This page shows the parts of an airplane and their functions.

Airplanes are transportation devices which are designed to move people and cargo from one place to another. Airplanes come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the mission of the aircraft. The airplane shown on this slide is a turbine-powered airliner which has been chosen as a representative aircraft. For any airplane to fly, one must lift the weight of the airplane itself, the fuel, the passengers, and the cargo. The wings generate most of the lift to hold the plane in the air. To generate lift, the airplane must be pushed through the air. The air resists the motion in the form of aerodynamic drag. Modern airliners use winglets on the tips of the wings to reduce drag. The turbine engines, which are located beneath the wings, provide the thrust to overcome drag and push the airplane forward through the air. Smaller, low-speed airplanes use propellers for the propulsion system instead of turbine engines. To control and maneuver the aircraft, smaller wings are located at the tail of the plane. The tail usually has a fixed horizontal piece, called the horizontal stabilizer, and a fixed vertical piece, called the vertical stabilizer. The stabilizers' job is to provide stability for the aircraft, to keep it flying straight. The vertical stabilizer keeps the nose of the plane from swinging from side to side, which is called yaw. The horizontal stabilizer prevents an up-and-down motion of the nose, which is called pitch. (On the Wright brother's first aircraft, the horizontal stabilizer was placed in front of the wings. Such a configuration is called a canard after the French word for "duck"). At the rear of the wings and stabilizers are small moving sections that are attached to the fixed sections by hinges. In the figure, these moving sections are colored brown. Changing the rear portion of a wing will change the amount of force that the wing produces. The ability to change forces gives us a means of controlling and maneuvering the airplane. The hinged part of the vertical stabilizer is called the rudder; it is used to deflect the tail to the left and right as viewed from the front of the fuselage. The hinged part of the horizontal stabilizer is called the elevator; it is used to deflect the tail up and down. The outboard hinged part of the wing is called the aileron; it is used to roll the wings from side to side. Most airliners can also be rolled from side to side by using the spoilers. Spoilers are

small plates that are used to disrupt the flow over the wing and to change the amount of force by decreasing the lift when the spoiler is deployed. The wings have additional hinged, rear sections near the body that are called flaps. Flaps are deployed downward on takeoff and landing to increase the amount of force produced by the wing. On some aircraft, the front part of the wing will also deflect. Slats are used at takeoff and landing to produce additional force. The spoilers are also used during landing to slow the plane down and to counteract the flaps when the aircraft is on the ground. The next time you fly on an airplane, notice how the wing shape changes during takeoff and landing. The fuselage or body of the airplane, holds all the pieces together. The pilots sit in the cockpit at the front of the fuselage. Passengers and cargo are carried in the rear of the fuselage. Some aircraft carry fuel in the fuselage; others carry the fuel in the wings. As mentioned above, the aircraft configuration in the figure was chosen only as an example. Individual aircraft may be configured quite differently from this airliner. The Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer had pusher propellers and the elevators at the front of the aircraft. Fighter aircraft often have the jet engines buried inside the fuselage instead of in pods hung beneath the wings. Many fighter aircraft also combine the horizontal stabilizer and elevator into a single stabilator surface. There are many possible aircraft configurations, but any configuration must provide for the four forces needed for flight.

Airplanes are transportation devices which are designed to move people and cargo from one place to another. Airplanes come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the mission of the aircraft. The airplane shown on this slide is a turbine-powered airliner which has been chosen as a representative aircraft. The fuselage, or body of the airplane, is a long hollow tube which holds all the pieces of an airplane together. The fuselage is hollow to reduce weight. As with most other parts of the airplane, the shape of the fuselage is normally determined by the mission of the aircraft. A supersonic fighter plane has a very slender, streamlined fuselage to reduce the drag associated with high speed flight. An airliner has a wider fuselage to carry the maximum number of passengers. On an airliner, the pilots sit in a cockpit at the front of the fuselage. Passengers and cargo are carried in the rear of the fuselage and the fuel is usually stored in the wings. For a fighter plane, the cockpit is normally on top of the fuselage, weapons are carried on the wings, and the engines and fuel are placed at the rear of the fuselage. The weight of an aircraft is distributed all along the aircraft. The fuselage, along with the passengers and cargo, contribute a significant portion of the weight of an aircraft. The center of gravity of the aircraft is the average location of the weight and it is usually located inside the fuselage. In flight, the aircraft rotates around the center of gravity because of torques generated by the elevator, rudder, and ailerons. The fuselage must be designed with enough strength to withstand these torques.

This slide gives technical definitions of a wing's geometry, which is one of the chief factors affecting airplane lift and drag. The terminology is used throughout the airplane industry and is also found in the FoilSim interactive airfoil simulation program developed here at NASA Glenn. Actual aircraft wings are complex three-dimensional objects, but we will start with some simple definitions. The figure shows the wing viewed from three directions; the upper left shows the view from the top looking down on the wing, the lower right shows the view from the front looking at the wing leading edge, and the lower left shows a side view from the left looking in towards the centerline. The side view shows an airfoil shape with the leading edge to the left. Top View The top view shows a simple wing geometry, like that found on a light general aviation aircraft. The front of the wing (at the bottom) is called the leading edge; the back of the wing (at the top) is called the trailing edge. The distance from the leading edge to the trailing edge is called the chord, denoted by the symbol c. The ends of the wing are called the wing tips, and the distance from one wing tip to the other is called the span, given the symbol s. The shape of the wing, when viewed from above looking down onto the wing, is called a planform. In this figure, the planform is a rectangle. For a rectangular wing, the chord length at every location along the span is the same. For most other planforms, the chord length varies along the span. The wing area, A, is the projected area of the planform and is bounded by the leading and trailing edges and the wing tips. Note: The wing area is NOT the total surface area of the wing. The total surface area includes both upper and lower surfaces. The wing area is a projected area and is almost half of the total surface area. Aspect ratio is a measure of how long and slender a wing is from tip to tip. The Aspect Ratio of a wing is defined to be the square of the span divided by the wing area and is given the symbol AR. For a rectangular wing, this reduces to the ratio of the span to the chord length as shown at the upper right of the figure.

