You are on page 1of 11

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 1.

The First Aeronautical Engineers

Lecture 1

It is Kill Devil Hills, 4 miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, about 10:35 AM on Thursday, December 17, 1903. Orville and Wilbur Wright are ready to make history. Near the end of the starting rail, the machine lifts into the air. It is the most historic moment in aviation history. Above is a summary of the moment in which the Wright brothers accomplished what many had failed before: to fly a heavier-than-air machine. It was the first genuine powered flight of this kind. After this moment, the world of aviation took a whole new direction, since many scientific and technical aspects of aviation were applied and controlled. However, contrary to the common belief, the Wright brothers did not truly invent the airplane; rather, they represent the milestone of a century of prior aeronautical research and development. 1.1 Very Early Developments The desire to fly has always been an objective for man since history has a record. We can witness the early Greek myth of Daedalus and his son Icarus. Imprisoned in the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea, Daedalus is said to have made wings fastened with wax. Using these wings they both flew and escaped from prison. However, Icarus, against his fathers warnings, flew to close to the sun; the wax melted and Icarus fell to his death in the sea. There were also many ancient and medieval people who tried to fly by attaching wings into their own arms, jumping from towers or roofs and flapping their arm-wings without success and sometimes with fatal consequences. The idea of flying took a slightly different path when people started to build wings that flapped up and down by various mechanical mechanisms, powered by some type of human arm, leg, or body movement. These machines are called ornithopters. Among these people is Leonardo da Vinci, who designed many ornithopters and wrote about 500 sketches that dealt with flight. However, human-powered flight by flapping wings was always doomed to failure, and Da Vinci did not make important contributions to the technical advancement of flight. Human efforts to fly literally got off the ground on November 21, 1783, when a balloon designed and built by the Montgolfiers in France, carrying Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis dArlandes, ascended into the air and drifted 5 miles across Paris. The balloon was inflated by hot air from an open fire burning in a large wicker basket underneath. This flight, which became the first one with human passengers rose into the air and lasted for 25 minutes. However, balloons made no real technical contributions to human heavier-than-air flight. They were the only means of human flight for almost 100 years.

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 1.2 Cayley The True Inventor of the Airplane

Lecture 1

The modern airplane has its origin in a design created by George Cayley in 1799. This design included a fixed wing for generating lift, another separate mechanism for propulsion (paddles), and a combined horizontal and vertical tail for stability. Cayley engraved his design in a silver disc, and on the other side he drew a diagram of the lift and drag forces on an inclined plane (the wing). On the past, people had been thinking that mechanical flight had to do with flapping the wings of ornithopters, in which the flapping motion would provide both lift and propulsion. However, Cayley is responsible for breaking with this line of thought; he separated the concepts of lift from propulsion and started a new era of aeronautical development that culminated with the Wright brothers success in 1903. George Cayley is considered the father of modern aviation and the first true aeronautical engineer. After experimenting with model helicopters, Cayley engraved his revolutionary concept of the fixed-wing concept. This was followed by an intense 10-year period of aerodynamic investigation and development. He built a whirling arm apparatus for testing airfoils; this was simply a lifting surface (airfoil) mounted on the end of a long rod, which was rotated at some speed to generate a flow of air over the airfoil. In Cayleys time, the whirling arm was an important development, which allowed the measurement of aerodynamic forces and the center of pressure of a lifting surface. However, these measurements were not very accurate, because after a number of revolutions of the arm, the surrounding air would begin to rotate with the device. In 1804, Cayley designed, built, and flew a small model glider. This model glider represents the first modern-configuration airplane of history, with a fixed wing, and a horizontal and vertical tail that could be adjusted. Cayleys first outpouring of aeronautical results was documented in his triple paper of 1809-1810 called On Aerial Navigation, which was published in the November 1809, February 1810, and March 1810 issues of Nicholsons Journal of Natural Philosophy. This document is one of the most important aeronautical works in history. Cayley documented many aspects of aerodynamics in his triple paper. It was the first published document on theoretical and applied aerodynamics in history. In it, Cayley elaborates on his principle of separation of lift and propulsion and his use of a fixed-wing to generate lift. He states that the basic aspect of a flying machine is to make a surface support a given weight by the application of power to the resistance of air He notes that a surface inclined at some angle to the direction of motion will generate lift and that a cambered surface will do this more efficiently than a flat surface. He also states that lift is generated by a region of low pressure on the upper surface of the wing. His triple paper also discussed flight control and the role of horizontal and vertical tail planes in airplane stability. In 1849, he built and tested a full-sized airplane called the boy carrier, which was a human-carrying glider that lifted several meters off the ground when gliding down a hill. In 1852, in the Mechanics
Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas

