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STUDENT HANDOUT

147 Part 66 Basic Licensing


Subject A-8: Basic Aerodynamics

Copyright 2007 Aviation Australia


All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, transferred,
sold, or otherwise disposed of, without the written permission of Aviation
Australia.

Unit C1a OH&S

MEAC01B

revised 05/09/15
2 PPE

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Subject A-8 Basic Aerodynamics

CONTENTS
Page
Definitions

Study Resources

Introduction

Topic 2 Basic Aerodynamics

Topic 3 Theory of Flight

15

Topic 4 Stability

19

Topic 5 Flight Controls

21

Topic 6 High Speed Flight

27

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DEFINITIONS
Define

To describe the nature or basic qualities of.

To state the precise meaning of (a word or sense of a word).

State

Specify in words or writing.

To set forth in words; declare.

Identify

To establish the identity of.

List

Itemise.

Describe

Represent in words enabling hearer or reader to form an idea of an object or


process.

To tell the facts, details, or particulars of something verbally or in writing.

Explain

Make known in detail.

Offer reason for cause and effect.

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STUDY RESOURCES
Jeppesen General
Jeppesen Powerplant
Jeppesen Airframe
Student Handout Subject 7

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Subject A-8 Basic Aerodynamics

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this subject is to familiarise you with basic aerodynamics and the
theory of flight. It also covers flight controls and conditions which affect the
aerodynamics of aircraft
On completion of the following topics you will be able to:

Topic 1

Atmosphere and Airspeed


State the application of the International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) to
aerodynamics.

Topic 2

Basic Aerodynamics
Identify airflow around a body and define the following terms:
Boundary layer
Laminar and turbulent flow
Free stream flow
Relative airflow
Upwash and downwash
Vortices
Stagnation
Define the following terms and list their interaction with related forces:
camber
chord
mean aerodynamic chord (MAC)
profile (parasite) drag
induced drag
centre of pressure
angle of attack
wash in and wash out
fineness ratio
wing shape and aspect ratio
State the relationship between thrust, weight and aerodynamic resultant.
State how lift and drag are generated and define the following associated
terms:
Angle of attack
Lift coefficient
Drag coefficient
Polar curve
Stall
Identify aerofoil contamination including ice, snow and frost.

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Topic 3

Theory of Flight
State the relationship between lift, weight, thrust and drag.
Define glide ratio.
Identify steady state flight and define performance.
State the theory of the turn.
Define load factor and define its influence on stalling, flight envelope and
structural limitations.
List methods of lift augmentation.

Topic 4

Stability
Define the following types of flight stability (active and passive):
longitudinal
lateral
directional

Topic 5

Flight Controls
Define the operation and list the effects of primary control systems:
roll control (ailerons and spoilers)
pitch control (elevators, stabilators, variable incidence stabilisers
and canards)
yaw control and rudder limiters
Define flight control using elevons and ruddervators.
Define the operation and list the effects of high lift devices, slots, slats,
flaps and flaperons.
Define the operation and list the effects of:
Drag inducing devices (spoilers, lift dumpers and speed brakes)
Wing fences and saw tooth leading edges
List methods of boundary layer control:
Vortex generators
Stall wedges
Leading edge devices.
Define the operation and list the effects of the following:
Trim tabs
Balance and antibalance (leading) tabs
Servo tabs
Spring tabs
Mass balance
Control surface bias
Aerodynamic balance panels

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Subject A-8 Basic Aerodynamics

Topic 6

High Speed Flight


Define the following:
Speed of sound
Subsonic flight
Transonic flight
Supersonic flight
Mach number
Critical mach number
Compressibility buffet
shock wave
aerodynamic heating
area rule
State the airflow conditions in engine intakes of high speed aircraft and
the factors which affect them.
List the effects of sweepback on critical mach number.

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TOPIC 2 BASIC AERODYNAMICS


BOUNDARY LAYER
This is the layer of air next to the surface of an airfoil where the velocity is slowed by
friction due to the airs viscosity.

Laminar & Turbulent Flow


Laminar flow is flow over a surface in smooth layers and particles do not go from layer
to layer.
Turbulent flow is random or unsteady flow, creating eddies.

LAMINAR
FlOW

In turbulent flow, air does not remain in layers and particles go from one layer to
another

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The attached laminar flow is located at the forward area of the airfoil, and the
separated turbulent flow forms at the rear.
Upper and lower layers merge at the trailing edge and form the wake.
STAGNATION POINT

PRESSURE
DISTRIBUTION

The stagnation point is the first point of contact of relative airflow, or, the point on the
leading edge of an airfoil where the airflow divides, some going over the surface and
some going below.
The pressure distribution shows how static pressure varies at different points over the
wing.

