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Figure 3.1: Airplane.
3.1.1 What Is Aeronautics?
Aeronautics is typically defined as the art or science of flight, or the science of operating aircraft. This includes a branch of aeronautics called aerodynamics. Aerodynamics deals with the motion of air and the way it interacts with objects in motion, such as an aircraft. Both of these branches are a part of the tree of physical science. Aviation, however, refers to the operation of heavier-than-air craft.
3.1.2 How Did Aeronautics Begin?
The theoretical basis for these branches stems from the work of Sir Isaac Newton in the 1600s. Newton developed laws that defined the effects of forces acting on objects in motion or at rest. He also developed the concept of viscosity, or fluid friction, which is the resistance of air or any other fluid to flow. Daniel Bernoulli, in the 1700s, developed the principle that the speed of a fluid is directly related to pressure. That is, the faster the flow of a fluid, the lower the pressure that is exerted on the surface it is flowing over. For example, if air is flowing faster over the top of a surface than under a surface, the pressure on the top of the surface will be less than that underneath. Understanding of these concepts was necessary to the development of flight. Without understanding the aerodynamic principles of flight, humans would simply be mimicking the actions of birds. It was demonstrated through many spectacular yet often disastrous attempts, that pure imitation would not enable humans to fly.
3.1.3 What Is An Airplane?
What is the difference between aircraft and airplane? Aircraft is the more general term, and refers to any heavier-than-air craft that is supported by its own buoyancy or by the action of
landing gear reactions and pay loads.2.  3. passenger compartment and cargo compartment.2. The Space Shuttle is definitely an aircraft. While wings produce most of the lift.1. the fuselage also produces a little lift. For this reason. The primary loads on the fuselage include large concentrated forces from wing reactions.3. We usually think of a streamlined car as being sleek and compact . A bulky fuselage can also produce a lot of drag.2: Aircraft structure. 3. the fuselage is subjected to relatively small air loads. tapered body so that the air can flow smoothly around it. wings) to generate lift as shown in Fig. A streamlined fuselage has the same attributes. An airplane is a heavier-than-air craft that is propelled by an engine and uses fixed aerodynamic surfaces (i. The fuselage contains the cockpit or flight deck.1 Fuselage The main body structure is the fuselage to which all other components are attached as shown in Fig.they rotate.e. It has a sharp or rounded nose with sleek. but not every aircraft is an airplane! Gliders are aircraft that are not airplanes.air on its structures. but it is not an airplane. Helicopters are also aircraft that are not airplanes because their aerodynamic surfaces are not fixed .So. which is subjected to large distributed air loads. a fuselage is streamlined to decrease the drag.it does not present a bulky obstacle to the oncoming wind. Unlike the wing. every airplane is an aircraft. the fuselage must also withstand internal pressures.2 AIRCRAFT STRUCTURES Figure 3. It does not carry engines for propulsion.3. For airplanes carrying passengers. Because of internal .
its maneuverability. General Aviation airplanes often have straight wings. It is cheaper and can be made lighter. but are not suited to high speeds. These wings provide good lift at low speeds.pressures. Figure 3. The speed of an airplane.2 Wings The amount of lift produced by an airfoil depends upon many factors: • • • • • • Angle of attack The lift devices used (like flaps) The density of the air The area of the wing The shape of the wing The speed at which the wing is traveling The wings are the most important lift-producing part of the aircraft. its handling qualities. Wings vary in design t he shape of a wing greatly influences the performance of an airplane. sweep (forward and back). However. delta and swing-wing as shown in Fig. low-speed airplanes.2. Most airplanes are . too. The fuselage skin carries the shear stresses produced by torques and transverse forces. 3. There are four basic wing shapes that are used on modern airplanes: straight. the straight wing provides good. Depending upon the aircraft type and its purpose.4.3.3). The fuselage structure is a semi-monologue construction consisting of a thin shell stiffened by longitudinal axial elements (stringers and Longerons) supported by many traverse frames are rings (Bulkheads) along the length. the fuselage often has an efficient circular cross-section (as shown in Fig.3: Fuselage skin. The straight wing is found mostly on small. stable flight. all are very dependent on the shape of the wings. Since the wing is perpendicular to the airflow it has a tendency to create appreciable drag. 3.
the wing swings into an almost straight position. High speed airplanes (like fighters) have greater sweep. The wing as a whole performs the combined function of a beam and . They take off and descend for landing at a high rate of speed. A commercial airliner has a moderate sweep. Because of the high sweep. however. the wing swings into a sweepback position. The amount of sweep of the wing depends on the purpose of the airplane. There is a price to pay with this design. The high-sweep wing delays the formation of shock waves on the airplane as it nears the speed of sound. but are somewhat more unstable at low speeds. This wing shape is found on the supersonic transport Concorde. Sweep wings create less drag. but it is also highly unstable. A computerbased control system must be used in the X-29 to help the pilot fly. The hinges that enable the wings to swing are very heavy The wing cross-section takes the shape of an airfoil. During cruise.many supersonic airplanes have delta wings. Figure 3. A delta wing looks like a large triangle from above.4: Different types of wing. The sweepback wing is the wing of choice for most high-speed airplanes made today. The forward-sweep wing is a wing design that has yet to make it into mass production. An airplane (like the X-29) is highly maneuverable. Wings also carry the fuel for the airplane. These airplanes are not very stable at low speeds. The swing-wing design attempts to exploit the high lift characteristics of a primarily straight wing with the ability of the sweepback wing to enable high speeds. Because of the high sweep. the landing speeds of airplanes with delta wings are very fast.designed so that the outer tips of the wings are higher than where the wings are attached to the fuselage. and that is weight. This results in less drag while maintaining stability at lower speeds. which is designed based on aerodynamic considerations. airplanes with this wing can reach high speeds . This upward angle is called the dihedral and helps keep the airplane from rolling unexpectedly during flight. During landing and takeoff.