Lecture 1

Magazine, Cayley published the design of a large human-carrying glider which incorporated: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. A main wing at an angle of incidence for lift, with a dihedral for lateral stability. An adjustable cruciform tail for longitudinal and directional stability. A pilot-operated elevator and rudder. A fuselage in the form of a car, with a pilots seat and a three-wheel undercarriage. A tabular beam and box beam construction.

These combined features were not seen until the Wright brothers designs in the 20th century. George Cayley died in 1857. During his almost 84 years of life, he laid the basis for all practical aviation. Unfortunately, the name of George Cayley retreated to the background after his death. Many subsequent inventors did not make the effort to examine the literature before forging ahead on their own ideas (This is a problem for engineers today). The French aviation historian wrote: The aeroplane is a British invention: it was conceivedby George Cayleythe greatest genus of aviationhe realized that the problem of aviation had to be divided between theoretical researchand practical tests

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 1.3 Lilienthal The Glider

Lecture 1

In 1891 was the year in which a human literally jumped into the air and flew with wings in any type of controlled fashion. This person was Otto Lilienthal. He designed and flew the first successful controlled gliders in history. Being a mechanical engineer, Lilienthal went on to work on designing machinery in his own factory. From early childhood he was interested in flight and performed some youthful experiments on ornithopters of his own design. Toward the late 1880s he became interested in fixed-wing gliders. In 1889, Lilienthal published the book Der Vogelflug als Grundlage der Fliegekunst (Bird Flight as the Basis of Aviation). This is a classic in aeronautical engineering because he studied the structure and types of birds wings and he applied the resulting aerodynamic information to the design of mechanical flight. In 1889 Lilienthal came to the philosophical conclusion that to learn practical aerodynamics, he had to get up in the air and experience it himself. He wrote One can get a proper insight into the practice of flying only by actual flying experiments Lilienthal used cambered airfoil shapes on the wing and incorporated vertical and horizontal tail planes in the back for stability. Lilienthal made over 2500 successful glider flights. The aerodynamic data he obtained were published in papers circulated around the world. Such widespread dissemination of his results inspired other pioneers in aviation, including the Wright brothers. Lilienthal died after a temporary gust of wind brought Lilienthal monoplane glider to a standstill; he stalled and crashed to the ground.

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 1.4 The Wright Brothers Inventors of the First Practical Airplane

