body is made up by a centre plane. and an operation such as gluing a laminated wing spar is usually carried out in a special room of certain temperature. and one that in the end pays. closeness of grain affect the strength to a remarkable degree and here it may be remarked that the use of the best material . and the necessary holes for the fittings drilled to jig. The straightness and flanges. so that finally the actual flying properties of the machine will be affected another illustration of the importance of thorough construcTo secure tion in ensuring a good and lasting performance. and as straight and close-grained as can be procured. which may cause trouble in assembling. or screws through the rally additionally The material should always be dry. especially if depends on the method exposed to a humid atmosphere. Such spars are genefixed by rivets. Arrangement of Planes. and the top planes being the same span. thus obviating the centre plane. to make the top plane in two portions only. bolts. section of any wing is really dependent upon the spar being of correct section. may not be eradi- cated even in the erection of the machine. A great deal of making the joint. and is more likely to The resultant result in eventually being sawn up as scrap. and occasionally the spars of the top plane . it may in the interval between its finishing as a part and subsequent assembly in the wing cast or warp. is a most important factor for ensuring sound construction. a most necessary operation in modern Although gluing wing construction.

and three-ply. which includes the nose and trailing edge formers. from wing-tip to wing-tip. 28. are variously constructed methods in vogue is that shown by Fig. no appreciable loss in efficiency should ensue. and leading and trailing edges. Three-ply. 28. spars. although this is only possible in machines of small span. as . From a survey of the plane diagram. and. damaged wing-tip would obtaining timber will necessitate the wings of large machines being made in sections. it is difficult to procure timber of length exceeding 20 ft. in addition to the main FIG. although permissible in some parts of the machine. which can be bent to a surprising degree without fracture. sufficiently straight in the grain and a minor detail would be the difficulty of repair. cotton wood. The ribs. and there are several instances where this form of construction has been difficulty The of adopted. stringers. should not be tolerated as a means of repairing wing spars. providing the joints are well made. 26. whitewood.34 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION run through. are the ribs. as the laminations have a tendency to come apart. . is hardly suited for this purpose. box-ribs. it will be noticed that the chief components. which is framework built over the spars to . The central portion. a practically entail a new spar. the term applied to the very light maintain the correct curva- one of the most popular ture. as splicing. especially in the lower grades. Construction of ribs. This construction seems eminently suited to the post-war sporting machine. transport simplified. Types of Wing Ribs in Use. may be cut from either spruce. while excellent for some items. or web. as chance damage would be confined to a smaller area. in one case the sections being only five feet in length. Apart from the fact that such a wing requires extra room. Fig.

of course. A rib for a chord of from 4 ft. In this case the web is of three-ply lightened with a series of graduated holes. Templates of wood are of doubtful accuracy. The rib assembly. Even then the wing curvature would require to be fairly simple. As a point of fact. would weigh about 5i jig. these parts should very necessary that every be made to a metal ensure exactitude. 30. a procedure which is somewhat rare now. 6 in. as the lightening holes are of but secondary importance. for not only do corners wear. For production in quantity a box jig. A rib. The incorrect shaping of the most insignificant piece of wood may have far-reaching effects when assembled. is extremely simple and light. This which is about the only way to should be made from mild sheet steel. and the flanges of spruce. In another arrange- ment as shown in Fig. there are. 29 illustrates a system in which the of While the method rib front spar forms the leading edge. the connection between the top and . other arrangements in vogue. and need only be shaped to the outer curve. is of building previously described constitutes general practice. '28. 81. Fig.W. As it is rib should correspond. between which a dozen ribs might be clamped and shaped. although one can hardly imagine such a system answering for a chord over five feet. oz. this assembly is rarely used for chords exceeding 4 ft. The amount of woodwork between the spars is reduced to a is web proper minimum.G. these being usually marked out in the saw mill. as in this case the superseded by thin strips of three-ply.PLANE CONSTRUCTION which is 35 aggravated by the screws or brads necessary for the attachment of the flange. is preferable. to 5 ft. and cut to the line with a fine jig saw. owing to the features of modern wing sections. Fig.. with the web of cotton wood and a spruce flange. but gradual shrinkage soon renders them useless. glued and bradded each side of the spruce flange. and any extra trouble taken in the preparation of parts more than repaid by the subsequent ease and precision erection. about 16 B. according to the width of the web. as a pronounced curve would flatten out. can be made extremely light. but at one time quite common. 6 in. fretted out as in Pig.

32. d shown FIGS. in this instance the fretting is specially designed to pre- vent any flattening out of the camber. For those ribs contiguous to the' inter.strut joints. The. FIG. 32. 81. at A. An and interesting form of rib design is that shown by Fig. Construction of ribs. a different construction is necessary to withstand the tension of . is and it will be noticed that the flange of chamfered section fillets. a certainly economical of material. vertical parts of the web grooved to take the three-ply web. 29-32. 32.36 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION method which is bottom flanges is formed by blocks. Fig. FIG. 30. The rib section is FIG. are stiffened by small semicircular Ribs under Compression.

steamed to shape. so that at this point the rib performs two functions. made by placing two ordinary ribs close together and connecting them with three-ply or thin spruce. if the joint between the compression . and the fabric used to offer FIG. cross-country flights is to incorporate a box-rib at these points. the tension 'of the wiring will result in either or possibly both of the following (1) the rib will buckle laterally : . Where such provision is not made. that of maintaining the wing curve. that is. the internal plane wiring. sometimes some comparatively classic were accomplished. exceptionally rigid and withal light. a strut of either steel tube or In some wing structures the ribs are uniform throughout^ wood being inserted and to which the internal wiring is attached. and when it is remembered that the wing ribs were commonly composed of a single ash lath. so that. In this respect the old box-kites of varying origin some interesting studies in variable camber. Another solution is to use a solid web. as in Fig. and also taking the strains due to compression. to a lesser degree.. One popular system For all that. This latter method is possibly more desirable. 33.PLANE CONSTRUCTION 37 the cross-bracing of the planes and. although the overall width of the finished box-rib would be approximately 2 in. attached on the top side only. both results being extremely detrimental (2) to efficiency. the wonder is that extended flying was possible at all. it is . the camber will increase to an extent varying with the pressure on the wires. Compression rib. lightly channelled out. 33.

and some actually constructed with the longest edge leading. which is at least unsightly. one cannot over emphasize the desirability of even contour. conditions prevail at the wing tip. 3HAf>ff> TO UWDBR FIG. 34. illustrated by Fig. which is one reason against excessive reduction of material at this point. actual shape of the wing tip varies with the make of machine.38 strut AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION and spar can be combined with the inter-strut fitting. it undoubtedly imparts a pleasing and distinctive appearance. The same Instances occur where the tension of the fabric after doping has considerably deformed the tip curve. serves as an admirable check. Importance of Even Contour. and the template. on the score that increased efficiency due to reduction of end losses is attained. . 34. but this is preferable to the use of a separate fitting. and forms one of the distinctive features of the com- There is a general tendency to rake the plete assembly. This may necessitate a little extra work in the latter. parative uniformity. and may entail reconstruction. While this is somewhat problematic. ends. contended with. construction. involving addi- tional piercing of the spar. which is not infrequently a considerable strain. and if this is tried on as each rib is fixed. seeing that several notable machines have square tips. making the back spar longer than the front. one may be sure of com- The root rib is generally of stouter and usually follows the same lines as the comAt this point the pull of the fabric has to be pression ribs. Wing The Tip Details. Template for testing rib contours. It is cut from very dry material to the outside curve of the section. Whilst on the subject of rib building.

For instance. This small section steel tubing seems admirably suited for such items as wing tips. . Another method of construction used for the wing tips of some machines consists of a number of strips. each piece is bent round bending jigs or blocks manufacture. about six for a wing tip 1 in. forming a laminated wing tip. of the required shape. The alternative method of steaming a solid piece is often wasteful. fin. or it may be cut out in sections from spruce boards and glued together preference. such as the fixed and rudder. and with this arrangement quite sharp bends can be successfully formed in spruce. elevators. a single piece of ash may be bent to shape. thick. as is with a long splice. apart from the fact that it enforces the use of ash.PLANE CONSTRUCTION The actual construction is 89 largely a matter for individual there are several ways of forming it. and the various components of the empennage. trailing edges. wide by J in. the been glued. the easier it can be bent. the joints between which In are disposed vertically. while in another instance oval steel tube the material. stabilizer. It is edges of the strips having previously apparent that the smaller the section of strip used.

THE tendency to lose lift. By this means only is it possible to design with any degree of accuracy. or two causes contribute to this result. of the fabric The sagging between the ribs is one of the principal reasons for the failure of the finished machine to One satisfy expectation and also of the tendency to lose lift. stages of design it is usual to take as a basis the figures for lift and drift of a known tested section. loaded anything from 5 Ibs. but in modern high-speed machines. DETAILS OF PLANE CONSTRUCTION. which In the preliminary largely dependent upon the design. 1 ft.40 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION CHAPTER V. to 8 Ibs. may be directly traced and attributed to the manner in which the wings are built. Anyway.. The Sagging of Fabric. of the ribs. to to close enough. One is the spacing A which in some cases is not nearly rough average spacing is from 10 ins. in respect of both the maximum and upon minimum speeds. hardly noticeable in others. the whole design is dependent these figures. per square foot. and also the rate of climb. and the extent to which the actual performance of the machine complies with these calculations is determined solely by the exactitude and precision with which the full-size wing conforms to the scale model. that is if facilities are is not available for testing an exact scale model of the section it is intended to use. pronounced in some machines. the spacing should be much closer. In addition. the ribs near the wing root should be closer .

of the wing. a This. especially when viewed from the front. At this part of the section the curve is somewhat sharp. and naturally the fabric tends to conform to the definition of the straight line. a certain to tip. which FIG. it which the characteristics is does not entirely eradicate it. of course. is aggravated in flight.DETAILS OF PLANE CONSTRUCTION than those at the greater. or. or leading edge. In some wing constructions the forces are minimized by the provision of subsidiary or false nose-ribs. when shortest the planes are under load. 35. 35. extend usually from the leading edge as far back as the front spar and occasionally to the longitudinal stringer. Fig. . While this prevents. in addition to the effects of the slipstream of the air-screw. to a certain extent. 41 are for at this point the stresses amount of vibration from the engine having be contended with. and by far the greatest amount of pressure is located at the front portion. Particularly noticeable is the tendency for the fabric to sag down on the top surface of the leading edge. False Ribs. a feature which imparts to the machine. distance between two points. a not unpleasing corrugated appearance. The only successful way in of the wing contour may be preserved by covering the leading edge with thin veneer. Arrangement of ribs at leading edge. spruce. the sagging in of the fabric.

P. was almost entirely responsible for the practice of* using steel tube for wing spars. Effect of Lateral Control. which This fact could only have had a deleterious effect upon it. methods There is of construction from those which at present at least one case on record where the fabric has burst at this point with fatal results. as Fig. 36.L. of plane warping. With the old warping system the ribs. spars. The pressure at the leading edge produced by the enormous speed at which the modern machines fly (and the maximum diving speed of which. and the whole wing collectively was subjected to a torsional strain. for by its use it was a fairly easy matter .42 still AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION better. or the outer section only. due to the sagging of the fabric. has given place to the almost universal use of aileron control. FIG. Pressure at Leading Edge. It is interesting to note that in the report of the N. Three-ply covering for leading edge. 36. and calls for different obtain. The system adopted factor in deciding for the lateral control is a decisive The the general lines of construction. three-ply. for the year 1916-17 mention is made of the deformation of the wing form. is correspondingly increased) must be abnormal. its use cannot be said to be really extended. which has been reproduced in model form. so that the allowances to be made and the resultant effects have been determined. whereby the wing was twisted arrangement or warped from root to tip. owing to the reduction of resistance. Despite the great advantages attending this constructional feature.

About the only variation of the small spruce strip for the purpose is linen tape. into the nose-formers suffices. Leading edges. while for a sharp entry a fillet let As previously mentioned. steel what heavier than the spruce tubing makes a satisfactory trailing edge. The edge. assumes a variegated shape. nevertheless. Where the section in use requires a bluff entry the spindled- FIG. out nose-piece is applicable. Longitudinal stringers are employed to preserve the contour and also for a stiffening medium for the ribs in wing a lateral direction. and as a method is obsolescent. In the previous chapter mention was made of the probable gain in efficiency resulting from the raked wing tip. although somestrip. a distinctive pressure feature of some types. while an extremely fine FIG. but. Leading and Trailing Edges. of the fabric. 37 and 38. Trailing edges.DETAILS OF PLANE CONSTRUCTION to 43 arrange the ribs to slide or hinge upon the tube. under leaving edge can be formed by steel wire. The average practice concerning the formation of the leading and trailing edges is shown by Figs. 38. at least. a wire trailing edge is somewhat flabby and undulating. relieved some of the torsional stress. 37. and that . crossed alternately. which. Efficiency of the Raked Wing Tip.

the fuselage acting in the same manner. these would not be The necessary. or the root of the lower plane. view there are instances where the extent of the pilot's range of is of the utmost importance. as generally accepted. 39. or wing baffles. the provision of the shaped tip would appear to compensate for any slight loss. and this may necessitate the cutting away of a portion of the centre section (which some- times affords the only means of ingress and egress). CENTRE SECTION CUT CUT AWflY FIG. but FIG. and shaped to project above the top and bottom surfaces. attempt to prevent air leakage caused by this is occasionally observed in the employment of vertical vanes. as in Fig. 40. In the case of a machine with the lower plane abutting against the side of the fuselage. which illustrates the flow of air across a plane. 39. this projection rarely exceeding six inches. Where the plane surface is continuous from wing tip to wing tip. 40. A typical arrangement is illustrated by .44 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION this has some foundation in fact will be apparent from a consideration of Fig. Diagram showing flow of air across plane. baffles are usually of three-ply or spruce. Wing An Baffles.

and subsequently these were replaced by baffles of stouter construction. that these were being forced away pilot somewhat thin FIG. there are the very exacting demands of interaddition. the writer remembers the case of a well-known seaplane. and dies is Now. and the made. where the wing baffles oh the centre section were made of was noticed by the In flight it three-ply. equal in air performance. 41. Of two machines. exactitude in metal than in wood. Rapidity of production is struction. especially at the present time. a very important superiority. it is infinitely more easy to obtain changeability. for once the necessary jigs a most cogent argument in favour of metal* conmachines are set up. 41. moreover. which also sliows the exposed spars streamlined with a fairing of three-ply. i Metal Wing Construction. In output only limited by the speed of the machine. It is typical of the varied opinions which still exist. it is apparent that it must detrimentally affect the As a proof of the existence of pressure at lift-drift ratio. If this air leakage is of any moment. and given a constant supply of material.DETAILS OF PLANE CONSTRUCTION 45 Fig. assuming . the one which can be most easily produced has an obvious and. the openings in the wing. Wing baffle. from the wing. that on some machines the wing roots are merely washed out somewhat abruptly. and.

