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Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics

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Published by: kyoobum on Jun 18, 2012
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07/31/2013

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Figure 33 shows a CL vs. graph for two wings. Both wings have high aspect ratio but
one has no sweep (commonly called a straight wing) the other has a substantial sweep
angle, like a modern jet transport. The reason for the difference will become clear later
when we discuss induced drag. For now you should notice two things:

1. CLmax is slightly lower for a swept wing than a straight wing.

2. Stall angle of attack is significantly greater for a swept wing. Consequently a
swept-wing aeroplane can fly at angles of attack not possible for straight-wing
aeroplanes.

If you have ever gone to the airport to watch aeroplanes landing you can now explain
several observations you may have made:

Most large jets have swept wings and leading edge slats. Consequently they can
and do fly at very large angles of attack when approaching to land. We see this as
a nose up attitude on approach.

Most turbo-props (e.g. Dash-8) have straight wings and do not have leading edge
slats. These aeroplanes do however have large flaps that substantially reduce the
stalling angle of attack. These aeroplanes approach for landing at much smaller
angle of attack, which means they fly much more nose down on approach than jet
transports.

Aerodynamics for Professional Pilots

Page 48

Many business jets and regional jets have swept wings and flaps but no leading
edge slats. These aeroplanes approach at attitudes between the above two
examples.

Hopefully the preceding has provided some insight into how aerodynamics relates to
what we do as pilots.

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