Lecture 1

The Wright brothers drew on an existing heritage that is part of every aerospace engineer today. The Wright brothers had mechanical talents and set up a shop in which they started fixing bicycles, and then designing and constructing their own. Wilbur and Orville had been following Lilienthals progress intently since Lilienthals gliders were shown in flight by photographs distributed around the world. His progress and articles quickly made Wilbur Wright to be interested in human flight. Like several flight thinkers before him, Wilbur approached mechanical flight by the study of bird flight. He concluded that birds regain their lateral balance when partly overturned by a gust of wind, by a torsion of the tips of the wings. With this, it emerged one of the most important developments in aviation history: the use of wind twist to control airplanes in lateral (rolling) motion. Ailerons are used on modern airplanes for this purpose. This lateral motion was called wing warping. Wilbur wrote to the Smithsonian Institution in 1899 to request books and materials in aeronautics since he wanted to test his concept of wing warping. He received a vast set of materials written by earlier pioneers of aviation. Both Wilbur and Orville digested all the aeronautical literature, which led to the design of a biplane kite. This machine was designed to test the concept of wing warping, which was accomplished by means of four controlling strings from the ground. The concept worked! The Wright brothers thought that by flying they could actually get a better feel of the air and what needed to be done in order to design their airplanes more efficiently, with the goal of building a heavier-than-air machine that could actually fly and be controlled. They found an ideal spot in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where there were strong and constant winds. They designed and built two gliders which were used to test the wing warping concept. However, they started to doubt the science behind the literature they received from the Smithsonian, and decided to embark in their own aeronautical research program. They built a wind tunnel and tested over 200 different airfoil shapes. They designed a force balance to measure accurately lift and drag. This period of aeronautical research and development led the Wrights to design their glider No. 3, which was flown in 1902. It was so successful that Orville wrote that our tables of air pressure which we made in our wind tunnel would enable us to calculate in advance the performance of a machine. The glider No. 3 was designed with a vertical rudder behind the wings. This rudder was movable, and when connected to move in unison with the wing warping, it enabled the glider to make a smooth, banked turn. This combined use of rudder with wing warping (ailerons) was another major contribution of the Wright brothers to flight control and aeronautics. Using this glider the Wright brothers made over 1000 perfect flights and became highly skilled pilots. Powered flight was the next step, and they were very close to achieve it. However,
Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas

Lecture 1

they faced the problem of propulsion. There was no commercial engine available for this purpose, so they designed their own engine and propeller. With all the major obstacles behind them, they designed and built their Wright Flyer 1 during the summer of 1903. It was similar to the glider No. 3, but included a double rudder behind the wings and a double elevator in front of the wings. And there was the gasolinefueled engine, driving two pusher propellers by means of bicycle-type chains. The Wrights transported the Wright Flier 1 to Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright was ready at the controls. A camera was adjusted to take a picture of the machine as it reached the end of the rail. The engine was put on full throttle, the holding rope was released, and the machine began to move. The rest is history. On this date, the world of successful aeronautical engineering was born. By their persistent efforts, their detailed research, and their superb engineering, the Wrights had made the worlds first successful heavier-than-air flight, satisfying all the necessary criteria laid down by aviation historians.

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 2. Fundamental Physical Quantities of a Flowing Gas

Lecture 1

The flow of air over the surface of an airplane is the basic source of the lifting force that allows a heavier-than-air machine to fly. The shape of an airplane is designed to encourage the airflow over the surface to produce a lifting force in the most efficient manner possible. The science that deals with the flow of air is aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is applied in aircraft design, the design of rocket and jet engines, propellers, vehicles entering planetary atmospheres from space, wind tunnels, and rocket and projectile configurations. Four fundamental quantities in aerodynamics are pressure, density, temperature, and velocity. 2.1 Pressure When you are inside a car in motion, if you take out your hand you can feel the air that strikes your palm. What is happening is that air molecules are transferring some of their momentum to the surface of your hand. Pressure is the normal force per unit area exerted on a surface due to the time rate of change of momentum of the gas molecules impacting on that surface. Pressure is defined at a point in the gas or a point on a surface and can vary from one point to another. Let dA = an incremental area around B dF = force on one side of dA due to pressure ( )

The pressure P is the limiting form of the force per unit area where the area of interest has shrunk to zero around the point B.