which occurs even when using the dryest of timber. the tendency of a fabric covering to sag was also obviated. and monoplane. 42. In flight this machine was particularly fast. which detail. Of course. steel construction in modern English machines is restricted to the various organs of the empennage. in which the spars ribs were of steel and the covering of thin aluminium sheet. However. which a smooth surface such as aluminium would afford. 43. Steel tube spar with wood filling. consisted of channel steel spars. most practicable form in which steel steel tube spars are quite an old is although the more general English practice or ash. as in Fig. steel leading and trailing edges. built some time before the war. It is significant that the planes of some of the most recent German machines are constructed largely of steel tubing. as shown by Fig. In addition. which may be accounted for by the reduction of skin friction. what preventive there against shrinkage. and thin steel strips replacing the usual wooden stringers. The plane construction of this machine. to core them with spruce One remembers a PiG. and erection would be accelerated. is at present the can be used. By the more extensive use of metal there should be a considerably reduced proportion of scrapped parts. 42. exhibited at Olympia in 1914. and occaThere seems no valid sionally one finds ailerons so built. Another example of metal construction is afforded by the Clement-Bayard monoplane.46 that it is AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION possible to produce is woodwork to the nearest '01 of an inch. reason for the continued use of wood as the material for the .

it is required to stand a certain strain in warp and weft. 43. not erratic flying. the tendency which most controlling organs built of wood have to warp and twist with variations in temperature is prevented by the steel frame. obtain aluminium alloy conjunction with the present high prices. and elevators. if and elevators distorted. Bib construction with metal spars. when design and stamped is reasonably standardized. 47 rudder. and which must result in excessive At the present time it is difficult to in any large quantity. with the great pressure to which modern wings are subjected. and rightly so. since the bursting of fabric in flight can only have one result. should a bullet or any object pierce any one of the squares. When this material is procurable in quantity. in STEEL PIG. covering. One frequently sees such items as the ailerons drift. Fabric and its attachment is a matter requiring consider- able attention. and this. the fabric should be tightly and evenly stretched from end to end of the wing. It is interesting to note that the fabric used on the Deperdussin hydro-monoplane was specially woven with threads running at right angles. rolled or lattice spars ribs may come into vogue. and thereby prevented from developing . but the writer cannot recall any instance of its use to-day. Nowadays. as a considerable saving of labour and time can be effected by using the various forms of steel tubing. and only comparatively In . precludes its extensive use. Fabric Attachment. damage would be confined to that square. forming innumerable squares.DETAILS OF PLANE CONSTRUCTION construction of such items as the fin. moreover. The purpose of this was that. In the old days any fabric which was light with a moderate degree of strength was utilized.

ribs is accentuated The tendency of fabric to sag between the by this. as the fabric on these portions is subjected to the slip stream of the propeller. and. If too much strain is applied to the fabric crosswise it will result in undulations between each rib. 44. With regard to the actual attachment of the covering to the wing framework modern practice is restricted to two methods. matters are not of improved upon the application the dope. 44 Attachment of fabric to ribs by cane strips. affix this to a succession of small blows. of course. . or more usually cane. to rib of those sections of the planes beading every adjacent to the fuselage. It is usual. 45. the stitches occurring about every three shown by inches. It will be noted that every loop or stitch is locked This stitching is then with a species of half-hitch knot. of dope may result in the fibres or threads of the material being overstrained. The alternate method In this case the fabric is sewn to the Fig. should not be stretched too tightly. ribs with twine or cord. The older method is illustrated by Fig. It It should be is remembered that the efficiency of any machine greatly dependent upon the tautness of the fabric. which meets it in screwed to the ribs. as the application of the specified coats CAME STRIPS SCREWED TO Rl B^ FIG. The fabric in the outer sections need only be is affixed to alternate ribs. and consists of strips of spruce. tacked or and certainly preferable.48 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION lightly pulled from leading to trailing edge.

46). and although not general A refinement which practice. is that in which the fabric was tacked to the ribs with brass All sewn joints in wing pins and taped with linen tape. and arranged to run diagonally across the wing. 46. the provision of small eyelet holes in the under the trailing edge. allowing water accumulated through condensation to drain away. and generally are. would appear to be necessary." to the . opinion which system ensures the most even wing contour. Double-lapped joint in fabric. A minor and somewhat insignificant detail of wing FIG. although it would seem that the drift or resistance is An obsolete method slightly lessened by the sewing method. Fabric sewn to ribs. the edges being frayed to ensure It is largely a perfect adhesion and doped to the main cover. 45.DETAILS OF PLANE CONSTKUCTION 49 covered with bands of fabric. matter of FIG. covering surface is of may attachment be necessary on the post-war sporting machine is the " of small blocks. or domes of silence. of the double lapped variety (Fig. covers should be.

. biplane at Brooklands just prior These consisted of brass balls. strip of weight. and any movement or friction is likely to result in the rubbing away of the fabric. planes are dissembled more often than not they are stacked leading edge downwards on a concrete floor.F. A narrow aluminium screwed along the entering edge would be quite sufficient.50 AEEOPLANE CONSTRUCTION When leading edge. innovation.W. as the writer has distinct recollections of seeing such fittings on the D. and would not add appreciably to the to rotate in a socket. if unnoticed. free to the outbreak of war. which. may result in the bursting Such fitments would hardly constitute an of the covering. screwed to the leading edge. as a protection for the fabric against wear.

IT be taken as fairly conclusive that for war purposes the biplane has proved its superiority. likely to maintain this predominance. accomplishment. for while no great trouble would be experienced in making a fitting fulfilling this requirement.51 CHAPTER VI. it is generally considered superior in strength to weight requirements. INTEBPLANE STRUT CONNECTIONS. and therefore. and it appears also that for the commercial requirements of the future it is suited still may better. and in the case of the outer strut . it would be quite another matter to keep it in place under the tension of the bracing wires. It is intended to deal with the various trusses in a later chapter. although for monoplanes of small span it is doubtful if which affords some indication of the possibilities monoplane as the sporting machine of the days to come. and comfeatures. a biplane forms the As the arrangement of planes extremely simple yet enormously efficient box-girder. in view of is the huge possibilities thus in opened up. certainly of importance. of the small interest. the arrangement and attachment of the various members peculiar to the biplane truss becomes of this is so. mencing by detailing the chief requirements and desirable The most desirable requirement is that the attachment of the fitting to the wing spars does not involve the In practice this is most difficult of drilling of the spar. Seeing that the principal difference between the and monoplane consists essentially in the type of biplane truss employed. confining the present remarks to the interplane strut fittings in use.

at least for those parts subject stress. and one that should be eliminated from the region of possibility. Brazing and Welding. and the absence of brazing. as it is difficult to imagine anything less suited to the conditions under which aircraft operate. practiIn spite of this. Although one cannot give specific instances. One or two similar mishaps. the shock cally impossible. give distinct possibilities of collapse in the air. its use may be said to be constantly increasing. to AEKOPLANE CONSTRUCTION which any strain is ultimately transmitted. but also to distribute the intricate stresses encountered in flight. The efficiency of any . indeed this is rendered the more so by the individuality of the workmen. and if severe. The advantages of a uniform high-grade steel possessing a high ultimate tensile strength are dissipated by the intense heat necessary for the action of brazing. starting at the hole due to the strut fitting. resulting in the strength of the finished joint be- coming an extremely problematic quantity. ease of manufacture. such as the fittings parts subject of forming the subject this chapter.52 fitting. It is somewhat amazing that brazing as an essential operation in the making of a joint should still be employed. it must be remembered that the machine may occasionally. when landing or getting off. to any The qualities of strong construction and good design are paramount considerations in the manufacture of these fittings. to any great tensile stress. pitch over on to the wing-tip skid. would be difficult to detect. it is a feasible contingency. Additional important features are the provision for rapid assembly and detachment. indeed. transmitted to the spar may cause a fracture to develop which. although it is It should not be used for well to recognize its limitations. and owing to the fabric covering. welding and soldering as mediums for forming connections. Welding properly performed is less objectionable. with a consequent increase in the extent of the fracture. as the purpose of an inter strut joint is not merely to form a connection between the upper and lower planes.

Interplane strut attachment. 47. advantages in this direction a high-grade steel. The advantages of rapid erection and dismantling have been realized and provided for in most machines since the early days of the industry. " Regarded from the aphoristic maximum strength for mini- hard to determine. therefore. The interstrut terminates in a kind of fork.INTERPLANE STRUT CONNECTIONS welded joint is 53 apparent soundness on the surface is no indication of the internal nature of the weld. The operation of soft soldering. 48) used by S. especially as the wing warping system in the Wright machines necessitated a fair amount of It serves also to illustrate that some flexibility in the joints. Fig. taking as the FIG. and it is not surprising. quite suitable for the purpose. Connections in Use. Cody on his famous biplane was portability. which in turn is pinned to the . advancement has been made in constructional work. requiring only a moderate heat. and for some items a properly pegged and soldered joint is superior to the two methods of jointing previously described. the varying degrees of standard for comparison the early Although somewhat crude it was Wright socket. F. as mum of weight" view point. 47. does not weaken the material to any great extent. illustrations given indicate The practice. and taking into account the which can be obtained by the use brazing and welding are not to be commended. that the salient characteristic of the joint (Fig.

head The is fact that the wiring lugs were improvised from chain links interesting. it will be undoubtedly required by the sporting owner of the future with limited storage facilities. quite a good FIG. performance taking into account its large dimensions. 49. It is possibly of interest to record the fact that in the military trials of 1912 this machine when was taken down and re-erected in 51 minutes. of The method FIG. the removal of one set of wires enabled the planes to be folded one against the other.54 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION of a special bolt slotted to receive it. Although this attribute is scarcely necessary at the present time. Interplane strut attachment. packing the wings for transport consisted in detaching the two outer cellules from the central structure. 48. Interplane strut attachment. The fitting shown .

the lugs bent to the different angles. Interplane strut attachment. Interplane strut attachment. to which is fixed the plane FIG. as in Fig. The practice of anchoring wires to eyebolts. but in this example the strut terminates in a socket of oval steel tube PIG.INTERPLANE STRUT CONNECTIONS by Fig. the lug plate being pressed out and bent. 50. It is connected to the spar by a bolt passing through the centre of the socket. 51. 50. and then attached to the spar by an eyebolt. strut. A similar arrangement is that shown by Fig. . 51. the strut end fitting over this. 49 loading. is 55 The only suitable for machines with light wing plate forming the anchorage for the wires is pressed out. welded to the plate. the ends of the latter being capped with steel tube of streamline section.

Fig. The main body sheet-steel. and gives the impression of a makeshift. the bolts. and is also indicative of modern practice. . 52. 53. Interplane strut attachment. 53 constitutes an advance on the FIG. bent up of this clip is a stamping from heavy it to the section of the spar. 52. The fitting illustrated by Fig. elementary. Continual strain on the wire has a resultant in the bending over of the head of the eyebolt as in As a point of fact the use of the eyebolt is distinctly PIG. previous arrangements dealt with.56 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION many strut connections. Interplane strut attachment. but as a forms the nucleus of method cannot be recommended.

Lateral movement along the This is made posmaterially reducing the strength thereof. sible by the fact that the wing spars.socket. although the outer strut-socket might conveniently be bolted right through the spar. Of the strut connections to described so far. Fig. Another attachment achieving similar results is shown in the diagram (Fig. the amount of material at the point of inter- section of the plane-strut being in excess of that necessary for the stresses concerned. the whole being fastened to the spar by four bolts. without plate on the opposite side. It will be noticed that in this case two bolts only are used for the connection. of the spar just half their diameter. and is between lug and spar.e. lug-plate. disregarding the small wash-out at the extreme tip. forming an example of the fitting employed on the pre-war Avro biplane. 54 gives a fitting which is as good a solution of the problem as is constructionally possible. the pull of the flying or lift-wires being counter- . as shown. which are let in the flange FIG. passing horizontally through it. the secure attachment to the spar without piercing the latter for bolts. The anchor- age for the wires is on the bolts. 54.INTERPLANE STRUT CONNECTIONS will 57 be noticed. Plane strut attachment. hardly one can be said to conform to the leading principle of the ideal fitting. which have a direct pull so arranged that a slight clearance exists The plane-strut is shod with steel tubing. and connected the fitting by a bolt. and tighten on a washer- is spars thus adequately prevented. are generally parallel in depth from root to tip. to The basis of this connection is the which is welded the strut. formed by lugs. 55). i.

The foregoing examples cannot be said to constitute the latest practice. especially now prevalent. pressed. give such is it possible under present conditions to but sufficient has been said to indicate the details. nor . which could be beaten. Head Resistance of Strut Sockets. FIG. between the air seems probable high speeds flow across the plane and that It at the which meets the strut terminal.58 AEKOPLANE CONSTRUCTION acted by the duplicated wires taken from the washer-plate to a fitting located on the single central skid of the under-carriage. or all the fittings is of cussion. 55. Interplane strut attachment. some discontinuity of flow exists. that some difference must occur. although great care is taken to ensure the strut A and wing sections being of correct form. It is quite possible to fair off spun with little difficulty. the writer inclines to the belief that the additional weight would be negligible compared with the ensuing reduction in head resistance. and whether or no the aggregate resistance of any great moment provides matter for disany irregularities in air-flow due to the strut connections by the attachment of sheet-aluminium fairings. progress and trend of design. Anyway. point calling for comment is the apparent oversight or neglect of the amount of head resistance offered by the average strut fitting. Although examples of this practice are very little in evidence.

56). The basis of all modern trussing systems. but merely denotes their suitability for present requirements.59 CHAPTEE VII. circles. aeroplanes is carried out along certain well-defined lines. this being explained by the fact that the progress of any science or industry tends towards uniformity of method. for instance. but for various reasons these are . WING-TKUSSING SYSTEMS. The differences now existing are not nearly so of ALTHOUGH the trussing great as those of former days. The Pratt Truss. the Howe truss. This does not necessarily mean that the present methods in vogue are incapable of im- provement. 56. while practical experience eliminates the undesirable systems. engineering. is the Pratt truss (Fig. and while of minimum length are most favourably placed for obtaining the maximum There are other types of trusses used in structural efficiency. familiar in bridge-building FIG. with modifica- tions. there are occasional divergences from the orthodox. in which the compression members are arranged diagonally. members the basic principle of which is that the compression are disposed vertically. and the Warren lattice-type girder . as. The Pratt truss.

height. in order to obtain a reasonable angle for the wires. must be increased in This would necessitate an withstand rough landings. in which short masts are incorporated in the wing structure and wire-braced From the points formed by the crossing of the mast and spar the main bracing-wires are taken.. . 57. . the king post. As each wing of the former may be considered as a cantilever. or cabane. the Antoinette. Various attempts have been made to obviate this inherent defect of the monoplane system of trussing. But a brief consideration of the chief features of the Pratt or boxgirder system of trussing will suffice to illustrate its great advantages for air-craft . the monoplane equals the biplane. Monoplane Trussing. incorporated this system. However. FIG. where the span will not exceed and will probably be nearer 20 ft.60 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION not applicable to the needs of aeronautical engineering. Monoplane wing bracing. popular being the king-post system (Fig. That this system is of real use is demonstrated by the fact that. ungainly with a consequent increase in both weight and head resistance. and Martinsyde monoplanes to the spars. exceeding a certain span a monoplane can safely largely responsible for its machines work. less able to future for sporting purposes. the first and most 30 ft. From the standpoint for it is obvious that. as the span increases. 57). amongst others. particularly and it is this limiting span to which and efficiently be built which is for present spell of unpopularity. it is the difficulty of adequately staying the wings above a certain span which forms the deterrent feature. it seems that the monoplane will have a undercarriage. of simplicity. the wing-spread being in the neighbourhood of 70 ft. Flanders. It is worthy of note that this system also characterized the huge Martinsyde trans-Atlantic 'bus.

built without external trussing. . Deperdussin monoplane bracing. with cross-bracing between. Contrast this with the orthodox wire bracing. the lower plane of which corresponds to the streamlined steel boom of the Dep. and connected to it at intervals by steel tubular struts.. is of interest (Fig. would entail an excessive depth of spar at the root of the wing. the machine was virtually a biplane. was the special Antoinette. Wireless Wing Structure. the wing-bracing of the Deperdussin hydro-monoplane. produced for the French military trials of 1911. As regards the bracing. of relatively low cost. and offers the utmost facility for truing up. and at the same time But when it is considered that this of sufficient strength. 3 ins. it is doubtful whether any appreciable advantage would accrue. The abolition of the top wires rendered the machine of greater value for war purposes than other tractor machines of that period. . the wings being stayed by a steel tube running parallel with the wings. The logical conclusion of this system is exemplified by the Nieuport FIG.. constructionally. This had a span of approximately 46 ft. A monoplane of note. as in a biplane.WING-TRUSSING SYSTEMS 61 Another original attempt at improvement. and at the tip 9 ins. It is simple of attachment. and the depth of spar at the root was about 2 ft. 58. scouting biplane. retruing up would be almost impossible. it would be quite possible to efficiency build wings devoid of external staying. it would appear that the abolition of external and wiring would make for greater aerodynamical trussing and.. Superficially. 58). and would certainly require the uncovering of the wing and partial reconstruction. In the event of the wing becoming deformed or out of alignment. with a resultant increase of head resistance. the consequent weight alone being abnormal.