Highly maneuverable fighter planes. There is a component of the drag of an aircraft called induced drag which depends inversely on the aspect ratio. Side View A cut through the wing perpendicular to the leading and trailing edges will show the cross-section of the wing. The F-14 and F-111 have the best of both worlds. A higher aspect ratio wing has a lower drag and a slightly higher lift than a lower aspect ratio wing. Airfoils can come with all kinds of combinations of camber and thickness distributions. The angle that the wing makes with the local horizontal is called the dihedral angle. a wing with some dihedral will naturally return to its original position if it encounters a slight roll displacement. You may have noticed that most large airliner wings are designed with diherdral.AR = s^2 / A = s^2 / (s * c) = s / c High aspect ratio wings have long spans (like high performance gliders). The wing tips are farther off the ground than the wing root. The maximum distance between the upper and lower surfaces is called the thickness. They can change the aspect ratio in flight by pivoting the wings--large span for low speed. For a symmetric airfoil (upper surface the same shape as the lower surface) the mean camber line will fall on top of the chord line. a glider is usually designed with a very high aspect ratio. The chord line cuts the airfoil into an upper surface and a lower surface. which is a measure of the curvature of the airfoil (high camber means high curvature). small span for high speed. Dihedral is added to the wings for roll stability. Front View The front view of this wing shows that the left and right wing do not lie in the same plane but meet at an angle. Historical Note: The Wright brothers designed their 1903 flyer with a slight anhedral to enhance the aircraft roll performance. and it has some geometry definitions of its own as shown at the lower left. This side view is called an airfoil. on the other hand do not have dihedral. Because the glide angle of a glider depends on the ratio of the lift to the drag. A negative dihedral angle is called anhedral . some fighter aircraft have the wing tips lower than the roots giving the aircraft a high roll rate. we obtain a curve called the mean camber line. The straight line drawn from the leading to trailing edges of the airfoil is called the chord line. while low aspect ratio wings have either short spans (like the F-16 fighter) or thick chords (like the Space Shuttle). If we plot the points that lie halfway between the upper and lower surfaces. and therefore is a very poor glider. Often you will see these values divided by the chord length to produce a non-dimensional or "percent" type of number. The maximum distance between the two lines is called the camber. The Space Shuttle has a low aspect ratio because of high speed effects. NACA (the precursor of NASA) established a method of designating classes of airfoils and then wind tunnel tested the airfoils to provide lift coefficients and drag coefficients for designers . In fact. these are two separate lines. But in most cases.

The airfoil on the right is curved near the trailing edge. The front portions of both airfoils are nearly identical. if the aft section is deflected up. The airfoil on the left is a symmetric airfoil. The example shown above explains why the aft portion of wings have hinged sections to control and maneuver an aircraft. it creates less lift (or even negative lift). The ability to vary the amount of lift over a portion of the wing gives the pilot the ability to maneuver an aircraft. Similarly. .This slide shows the flow fields for two different airfoils. Deflecting the aft section down produces a geometry similar to the figure on the right producing more lift. The left figure shows no net turning of the flow and produces no lift. the shapes above and below the white centerline are the same. the right figure shows a large amount of turning and generates a large amount of lift. The yellow lines on each figure show the streamlines of flow from left to right. The aft portion of the right airfoil creates the higher turning.

and the aircraft velocity. In addition. the large aft-projected area of the flap increases the drag of the aircraft. airplane designers try to increase the wing area and change the airfoil shape by putting some moving parts on the wings' leading and trailing edges. the wing area. Moving the flaps aft (toward the tail) and the slats forward increases the wing area. During takeoff and landing the airplane's velocity is relatively low. which increases the lift. To keep the lift high (to avoid objects on the ground!).The amount of lift generated by a wing depends on the shape of the airfoil. Pivoting the leading edge of the slat and the trailing edge of the flap downward increases the effective camber of the airfoil. The part on the leading edge is called a slat. The flaps and slats move along metal tracks built into the wings. This helps the airplane slow down for landing. while the part on the trailing edge is called a flap. .

When the airplane lands on the runway. Spoilers can be used to slow an aircraft. the plates flip up into the air stream. or to make an aircraft descend. the drag of the wing is increased.Spoilers are small. Spoilers can also be used to generate a rolling motion for an aircraft. This slide shows what happens when the pilot only deflects the spoiler on the right wing. and the lift is decreased. Spoilers can be used to "dump" lift and make the airplane descend. The lower the lift. hinged plates on the top portion of wings. The friction force between the tires and the runway depends on the "normal" force. or they can be used to slow the airplane down as it prepares to land. if they are deployed on only one wing. keep the plane on the ground. if they are deployed on both wings. and make the brakes work more efficiently. . The additional drag of the spoilers also slows the plane down. the pilot usually brings up the spoilers to kill the lift. The flow over the wing is disturbed by the spoiler. the better the brakes work. which is the weight minus the lift. Spoilers Deployed on Both Wings When the pilot activates the spoilers.