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 2.2 Density The density of a substance (including a gas) is the mass per unit volume. Density () is a point property and can be defined as follows. Let dv = an elemental volume around B dm = the mass of gas inside dv ( )

Lecture 1

2.3 Temperature Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in the gas. If KE is the mean molecular kinetic energy, then temperature if given by KE = 3/2 kT, where k is the Boltzmann constant. We can visualize a high temperature gas as one in which the particles are moving randomly at high speeds, and a low-temperature gas as one in which the motion of its particles is relatively low. 2.4 Flow Velocity and Streamlines Velocity is a vector quantity and has direction and speed. For a flowing gas we can note that each region of the gas does not necessarily have the same velocity. Therefore, velocity, like pressure, density, and temperature, is a point property.

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas

Lecture 1

We can imagine an infinitesimally small particle of flow and tracing its path as it moves with time. This traced path is called s streamline of the flow. 2.5 The Source of All Aerodynamic Forces The previously defined aerodynamic flow quantities will help to define a flow field. Knowledge of P, , T, and V at each point of a flow fully defines the flow field.

How can these four quantities that define a flow field can help in the design of a new airplane or the shape of a rocket engine? This is defined as follows. The most practical consequence of the flow of air on an object such as an airplane is that it exerts an aerodynamic force composed of two sources: 1. Pressure distribution on the surface 2. Shear stress (friction) on the surface

The force exerted by pressure on the surface acts normal to the surface, and the force exerted by the shear stress acts tangentially to the surface and is due to the frictional effect of the flow rubbing against the surface as it moves around the body. A primary function of aerodynamics is to predict and measure the aerodynamic forces on a body, which includes prediction and measurement of P and w (w means wing).

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 2.6 Equation of State for a Perfect Gas

Lecture 1

In the regular flight of subsonic and supersonic airplanes the air in the atmosphere behaves very much like a perfect gas. Looking closely at the molecular level, a gas is a collection of particles in random motion, where each particle is separated a long distance away from its neighboring particles. Each molecule has an intermolecular force field, which comes from the complex interactions of the electromagnetic properties of the electrons and nucleus. The intermolecular force field of a particle extends a long distance and changes from a strong repulsive force at close range to a weak attractive force at long range. If the molecules are close (high densities), their motion can be greatly affected by the intermolecular force field. If they are separated a long distance, the neighboring particles only feel the tail of the weak attractive force. Therefore, A perfect gas is one in which intermolecular forces are negligible. The particles of air in a room are separated an average of 10 molecular diameters from any other. The same applies to the air around ordinary subsonic and supersonic vehicles. The equation of state is P = *R*T

Where R is the specific gas constant and its value varies from one type of gas to another. For normal air it is R = 287 J/kg*K To measure the deviation of an actual gas in nature from perfect gas behavior the modified Berthelot equation of state is used:

Where a and b are constants of the gas. Therefore, the deviation from a perfect gas behavior becomes smaller when pressure decreases and temperature increases. If pressure is high, the intermolecular forces become important and the gas behaves less like a perfect gas. However, if the temperature increases, the molecules move faster and their distance from each other is larger, which make the gas behave more like a perfect gas. Furthermore, if air is heated to above 2500K, oxygen begins to dissociate into oxygen atoms; if it is heated to above 4000K, nitrogen begins to dissociate and air becomes a chemically reacting gas, where its chemical composition becomes a function of pressure and temperature. In such a case, the specific gas constant R becomes a variable, R = R(P, T). The equation of state is still valid, but it is no longer a constant. This behavior occurs in very high speed flight such as atmospheric reentry.
10

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez

History of Aeronautics and Fundamental Ideas 2.7 Units

Lecture 1

For units it will be used both the SI system and the English system. However, the majority of the problems in homework and exams will be in SI units. Unit P T R (for air) SI System N/m2 kg/m3 K 287 J/kg*K English System lb/ft2 slugs/ft3 R 1716 ft*lb/slug R 1 atm = 2116 lb/ft2

2.8 Specific Volume Specific volume is the inverse of density. It is volume per unit mass. By definition, v = 1/ From the equation of state, P = *R*T = (1/v)*R*T Units for specific volume are m3/kg and ft3/slug.

11

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering | Ing. Carlos Snchez