The most common form of biplane truss is shown by the diagram (Fig. or those for long-distance work where a large wing area necessary. 59). was possible without prohibitive weight. a lighter wing spar for the same majority of German machines were for long distance FIG. as there is a distinct possibility that a rough landing may damage the wire or its attachment. A modification of Fig. which entails large wing area. 60. the designed and built entirely and duration flying. 59. Biplane Truss. Anchorage The one-time practice of anchoring lift wires to variousparts of the undercarriage is bad in principle. By this means light wing loading. extended to three bays each side. a subsequent improvement being the addition of a separate pylon or cabane. 60. sometimes. prior to the outbreak of the war. and ultimately cause failure in flight. as in the case of various pusher H FIG. In this type of truss the bays adjacent to the fuselage are varied in width.62 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION of Lift Wires. This arose from a desire to obtain a good angle practice undoubtedly for the lift wires. in order more easily to the stresses. 59 is indicated by the arrangement of Fig. as. Biplane Trussing. Fannan wing structure. for by the addition of a pair of struts to the two-bay type. strength is possible. is types. which probably explains the partiality of German designers for multiplicity of interplane struts. which illustrates diagrammatically . which are greater at the centre of the apportion wing structure.

and the bending moment. the improvement consisting of The outer the method of strengthening the interplane struts. covered with fabric. and this arrangement must therefore materially reduce their tendency to buckling. maintaining the correct incidence from root to However.e. and from this a wire is taken through each side of the strut. Quite a number of machines have incorporated the single strut assembly. A minor detail consists in the circumstance of. hollow -spar type.WING-TRUSSING SYSTEMS the Maurice 63 Farman biplane. Another system which obviates the need for wires is illustrated by Fig. which has its culminant in the type of truss embodying one strut and one pair of wires. the tip. is correspondingly wings is reduced. i. Single Strut Systems. system is that in which the top plane is of greater span than the bottom. the extension thus formed being stayed with lift and counter-lift wiring. which was the particular system used on the Albatross " Arrow biplane " of 1912. 61. The almost universal arrangement for the small singleseater scout is the single bay. or by Another version of this means of a strut acting in tension and compression. the earliest perhaps being the Brequet. A to that experienced difficulty of disadvantage exists with this* form of truss similar with the wireless monoplane truss. of the where the chord narrow. for example. the strut in this case being built up with The single-lift truss spars and stringers. A drawback is . and from this method the progress of design has inclined towards the elimination of as many struts and wires as possible. stand up to active service demands. some extraordinary machines of recent construction embodying this feature. and one also remembers a small Avro scout. is particularly suited to multiplane construction. so that this defect can be of no great moment. a lift wire coming lift adrift or perhaps being shot away. due to the movement of the centre of pressure. On this machine the struts are of the light. each side of the body. strut is braced with a small king-post. lift and counter-lift. but it is conceivable that the ordinary double-lift truss offers more chances of escape. With the single- truss total collapse would ensue.

must be considered of no practical utility. ij Strut Machines. and in respect of which As this machine is designed with a very a patent is held. the two struts forming an inverted V between the fuselage longerons and centre being dispensed with. the elimination of struts.64 AEKOPLANE CONSTRUCTION the difficulty of readjustment. antithesis of this arrangement. The system (Fig. which is the probable explanation of its failure to come into extensive use. Biplane truss without interplane struts. the monoplane system of trussing. The arrangement shown by Fig. it of wires to the undercarriage. 62 . The direct FIG. in use on a modern high-speed scout. 64) is illustrative of the form of staying struts. Wireless wing structure. the . 63. 61. even of the attachment FIG. 1 strut wing structure. lift wires are consequently at a somewhat flat small gap. is but as this embodies all the defects of indicated by Fig." designation of machines so built as development of this #system for the A later consists of but four centre plane FIG. 63 is responsible " 1^ strutters. 62.

to buckle under load Drift Bracing. the practically great span necessary to obtain the wing area is impracticable. So far the methods dealt with denote the methods of staying in a vertical dimension. one being to brace the wings internally. do not run through from corner to corner. while the method consists in taking wires from various points along the wing to the nose and rear part of the fuselage.WING-TRUSSING SYSTEMS 65 The strut. at the point of intersection of the wires. incidentally. but are attached in the centre to a fitting which also forms the anchorage for the struts. as by this arrange- ment the alternative resistance of qxposed wiring is obviated. which. as. 64. necessity for increased size. with its inevitable sequence. This fact rules out maximum wing the monoplane system for the large aeroplane. increased weight. are two methods in use. the figure for the latter standing at approximately 45-50 m. A patented wing bracing. although this arrangement possesses a superior ratio of lift to drag to that of the biplane or multiplane. By this method there is an apparent reduction FIG.h. a very complex system would be required.p. about halfway along each wing. This factor greatly influences The the affecting this. and it remains to consider There the provision for trussing in the fore-and-aft direction. Properties of the Various Types. without detrimentally the design of the large machine a considerable increase in wing area is unavoidable. is hinged angle. so that in loading possible. in the tendency of the wing spars between the points of support. span or so. which is the more general practice. It is quite obvious that to brace adequately a monoplane structure of 100 ft. in addition to which the spars would essentially . must be realized without a very great addition to the landing speed.

lift both in model form and full size. viewed from the standpoints of modern design.66 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION be of larger and heavier section.. The biplane arrangement can be used successfully for spans up to 100 ft. is the most economical form for future commercial use. Various tests. and. the carrying capacity and engine power being colossal. Against this we have the fact that the advantage of the triplane system is purely structural. as aerodynamically it is not nearly so efficient as the biplane. and it is at this stage that the question is of the limiting size of aeroplanes encountered. planes. Certain modern triplanes have a reputed excellent performance. assuming that the future commercial machine it is will necessitate still a feasible supposition that the triplane. This circumstance is . or even quadruplane systems will be used. have shown that the is of the middle plane of the triplane system greatly inferior to that of the top or bottom planes. this being due to the interference of the free air flow by the upper and lower an indication that the biplane arrangement. greater wing area.

67

CHAPTER

VIII.

FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION.

THE

body, or fuselage as it is generally described, constitutes the nucleus of the completed machine, and at the same time
offers the
It

most interesting examples

is be as well to point out that the term " fuselage ordinarily applicable to a body of a machine of the tractor type; the short body of the average "pusher" or propeller

may

of constructional detail. "

" aeroplane is termed the nacelle." The material chiefly used in the construction of this com-

ponent is wood, and there are but very few instances where metal is used.

Fuselage Types. The different types
1.

or

methods
:

of

construction

may

be

classified in the following order

Box-girder of four longerons or
(Fig. 65).

rails,

with cross-struts

and wire bracing

FIG. 65.

Arrangement

of fuselage

members.

2. Tail portion of longerons, struts and wiring; in the front portion the wire bracing is dispensed with, being re-

placed by diagonal wood bracing, to which is screwed either three-ply or sheet aluminium alloy (Fig. 66).
3.

In this case wire bracing

is

entirely dispensed with, the

68
four,

AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION
and
occasionally six, longitudinals being connected cross struts or formers cut to the required shape,
of

together by the whole body being covered with three-ply.

4. Laminated or monocoque type, formed by layers wood and fabric, crossed alternately and glued together.

FIG. 66.

Arrangement

of fuselage

members,

Box-Girder Type.
detail, and in order of and methods of manufacture of type 1 may be considered. The longerons are usually of ash or although latterly silver spruce has come into use for hickory,

Dealing with each type in greater

classification, the details

this purpose, this being

due to the desire

to reduce

weight to

the absolute

minimum.

of larger section

In the opinion of the writer, a spruce longeron should be than one of hard wood, for one or two reasons. is a soft wood, and the outside fibres are far more apt Spruce to get damaged by a fitting which has been bolted home with
too

much
which

off,

pressure, also the corners may get rubbed or knocked all means a reduction in strength. The use of a

spruce longeron precludes any sharp bends in the contour of the fuselage, as this wood does not lend itself to bending, although it may be sprung to an easy curve. By disposing
joints in the longerons, it is possible to arrange the lengths This portion so that the bend is contained in one portion. can then be of laminated construction, i.e. it can be built up
of a

number

of layers glued together,

and clamped

to a block

shape until the glue has set. the longerons from the engine mounting to the rear cockpit, where additional strength is necessary, are of ash, while aft of
of the required

In some cases

that, to the stern post, spruce is the material. It is usual, in this country at least, to spindle the rails to

one

by Fig. 67, this spindling or from nose to stern post, or the channelling running through
of the sections illustrated

FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION
front portion, extending as far as the rear cockpit,

69
is left solid,

This channelling is always part only being spindled. at the intersection of the cross-struts with the rails, stopped to provide the abutment for the struts, and the extra material
the
tail

to

the

compensate for any holes necessary for the attachment of In the shaping of the rails longitudinally, two fitting.
:

methods are available they may be tapered or gradually diminished from the front to the stern post, or the overall section may be parallel to a point somewhere in the neighbourhood of the pilot's seat, and from that point diminished

FIG. 67.

Longeron

sections.

The first method is obsolete, as all the stern post. in size, which makes for undue complication as fittings vary well as increasing the number of jigs and dies necessary to
to the

stampings. The second method only partly and the only system which permits of the same obviates this, size fitting being used right through is that in which the rails are of the same overall section throughout, but this is very

produce

the

rarely used.

Another arrangement consists of keeping the rail of equal thickness for approximately 10 ft. 'from the engine bearers, and then diminishing in a series of steps to the stern post.

while others render this procedure a lengthy and difficult operation. or by fish-plates flanged to clip the edges of the longerons and bolted timber through. glued and riveted. not affected by the taper of the rails. and certainly in view of the many forms of clip fittings in use appears to be unnecessary. this consisting of an ordinary splice from 12 to 18 ins. clipped with some form of steel tube socket. no advantage would accrue from the employment of a joint of the halved or scarfed variety. this portion can be detached and a new portion substituted.70 AEKOPLANE CONSTRUCTION this By method only three or four sizes of fittings are neces- Some fittings are sary. so that in the event of damage due to strains transmitted by the tail skid. particularly when this is of spruce. owing to the slightness of material. There is a tendency to make the tail portion separate from the front. the joint occurring just aft of the rear cockpit. . of a longeron rarely exceeds 1J ins. due regard should be given to the necessity of sideration occasional replacement of a damaged rail. is all that is possible. being made which apparently escapes the necessity of some allowance for unfair stresses induced by landing shocks and is A point rough handling. and are made the same bolts or screws. and afterwards. long. but in nearly every is case the attachment to the rails accomplished either by The piercing of the longeron. size throughout. Jointing of Longerons. when the joint is thoroughly set. A spliced joint is sometimes used when is not procurable in any great length. square. fore be realized that this construction as. is hardly commendable practice. which seems infinitely better than dismantling the whole machine and returning the whole body In the design of the body under conto the works or depot. Some fittings afford the utmost facility for this. the notice of some designers. A popular method of jointing longerons consists usually of a plain butt joint. bound with tape soaked in glue and subsequently doped and As this is a somewhat lengthy operation the In modern aeroplanes the size socket method predominates. and it will therevarnished.

The so far as the longerons and tail portion are concerned. birch three-ply weighs approximately 5 ozs. of course. has latterly given place to three-ply for the outside covering. examples of its use in this country. constitutes by far the better stiffening medium. for every square foot of surface covered. great deal of the foregoing applies to the second type. aluminium. of this method of construction are (1) the difficulty of re-truing the (2) front portion should distortion occur erection is somewhat involved. which may be ascribed to the saving in weight effected by its use.G. . as a square foot of 20 B. which is the general thickness for this purpose. and moreover three-ply. and one successful monoplane of note was so built. properly glued and screwed or copper. The third system is series of typical of the method adopted There are few. who very of construction are: (1) quickness of production. consequent Three-ply Fuselage. with a reduction of vibration. for the if German Albatross machines. and is. Against this must be balanced the fact that (1) it entails a considerable increase in weight (2) is weak under a torsional strain.FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION Diagonal 71 Wood Bracing. . while a square foot of -f% in. pioneer designer The writer is acquainted with one strongly believes in this form of construction. nailed to the framework. although prior to the war a few constructors favoured its use. The aluminium or duralumin sheeting heavier than wiring. : The disadvantages . (2) great and horizontal direction (3) the result of the longeron being shot through would not endanger the structure to the same extent as with a wire-braced system. any. weighs 8 ozs. and certain later developments in the use of The advantages of this form three-ply confirm this view. although it affords a more solid mounting for the engine. such as that produced by the combined actions of elevator and rudder and (3) cannot be trued up in the event strength in a vertical : . and (8) it is heavier than the first type. A diagonal wood bracing is usually of spruce.W. This gives a saving of 3 ozs. ..

and many will recall the excellent streamline form of the machine exhibited at the 1913 Aero Show. These bodies were built over formers of various sections. the attachment of such members as the duction. reinforced where the longerons occur by three-ply stiffeners. In the fore part they are cut from three-ply. system. The resultant shell. the two middle ones being fixed slightly more than halfway up each side. chassis. There are six longerons. unless one considers flying-boat construction as its modern is version. it has not survived. although the framework in both cases was so formed as to constitute a lattice girder. The Monocoque Type. used for the bodies of some modern monocoque system The framework consists of very small stringers . and although this is not such a lengthy operation as the Dep.72 of distortion. A slight variation of the aeroplanes. is more complicated. Several factors militate against its extensive adoption as a method. while at the rear they are just simple frames composed of laths. however. It is rather costly. was then covered with fabric and varnished. which were removed when the glue joining the different layers had set. several constructors having produced machines incorporating this feature. and does not seem to be suited to rapid proIn addition. and inter plane struts. The most successful machine produced on these lines was the Deperdussin. The tail portion of the Martinsyde was lightened by cutting away diamond-shaped pieces from each bay. It wings. AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION Examples of this system in pre-war machines are afforded by the Martinsyde and Blackburn monoplanes. that various modern machines The Borel firm produced a machine with are similarly built. should be noted. which are really longitudinal stringers to prevent the three-ply buckling between the points The formers of the Albatross are of attachment. which was about four millimetres thick. monocoque body. this being composed of three-ply covering on ribs running diagonally the length of the body. The monocoque system originated in France. extremely simple.

while a rotary or radial engine necessitates an increase in width. and as this is made up of six layers of wood and one of fabric. With the vertical engine. the total thickness being Fig. a light longeron being arranged at these points. 73 arranged at various points on light formers cut to the fuselage To this structure is applied two thicknesses of threeply in the form of strips about 3J ins. should be noted that the ply-wood strips do not completely encircle the formers. no more than 1J mm. 68. It which would appear to be of great utility at the present time is the arrangement wherein the nose of the body containing the engine and accessories is a separate unit. and in the event of engine breakdown can be detached and another detail A substituted.FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION section. Arrangement of three-ply bands in monocoque fuselage. FIG. In the design of the contour of the fuselage the type of the motor used is the determining influence. but are jointed at the top and bottom. the popular practice is to allow the tops of . Fuselage Contours. 68. which also means increased air resistance.. each thickness being disposed diagonally in opposite directions. the fineness of the ply-wood will be realized. wide. as shown by This is covered with fabric. it is possible to design a slim narrow body. With the in line " " Vee type engine.

which gradually merges into in Fig. Fuselage outline. 71. resulting in a dead air region and inefficiency. 70. 70. and the cowling carried on an arrangeoverall width of the engine. the width of the fuselage may be reduced by allowing the engine to project over the sides. on plan. ment of formers and the main structure. 69. It may be taken generally that the wider the body the greater the weight. which permits of a narrower body than if the width of the body equalled the Where a rotary engine is employed and the mounting is of the overhung type. It is apparent that the line FIG. This simplifies the fittings. 71. this country is to keep the longerons parallel to the centre line FIG. FIG. as stringers. tapering from that point line. for the struts have not only to be made The practice in longer but also of greater overall section. as. the stern post in a straight or slightly curved as Fig. the sockets for the centre plane . Fuselage outline. as to far as the rear cockpit. should this be at all abrupt. there is a ally distinct possibility that the air flow will take the course of the indicated in Fig. Fuselage outline.74 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION the cylinders to project through the cowling. 69. body and that of the fairing should converge as graduas possible.