the left is deflected downward. changing the angle of deflection at the rear of an airfoil will change the amount of lift generated by the foil. The ailerons are used to bank the aircraft. the resulting motion will roll the aircraft to the right (clockwise) as viewed from the rear. not because of a rudder input. and vice versa. . left aileron up) the aircraft will roll in the opposite direction. As described on the shape effects slide. The banking creates an unbalanced side force component of the large wing lift force which causes the aircraft's flight path to curve. If the forces (and distances) are equal there is no net torque on the aircraft. to cause one wing tip to move up and the other wing tip to move down. Notice on this slide that the aileron on the left wing. the lift will increase in the upward direction. But if the forces are unequal. The aileron on the right wing is deflected up. is deflected down. This slide shows what happens when the pilot deflects the right aileron upwards and the left aileron downwards. If the pilot reverses the aileron deflections (right aileron down. Ailerons usually work in opposition: as the right aileron is deflected upward. there is a net torque and the aircraft rotates about its center of gravity. because that is the direction in which the pilot is looking. For both wings. The ailerons work by changing the effective shape of the airfoil of the outer portion of the wing. This creates a torque T=F*L about the center of gravity. Therefore. We have chosen to name the left wing and right wing based on a view from the back of the aircraft towards the nose. as viewed from the rear of the aircraft. the lift on the left wing is increased.Ailerons can be used to generate a rolling motion for an aircraft. Ailerons are small hinged sections on the outboard portion of a wing. With greater downward deflection. For the conditions shown in the figure. while the lift on the right wing is decreased. (Airplanes turn because of banking created by the ailerons. the lift force (Fr or Fl) of the wing section through the aileron is applied at the aerodynamic center of the section which is some distance (L) from the aircraft center of gravity.

the wing tips are often bent up to form winglets. there is an additional component of drag. wing designers have attempted to reduce the induced drag component by special shaping of the wing tips. Otherwise. size. Induced drag is a three dimensional effect related to the wing tips. which explains why many different winglet designs appear on various airliners. The outstanding aerodynamic performance of the British Spitfire of World War II is partially attributable to its elliptic shaped wing which gave the aircraft a very low amount of induced drag. For a wing. Cd = Cdo + Cdi The drag coefficient in this equation uses the wing area for the reference area.5% reduction in the fuel use of a Boeing 707 type airliner when using winglets. Cd is equal to the base drag coefficient at zero lift Cdo plus the induced drag coefficient Cdi. which is also based on the wing area . of the object. For many years.There are many factors which influence the amount of aerodynamic drag which a body generates. Wings with an elliptical planform also have lower induced drag than rectangular wings. and inclination. Long thin wings have low induced drag. we could not add it to the square of the lift coefficient. So if the wing tip represents only a small fraction of the total wing area. For a three dimensional wing. The idea behind the winglet is to reduce the strength of the tip vortex and therefore cause the flow across the wing to be more two-dimensional. Winglets must be carefully integrated into the total wing design. On modern airliners. the induced drag will be small. called induced drag. Flight tests at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center have found a 6. The Wright Brothers used curved trailing edges on their rectangular wings based on wind tunnel results. Drag depends on the shape. induced drag is a wing tip effect. Winglets were wind tunnel tested and computer analyzed by Richard Whitcomb of the NASA Langley Research Center in the mid 1970's. and on flow conditions of the air passing the object. the total drag coefficient. or drag due to lift.

The vertical stabilizer prevents side-to-side. The stabilizer is a fixed wing section whose job is to provide stability for the aircraft. it varies the amount of force generated by the tail surface and is used to generate and control the yawing motion of the aircraft. or yawing. We have chosen to base the deflections on a view from the back of the aircraft towards the nose. With increased deflection. a hinged section at the rear of the vertical stabilizer. With greater rudder deflection to the left as viewed from the back of the aircraft. This slide shows what happens when the pilot deflects the rudder. the aircraft would encounter additional drag or even a possible adverse yaw condition in which. it is NOT used to turn the aircraft in flight. not up and down. The rudder is used to control the position of the nose of the aircraft. As described on the shape effects slide. motion of the aircraft nose. The rudder and vertical stabilizer are mounted so that they will produce forces from side to side. to keep it flying straight. The side force (F) is applied through the center of pressure of the vertical stabilizer which is some distance (L) from the aircraft center of gravity. because that is the direction in which the pilot is looking . Interestingly. the force increases to the right. Aircraft turns are caused by banking the aircraft to one side using either ailerons or spoilers. due to increased drag from the control surfaces. The banking creates an unbalanced side force component of the large wing lift force which causes the aircraft's flight path to curve. changing the angle of deflection at the rear of an airfoil will change the amount of lift generated by the foil. The rudder is the small moving section at the rear of the stabilizer that is attached to the fixed sections by hinges. the lift will increase in the opposite direction. Because the rudder moves. The rudder input insures that the aircraft is properly aligned to the curved flight path during the maneuver. The rudder works by changing the effective shape of the airfoil of the vertical stabilizer.At the rear of the fuselage of most aircraft one finds a vertical stabilizer and a rudder. Otherwise. If the pilot reverses the rudder deflection to the right. the aircraft will yaw in the opposite direction. the nose would move farther off the flight path. This creates a torque T = F * L on the aircraft and the aircraft rotates about its center of gravity.