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PRESSURE & ANGLE OF ATTACK


The angle of attack is between the relative airflow and airfoil chord.
The angle of attack will determine the airfoil centre of pressure (CP).
Increasing the angle of attack moves the CP forwards until the stall when it moves
back quickly.

MEAN AERODYNAMIC CHORD

MAC

All these wings taper in chord length from root to tip. There will be a mean chord
between these two values. One way to define the MAC is to add root chord to tip
chord, and divide by 2.

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FINENESS RATIO

The fineness ratio is a measure of the thickness of the airfoil.

WASH IN and WASH OUT


condition of rigging in which a wing has an increase in its angle of incidence near the
tip is called wash in.

With wash out, the wing has a decrease in its angle of incidence near the tip.

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INDUCED DRAG

This is the part of the total drag which is caused by the same dynamic factors that
create lift. Vortices are formed whose strength depend on the angle of attack.
As airspeed increases INDUCED DRAG decreases because the AoA is reduced.
As airspeed increases, Parasite drag, i.e. FORM DRAG and SKIN FRICTION
increases.

AIRFOIL ICING
Icing is detrimental to aircraft performance in two ways, changing the aerodynamic
shape, and increasing weight

Rime Ice
Is a milky type ice similar to that which can be found in a domestic freezer. It is
formed on leading edges by immediate freezing on contact, of moisture contained
within the air. There is no flow of water.
Glaze Ice
Is a clear and smooth type ice, formed just below freezing.

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TOPIC 3 THEORY OF FLIGHT


CLIMB
In a steady climb, thrust must balance the drag plus a portion of the weight.
L
FLIGHT PATH
T

RELATIVE AIRFLOW

W cos

W sin

D
W

ANGLE OF CLIMB

So, lift is less than weight Thrust is greater than drag

DESCENT
In a powered descent, thrust may be reduced as gravity supplies some of the energy.

Lift is less than weight. Drag is balanced by the reduced thrust and a part of the
weight

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GLIDE
In a glide there is no thrust, and the pilot adopts the descent angle that gives the best
Lift to Drag ratio (L/D) and the lowest rate of descent.
Glide Ratio = L/D
= Distance
Height

Gravity provides all of the energy to remain flying

LOAD FACTOR
During turning manoeuvres, the weight of the aircraft and centrifugal force combine
into a resultant which is greater than aircraft weight alone. This additional load
imposed on the aircraft wings thereby increases the stress on the wing, which is also
felt by the pilot. This is commonly known as pulling g.

LOAD FACTOR = TOTAL LIFT


WEIGHT

As angle of bank increases, the total lift to achieve the turn rate required without
losing altitude or speed must be increased by the pilot increasing the angle of attack.
This will increase the Load Factor, and the aircraft pulls more g
At 60 of bank the lift is doubled and the load factor is 2. The stall speed also
increases.

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CHANGE OF STALL SPEED WITH WEIGHT


With increases in weight there must be compensation.
This is achieved by increasing the angle of attack, this increase in angle of attack in
turn increases the total lift of the aircraft. The reverse is true also with the loss of
weight.
Increased weight increases stall speed.

LIMITATIONS
As load factor increases, the stress on the airframe increases. All aircraft will have
g limits to avoid damage.
It is also possible that a particular aircraft could be designed to reach its Critical Angle
and stall before it reaches a dangerous load factor.
Another structural limitation is Gross Weight.
There will always be a maximum weight above which the wings cannot provide
enough lift for safe flight.

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TOPIC 4 STABILITY
SWEEPBACK
A wing is swept when the leading edge of the wing angles backward or forward from
the fuselage.

These planforms allow high speed flight and promote lateral and directional stability.

LATERAL/DIRECTIONAL DYNAMIC STABILITY


Two modes are possible; Dutch Roll and Spiral Instability

Dutch roll is a complex oscillation combining roll and


yaw which can be unstable (gets worse)
Spiral Instability is a result of negative static stability
in roll and yaw
The aircraft continues to roll and yaw after a
disturbance and spirals into a dive
A Yaw Damper is an example of an active stability
system used to increase the natural (passive)
stability, and reduce Dutch roll.

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TOPIC 5 FLIGHT CONTROLS


CONTROL ABOUT TWO AXES - RUDDERVATORS
A combination of rudder and elevator mounted on a Vee tail which provides
simultaneous longitudinal and directional control

Also known as a Butterfly tail.