74. examples. 72. 75.FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION struts are in line. early Albatross biplanes. as in Fig. but in the most upper longerons recent versions of the Albatross they are level with the line of thrust. This simplifies erection and affords a convenient datum line for truing up. Fuselage outline. arrange the top longerons parallel to the line of thrust. aero-dynamic requirements more This shape appears to satisfy closely than either of the FIG. the axis of the motor. with exceptions. the are curved. reached. 72. nose the body gradually widens out until the generally in the vicinity of the front seat. In side elevation the general practice.e. maximum is width. Fuselage outline. as in Fig. Fuselage outline. from where it tapers to the tail. and in any case the reduction of head resistance foregoing does not compensate for the additional work. Fig. 75 and the different lengths of fuselage struts necessary reduced to a minimum. is FIG. but in practice the difference is not appreciable. It will be seen that from the FIG. Fuselage outline'. i. 74. The plan outline of several German machines is shown diagrammatically by Fig. 73. 75 illustrates On the German Bumpier and an arrangement where the top rails. 73. to FIG. .

This system of tapering to a horizontal knife-edge is not considered the best arrangement from a strength point of view. another arrangement. Morane. the flat angle of the bracing wires permitting a certain amount of movement. typical of the Morane monoplane. formed generally by the rudder post. Although it is usual to terminate the body in a vertical knife-edge. finishes in a horizontal The German Fokker. and the Albatross DI. eventually resulting in slackness and loss of alignment. By this method the body weight is kept as low as possible and the engine and accessories rendered more accessible. slope down to the nose. . are similarly terminated. obviously inspired by the French edge.76 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION from a point some distance along.

can only be considered as This diversity of design is mainly the result of regrettable. Take as a hypothesis the case of. and however commendable from this standpoint. each with approximately the same arrangement of longerons and struts. which means that somewhere highly skilled labour is being unnecessarily expended in the making of jigs and press tools. FUSELAGE FITTINGS. quite as im- making of portant. . and the absolute need output (which must commence the desire for originality of each individual designer. Acceleration of aircraft output. of rapidity of as soon as possible after a successful design is produced). whereas a suitably standardized clip for all scout machines of certain dimensions would involve the one set of press and bending tools only for the machines of the one type built. ten makes of scouting biplanes in use. varies greatly. being usually one of the distinctive constructional details of a machine. say. is one of the most important con- tributary factors towards ultimate success in the field. design and type of fitting employed for connecting the longerons. This position renders uniformity of THE practice a comparatively unattainable quantity. is a position which is almost certain to disappear with the progress of the industry. if achieved only through the medium of small part production. Another aspect. cross and vertical struts of the fuselage. is the simplification of the supply of spares. which.77 CHAPTER IX. and with a similar overall size of fuselage. in view of present requirements. Each of these machines will incorporate a different fuselage clip.

but in this case the disadvantage lies in the fact that at each point of attachment a differently dimensioned clip will be necessary.) cases the fittings collectively very successfully evade the requirements of both. of simply two U-bolts. explained in detail hereafter. and taken collectively fall under two categories (1) those in which attachment to the longeron involves drilling. number of different clips by suitably shaping the longeron It is evident that most fittings must form a compromise between the demands of proinevitably duction and design. 76 is the particular form of construction associated with the various versions of the Bleriot monoplane. as will be seen from the sketch. and has been the subject of criticism from the time of its first appearance as an aircraft The struts are slotted over the bolt. It was retained in the Bleriot construction until some time after the outbreak of the war as a matter of fact. It is composed. the attachment to the longeron involving the drilling of four holes. The first longeron. this being due. The clip indicated by Fig. In the second method the attachment is usually accomplished by the pressure of bolts. with practically no weakening effect . and (2) those in which the : fitting clips or encircles the in position.78 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION Types in Use. until the type was deleted for war purposes. but it has the serious disadvantage of weakening the material. and although this detail. friction only keeping it method permits of a clip of com- paratively simple design. . are illustrative some of the many systems in use. and assuming the longeron section is sufficient to account for this. which constitutes the chief objection to this particular form of clip. of The sketches. to the longeron (A method of reducing the tapering towards the stern post. and favoured by the early pioneers generally. although it must be admitted that in some was also dealt with. then clearly a fitting which is attached without the use of bolts would allow a reduction in the size of a longeron (which means a saving in weight) without depreciating the factor of safety. as explained in the previous chapter.

FUSELAGE FITTINGS
have been about this

79

does not conform to the best principles, it is simple, and may A point sufficient for a lightly loaded machine. was the cause of its clip, which undoubtedly

FIG. 76.

Fuselage

fitting.

popularity amongst the pioneers, with whom economy was an evil necessity, is that the wires can be strained or tensioned

by an adjustment

of the

nuts on the longerons, thus rendering

FIG. 77.

Fuselage

fitting.

turnbuckles unnecessary. Fig. 77 shows the form of clip used on the Hanriot monoplanes, and is a good example of the class This is usually made to of fitting bent up from sheet metal.

80

AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION

be slightly smaller than the longeron, the pressure resulting from the tightening of the bolts on the ends forming the cross bracing lug, keeping
it

in place.

The

defect of this arrange-

any slight shrinkage of the longeron will permit movement, and for this reason provision should be made for the subsequent adjustment of the bolts. The struts are taken by the lugs punched up from the body of the clip. This leaves
is

ment

that

very
or

little

tierods, but

material to resist the tension of the bracing wires a modification of this clip surmounts this
is

difficulty.

A
is

similar clip

certainly inferior

used by the German Aviatik firm, but it owing to the very poor connection of the

struts.

Instead of the four lugs gripping the sides of the

FIG. 78.

Fuselage

fitting.

struts, they are punched up to form a square or tenon, over which the cross-struts are mortised. In any case it would not satisfy the standards maintained by our leading constructors, and certainly not the technical advisers to the Air Board.

78 does not encircle the longeron, but abuts against the two inner sides of the longeron only. The body of this clip is a stamping, bent to a right angle, to
clip indicated in Fig.

The

which the square sockets

for the struts are welded.

Attach-

to the longeron is effected by an eyebolt, which passes diagonally through it, this also providing the anchorage for

ment

the cross-bracing wire. A form of this clip has been used on a certain make of machine for a considerable period, so that One outit has advantages that are not readily apparent.

standing defect is existent in that the pull of the wires would tend to lift the socket on the side opposite to the eye bolt, and

FUSELAGE FITTINGS
this in turn

81

would cause distortion

of the struts.

A

connection

favoured by an American firm is shown by Fig. 79, and The longerons are possesses the merit of extreme simplicity. not drilled, the attachment being through the agency of an

FIG. 79.

Fuselage

fitting.

L

bolt,

which also provides the anchorage

for the cross-bracing

wire.

To prevent movement the the longeron by wood screws.

clip is additionally fixed to

FIG. 80.

Fuselage

fitting.

The method shown by
as 1912,

Fig. 80

is

that used on the Depersockets, bolted

dussin monoplanes, being patented by that firm as far back

and

consists of two cast

aluminium

to the longeron.

The

struts, in this case oval in section, are

G

e. and perform the functions demanded of about the only detail upon which its existence is justified is pull the fitting its In the writer's opinion the clip. or at any rate.82 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION fastened in place by steel bushes. i. in other words.Y. all the fittings. those in the tail portion. 81 indicates the arrangement on the German L. Fig. affected by the taper of the longeron. or. the tendency of the wires when tensioned to from the longeron is resisted by the screws This does not impress one as being well suited to only. 81. four holes are needed in the it longeron for every joint . bat has the advantage over the latter in that a better terminal is provided for the struts. ease of production. This system has been used in the construction of a fast scout of comparatively recent origin. which are driven through in the form of steel tube.G. at the defects as the Bleriot clip. is by far the finest connection yet devised. and one that 82. Its attachment is accomplished with- . and expanded and burred round the same time forming the anchorage for the wires. Fuselage fitting. fastened to the longeron by screws. casting. can be of the same dimensions. aluminium alloy and as it is not This is an (Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft) fighting biplane. FIG. Fig. A point which is often overlooked when using a fitting of this type is that any strain on the wires is transmitted to the longeron by the fastening screws only. should be standardized. but it embodies the same socket. the average joint.

This clip and can be produced at an absurdly low has been used on machines which have FiG. figure. is simple and quite easily manufactured. but the amount of this. accomplished some meteoric performances during was designed and in use a considerable period and.FUSELAGE FITTINGS . moreover. dency to straighten out at the bends . the war. 83. 82. The out of sheet metal. 83 out objectionable drilling it provides an excellent housing for the cross-struts . before the war. FIG. Fuselage fitting. Fuselage fitting. Fig. 83. . and bent up to shape. can be tightened up should shrinkage occur in the longerons. being stamped the anchorage for the wires would have a tenlugs forming The clip.

was used in the construction of the nacelle of a seaplane exhibited at Olympia in 1914. 84. a fitting of this kind largely conjectural. In certain isolated instances. 84. which are not finished off with the orthodox wire ferrule. rigidity to the structure. the fuselage is built up of and on one machine of recent design the joints : throughout are effected by welding of the vertical a detail of the attachment and cross struts to the longerons is shown by Fig. in the absence ence. the fact that the wires are exerting a side pull on the struts may be of little consequence. It will be noticed that a small quadrant-shaped piece avJ.c FIG. this i unusual feature may be noticed in the attachment of the bracing wires. but are arranged as a loop.84 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION of actual experiis whether serious or otherwise. although method could hardly be used in conjunction with the A rather fuselage construction of average English machines. Welded joint in steel tube fuselage. of tube or rod is welded to the struts. and from this are taken the As the welded joints impart a certain bracing wires. steel tubing. Steel Tube Fuselage Construction. However. the turn buckle .

does not seem greatly in vogue. The trend of design in this country seems to incline towards the clip. stamped out from sheet steel and bent up.FUSELAGE FITTINGS 85 forming the anchorage for the two ends. is by far the best . in the writer's opinion. This class of fitting can be produced accurately and quickly. manufacturing proposition. and. and the built-up fitting. involving castings welding or brazing. Aluminium are quite obsolete.

of (1) simplification of general design. UNDERCARRIAGE TYPES. and at most calls for a system in which the head resistance is brought to an irreducible minimum. and undue attention to the requirements of either does not produce the best results. approaches This has resulted from improvements along the line finality. ploughed and on the other hand. THE present chapter deals with the general arrangement of the different types of undercarriages. Thus. for in its powers as head resistance and weight without a consequent diminution an alighting gear. One of the most important points is that rolling shocks should be completely absorbed. taken . this position being due to the fact that its construction has to be considered from two distinctly opposed view-points. on the one hand. and the least possible strain . The principles of design embodied in the undercarriage are necessarily a compromise. have given place to something machines of modern attainments. we Principles of Design. to one extreme. (2) the reduction of which. By the ordinary process of evolution the agglomeration of ideas existing in the early days of flying with regard to the most suitable form of landing gear. which. A better impression of the if distinguishing points of the various types will be gathered consider the desiderata of an ideal undercarriage. as distinct from the details of construction. we have the confields. we have the desirability of great strength to withstand landings on very rough ground.86 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION CHAPTER X. would be best satisfied if the undercarriage did not exist. and the like siderations of aero-dynamical efficiency in flight.

if of a moderate velocity. requires that the upon landing in a side head resistance. is no . This has additional value in restricting the length of run after . 85. is usually sufficient. and the usual method of accomplishing this is to bring the machine into the wind. which more often than not means "getting off" restricted space. or ditch. With modern wing sections the angle of maximum lift is between 14 and 16. These by failure to pull up before are the main principles involved. fence. not standing the least of which are those attendant wind. FIG. while speed in the shortest time. so that the angle of 18. 85. In ordinary circumstances. the considerable strains sustained in alighting. should offer the least possible the weight must be reduced to a minimum." or stallIt is clear that in to the ing. landing would be accomplished by gradually increasing the angle of incidence until the maximum. To the heights of the main rolling wheels and tail skid should be arranged to allow the wings to lift. how and why the undercarriage is necessarily a compromise. landing the speed of the machine relative should be as low as possible. materially reduces the speed relative to the earth. Cross-country in a flying. which is practically stalling point.UNDEECARRIAGB TYPES 87 transmitted to the fuselage or main structure. without developing ground " into the operation generally known as pancaking. which. lie at an angle a little in excess of this. after a perfectly good landing a hedge. this calling for It must be capable of a good system of wheel suspension. reached. or angle of satisfy this consideration. and at least they indicate machine should come to able smashes have been caused machine shall attain flying and conversely in alighting the Innumerrest in the quickest time. as shown in Fig.