During take off the elevators are used to bring the nose of the aircraft up to begin the climb out. it varies the amount of force generated by the tail surface and is used to generate and control the pitching motion of the aircraft. causes the aircraft to climb or dive. The horizontal stabilizer prevents up-and-down. thus preventing a loop. The elevator is used to control the position of the nose of the aircraft and the angle of attack of the wing. The elevators work by changing the effective shape of the airfoil of the horizontal stabilizer. motion of the aircraft nose. As described on the shape effects slide. the aircraft pitches in the opposite direction. Or. to keep it flying straight. . This creates a torque T=F*L on the aircraft and the aircraft rotates about its center of gravity. The elevator is the small moving section at the rear of the stabilizer that is attached to the fixed sections by hinges. If the pilot reverses the elevator deflection to down. The elevators work in pairs. lift decreases and can even become negative as shown on this slide. The pilot can use this ability to make the airplane loop. With greater upward deflection of the trailing edge. or pitching. in turn. the left elevator also goes up. Because the elevator moves. when the right elevator goes up. The stabilizer is a fixed wing section whose job is to provide stability for the aircraft. This. This slide shows what happens when the pilot deflects the elevator. lift increases.At the rear of the fuselage of most aircraft one finds a horizontal stabilizer and an elevator. changing the angle of deflection at the rear of an airfoil changes the amount of lift generated by the foil. That is why elevator performance is so important for fighter aircraft. During a banked turn. since many aircraft loop naturally. With greater downward deflection of the trailing edge. Changing the inclination of the wing to the local flight path changes the amount of lift which the wing generates. The lift force (F) is applied at center of pressure of the horizontal stabilzer which is some distance (L) from the aircraft center of gravity. There is an elevator attached to each side of the fuselage. the deflection can be used to trim or balance the aircraft. elevator inputs can increase the lift and cause a tighter turn.

How does changing the elevator angle affect the aircraft? As described on the inclination effects page. .At the front of all of the Wright brothers' aircraft one finds the elevators. This creates a torque on the aircraft and the aircraft rotates about its center of gravity. The elevators are a pair of movable wings which are controlled by the pilot. lift increases in the downward direction. With a downward deflection. Pulling the leading edge upward will cause the entire aircraft to pitch nose up. This slide shows what happens when the pilot deflects the elevators leading edges upward. changing the angle of attack of a wing or airfoil changes the amount of lift generated by the foil. With greater upward deflection of the leading edge. lift increases in the upward direction. The pilot can use this ability to make the airplane rise or dive. The lift force of the elevator is applied some distance from the aircraft center of gravity.

a working fluid is accelerated by the system and the reaction to this acceleration produces a force on the system. It spends most of its life in high speed cruise. At the upper left is a DC-8 airliner. This engine was called a gas turbine engine. We sometimes call this engine a jet engine. Its mission is to shoot down other aircraft in airto-air combat. but needs high acceleration when in combat. All gas turbine engines have some parts in common.Thrust is the force which moves any aircraft through the air. But unlike the rocket engine which must carry its oxygen for combustion. It spends most of its life in cruise. however. it carries cargo a long distance. or working fluid. Because gas turbine engines are so important for modern life. At the lower right is a C-130 cargo aircraft. At the lower left is an F-14 fighter plane. At the upper right is a T-38 trainer. Turbine engines come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes because of the many different aircraft missions. the accelerated gas. Its mission is to carry large loads of passengers or cargo for a long distance at high speed. A general derivation of the thrust equation shows that the amount of thrust generated depends on the mass flow through the engine and the exit velocity of the gas. the turbine engine gets its oxygen from the surrounding air. For a gas turbine engine. Different propulsion systems develop thrust in different ways. is the jet exhaust. In any propulsion system. high speed passenger and military aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines. Each aircraft has a unique mission and therefore a unique propulsion requirement. It is used to teach pilots how to fly jet aircraft and does not have the acceleration requirements of the F-14. but all thrust is generated through some application of Newton's third law of motion. Thrust is generated by the propulsion system of the aircraft. Like the DC-8. During World War II. A turbine engine does not work in outer space because there is no surrounding air. Most of the mass of the jet exhaust comes from the surrounding atmosphere. Most modern. The DC-8 is . Early gas turbine engines worked much like a rocket engine creating a hot exhaust gas which was passed through a nozzle to produce thrust. a new type of airplane engine was developed independently in Germany and in England. On the slide we see pictures of four different aircraft equipped with gas turbine engines. we will be providing a lot of information about turbine engines and their operation. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. but it does not have the high speed requirement of the DC-8.

nitrogen + oxygen). Because of the high temperatures. The fuel can be a solid. we must use a propulsion system to generate thrust. Because combustion is so important for aircraft and rocket propulsion. During combustion. The original substance is called the fuel. Combustion is a chemical process in which a substance reacts rapidly with oxygen and gives off heat. or gas. the exhaust includes water (hydrogen + oxygen) and carbon dioxide (carbon + oxygen). To move an airplane or a model rocket through the air. and the T-38 by two turbojet engines. If the gasoline is burned in air. Rocket engines. When a hydrogen-carbon-based fuel (like gasoline) burns. and jet engines all depend on the burning of fuel to produce power. the exhaust can also include nitrous oxides (NOX. which contains 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. . Different types of aircraft use different types of propulsion devices. the C-130 by four turboprop engines. could be a solid. the F-14 by two afterburning low-bypass turbofans. The temperature of the exhaust is high because of the heat that is transferred to the exhaust during combustion. but there can be liquid or solid exhaust products as well. and the source of oxygen is called the oxidizer. These substances are called exhaust. a chemical process that we study in middle or high school. likewise. new chemical substances are created from the fuel and the oxidizer. or gas. for example. but is usually a gas (air) for airplanes. Most of the exhaust comes from chemical combinations of the fuel and oxygen. For model rockets. Burning a fuel is called combustion. liquid. a solid fuel and oxidizer is used. although for airplane propulsion the fuel is usually a liquid. or piston engines. we will review the fundamentals. But the exhaust can also include chemical combinations from the oxidizer alone. exhaust usually occurs as a gas. is a form of solid exhaust that occurs in some combustion processes. Soot. The oxidizer. liquid. internal combustion.powered by four high-bypass turbofan engines. but all aircraft rely on some type of engine to generate power.