CONTROL ABOUT TWO AXES - ELEVONS

DELTA WINGS
Elevons provide simultaneous control about the lateral axis and the longitudinal axis
i.e. pitch and roll.

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AERODYNAMIC BALANCING and TRIMMING


Control forces depend on the airspeed2 and area of surface,
The larger and/or faster the aircraft the higher the force required to manoeuvre.
For this reason controls are often balanced to assist the pilots input force during
manoeuvres. (Reduce forces)

Trimming however, means removing all control forces during steady flight using a
separate control in the cockpit.

AERODYNAMIC BALANCING - HORN BALANCE


A portion of the control surface is extended out ahead of the hinge line.
This utilises the airflow about the aircraft to aid in moving the surface.

Although very simple,


it does create drag.

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AERODYNAMIC BALANCING - BALANCE PANELS

The hinged balance panel moves inside a sealed space ahead of the aileron.
When the aileron is deflected upward, (as seen above) the air over the bottom surface
speeds up and produces a low pressure below the balance panel. (Venturi effect)
This low pressure pulls the balance panel down and puts a force on the leading edge of
the aileron in such a direction that it assists the pilot in holding the aileron deflected
upward. There is no extra drag.

DRAG INDUCING DEVICES


Spoilers & Lift Dumpers

Spoilers are flight controls that raise up from the upper surface of the wing to destroy,
or spoil, lift.
Flight spoilers are used at high speed to decrease lift on one wing and roll the aircraft.
As lift dumpers, they are used to destroy the lift of the aircraft after touchdown to aid
in slowing the aircraft

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Speed Brakes
Speed brakes, also called dive brakes,
are large drag panels used for airspeed
control.
They can also be used to slow an
aircraft after touchdown, and reduce
the landing roll.

BOUNDARY LAYER CONTROL


Wing Fences

WING FENCE

Boundary layer control devices are designed to delay airflow separation over the wing.
Wing fences are fixed vanes that extend chord wise across the wing of swept wing
aircraft.
Their purpose is to prevent air from flowing outward along the span of the wing, for
this in turn is likely to cause airflow separation near the wing tips and so lead to tip
stalling and pitch-up

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Saw Tooth Leading Edge

Tip separation and stall can


also be delayed reduced by
introducing a notch or
saw tooth in the leading edge.

NOTCH
Each notch generates a strong vortex which controls the boundary layer in the tip
region
Vortex Generators

These are small plates or wedges, projecting an inch or so from the top surface of the
wing, Each plate generates a vortex adding energy to the boundary layer
The boundary layer travels further along the surface before being slowed up and
separating from the wing.

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TOPIC 6 HIGH SPEED FLIGHT


MACH NUMBER
The ratio of the speed of the airplane to the speed of sound in the same atmospheric
conditions.
True Airspeed
=
Local Speed of Sound
flow

Flight Mach No.


M = 1 is called SONIC

High speed flight is measured in terms of Mach Number, which is the ratio of the
speed of the aircraft to the speed of sound.
When the aircraft is flying at Mach 75 it is flying at 75% of the speed of sound at
the ambient air temperature.
The Speed of Sound varies with temperature, and the temp varies with altitude.
So aircraft reach Mach 1 earlier at higher altitudes.

CRITICAL MACH NUMBER


The flight Mach number at which there is the first indication of sonic airflow, over the
wing.
At Mach 0.5 All airflow over the aircraft wing is less than M =1. As the aircraft
accelerates, the Flight Mach No. at which the airflow over the wing, (due to the
venturi effect), becomes sonic, is known as the Critical Mach Number.

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SHOCK INDUCED STALL


Beyond Mcrit, the shock wave grows. Airflow through this region undergoes a sudden
static pressure increase.
The effect of the sudden pressure rise is to cause the boundary layer to separate from
the wing immediately behind the shock, taking with it the layers of air above it, so
precipitating a Shock Stall.
The shock wave causes early
airflow separation.
(partial stall)
The Shock Stall and the ordinary\
stall, although having different causes
have certain points in common:A sudden increase in drag often
accompanied by compressibility buffeting which
increases in intensity with growth of stall, and a loss of lift.

SHOCK INDUCED DRAG


The sudden extra drag which is a marked feature of shock stall, is of the same nature
as form drag and skin friction.
Overcoming this sudden drag rise gives rise to the expression, breaking the Sound
Barrier.

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