88 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION It contact with the ground. centre to centre. of course. the wing tips of the Nieuport monoplane being specially constructed for the purpose. which would therefore require to be made of larger section than would be the case if the wheel base was narrower or. and this additional weight. At one time the wing tips were almost invariably used to assist the undercarriage. although these were used biplane performed in conjunction with two main wheels. if the same . the strength is reduced. the fuselage width for the tractor machines now in vogue does not greatly exceed 3 ft. A wide wheel used.. but several constructional difficulties tend to restrict this to laterally. monoplane had only one central rolling wheel. being more usually under that figure. desirable as it is from the aspect of head resistance. there are several details to be considered in its arrangement A fundamental point is that the track of the wheels. it is usual to make use of the wing tips by fitting skids of malacca cane or laminated ash. Where the undercarriage is of the type in which the main rolling wheels are mounted on a single axle. the distance. which are brought into action when the machine is excessively canted over sideways. certain limits. and no skids were fitted. but. cannot be carried beyond a certain point without the sacrifice to some extent of the foregoing qualities. Earlier still the R. To make up for the deficiencies of the almost unsection strut is avoidable narrow wheel base. So far we have taken the principles of design as affecting the disposition of the undercarriage members in a longitudinal direction. i. Again. should be of ample width. . the wings acting as air-brakes. it is clear that the wheel base is limited to the greatest length the steel or duralumin tube can be used without buckling under landing shocks. so that a very wide base would mean raking the struts at a flat angle. a smaller wheel being The wing tip wheels of the Cody attached to each wing tip. base therefore means an undesirable increase in weight and resistance.E.P.e. will be realized that reduction in height of the undercarriage. similar functions. If this is to be exceeded a bigger means diameter tube of thicker gauge will be necessary.

incorporating features designed example Of these the Farman type is an landing gear designed for the requirements of school work. 86.. it While this type has much to commend low head resistance and great strength for weight. terminated in Longhorn " rolling wheels. from the fact that viewed in side elevation. of a to carry the front elevator. this being bound to the skids by rubber bands. while others still exist. consisting of two long ash skids. three wheels are sometimes used. The type of landing gear principle to 89 in use to-day does not vary in any great extent. there are other systems. attached to a short axle. this type gave excellent results. centre of gravity. but on the a later date. The wheel base being almost 9 ft. Each skid carried a pair of is desired to keep the load on the tail skid as light as possible. and two smaller wheels a little forward of as in Fig. The skids were sometimes . extended from the rear end of the nacelle. This enables the main rolling wheels to be placed under the centre of gravity. the struts form a Y. This was the arrangement on the FIG. tail A with the skid. 86. " " Shorthorn. as shown by Fig.UNDEKCARRIAGE TYPES Undercarriage Types. being gradually bent upwards for some specific purpose. which. the skids. where it short bends. In the case of big machines. 87. Side view of Farman landing gear." produced at machine. the system being that usually known as the Vee type. some of which have been triedfrom the points of out. further development of this system dispenses two main wheels being placed under the the propeller. the differences usually occurring in the choice of material. the pilot wheel preventing the consequent tendency to pitch forward when rolling. two main rolling wheels and a light pilot wheel in the front.

the machine being pulled on wheels by the thrust of the propeller.. diagrammatically. and frequent skid replacements are A similar necessary with this system. in side elevation. Gnome tractor biplane. with the attendant defects. and with minor modifications on the Avro 80 h. 87. connected to the fuselage by a series of V struts. while a single central skid. Side view of Nieuport undercarriage. 88. as in Fig. type with no tail skid has the wheels disposed forward of the C. This type was used on the original Nieuport monoplane. 89. This is shown.p. Its chief advantage is low head resistance. replaced the double skids. this being an attempt to counteract the side strains set up when landing in a side . by Fig. but un- FIG. 88. Side view of four-wheeled landing gear.G. The base of support was formed by the rear wheels and the ends of the skids. and used with minor alterations on all the Bleriot monoplanes.90 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION continued back behind the rear struts. to the front wheel base is FIG. A very distinctive system was that favoured by Bleriot. The short bad for rolling on bumpy ground. fortunately with this system a narrow wheel base. and was unusual in that the wheels were arranged to swivel. and saw-kerf ed to increase the resiliency. is inevitable.

and more speed and climb. 90). owing to the absence of any forward skid. Bleriot undercarriage. machines of average dimensions is almost invariably the type (Fig.UNDERCARRIAGE TYPES wind. 91 Although in the hands pilots this of some of our most famous it exhibition has functioned excellently. Recent Developments. has resulted in the gradual elimination of skids. until to-day the chassis FIG. struts. Vee type undercarriage. FIG. as. The wheels are placed about a foot in front of the C. During the last three years the vital necessity of speed and climb. 90. and wires.. is com- plicated and somewhat heavy. 89. no for V .G.

. In the actual construction of the Vee undercarriage. some diversity of practice exists with regard to the material chosen. In some cases the struts forming the Vees are constructed of a streamline section steel tubing. while a number of constructors use wood for the struts. in others round tubing.92 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION other provision exists to counteract the tendency to pitch over. the streamline section being obtained by a wooden fairing bound on.

glued together. 91. Machines are now designed and simple. will almost certainly result wheels and skids for the touring machines of the post-war period. as in Fig. it is usual to form the skid from a number of Quite a good method strips. and it has additional value in ensuring permanency of curve. or laminations. although some designers prefer ash. one time the majority of the undercarriage arrangements incorporated one or more skids. exists to prevent pitching over when obstructions are met in in some arrangement of rolling. and the suspension of the axle. and therefore difficult to obtain sharp. steamed to the desired curve. The material most suited for this purpose is hickory. to longerons manner Where the bend is consisting of a spruce block attached to the skid by screws. As noted in the is greatly in favour at previous chapter the Vee undercarriage but the fact that with this type no forward support present. of stream-lining the curved toe of the skid is shown by Fig. 92.93 CHAPTER XI UNDERCARRIAGE DETAILS THE details of construction associated with the undercarriage are those concerned with the forming of the struts and main members. the laminations so formed being stepped back. At . in a similar and wing spars. so that an undercarriage all for air of the performance pure simple Vee type is that is utility will but in the post-war machine general permissible be the desideratum sought for by designers. and generally channelled out between the points of intersection of the struts. by steaming. etc. fittings. Where the design is such that the rear end of the skid performs the functions of a tail skid it is saw-kerfed.. and the bottom .

92. but a matter difficulty to prevent the saw-cuts from developing into fractures. which will also with- stand a for much tributing largely to this. at least in this country. or claw fitting. on modern machines by binding the accomplished good system of axle to the cord (this being a square. but hitherto . casing) main members of the structure with either rubber number of strands of rubber about in. In the preliminaries of design referred to in the last chapter. higher ultimate stress. and also preventing wear produced by contact with the ground. replacements were so frequent that eventually the skid end was left solid. it is At one time of this constituted popular practice. and generally heavy machines. the reason being found in the better lasting qualities of the cord. acting as a brake. the fabric covering conIn a number of cases. ^ obsolescent.94 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION layer shod with a plate. FIG. Methods of Suspension. As a matter of fact. and bound together with a woven twine compressed The latter are more or less or plain rubber rings. on one type of machine some FIG. it was observed that the action of rolling and alighting called for a and this is suspension and shock absorption. Streamlining curved toe of skid. steel helical springs are fitted. Various attempts right from the beginning of successful flight have been made to utilize steel springs for suspension. 91. Laminated skid end.

sometimes lesser the result of gusts or pancaking. total Steel springs being weight. wound round the upper half of the telescopic tube. they are much heavier than rubber. it becomes necessary to use these in conjunction with some other medium possessing this quality. into the upper half. being given out again in the form With rubber. a back-pressure valve enabling the The Breguet to gradually return to the cylinder. for light machines of modern design. which is why. is filled with oil. rubber is the better material. adjusted to open at a certain pressure. but of a rebound. It is usual to arrange the main compression members in two halves. but what is of moment the fact that steel springs are not nearly so efficient shockabsorbers as the rubber variety. all that is of the suspension is that the wheel movement over required the inequalities shall not be transmitted to the whole machine. deficient in the power to damp out shocks. as ease of attach- ment probably 'compensates is for this . and the lower. The weight of the machine is taken normally during rolling by the helical spring. constituting the cylinder.UNDERCARRIAGE DETAILS 95 very few machines have successfully incorporated them. If we take the rolling over bumpy ground. while even the efficiency of the latter is capable of considerable improvement. case of a machine So far both steel springs and rubber cord satisfy these con- ditions. stored up. the upper half forming a piston. elongation and its consequent depreciation of ultimate tensile strength prevents any energy of moment being returned to the aeroplane. but in ithe operation of alighting the machine not infrequently strikes the ground with some force. Firstly. the energy of landing is not is absorbed. a pre-war machine of original design. and to a degree those of rubber. attached to the wheels. but this in itself is no great disadvantage. say. oil . and one of the most suitable arrangements extant is that known as the oleo-pneumatic gear. consisting of a combination of helical coil spring and oil plunger. and but a brief examination will show that their use on machines of the average modern type is attended with some unsatis- factory features. biplane. up to 2500 Ibs. With steel springs. Excessive shocks cause the oil to be forced through a spring valve.

. It is of interest to record that a pre-war racing machine had no other suspension and shock-absorbing medium than that provided by the very less large tyres fitted to the wheels. a Various methods exist for connecting the rubber to the typical arrangement with the Vee under- s. as the instance can be of very little use for rough ground. being cited to emphasize the assistance so rendered to the ordinary type of suspension. assistance rendered by tyres of large diameter must The merits of the large tread are quite well known in the sphere of the motor-car. FIG. is indicated by Fig. and a variation of The this. 93. 93. and they are no beneficial to the aeroplane. Arrangement of suspension on steel tube undercarriage. the axle being fixed rigidly to the undercarriage struts. A similar arrangement existed on a machine of much more it recent date. main members. Shock Absorbing Effect The not be overlooked.c. Connections. One does not advocate this system. carriage of steel being shown by Fig. 94.96 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION embodied in the undercarriage arrangement a system analogous to the foregoing. when wood is the material. of Tyres.

UNDERCARRIAGE DETAILS web plate in Fig. Rubber cord suspension. machines. 97 upward and is means for guiding the axle in its another version of the one-time popular FIG. the movement of the axle FIG. in many instances. 95. In this case rubber bands are attached to the main skids. plate or radius rod. Arrangement of suspension on wood undercarriage. the short axle passing between the two. Farman type axle suspension. this being the Another system shown by Fig. 94. is being of no great extent. to fit It is either web not considered necessary. 95. 96. radius rod. 93 forms a travel. A H similar . method of suspension adopted for the Farman FIG.

A method greatly in vogue in America is that indicated by Fig. It is now the FIG. the rings being approximately two inches wide by two inches long. detail. 98. This is so arranged that in flight the Axle Fairings. axle lies in a slot formed in the fairing. The fact that very few examples of this system exist in this country may be ascribed to the inferiority of rubber bands compared with the rubber cable.98 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION is arrangement in general outline in this case the rubber takes the shown by Fig. Bridge type suspension. and a characteristic Wright FIG. although form of cord. A typical arrangement indicated . 97. which appreciably is reduces head resistance. 97. Axle fairing. 96. practice to streamline the compression tubes between the vees of the undercarriage with a fairing of aluminium or three-ply. known as the bridge type.

down. unfortunately. Undercarriage Brakes. and it therefore becomes necessary to fit either sleeves or stub-axles of steel. and in the majority of undercarriage arrangements is divided and hinged in the centre. The axle is usually formed of steel or duralumin tube. disadvantage is The that undesirable strains may be carried to the fuselage members. actuated from the they could be adjusted to offer a normal surface tion of flight. although. A very simple and widely used arrangement is to terminate the tail skid in a claw is fit- ting. Tail skid with claw fitting. Duralumin tube is especially suited for this item. so that in alighting the tail shoved hard FIG. a wire or wires from this point to the fuselage accounting for any strain. moreover a landing with the wind speeds renders them quite useless. this slightly discounted by the fact that duralumin does not form a good bearing surface for the wheel hubs. 99. Additional means for restricting the length of travel after contact with the ground is sometimes found in the employment of brakes of various types. bringing the skid into contact with the ground. The best form of brake is . as Fig.UNDERCARRIAGE DETAILS 99 by Fig. 98. 99. and hinged so that by a system of wires and pulleys. is pilot's seat. as a much stiffer axle is is possible for a given weight. to the direc- The efficiency of this arrangement at low not very great. Another version recently patented is to construct small planes to conform to the wing curve.

In is a useless encumbrance. so that altogether the advantages of any so-called disappearing landing gear are very much more apparent than possibility of when of the it There is also the very great real. adding weight and head resistance. In the construction to economically effect the problematic air -liners of the future it may be possible housing of the undercarriage. the natural sequence being extra weight and resistance. having as their object the housing of the undercarriage in the fuselage during flight. the undercarriage folding up or disappearing would be least required to do so.p. a good example of the latter being the system used on the 70 h. ideas. for machines of the present. either of the rim or band type. suggestions. with a resultant reduction in resistance. Bristol biplane.sectional area. and of Numerous excellent as the principle is. and patents exist. Closely allied to the question of brakes is that of steering. This would mean that the fuselage would be of larger cross. It does not appear that the saving effected in resistance. would account for the additional weight of the operating mechanism and the increased head resistance of the fuselage. and the require- ments the of this latter item are fairly well it satisfied by pivoting tail skid and working in conjunction with the rudder from the foot-bar or wheel. its practical application is difficult achievement at least. so that an arrangement whereby this component could be folded into the main structure would flight the undercarriage apparently effect a saving in resistance. when the undercarriage is folded during flight.100 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION undoubtedly one acting direct on the main wheels. Housing of Undercarriage during Flight. .

of the THE mechanism by which complete structure. or in some cases the outer section only. direction and for steering by the rudder. the aeroplane is controlled in flight the connecting link between the pilot and machine. The correct proportion of the controlling surfaces is an important factor in determining the ease or otherwise with which a machine can be handled in faults in this direction are responsible for the or "stiff" on the controls being applied to a flight. and the whole plane is subjected to continuous torsional to obtain this some of the trussing wires have necessarily to be arranged as control wires. With warping.101 CHAPTER XII. and " terms " heavy machine. and although the principle is the same that of forming a negative or positive surface to the line of flight structural considerations are wholly in favour of ailerons. and known as "ailerons". the result being that the plane curvature loses its uniformity. movement. in a longitudinal or "fore-and-aft" direction by the elevator planes. CONTROL SYSTEMS. control of all Main The modern aeroplanes is effected in a lateral by small planes hinged to the rear spar of the outer ends of the wings. Principles. warp the entire plane. and the whole . and forms constitutes a vitally important and somewhat vulnerable item. Although these functions are alluded to separately. they are more often than not combined in their actions. The use of subsidiary flaps or ailerons for lateral control is a comAt one time it was usual to paratively modern innovation.