The nozzle sits downstream of the power turbine. a source of oxygen. then is expanded through the divergent section to the exit at the right. There are several different types of gas turbine engines. All gas turbine engines have a nozzle to produce thrust. which are also called jet engines. often have a fixed geometry convergent nozzle as shown on the left of the figure. However.During the combustion process. The core flow exits the center nozzle while the fan flow exits the annular nozzle. As a result of combustion. as the fuel and oxidizer are turned into exhaust products. and a source of heat. You can control or stop the combustion process by controlling the amount of the fuel available. and to set the mass flow rate through the engine. Simple turbojets. Since heat is both required to start combustion and is itself a product of combustion. Mixing of the two flows provides some thrust enhancement and these nozzles also tend to be quieter than convergent nozzles. In this nozzle. heat is generated. but all turbine engines have some parts in common. the amount of oxygen available. but combustion does not occur because there is no source of heat. A nozzle is a relatively simple device. To summarize. As shown above. some source of heat is also necessary to start combustion. we don't have to provide the heat source because the heat of combustion will keep things going. we can see why combustion takes place very rapidly. exhausts are created and heat is released. Afterburning turbojets and turbofans require a variable geometry convergent-divergent CD nozzle as shown on the left. Interestingly. once combustion gets started. or the source of heat. Also. it just keep burning. We don't have to keep lighting a campfire. just a specially shaped tube through which hot gases flow. for combustion to occur three things must be present: a fuel to be burned. nozzles come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the mission of the aircraft. and turboprops. to conduct the exhaust gases back to the free stream. the mathematics which describe the operation of the nozzle takes some careful thought. Most modern passenger and military aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines. . Turbofan engines often employ a co-annular nozzle as shown at the top left. Gasoline and air are both present in your automobile fuel tank. the flow first converges down to the minimum area or throat.

there can be serious interactions between the engine exhaust flow and the airflow around the aircraft. as shown in the middle of the figure. Because the nozzle conducts the hot exhaust back to the free stream. large drag penalties can occur near the nozzle exits. however. in particular. You can explore the design and operation of nozzles with our interactive nozzle simulator program which runs on your browser. . All of the nozzles we have discussed thus far are round tubes. As with the inlet design. Rocket engines usually have a fixed geometry CD nozzle with a much larger divergent section than is required for a gas turbine. but variable y geometry provides efficient engine operation over a wider airflow range than a simple fixed nozzle. Recently. engineers have been experimenting with nozzles with rectangular exits.The variable geometry causes these nozzles to be heavier than a fixed geometr nozzle. The internal nozzle is usually the responsibility of the engine manufacturer. Changing the direction of the thrust with the nozzle makes the aircraft much more maneuverable. On fighter aircraft. Rocket engines also use nozzles to accelerate hot exhaust to produce thrust. the external nozzle configuration is often designed by the airframer and subjected to wind tunnel testing to determine the performance effects on the airframe. This allows the exhaust flow to be easily deflected. A typical nozzle-afterbody configuration is shown in the upper right for an F-15 with experimental maneuvering nozzles. or vectored.

A compressor is like an electric fan and we have to supply energy to turn the compressor. The turbine works like a windmill. the hot exhaust is passed through the turbine. In a typical jet engine. F = [m dot * V]e . which is probably a more accurate description. The compressor acts like many rows of airfoils. with each row producing a small jump in pressure. The parts of the engine are described on other slides.On this slide we show a schematic drawing of a turbojet engine. The nozzle of the turbojet is usually designed to take the exhaust pressure back to free stream pressure. the air enters the compressor. they call this part the intake. the thrust F is equal to the mass flow rate m dot times the velocity V at the exit minus the free stream mass flow rate times the velocity. like one you would see on an airliner. Here. since the compressor pulls air into the engine. The thrust equation for a turbojet is then given by the general thrust equation with the pressure-area term set to zero. since very little fuel is added to the stream. The flow then passes through the nozzle which is shaped to accelerate the flow. the exit mass flow is nearly equal to the free stream mass flow. Because the exit velocity is greater than the free stream velocity. We have shown here a tube-shaped inlet. In a jet engine we use the energy extracted by the turbine to turn the compressor by linking the compressor and the turbine by the central shaft. Most of the hot exhaust has come from the surrounding air. the turbine extracts energy from a flow of gas by making the blades spin in the flow. At the rear of the inlet. Large amounts of surrounding air are continuously brought into the engine inlet. 100 pounds of air/sec is combined with only 2 pounds of fuel/sec. Leaving the burner. we are concerned with what happens to the air that passes through the engine. thrust is created as described by the thrust equation. The turbine takes some energy out of the hot exhaust.[m dot * V]0 . In the burner a small amount of fuel is combined with the air and ignited. the air is at a much higher pressure than free stream. Instead of needing energy to turn the blades to make the air flow. At the exit of the compressor. If the free stream conditions are denoted by a "0" subscript and the exit conditions by an "e" subscript. The amount of mass flow is usually set by flow choking in the nozzle throat. but the flow exiting the turbine is at a higher pressure and temperature than the free stream flow. For a jet engine. But inlets come in many shapes and sizes depending on the aircraft's mission. In England.