They are placed chord wise along the wingspan. In addition.the torsion member. Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC): the chord of an imaginary airfoil. the thin skin can be assumed to make no contribution to bending of the wing box. The spar is a heavy beam running span wise Wing ribs are planer to take transverse shear loads and span wise bending. Chord length: the chord length is the distance between the leading and trailing edges measured along the chord line. and spars and stringers take the bending moment. Thus. aileron or rudder designed to obtain reaction from the air through which it moves. Some terminologies with respect to wing are listed below. It is usually composed of a thin shear panel (the web) the heavy cap or flange at the top and bottom to take bending. Figure 3.5: Components of wings. Chord line: chord line is line joining the centers of curvature of leading and trailing edge. to increase structural efficiency. bending members in spars and shear panels in the cover skin and webs of spars. To with stand high surface air loads and to provide additional bending capability of the wing box structure. The cover skin of the wing together with the spar webs forms an efficient torsion member. It decides serving as load redistributes. structures capable of carrying in-plane loads. ribs also hold the skin stringer to the designed counter shape. It consists of axial members in stringers. which would have force. thicker skins are often necessary. the skin is relatively thin and may be design to undergo post buckling. vectors throughout the flight range identical with those of an actual wing or wings. For subsonic airplanes. Airfoil: any surface such as airplane wing. . Ribs reduce the effective buckling length of the stringers (or the stringer-skin system) and thus increase their compressive load capability. Supersonic airfoils are relatively thin compared with subsonic airfoils. stiffeners can be manufactured (either by forging or machining) as integral parts of the skin.
Figure 3.Aspect ratio: Aspect Ratio which is defined as Span / Chord or Span Square / Area is an important feature of the plan form as shown in Fig.7: Wing rib. Rib: a light structure conforming to the shape of the airfoil over which the skin is attached and which transfers the air load to the spars. For fighter it is not practicable since long spar wing would not be stiff at very high speeds. Nose rib: rib between front spar and the leading edge of the airfoil. Inter-Spar rib: Rib between the adjacent spars.6. Other aerodynamic considerations also dictate the choice of a low aspect ratio (2 to 4) for high-speed aircraft. 3. which extends to the full length of the wing.6: Wing geometry.3.3 AIRCRAFT LOADS During flight the four forces acting on an aircraft are Lift. Weight and Thrust as shown in Fig. Spar: spar is a primary beam.8. . 3. It is a principle spanwise member of the wing structure of an aircraft. Figure 3. A high aspect ratio (8 to 10) is often adopted for transport aircraft. Span: it is the distance measured from wing tip to the other wing tip in the plan. With high aspect ratio the induced drag is less. Drag.
In straight-and-level. then the aircraft would climb.3. un-accelerated flight.3. and is opposite the weight force. If the aircraft were to lose some of its lift. 3.2 Drag Drag is the retarding force (backwards force) that limits the aircraft's speed. therefore the aircraft does not climb or dive.3. it is also producing drag as shown in Fig. it would continue to climb unless the weight of the aircraft was more than the lifting force.3. It is caused by the production of lift. the aircraft would begin to descend back to earth.Figure 3. In this instance. If the lifting force were greater than the weight. Figure 3. In the true world of aerodynamics. 3.3 Thrust . the aircraft is in a state of equilibrium. all the forces are heavily dependent upon each other. Of course these observations are very simplified. This force is the key aerodynamic force.1 Lift Lift is the upward force created by the airflow as it passes over the wings. Anytime the aircraft is producing lift. Any deflection or interference with a smooth airflow around the airplane will cause drag.9.8: Aircraft loads.9: Drag. 3. The lifting force is equal to the weight of the aircraft.
10.4 Weight Weight is the opposing force to lift. It is caused by the downward pull of gravity on the aircraft's mass. Figure 3. the aircraft has a great tendency to move forward. The shape and angle-of-attack of the blades produces a low pressure region in front of the propeller and increased pressure behind it.3. it is getting lighter because it is burning of fuel.Thrust is the forward force that "propels" the aircraft through the air as shown in Fig. the different type of equipment. and most importantly.3. it is provided by an engine that turns a propeller. Crop dusters. The weight of an airplane is not constant. Each propeller blade is similar to a wing on an aircraft. 3. . military cargo planes. Usually. It varies with the cargo on board.10: Thrust. passengers. the fuel. and sky diving planes also decrease their weight during flight by either losing their cargo or some passengers. Going back to the Bernoulli Principle and Newton's Third Law of Motion. As an airplane flies along.
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