With machines of the inherent control is stability class the lateral effected by additional means. and certainly entail the use of ailerons. which. chief fault lies in the relatively slow righting movements. Control by Inherent Stability. This apparatus has been well tried. there are occasions when sufficient control can be obtained with ailerons to the upper plane only. becomes a source of danger when alighting. to counteract it. this applying to the small Albatross scouts and to the large machines of the Gotha class while in this country few examples of this practice occur. the planes being This designed to automatically right the effects of gusts. girder system of the planes is less efficient under load than if the wires were permanently fixed and the latter item is only possible with aileron control. The reason for the balancing of controls lies in the desire to reduce the manual strain on the pilot to a minimum and it . while in Germany it achieved great popularity.surf ace design it is interest- ing to note the contrast between the preferences of English and German designers. elevators. the most notable perhaps being the Sperry gyroscopic. and rudder are balanced.103 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION . In the matter of control. . The type was well exemplified in this country by the HandleyPage monoplane and biplane. . surface is dis- posed each side of the hinge-axis. Although it is usual to attach ailerons to both top and bottom planes of a biplane. this being a combination of servo-motor and gyroscope. element of inherent stability is obtained by suitably grading the camber and incidence of the wings. appears that with large machines balanced surfaces will be Several automatic controls have been produced. until at the wing tips the chord of the plane section forms a negative angle to the Although this arrangement is undoubtedly of value. usually when the span of this plane is greater than that of the bottom. especially for the touring machine of moderate power.e. imperative. In almost all German machines the ailerons. surviving in some makes until the latter part of 1916. its line of flight. i. or warp. although of no great consequence at a reasonable altitude.

to change the course of a machine flying level into an upward one. . and although in this country one type of control is used. far as the little 103 arrangement of the control surfaces is con- variation occurs. of a great deal The i. although the extent of this no great moment.joint to a rocking shaft. the unlearning which practice had rendered instinctive. which condition has obtained of aviation. Thus. and the aileron wires from a form of bell. A disadvantage with this system. which not infrequently meant. All modern controls are based on the instinctive principle. Vertical Column Control. the control wires will the elevator is to It is obvious. to a pilot taking on a new type. the column is pulled towards the pilot. For steering. Instinctive Principle. that by a forward movement although be depressed of the column. 100. On one well known machine of former days. In former days the practice of individual makers fitting different controls resulted in some arrangements being in exact contradistinction to others.CONTROL SYSTEMS So cerned. a foot-bar is employed.crank. if somewhat paradoxical. A The elevator wires are taken round pulleys mounted under the seat. the column is moved in a direction opposed to that of the bank. while to correct a bank. there are still instances of the use of widely different systems. the reverse. is that lateral movement is of also affects the elevator.e. and the reverse for a right turn. the movements of the control lever coincide in direction with the promptings of natural instinct. the foot-bar actuated the is lateral control. " " joy-stick typical control of the immensely popular type is shown by Fig. flanged and welded to the steel tube. so arranged that for a turn to the left the left foot pushed forward. which is sufficient indication of the great diversity of opinion then existing. and for descent. but the from the early days mechanism governing or directing these movements varied at one time considerably. in addition to the complication of the wires. This consists of a vertical column pivoted through the medium of a fork.

the control column always tends to return to the normal position. and although this permits of movement. there are various forms of wheel control in use. the wire running from the base of the tube to the pulleys will be attached to the arm on the top side of the elevator. and . " joy-stick type of control is greatly in favour. The German machines of the Fokker and Albatross types are both fitted with the single lever control with a locking arrangement. lateral equilibrium can be maintained by movements of the lever sideways.e. but. course. American While the " machines are almost entirely fitted with wheel controls. Wheel Controls.104 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION required to be crossed. 100. of FIG. and steering by the rudder bar. there being many control lever fixes simple ways of accomplishing this. The locking of the the flight path of the machine. with rubber cable or coil springs anchored to various parts of the fuselage. and vice versa. On single-seater machines it is sometimes necessary for the pilot to of the controls. Arrangement of vertical column control. Another method which achieves the same purpose consists of bracing the lever in a normal flying position. i. so that it have both hands free becomes necessary to install some form of locking device for the elevator control.

/ Arrangement of wheel control. : " " . A sprocket foj^ (J^EIL L C FIG. With this system the hand-wheel is to the . wheel centre engages with a short length of chain. rotated for the aileron movements. A embodies all these three in one development designated movements in the wheel column. of the wheel type may be varied in a number of ways. while the elevator wires are connected to short tillers. with either foot on the rudder bar. which in this case is pivoted at its base a to-and-fro motion in the column for the elevators. the general arrangement average system. arranged to work on the outer side of the fuselage. 101. 101 being typical of an In this case the hand-wheel is mounted on is rigidly fixed by some form attached of Tee joint to a transverse rocking shaft. a fore-and-aft rocking motion for the elevation. which connects to the aileron control. a central column.CONTROL SYSTEMS all 105 is evenly things considered. which in turn shown by Fig. it appears that modern practice The sequence of movements divided between the two types. and the rudder is actuated by an outward movement.

while the rudder control is effected by the rotation of the wheel. This system is fitted to a number American machines. Its chief attribute is that. undesirable. compared with other systems. FIG. 101. any case. bent to shape. and forms a distinctive arrangement. there is just a suspicion of complication in its is working which for popular use. Incidentally. for machines intended The "Dep" of Control. or duralumin tube. 102. 102. which is evident by a consideration of the diagrammatic sketch. " Dep" type control. The type of control used on the Deperdussin monoplanes 1910 and onwards has survived until the present day.106 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION sideways for the ailerons. but it is a moot point whether the rotation of the wheel for warping or steering is quite such an instinctive action. that is. or steel. much greater room and freedom is afforded the pilot. passing . the general system of its working being the same as the wheel control shown by Fig. Fig. as the sideways movement of the lever of combined with the movements in of the foot on the rudder-bar ( . The inverted U-shaped lever is composed of either ash.

system. Although there are types of control in use. mounted concentric with the wheel. 101. this action being a characteristic feature of all the Wright productions. The rudder control is provided by a small lever. but no rudder-bar is fitted. this consisting of a general lay out similar to running free on the wheel it shaft. Another variant that of the wheel control is instanced by the Wright shown by Fig. those described in the foregoing chapter are illustrative of general practice. this sprocket. the latter carrying a rigidly attached The hand-lever is also connected to a sprocket. many . so that by gripping both hand-lever and wheel is possible to operate the ailerons and rudder simultaneously. The Wright System.CONTROL SYSTEMS reference 107 close may be made to the fact that the usual proximity of the compass to the controls precludes the use of steel in any great quantity for the construction of the lever j as the various movements adversely affect the compass readings.

Aeroplane construction consists almost exclusively of a framework of wood braced by wires. being cheap (a vital consideration) and simple to attach and replace. a condition of things which has obtained since the inception of flight. The this and the swaged tie rods in plain or streamline form. From the view-point of the early pioneers. The various wires used in construction may be classified into four distinct types : the solid wire stay. been used on most aeroplanes from the days of the having earliest this wire Wrights onward.' as may be judged by the various engravings of Henson's projected monoThis machine incorporated an arrangement plane of 1842. the straining cord or cable used for stay wires. there is little doubt that the efficiency of modern wiring systems is largely responsible for the structural efficiency of the aeroplane as a whole. form of bracing was of the solid piano wire variety. Although the difficult tensile strength of this wire hardness renders somewhat cannot probably be excelled. and the natural sequence of improvements have tended towards the gradual elimination of exposed wiring. IN all aeroplanes the question of wires and the terminal connections associated therewith is a matter of some importance.108 AEEOPLANE CONSTRUCTION CHAPTER XIII. WIRES AND CONNECTIONS. its the forming of the end . the extra flexible cable used for controls. was eminently satisfactory. of king-posts and wires approximating very closely to modern practice. Various Wires used. and while this may vary in degree.

this being sometimes varied by the use of a flat strip of tinned iron. Although various modifica- an such as tying the free end to the ferrule with fine wire. Fig. the ferrule being pushed tight against the shoulders. of the the remaining possessing wires tested failed by the free end pulling through the ferrule. and the free end turned back.WIRES AND CONNECTIONS 109 For this reason piano wire loop without fracture of the wire. resulted in an increase in total efficiency. came into use. this consisting of a loop or eye. is At the present time the solid wire stay of the form dealt with used mainly for the bracing of the fuselage frame. 105. 104. nection used for the piano wire stay is shown by Fig. it While this was fairly satisfactory for short stays. The eye should be formed as an easy bend. This is made of the same gauge wire as the stay. Stranded Cable. this being made in two distinct ways. 103. failing by fracture. the stays maximum tions. of the strength of the wire. wrapped round and soldered. average efficiency of 68 per cent. and is from seven to nine convolutions in length. and the tail internal wiring of the planes. was tough and ductile. average European practice consists of that shown by Fig. enabling bends to be The original cona lesser danger of fracture. to a softer grade of wire which. the free end being turned round a ferrule of soft copper tube. while gradually gave place made with being strong. the owing free end pulled or cut through the ferrule. 20 per cent. The cable employed for interplane bracing is composed of . 104. so that after a suitable for the lift main while the oval spring-wire ferrule. Tests undertaken at the instance of the American Advisory Committee for Aeronautics showed that 80 per cent. The gradual increase in engine power and total weight of aeroplanes led to the adoption of stranded cable for all important loaded wires. Result of Tests. under load. was hardly wires of the interplane bracing. and not kinked. to the comparative ease with which. as in Fig.

110
a

AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION

of fine wires, varying from nineteen to thirty-seven according to the different diameters, the end section being
is required, such as for control running round pulleys, the cable is composed of a number of strands, generally seven, which in turn consists of

number

indicated by Fig. 106. Where extra flexibility

wires

number shown by
a

end section being 107. Fig. English practice designates this form of cable as extra flexible, and the of nineteen wires single
rope

of fine wires, usually nineteen, the

112

FIGS. 103-112.

Methods

of

forming wire connections.

as straining cord. American classification is practically the in that the single rope is known as stranded cable, reverse, and the multi-strand as cord. Although the factor of strength
is

an important one

it

does not entirely govern the selection of

a wire, as other considerations, such as flexibility and fatigue strain, influence greatly the efficiency of a stay under active

Under test the solid wire possesses the ultimate breaking weight, the next best being the greatest It must be understood that in flight a wire is single rope.
service conditions.

subjected to constant and intensive vibration, which must

WIRES AND CONNECTIONS
have a deleterious
effect

111

on the material, and

for this reason

a flaw or slight fracture in a solid wire may escape notice until complete failure in the air whereas the cable, by the unstranding of the damaged wires, would give warning of
;

wear.

Chiefly owing to the difficulty of forming a satisfactory in the single-strand cable, modern practice inclines splice toward the use of the multi- strand cable for all purposes, as

the construction of this wire lends itself to the forming of a successful splice.

Cable Connections.
The
earliest

form

of terminal

connection for stranded cable

of the wire

consisted of a loop, the free end being bound to the main part and soldered. With the addition of a binding or

serving of wire round the loop to prevent injury, due to contact with the wiring lug, or strainer eye, this wire, in a
recent
test,

gave an efficiency

of

100 per cent,

for all diameters

up
is

to

j

in.

This result, considering the elementary nature of the joint, surprising. Unfortunately the effect of corrosion due to acid

and solder

is a somewhat doubtful quantity; moreover, the An attachment appearance of the joint is far from neat. which at one time achieved some popularity is shown by

Fig. 108, and is especially suitable for the single-strand wire. This consists of a cone-shaped forked end with a taper hole, into which the cable is inserted, the free end being unstranded,

spread out and soldered. The attachment has been used on what was at one time one of our best products. The efficiency obtained with this fitting is in the neighbourhood of 100 per
cent.

In the method indicated by Fig. 109 a piece of flat copper is passed over the wire, the free end of the latter being bent round a brass thimble, and then passed through the
tube
copper, tube, in a similar manner to the connection for the solid wire in Fig. 102. The tube is then given several turns, and the complete joint well soldered. This system is reliable,

and has given good

results.

A

distinctive terminal is indicated

by Fig. 110, consisting

112

AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION

of a brass ferrule just sufficiently wide to accommodate the two thicknesses of wire. The bolts are of the counter-sunk head variety, so that the operation of screwing a bolt home

ferrule.

also forces the wires into the protuberances in the sides of the Although the foregoing methods have all been ex-

tensively used, they have now given place to the thimble splice, Fig. Ill, which, as a general proposition, is undoubtedly the better terminal connection. The brass thimble protects

the strands from the wearing effect produced by contact with the turnbuckle or wiring lug. It is the usual practice to wrap the splice with a binding or serving of fine copper wire, or The efficiency of this joint with a properly waxed twine. made splice may be safely taken as 85 per cent, of the total

strength of the wire. With this joint the point of failure, as evidenced by numerous tests, always occurs at, or near, the last tuck in the splice, at which point the extra thickness of

the splice
wire.

is

just

merging into the normal thickness
all
is

of the

The disadvantage with
the use of solder

terminal connections which
the impossibility of deter-

necessitate

mining just how much the heating operation affects the strength of the wire, and also the effects of corrosion, set up

by the various species
Relative Strengths.

of flux

used in the process of soldering.

solid-wire stay possesses the the next best being the single-stranded greatest strength, cable, as the following comparison of stay strength, taken from the Report of the National Advisory Committee for

For a given diameter the

Aeronautics, 1915, of America, will show

:

this leading to the of introduction development of the swaged streamline wire. and the nature of its con- nection obviates the use of turnbuckles. The points considerable in favour of them are that. this rendering rigging a more certain operation. 113 number of Although in the quest for increased speed the a minimum. a is reduction in resistance obtained. there is a lessened liability to slacken after some use. 113 116. i . properly fitted.WIRES AND CONNECTIONS Streamline Wires. the which is generally ascribed to the Royal Aircraft Factory . the aggregate exposed wires were reduced to resistance still remained considerable. 114 116 FIGS. and these wires are now generally used for all exposed wiring. Methods of forming wire connections.

A device for tying the wires and preventing friction at the point found on nearly all enemy aeroplanes. but. is rolled to the section shown by Fig. Some years ago various attempts were made. It is also surprising the effected that no attempt has been made to streamline the cable. and of intersection. is indicated by Fig. and there are also instances of quick release devices. owing to the difficulty of successfully forming a terminal. so far. a Some designers still popular form being shown by Fig. so that apparently the merits of planes streamline wire are not recognized. It is notable that. Although determined attempts have been made of late to entirely eliminate exposed wiring.114 AEEOPLANE CONSTEUCTION They have been variously criticized as being expensive to produce. of intersection it is usual to fit To prevent wear at the points acorns of fibre or aluminium. 115. as the universal joint permits of movement in two directions. to use the wire cable for interplane bracing. 116. the is wiring of all German aero- by cable. with modern methods . to utilize flat steel ribbon for exposed wiring. a certain length each end being left for the rightand left-hand thread. 113 and 114. which reduces the tendency of the wire to crystallize as a are result of excessive vibration. these being popular in this country about 1912. Moreover. a fairing of prefer wood being bound to the cables by tape at intervals. examples of this occurring in the recent German Fokker triplane. although it may possibly be regarded as the precursor of the modern streamline wire. that the resistance may be increased if improperly aligned in the machine. 112. it appears that the various alterations structure of by this procedure in the than counteract the saving in the machine more engendered of construction the ulti- head resistance. its use never became extensive. mostly on French monoplanes. the latter being preferable. and also that any fracture or flaw is less liable to In manufacture the solid rod be detected before complete failure during flight. now obsolete. this also preventing excessive vibration. Two of the connections mostly used shown by Figs.

and the price paid for the saving is too great. as with this construction much better chances exist for the production of a reasonably strong wing structure without exposed wing bracing. .WIRES AND CONNECTIONS 115 mate strength of a wireless wing structure leaves considerable room for improvement. The arrival of the all-steel aeroplane would entirely alter the condition of things.

all of which are necessarily air-cooled. Rolls-Royce. and Clerget. air-cooled. accessibility to permit ease of . Le Rhone.A. of radial engines which have been extensively used are types confined to itwo. these being the air-cooled Anzani and the of latter class. Sunbeam. but mention of this while present conditions obtain is not permissible. There is another radial engine of comparatively recent production. the types in use on modern aircraft are the stationary air- and water-cooled. Green. Mercedes. all of which are water-cooled and .P. and Benz. the water-cooled Salmson. THE mounting of constitute one of the and the general arrangement most important and interesting sections aeroplane construction. Hispano-Suiza The water-cooled. ENGINE MOUNTINGS. Engines typical of the former class are the Beardmore. any mounting are absolute The essential features of erection and dismountrigidity. and the Renault and R.116 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION CHAPTER XIV. The greater which tionary type of engine. Essential Requirements of an Engine Mounting. and perhaps a brief outline of the of the engine various engines in use will suitably preface a consideration of the mountings of the different types. Rotary engines of note are the Gneme. and the air-cooled rotary. Although there are signs that certain revolutionary engines may eventually come into use. in variety occurs with the stamay be sub-divided into those which the cylinders are arranged vertically in line. the radial air- and water-cooled. and those where the cylinders viewed from the front form a V.