For clarity.This equation contains two terms. You can also explore how thrust is generated within the nozzle by using the nozzle simulator program which runs on your browser . the engine thrust is then called the net thrust. Set the Engine Type to "Turbojet" and you can vary any of the parameters which affect thrust and fuel flow. Aerodynamicists often refer to the first term (m dot * V)e as the gross thrust since this term is largely associated with conditions in the nozzle. Our thrust equation indicates that net thrust equals gross thrust minus ram drag. If we divide both sides of the equation by the mass flow rate. The second term (m dot * V)0 is called the ram drag and is usually associated with conditions in the inlet. You can explore the design and operation of a turbojet engine by using the interactive EngineSim Java applet. we obtain an efficiency parameter called the specific thrust that greatly simplifies the performance analysis for turbine engines.

like the one at the upper right. All turbine engines have an inlet to bring free stream air into the engine. straight. SUPERSONIC INLETS An inlet for a supersonic aircraft. The inlets of the SR-71 actually produce thrust during flight. the surface of the inlet from outside to inside is a continuous smooth curve with some thickness from inside to outside. HYPERSONIC INLETS . but all turbine engines have some parts in common. The inlet lip is sharpened to minimize the performance losses from shock waves that occur during supersonic flight. The most upstream portion of the inlet is called the highlight. with the resulting inlet geometry having a rectangular cross section. like the one shown at the lower left. which are also called jet engines. on the other hand. The inlets of the Mach 3+ SR-71 aircraft are specially designed to allow cruising flight at high speed. A subsonic aircraft has an inlet with a relatively thick lip. Some supersonic inlets. For a supersonic aircraft. use a central cone to shock the flow down to subsonic speeds. short inlet works quite well. Other inlets. inlets come in a variety of shapes and sizes with the specifics usually dictated by the speed of the aircraft. inlet performance has a strong influence on engine net thrust.Most modern passenger and military aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines. More exotic inlet shapes are used on some aircraft for a variety of reasons. while the inlet does no work on the flow. or the inlet lip. The inlet sits upstream of the compressor and. There are several different types of gas turbine engines. a simple. As shown in the figures above. has a relatively sharp lip. the inlet must slow the flow down to subsonic speeds before the air reaches the compressor. SUBSONIC INLETS For aircraft that cannot go faster than the speed of sound. like large airliners. This variable geometry inlet is used on the F-14 and F-15 fighter aircraft. On a typical subsonic inlet. use flat hinged plates to generate the compression shocks.

the inlet must bring the high speed external flow down to subsonic conditions in the burner. The amount of disruption of the flow is characterized by a numerical inlet distortion index.Inlets for hypersonic aircraft present the ultimate design challenge. Thick. In England. the better the inlet. High stagnation temperatures are present in this speed regime and variable geometry may not be an option for the inlet designer because of possible flow leaks through the hinges. The ratio of the average total pressure at the compressor face to the free stream total pressure is called the total pressure recovery. but all of the indices are based on ratios of the local variation of pressure to the average pressure at the compressor face. For ramjet-powered aircraft. hot boundary layers are usually present on the compression surfaces of hypersonic inlets. free stream air is pulled into the engine by the compressor. On the X-43A. . The flow exiting a scramjet inlet must remain supersonic. Scramjet inlets are highly integrated with the fuselage of the aircraft. a good inlet will allow the aircraft to maneuver to high angles of attack and sideslip without disrupting flow to the compressor. which is a more accurate description of their function at low aircraft speeds. the higher the value. Pressure recovery is another inlet performance index. For scramjet-powered aircraft. At high speeds. The airflow mis-match can produce spillage drag on the aircraft. not the engine manufacturer. or when just sitting on the runway. For hypersonic inlets the value of pressure recovery is very low and nearly constant because of shock losses. If the airflow demanded by the engine is much less than the airflow that can be captured by the inlet. the inlet includes the entire lower surface of the aircraft forward of the cowl lip. But because inlet operation is so important to engine performance. Different airframers use different indices. all engine manufacturers also employ inlet aerodynamicists. Because the inlet is so important to overall aircraft operation. so hypersonic inlets are normally characterized by their kinetic energy efficiency. it is usually designed and tested by the airframe company. the heat environment is even worse because the flight Mach number is higher than that for a ramjet-powered aircraft. inlets are called intakes. At very low aircraft speeds. INLET EFFICIENCY An inlet must operate efficiently over the entire flight envelope of the aircraft. then the difference in airflow is spilled around the inlet.

an engine with a centrifugal compressor tends to be wider. the pressure is multiplied from row to row (8 stages at 1. if only a moderate amount of compression is required. In the picture. It is much more difficult to produce an efficient multistage centrifugal compressor because the flow has to be ducted back to the axis at each stage. Modern large turbojet and turbofan engines usually use axial compressors. centrifugal compressor can increase the pressure by a factor of 4. the compressor on the left is called an axial compressor because the flow through the compressor travels parallel to the axis of rotation. there are two main types of compressors: axial and centrifugal.2 per stage gives a factor of 4.3). There are several different types of gas turbine engines. But. As shown in the above figure. All turbine engines have a compressor to increase the pressure of the incoming air before it enters the combustor. a centrifugal compressor is much simpler to use . which were used in the first jet engines. In the multistage compressor. This creates additional undesirable aircraft drag. but all turbine engines have some parts in common. Centrifugal compressors. For these reasons. But it is relatively easy to link together several stages and produce a multistage axial compressor. single-stage. having a greater cross-sectional area than a corresponding axial. are still used on small turbojets and turboshaft engines and as pumps on rocket engines. Compressor performance has a large influence on total engine performance. also called jet engines. single-stage axial compressor increases the pressure by only a factor of 1. A similar average. Because the flow is turned perpendicular to the axis. Why the change to axial compressors? An average. high compression turbine engines use multi staged axial compressors.2. The compressor on the right is called a centrifugal compressor because the flow through this compressor is turned perpendicular to the axis of rotation.Most modern passenger and military aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines. most high performance.

The compressor is composed of several rows of airfoil cascades. The compressor is attached to a shaft which is connected to the power turbine on the right end of the blue shaft . the air flows parallel to the axis of rotation. In the figure on the right. There are two main types of compressors used in modern jet engines. called stators. In the axial compressor. There are several different types of jet engines. called rotors. and centrifugal compressors are discussed on another slide. are connected to the central shaft and rotate at high speed. At the bottom of the figure is a computer generated figure of an entire axial compressor with both rotors and stators. which has been removed and is not shown. The job of the stators is to increase pressure and keep the flow from spiraling around the axis by bringing the flow back parallel to the axis. which are also called jet engines. are fixed and do not rotate. Some of the rows. axial compressors are discussed on this slide. Other rows. All jet engines have a compressor to increase the pressure of the incoming air before it enters the burner.Most modern passenger and military aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines. At the upper left is a picture of a single rotor stage for a different compressor so that you can see how the individual blades are shaped and aligned. but all jet engines have some parts in common. Compressor performance has a large influence on total engine performance. The stators of this compressor are connected to the outer casing. we see a picture of the rotors of an axial compressor.

All jet engines have a compressor to increase the pressure of the incoming air before it enters the burner. . The compressor shown above is called a centrifugal compressor because the flow through the compressor is turned perpendicular to the axis of rotation. There are several different types of jet engines. The other type of compressor is an axial compressor and is discussed on a separate slide. There are two main types of compressors used in jet engines. but all jet engines have some partsin common. Compressor performance has a large influence on total engine performance. The very first jet engines used centrifugal compressors. and they are still used on small turbojets and turbo shaft engines. which are also called jet engines.Most modern passenger and military aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines.

which are also called jet engines. There are several different types of gas turbine engines. and all three designs are found in modern gas turbines: 1. The central shaft that connects the turbine and compressor passes through the center hole. Burners are also used on ramjet and scramjet propulsion systems. in which the fuel is combined with high pressure air and burned. The burner at the left is an annular combustor with the liner sitting inside the outer casing which has been peeled open in the drawing. The burner is shown in red on the computer graphic at the lower right of the figure. or burner. or a doughnut. shown in orange. Many modern burners have an annular design. as shown in the photo at the upper right. Burners are made from materials that can withstand the high temperatures of combustion. and the cans are arranged around the central shaft. tested. 2. There are three main types of combustors. All turbine engines have a combustor. as shown by the three burner configurations at the lower left. The burner sits between the compressor and the power turbine. and serviced . 3. The photo at the top left shows some actual burner cans.Most modern passenger and military aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines. This is a can-annular design. The burner is arranged like an annulus. A compromise design is shown at the right. although the basic thermodynamic principles are the same. Each can has both a liner and a casing. in which the casing is annular and the liner is can-shaped. shown in red. The design of ramjet and scramjet burners are slightly different than the burners used on gas turbine engines. and an inner liner. On this page. The liner is often perforated to enhance mixing of the fuel and air. The burner in the middle is an older can or tubular design. we discuss the operation of a gas turbine burner. and all turbine engines have some parts in common. A burner usually has an outer casing. The advantage to the can-annular design is that the individual cans are more easily designed. The resulting high temperature exhaust gas is used to turn the power turbine and produce thrust when passed through a nozzle.

As with other gas turbines. we will discuss some of the fundamentals of turbofan engines. and is denoted by (m dot)f. passes through the fan and continues on into the core compressor and then into the burner. The hot exhaust passes through the core and fan turbines and then out the nozzle. The fan shaft passes through the core shaft for mechanical reasons. The rest of the incoming air. where it is mixed with fuel and combustion occurs. This airflow is called the core airflow and is denoted by (m dot)c. or bypass flow. one "spool" for the fan. whose parts and operation are discussed on a separate page. some of the fan blades turn with the shaft and some blades remain stationary.bpr. colored blue on the figure. This airflow is called the fan flow. The ratio of (m dot)f to (m dot)c is called the bypass ratio . How does a turbofan engine work? The incoming air is captured by the engine inlet. just like the air through a propeller. and are connected by an additional shaft. the core engine is surrounded by a fan in the front and an additional turbine at the rear. colored light blue on the figure. like the core compressor and core turbine. In the turbofan engine. As with the core compressor and turbine. Some advanced engines have additional spools for sections of the compressor which provides for even higher compressor efficiency.To move an airplane through the air. A turbofan engine is the most modern variation of the basic gas turbine engine. one "spool" for the core. This type of arrangement is called a two spool engine. Some of the incoming air. as in a basic turbojet. The air that goes through the fan has a velocity that is slightly increased from free stream. passes through the fan and bypasses. On this page. thrust is generated by some kind of propulsion system. bpr = (m dot)f / (m dot)c The total mass flow rate through the inlet is the sum of the core and fan flows . The fan and fan turbine are composed of many blades. Most modern airliners use turbofan engines because of their high thrust and good fuel efficiency. there is a core engine. All of this additional turbomachinery is colored green on the schematic. or goes around the engine.

high bypass ratio turbofans are nearly as fuel efficient as turboprops. a turbofan generates more thrust for nearly the same amount of fuel used by the core. . we can use the basic thrust equation for each stream to obtain the total thrust: F = (m dot * V)f . This means that a turbofan is very fuel efficient. it can operate efficiently at higher speeds than a simple propeller. They can then cruise efficiently but still have high thrust when dogfighting. the exit of the fan as station "f". If we denote the exit of the core as station "e". Even though the fighter plane can fly much faster than the speed of sound.(m dot)f * V0 + (m dot * V)e . In fact. Therefore. Because the fan is enclosed by the inlet and is composed of many blades. Low bypass ratio turbofans are still more fuel efficient than basic turbojets. That is why turbofans are found on high speed transports and propellers are used on low speed transports. and the free stream as station "0".(m dot)c * V0 We can combine the terms multiplying V0 and use the definition of the bypass ratio bpr to obtain the final thrust equation: F = (m dot * V)e + bpr * (m dot)c * Vf . Many modern fighter planes actually use low bypass ratio turbofans equipped with afterburners.(m dot)0 = (m dot)f + (m dot)c A turbofan gets some of its thrust from the core and some of its thrust from the fan. the airplane inlet slows the air down from supersonic speeds.(m dot * V)0 Because the fuel flow rate for the core is changed only a small amount by the addition of the fan. the air going into the engine must travel less than the speed of sound for high efficiency.