which means that the angle of thrust is not in its correct position relative to the centre of gravity and the incidence of the wings. the only bracing in a fore-and-aft direction is that provided by the flanged edges of the plate. and one finds examples of its use in a variety of ways. particularly well suited for the construction of the engine mounting. with a consequent detrimental effect on the flying qualities of the aeroplane. particularly those employed for the rotary type of engine. Further. Wood. Where the construction is such that the enginebearers form an integral part of the fuselage structure. This. on account is of its property of absorbing vibration. speedily develops.ENGINE MOUNTINGS ing . Materials. should be provided against in the general design of the . there is generally little fault to find. channelled out between the fastening- . this being extremely detrimental to the flying properties of the machine. for the slightest " tendency to slackness or play. although in this direction the type of engine used is a determining factor. but it is also a contingency which should be kept in mind during the actual construction of the various components is complete mounting. result after a time in the lowering of the bearers at the front. the construction both the engine mounting and the fore part of the fuselage should be of the necessary strength to ensure that the bearers supporting the engine are always correctly in alignment and of dead level. but with some sheet steel mountings." under the effect of engine vibration. resistance. of course. which does not always receive sufficient attention the provision of adequate bracing against the thrust of the A detail engine. until either serious stresses are induced in the fore part of the fuselage or the engine loses its correct alignment. With some methods of construction the weight of the engine and various landing shocks. the general arrangement must offer a minimum of head over. 117 Moreit should also be of a moderately low weight. Rigidity is a paramount considera- and tion. Perhaps the most common form is that in which a bearer of ash or spruce. which are usually much too narrow to be of real use.

in which engine between two plates. is supported between two or more itself is and those in which the motor of overhung. The method mounting adopted for the . but here again rigidity is difficult of attainment. A development of this method consists of mounting the bearers on either multi-ply formers of wood. and although every joint successfully survived a smash which resulted in a considerable bending and distortion of the fuselage. Sheet steel is used for the mountings of various machines. 117. plates. In one particular extent. the tubular bearers are supported from the steel tube fuselage by various tubes. or built-up wood brackets stiffened with a three-ply covering on each side. mountings of some modern machines. is attached to steel down brackets which in turn are bolted to the various fuselage members. the use of welding. that is to any Although .118 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION bolt holes for lightness. Rotary engine mounting. but it does not possess the characteristic of absorbing vibration. is instance. not advisable in the construction of the engine one finds this process very extensively used for the mounting. its use does not engender a sense of security or reliability. the whole structure being welded. In some instances one finds that the engine has been specifically in either steel or duralumin designed to be supported on bearers of the tubular variety. The mountings associated with fall under two categories : the rotary type of engine those where the motor is supported FIG. Rotary Engine Mountings. and both of these arrangements are being extensively used.

which has been used for a radial . the weight of the rotary engine used is excessive. of the In this case the back plate motor is bolted to the capping plate. while an extension of the hollow crank shaft is supported by a smaller rear plate. out of date. 117. which is Where now used. through which the propeller shaft runs. 118. Overhung rotary engine mounting. chiefly by reason of its extreme lightness. and the great facility afforded for indeed.p. are pressed or bent up from sheet steel. makes and 100 of small scouting biplanes engined with the h.ENGINE MOUNTINGS first 119 The plates case is generally the type shown by Fig. and all edges flanged The front plate embodies a ball race. with the addition an extra bearer for the support of the crank. The overhung type of engine mounting which is used for both propeller and tractor aeroplanes. a mounting incorporating three bearers is The arrangement would be similar to that indicated of by Fig. FIG. Gnome with 20 cylinders. Another form of overhung mounting. Gnome motors. it the operation of dismounting the engine would be difficult to find an arrangement in which . the demands of accessibility are so well satisfied. while to the rear This arrangeis bolted the back plate of the engine. Overhung Mounting. 118. to prevent buckling. 117.p.shaft extension. is shown by Fig.p. This system has been very widely used. ment with minor variations has been extensively used for the bearer different 80 h. as in the case of the 160 h.

to shown by Fig. 120. the crank case. 119.120 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION is Anzani motor. 119. An overhung mounting built up of steel tubes. or other parts of the machine. In this case the four of the fuselage are which the engine capped by a single flanged steel is attached by long bolts through FIG. Additional support is provided by light steel tube stays. A distinctly original type of overhung mounting is shown . longerons plate. Anzani type engine mounting. which are taken from various points on the front FRONT ELEVATION lVA77QH 0569/2 IMCHES FIG. of the crank case to the centre section of the upper plane.

air-cooled Renault. The steel tubes from the crank case embedded in a steel bearing. composed of two semi-circular clips. At each corner the three contubes are welded together. Stationary engine mounting. is not to be recommended.ENGINE MOUNTINGS 121 by Fig. is supported from the four corners of the fuselage by steel tubing. which are let into the upper longerons. this being used on a machine incorporating an all-steel fuselage. A is Stationary Engine Mounting. and bolted to small angle verging is plates. 121. be seen that the strength of this mounting is entirely dependent upon the welding but such reliance/ in view of the . It will which are also welded to the framework of the fuselage. the struts immediately under the engine bearers being reinforced with steel plates.p. fixing . mounting used for a 70 h. generally uncertain nature of this latter process. while the bearing for the crank-shaft extension is formed by a pyramid of tubes welded to a pressing of sheet steel. this A FIG. 121. The ring to which the back plate of the engine is bolted. is shown by Fig. 120 in front and side elevation. particular arrangement being used on a propeller biplane. The four ash longerons of the nacelle are built up in the form of a box girder. to which in turn bolted a ball-race housing. and are prevented from moving sideways by sweated to the tubes and abutting against the steel collars clips. which designed to be supported by short lengths of steel tube projecting from the crank case.

compared with the engine of the period 1912-1914. combined with its quality of absorbing vibration. With regard to the flying-boat type of machine. and which. a favourite practice is to mount the motor on the four struts supporting the centre section of the upper plane. the bearers being mounted on a structure of struts. Multi-Engine Mountings. renders it peculiarly suitable for the structure of the aeroplane. which is braced by struts and wires from different points on the hull or body. which also serve as inter-plane supports. or until the production of a remarkably light alloy possessing high strength values. by the way. With regard to the materials employed. Several versions of the type of machine employing two or more engines. the engine can be lifted bodily out. there is a very pronounced trend towards the greater use of wood.. which. one does not find any great difference in the structural features of the mounting employed. for mounting the same type there is of steel. As indicated in previous chapters. wood possesses remarkable powers of resistance to sudden shock. The usual arrangement with the twin-engined machine is to support the engines between the planes on either side of the body.and in view of the very diverse now of engine which need for greater uniformity. by the removal of the four fixing clips and the necessary pipe connections. will undoubtedly continue in use until either the available supplies of suitable timber are exhausted. . are existent. is regarded as being the type most suitable for the commercial purposes of the future. which circumstance is certainly at variance with the oft-portended approaching era arrangements exist.122 AEKOPLANE CONSTRUCTION In this case. and despite its numerous defects. Although the modern aircraft engine is of greatly increased power.

longerons. the of the various struts. plane struts of observed. Although tolerances are permissible with regard to the overall dimensions of the struts. say 1 millimetre short. are not restricted to the particular component of which it forms a part. fact that a in flight. In the production fittings of the fuselage. Similarly the ends of stfuts which are required to be square should be dead square. and general trueness in the production of the different For this reason the erection of the principal comis ponents surveyed as a necessary preliminary to a considera- tion of their assembly in the complete structure. of limits parts. etc. accuracy of erection is impossible without the close observance . ERECTION AND ALIGNMENT. and those . longerons and the wing spars.123 CHAPTER XV. and it is almost platitudinous to emphasize the machine incorrectly aligned gives inferior results entails greater attention on the part of the pilot. The bad effects of a strut.. spars. The degree of precision attained in the manufacture of the various components is reflected in the ease or otherwise with which the complete assembly is aligned indeed. compression and interthe planes. and may possibly seriously interfere with the general stability of the aeroplane. is a cogent factor in ensuring that the best performance is THE obtained. accurate erection and alignment or truing up of the aeroplane. the utmost accuracy must be lengths particularly of the fuselage struts should be absolutely correct to drawing. Accurate Part Production. but are noticeable in one way or another in the complete structure.

124 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION to a bevel should correspond with the correct which are cut angle. effect of an initially bent strut as this always resulted in its should be realized that the is a reduction of strength. Referring again to the necessity of the strut ends being of the correct angle. The becomes result of the slightest discrepancy in this respect speedily apparent when the defective struts are assembled. the grain of the timber being sometimes advanced as the reason. but in brace. which in position in the machine and under pressure of the bracing wires tend to gradually flatten down. The writer has frequently noticed fuselage struts considerably out of straight. The also advisable to trim the ends in a to surface of a sawn strut end is formed of a number of more or less ragged fibres. and the practice something approaching of sawing to dead length should not be permitted. Of equal importance is the drilling of the various bolt holes for the attachment of the fittings. it is in itself sufficient may prove reason for the rigid observance of length limits. it is surprising to note the effect of the smallest inaccuracy. Drilling of Bolt Holes. as the tension of the bracing wires will result in the strut becoming bowed or bent. is machines a procedure only justified when a small number of of a certain type are to be produced. and a source of danger. various holes from a drawing and then drilling with a hand to drill the holes in the spars are applied. and some form of jig should certainly be used for cutting the various struts to length. and ought by now to be obsolete. and where interchangeability is an important consideration it is The practice of setting out the positions of the imperative. It is not always advisable and longerons before the fittings numerous instances this is possible. this resulting in slack wires and loss of alignment. However. It is machine after being sawn the correct length. the removal of the defective strut It return to a straight condition. this being due to the bedding down of the strut end in the socket or clip. Under such a system no two spars would . preferably of metal. Absolute accuracy and uniformity of part production can only be obtained by the use of jigs.

or bent. the drill or bit always tends to angle. while plishing this are in use. Where this is done. detecting such a fault after the fitting is bolted on. use entails considerable drilling. and different methods of accomUndoubtedly the best form of lock is by the use of a castellated nut and split pin. It will thus be realized that the uniformity and accuracy of component production is only attainable by the utmost precision in the manufacture of both wood and metal parts. which means that the hole becomes larger than necessary and not infrequently oval An additional bad point is the impossibility of in shape. absolute true. to prevent their gradual loosening under the vibration of the engine. Locking of Bolts. Throughout the complete machine it is necessary to lock the nuts of the bolts. usually the result of jigs of either incorrect or bad design. By this method one can readily ascertain whether or no a bolt is locked. In the attachment of the fittings to a properly jig-drilled spar. as owing to the influence of grain in the " " run from the correct wood. In the fore- accuracy in the various fittings has been assumed. Such jigs should not only locate deficient. it should not be necessary to again drill through. but unfortunately in practice almost the reverse is going. there is a distinct possi- bility of the brace not being held true. the use of this fitting on a previously drilled wood part is only possible by the bad practice of drilling through with the results explained above. Viewed from the aspect is of quantity production is such a only by the use of metal very practice of suitable design that anything approaching drilling jigs absolute accuracy is possible. and is Variation generally occurs in built. and it may not be realized until a noticeably slack wire in the complete machine indicates the movement of the fitting. so disadvantage that a modification consists of fitting castellated nuts to all is of the split pin the bolt its that . Where the variation includes a hole out of position. by the withdrawal A may be taken out. but should also form a guide for the drill. although this often occurs. It the hole.ERECTION AND ALIGNMENT 125 be exactly the same.up fittings.

The practice of re-running down the threads of bolts to ensure ease in the Other systems include the use of two nuts. The planes or sections of type. the latter being considered under the fuselage heading. the to general result. and (2) the alignment of the attachments on the fuselage. a little and then riveted over. an extremely slack nut. which in this country are not greatly in vogue. when erected on the fuselage. it should be remembered that the absence of a disaster. form a This feature is dependent upon straight line from tip to tip. of a single nut soldered to the bolt end. application of the nut indiscriminately done. it the removal of a bolt is easily and the fact that has been used in the construction of some fast scouting biplanes is proof of its effectiveness. and it is also difficult to determine the adequacy of the riveting. is neat. Another method consists of filing the bolt end flush with the nut. Unless the die there is a possibility of too much properly adjusted thread being taken off. Moreover. this can easily be rectified by a . Although this reduces labour. while elsewhere longer than the the threaded portion of the bolt nut. and then centre punching three or four dots in the joint between nut and bolt. these being taken from accurate set positions such as are provided by the wing-root attachments and the interplane strut fittings. (1) the trueness of the planes. This method effected. Should a difference in the diagonals exist. should. is not to be recommended is that is. To ensure that the plane is quite square. it measurements on the wing should be checked previous to covering by diagonal spars. being detrimental The durability of an aeroplane in reliability. service is dependent upon the good workmanship effected in the smallest and most insignificant detail. as distinct a machine of the straight-wing from a machine possessing arrow-shaped or retreating wings. and the various patent lock-washers. split pin may eventually result in Truing of Main Planes. it is a somewhat destructive method.126 bolts liable to AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION removal for minor adjustments is left .

which can only be obviated by re-covering.ERECTION AND ALIGNMENT slight 127 in adjustment of the turnbuckles incorporated the internal plane wiring. in flight. elevators and rudder. The process of erection adopted in many instances is to bench upon which the correct disposition of the various parts have previously been set out. be stretched unevenly or too tightly. accuracy of alignment in this component is essential. 34 in Chapter IV. and the degree of accuracy obtained in the complete erection depends In largely on the correctness or otherwise of the fuselage. as the nose formers are generally inserted during the assembling of the plane. is Fabric Covering of Planes. the application covering of the dope will cause distortion of the framework. different individual designs the methods employed for the construction of the body will be found to vary considerably. The wires are adjusted until the sides conform to the setting out. The evenness and correct tautness of the fabric covering Should the contributes largely to the trueness of the plane. plished by marking the centre of each cross-strut. as such surfaces not only offer increased resistance. upon a table or . and checked for correct contour by pattern. which. being of very slender construction. preferably . little A point where differvariation should occur in the camber. As the ribs of the plane are built up beforehand. by Fig. which are then packed up on a pair of trestles and the cross-struts attached. It now remains to align the body and this is accomso that it is perfectly symmetrical in plan assemble the sides first. Fuselage Erection. ences may occur is between the front spar and the leading edge. The bad effects of this is more noticeable with regard to the ailerons. are more liable to Twisted or warped control surfaces should never be used. As the fuselage constitutes the nucleus of the aeroplane. For the detection of faults in this direction the template illustrated of great utility. but also interfere with the balance of the machine deformation.

and the top. Where the top rails of the fuselage are not parallel to struts connecting the the line of down towards the tail. in an inverted position. checked with a fine steel wire stretched from end to end. are in agreement with points marked on the bench and squared or lined up. while these lines. should be in exact agreement with it. tightened and adjusted so that each diagonal is of the same length. rails of it is -usual to true the body are horizontal. is composed of boards placed wherever a The bench should be rigidly fixed to a plan-strut occurs. the top planed until it is level both longitudinally and transversely. are then tensioned until each diagonal coincides absolutely in length. and this will ensure the centre lines on the cross- bottom rails being plumb or vertical over the centre lines of the cross-struts connecting the top rails. of .spar attachments. can predetermine be subsequently made. on intervals. and a centre line marked on each board. and the top elevation. and of the wire-braced fabric -covered type but where the forward portion is covered with ply-wood. the whole being well braced. but slope lage to the wing-spar attachments. The side wires are then tensioned until the stern post is such as wing. viewed in side up on a bench. or until various fixed points. it would be necessary. and also until the longerons The sectional wires are then are touching every board. if the bench method is used. is placed on it All wires should be then slacked off. vertical. This procedure answers very well for a small fuselage simple construction. which the angle of incidence of the main planes. having been previously assembled. with the wires inserted and the plan struts accurately centred. to construct it so that With the wire-braced fusetfre boards conform to the slope. should be wired until the centre on each strut coincides with the centres on the bench. which the body lays. and then adjusting the planwires until a cord stretched from the stern-post to the nose The cross or sectional bracing-wires covers each centre line. This consists of a wooden structure built up of strong sides. concrete floor. A type of fuselage which precludes minor adjustments . which is now underneath.128 AEKOPLANE CONSTRUCTION before insertion in the fuselage. The fuselage. with legs at short The top surface. flight.

the engine-bearers would be level both longitudinally and transversely. The body should then be up longitudinally by a straightedge placed on two short straightedges of exactly similar widths. Other tests should include the placing of a straightat the points edge at the nose.ERECTION AND ALIGNMENT this operation. should. or the fittings to which this construction points With ments are the wing roots are anchored. and illustrated by Fig. It should then be packed up on the trestles until the top longerons are dead At this point. and the effect of variation here which is attached the fixed tail tail here will result in the . Where a joint occurs in the fuselage it is usual to build the tail separate from the front portion." that post to is " out of sighted across the top edges. and another placed where struts occur. such as the wing spar attachand cannot be altered after the fuselage is fixed. the incidence of the main spar attachments should be correct and the stern post perfectly vertical in all directions. ment. built. Checking of Fuselage. Any inaccuracy being twisted in relation to the main planes. 66. so that meticulous care must be taken in the setting of the short wing spars across the body. when fully levelled is that portion of the fuselage towards the stern plane. Each fitting or attachment should also be equidistant from the stern post. wind. all wiring in a vertical dimension being eliminated. although separately built. To check the fuselage for alignment it should be placed on a pair of trestles. be A point which should be carein agreement. is is and which demands extreme accuracy in conthat in which the bracing of the forward portion effected by three-ply. one being placed at the front and the other towards the tail. This does not give such good results as when the two portions. if the body is in correct alignlevel across. and occasionally the two sections are trued up independently. this system being described in Chapter VIII. one underneath the forward undercarriage strut fixing and the other under a vertical strut a short distance from 'the levelled stern post. are joined together and trued up complete. 129 struction.

the latter instrument being most accurate. Another method is adjusted until the straightedge Fig. 122. is level. the fuselage. Alignment ment in of a< of Complete Machine. but it would be difficult . check the dihedral a line can be stretched between points immediately above the top interplane struts on each side and then measuring to the centre section. the board.130 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION by the tail plane being out of square with the centre line of the fuselage. should be centrally placed over A the body. outer sections to the correct dihedral. is shown by to use an ordinary straightedge placed along the top surface of the plane. it In this connection type of will machine in be better to consider the aligncommon use a tractor-biplane : which the upper plane is composed of two outer planes and a centre section. 122. This. coincide.down bolts to jig before the bearer is built in the structure. considered in front elevation. This can be checked by dropping a plumb-line from the centre plane spar ends and measuring the distance from the line to the side of the body. Where the type of machine is such that the engine is supported on bearers of wood. which is mounted upon four struts which have been previously cut to dead length and tested by jig. and the lower plane in two sections. the distances on either side The next point is to brace the should. each abutting against the side tion of. In this case care should be taken to ensure that the corresponding bolt holes in each bearer are square with the centre line. The first operais the levelling of the fuselage transversely by placing the level across the engine bearers. plishing this. this arrangement being shown in front elevation by Fig. it is usual to drill the holes for the will be evidenced accommodation of the holding. Any deviation will result in the axis of the engine forming an angle with the centre line. of course. The wires are then other being tapered to the desired angle. and this is assured by adjustments in the wires Al. the angle being measured with a protractor or To clinometer. as One method of accom- by the use of a dihedral this being prepared perfectly straight on one edge. and the attachment of the centre section.

the distances 131 each wing. 124. of main-plane incidence and stagger. for checking incidence. assuming the engine is not in place. Considering the side elevation. When the bearers are level. alignment here is concerned with the incidence of the main planes. the level of the engine bearers in relation to the top longerons of the fuselage. 122. Showing use Checking Template of dihedral board and spirit-level. lines With regard dropped from between the fuselage sides and the wheel centres should coincide. Alignment of Machine in Side Elevation.EEECTION AND ALIGNMENT to detect differences in the angles of to the undercarriage. Fig. FIG. FIG. The fuselage should be levelled longitudinally by placing the level on the engine bearers. 123. 123. and FIG. the top longeron should . the distance forward of the top plane from the lower plane or stagger.

as in Fig.132 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION any case the incidence of the plane should be adjusted in relation to the engine bearers. To check only the stagger. In the plan view. a plumb line should be dropped from the leadingedge of the centre plane. the distances AB and AC must be equal. This is made of to the tops of the spars being obtained dry wood. Fig. until the required distance forward from the leading edge of the lower plane is obtained. and its incidence. Plan Alignment of Machine. and another device sometimes used is shown by Fig. 123. The incidence can be tested by a straightedge placed under the plane and a clinometer. . Showing points to check for correct alignment on plan. 125. the lengths of the legs from a drawing of the wing section. in made with the incidence wires from the fuselage to the centre -plane struts. the same applying to CD and BD. and adjustments also be level. With modern FIG. 125. 124.

anchorage. or to the rear wing spar as in Fig. to which the lower plane is attached. as it is inaccuracy at some point in the latter component to which the trouble may be ascribed. The primary consideration with regard to the rudder and fin is that. 125. so that discrepancies in these measurements must be rectified by alterations in the wiring of the fuselage. 126 is shown a plan the construction of the fuselage. possibly only an insig- wing spars nificant amount. The lengths of the fuselage wing spars are Assuming that the rear spar is the correct length. being out of centre. view in which the main plane is very obviously out of square with the centre line of the body. 126. also possible causes of trouble. The cause in of this trouble can be traced to the short the fuselage.ERECTION AND ALIGNMENT 133 machines external drift wiring is obsolete. K2 . to which the lower plane is anchored. but it has been exaggerated in the L \ FIG. should be equal. the amount is not likely to occur in actual practice. drawing. and the front spar is over the length. to the strut sockets on the planes. in the latter sloping backwards. With regard to the tail plane. viewed from the rear. they should be perpendicular. this would result. It is at this point that one realizes the need for precision in In Fig. when the outer sections were attached. which again emphasizes the need for accurate part production. measurements taken from the extremities of the back spar to some fixed point forward on the fuselage. or in other cases to the fittings.

as in the spars. The correct tensioning of wires is a matter upon which some variation of opinion occurs. is the frequent cause of bent or deformed struts. to neutralize propeller torque. and in this case the given in the general drawings must be adhered measurements to. In plan view the fixed fin should correspond with the centre line of the fuselage although there are excep- tions to this rule. . The more extended use of a tautness meter for the inter-plane wiring would result in greater uniformity and the more equal distribution of stresses. wires. The wires in one bay being of greater tension than those in an adjacent bay.134 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION which can be verified by a plumb-line dropped from the top of the rudder-post. this results and struts. Although wires should not be left slack. In this connection the importance of even or uniform tension in the stressed before wires may be emphasized. notably where the fin is set over. Tension of Wires. being initially any load due to flight is applied. conversely they should not be over-tensioned.

98 Drift bracing. rotary. 13 Ash. Engine mountings. 116 12 Brazing and welding. 62 Birch. tionary. 47 . weight of. 10 Ash. 103 Control. Engine rials. 101 Control by inherent stability. balancing Aluminium. 12 Birch. 65 Drilling of bolt-holes. 52 Bridge-type undercarriage suspension. attachment of." 106 123 Fabric. 98 . 121 sta- Engine Control systems. 102 55 Cypress. Erection and alignment. 16 Anchorage of wires bolts. 119 mountings. 101 Control. the " " Wright 107 Control surfaces. wheel type. 124 Duralumin. weight of. mounting 117 mate- 102 vertical Control. Engine mountings. 118 Engine mountings. overhung.135 INDEX Aileron and warp control. 104 " Control. column. the Dep. 17 Biplane trussing. 10 Axle fairings. to eye- of.

truing of. 67 Fuselage covering. 95 Oregon pine. Fineness ratio. 41 Mahogany. anchorage of. spars. 13 Leading and 43 trailing edges. 26 Fuselage construction. ber. 67 defects in arrangement. 62 Metal construction. of. 71 Fuselage contours.136 AEEOPLANE CONSTEUCTION Mahogany. 40 Fabric. 75 Fuselage erection. 49 Fabric. shaping of. weight 12 of. of. 11 Fabric. 60 connec- Interplane tions. Cuban. False ribs. . 62 Locking of bolts. 69 of. 8 26 strut Monoplane bracing. 108 Longerons. 4 Glue. tapering of. sagging of. wing Metal 45 wing construction. 12 Parang. 28 Fuselage types. 51 Monocoque fuselage con- struction. 127 Fuselage fittings. Longeron. 11 general. 33 Methods of manufacture. 48 Honduras. jointing Longeron. Lift wires. Hickory. 6 77 Maurice Farm an strut Fuselage struts. tension of. 125 Oleo-pneumatic gear. shaping 70 69 Piano 109 wire connections. Main spars. Honduras. 11 Mahogany. Main 126 planes. 72 Multi-ply wood. weight of. 68 Longeron sections. general. 32 Materials. friction blocks. 13 Piano wire bracing. 3 Moisture content of timInterplane struts.

" Ribs. 14 Undercarriage brakes. attach- Poplar. wire. 93 Undercarriage. 2 Steel. arrangement 33 Streamline wires. Suspension springs. 19 struction. 43 Spruce fir. 89 . rubber.INDEX Plane construction. general. 36 Shakes. " Wright. 14 Shrinkage. 137 Stranded. Suspension springs." 53 Ribs. 84 Stranded cable. defects 1 1 Spar sections. 7 Silver spruce. 30 Plane construction. 71 Thunder shakes. conof design. 113 Strut sections. 19 Spars and struts. types in use.cable connections. Timber. 58 Ribs under compression. 34 Strut-socket fairings. 99 Undercarriage details. Three-ply fuselage con- 20-22 Spar. design Strut materials. details of. 40 Strut socket. tip. 93 Undercarriage types. 109 Undercarriage skids. 12 ments. Planes. 25 of. 111 Streamline wires." 53 Cody. laminated. 8 Spar construction. efficiency 43 Strut socket. 97 8 Tabulated tests. spacing of. hollow. weight of. unrelia- Single-strut truss. 63 bility of. Twisted grain. Pratt truss. 95 steel. 59 26 Raked wing of. 18 9 in. 23 Strut sections. 14 Trailing edge. 86 principles Standardization of details. 8 Silver spruce. 113 40 of. 15 Steel tube. 16 Steel - tube fuselage struction.

11 White deal. of. 44 109 i fittings. of. LONDON AND BECCLES. 6 variable qualities 6 PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS. . 59 Wireless wing structures.138 AEROPLANE CONSTRUCTION i Walnut. tension 134 a suit- Wood. Wing-tip construction. relative strengths to spars. Wing Wing baffles. 9 Wires and connections. LIMITED. results of tests on. Wood. 51 112 of. attachment Wires. 108 Wires. 38 Wing-trussing systems. choice of able. 39 Wing-tip details. 61 Wires.

Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. 7 STATIONERS' HALL COURT. It is claimed. the outstanding features of nevertheless. Over 100 pages. that it needs considerable experience to be able definitely to classify detail modifications of a particular type of aircraft. Besides. WESTMINSTER. There are. moreover. the hubs. CLARKSON EXTRACT FROM PREFACE JUST as one make of motor car can be by noting some characteristic detail. physical difficulties to contend with. effects of winds. Member Q. LUDGATE HILL. Whitworth Exhibitioner. Associate BORLASE MATTHEWS AND of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 5 E." etc. so can the and airships be readily differentiated distinguished from another such as the radiator. . Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. It must be admitted. position of the sun..G. in the LONDON CROSBY LOCKWOOD AND SON. 6d. 8vo. that this book will enable the reader to identify any aircraft. Paper wrapper. S.Just Published. 1 AND BROADWAY. provided it can be seen for sufficient time to observe its main features.Book. for the difference is often very slight. etc. net. the machines are frequently only visible at a great distance. form of clouds. Price 3s. 4. With numerous Diagrams. hour). Author of the "Aviation Pocket. trade mark. etc. T. and for but short periods (their speed being so high -60 to 150 miles per main types of aeroplanes by the recognition of the each machine. Fcap The A CONCISE Aircraft Identification Book GUIDE TO THE RECOGNITION OF DIFFERENT TYPES AND MAKES OF ALL KINDS OF AEROPLANES AND AIRSHIPS BY R. however.W.

AVIATION ENGINES.E. WIDMEK..S. 6^.s. Engineer. Squadron Engineering Officers.. Fully 1918 Edition. A large Wall Chart. By EMIL trations. French-English. net. net. Cr.C. with special reference to simplified explanations of the Theory of Flight. New Assisted by Specialists. Price 5s. PAGE and PAUL MONTAKIOL. . and all interested in Aviation. with over 240 illustrations.G. PAGE.M. 7 STATIONERS' HALL COURT. Crown 8vo.LIST OF BOOKS ON AVIATION. and the Action of Balloons and AirBasic Principles underlying planes of all types.Inst. etc. Demy 8vo. Airplane Mechanics. net. PAG. BOELASE MATTHEWS. By E. of the U. with and illustrations. Operation. F. 8vo. net. for the Student. with very numerous Price 12s.. THE A A. net. Medium 8vo. Air Service. A. showing a all Plant in Part Section with ing to pocket size. THE AVIATION POCKET BOOK. Eules and Tables relating to Aeronautics. OF AVIATION. Price 6. net. with 3 plates and 38 16s. Wh. revised and enlarged. 580 pages. illustrated. J. English-French. A Book Their Design. 16s. Aerodynamics. 4. plates Lieut. Formulae. of the U.. Edition. 274 pages. AVIATION CHART. A Compendium of Modern Practice and a collection of useful Notes.S. Fold- Price 2s. 100 pages. illus- CROSBY LOCKWOOD AND SON. illustrations and 4 folding plates. Giving practical instruction on repair and maintenance. Fcap 8vo. 150 pages. By Captain VICTOE W.C. and every one interested in Construction and Up-keep of Airplanes.Ae. Air Service. OBSERVATION BALLOONS.I.S. By Captain VICTOR W. and Eepair.E. By Captain VICTOR W. E.E.B. Construction.B. 6d. Complete Practical Treatise outlining clearly the elements of Aeronautical Engineering. Ex. This Work contains valuable instructions for all Aviation Students. GLOSSARY OF AVIATION TERMS. typical Aeroplane Power important components. M.

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