burner. Propellers develop thrust by moving a large mass of air through a small change in velocity. the mass flow rate through the propeller (m dot)0 is much greater than the mass flow through the core engine (m dot)c. and the entrance to the core by "c". shown in green on the schematic. before entering the nozzle.(m dot)0 * V0 + (m dot)e * Ve . The turbine is attached to an additional drive shaft which passes through the core shaft and is connected to a gear box. a gas turbine core is used. We can use our basic thrust equation on the propeller and core to obtain the thrust equation for the turboprop. The mass flow rate is given by m dot and the velocity of the flows by V. The core is very similar to a basic turbojet having a compressor. the conditions at the exit of the propeller by "1". thrust is generated with some kind of propulsion system.move an airplane through the air. most of the energy of the exhaust is used to turn this additional turbine. The gear box is then connected to a propeller that produces most of the thrust. And we have also noted that the exhaust velocity of the . The exhaust velocity of the core is low and contributes little thrust because most of the energy of the core exhaust has gone into turning the drive shaft. Unlike a basic turbojet. Propellers are very efficient and can use nearly any kind of engine to turn the prop. How does a turboprop engine work? There are two main parts to a turboprop propulsion system. We denote the free stream conditions by the subscript "0". at the exit of the main turbine the hot exhaust gas is passed through an additional turbine. the thrust of a turboprop is the sum of the thrust of the propeller plus the thrust of the core. Many low speed transport aircraft and small commuter aircraft use turboprop propulsion. However. On this page we will discuss some of the fundamentals of turboprop engines. In the turboprop. The turboprop uses a gas turbine core to turn a propeller. General aviation aircraft use an internal combustion engine to turn the propeller.(m dot)c * V1 As we have noted above. The basic thrust equation then becomes: F = (m dot)0 * V1 . and turbine. Turning to the math at the bottom of the slide. the core engine and the propeller. the exit of the core by "e".

In a turboshaft engine. as well as tanks. On the schematic. the thrust is equal to the mass flow through the propeller times the velocity change across the propeller plus a smaller amount of thrust from the core engine. turboprops are used only for low speed aircraft. and even race cars in the late 1960's. To move an airplane through the air. Because propellers become less efficient as the speed of the aircraft increases. Comparing with the pure propeller theory. Most modern fighter aircraft employ an afterburner on either a low bypass turbofan or a turbojet. A simple way to get the necessary thrust is to add an afterburner to a core turbojet. On this page we will discuss some of the fundamentals of an afterburning turbojet .V1) The first term of this equation is large compared to the second term. we can simplify our basic thrust equation: F = (m dot)0 * (V1 -V0) + (m dot)e * (Ve . like cargo planes. some of the energy of the exhaust from the burner is used to turn the turbine. boats. you'll notice that the nozzle of the basic turbojet has been extended and there is now a . Turboshaft engines are used in many helicopters. In a basic turbojet. The mass flow rate exiting the core (m dot)e is almost equal to the mass into the core (m dot)c. A variation of the turboprop engine is the turboshaft engine. the gear box is not connected to a propeller but to some other drive device.core Ve is low and almost equal to the velocity into the core V1. In order for fighter planes to fly supersonically . High speed transports usually use high bypass turbofans because of the high fuel efficiency and high speed capability of turbofans. they have to overcome a sharp rise in drag near the speed of sound. The afterburner is used to put back some energy by injecting fuel directly into the hot exhaust. Mathematicians use the symbol "~" for "almost equals." Collecting this information. thrust is generated by some kind of propulsion system.

Therefore. The thrust equation for an afterburning turbojet is then given by the general thrust equation with the pressure-area term set to zero. Our thrust equation indicates that net thrust equals gross thrust minus ram drag. F = [m dot * V]e . Afterburners are only used on fighter planes and the supersonic airliner. The nozzle of a turbojet is usually designed to take the exhaust pressure back to free stream pressure. When the afterburner is turned on. When the afterburner is turned off. You get more thrust. You can investigate nozzle operation with our interactive nozzle simulator. the engine thrust is then called the net thrust. afterburning nozzles must be designed with variable geometry and are heavier and more complex than simple turbojet nozzles. The fuel burns and produces additional thrust. the thrust F is equal to the mass flow rate m dot times the velocity V at the exit minus the free stream mass flow rate times the velocity. but you burn much more fuel. the flow area of the nozzle has to be increased to pass the same mass flow. Afterburners offer a mechanically simple way to augment thrust and are used on both turbojets and turbofans. The second term (m dot * V)0 is called the ram drag and is usually associated with conditions in the inlet. in the nozzle. it would run out of fuel before reaching Europe.[m dot * V]0 This equation contains two terms. Concorde. additional fuel is injected through the hoops and into the hot exhaust stream of the turbojet. If the free stream conditions are denoted by a "0" subscript and the exit conditions by an "e" subscript. The Concorde turns the afterburners off once it gets into cruise. the engine performs like a basic turbojet. With the increased temperature of the exhaust.ring of flame holders. but it doesn't burn as efficiently as it does in the combustion section of the turbojet. Aerodynamicists often refer to the first term (m dot * V)e as the gross thrust since this term is largely associated with conditions in the nozzle. For clarity. colored yellow. . Otherwise.

As the control surfaces change the amount of force that each surface generates. and tail. plus the payload and the fuel. fuselage. or reference line. or calculate. engines. . the wings. Since the center of gravity is an average location of the weight. we can say that the weight of the entire aircraft W times the location cg of the center of gravity is equal to the sum of the weight w of each component times the distance d of that component from the reference location: W * cg = [w * d](fuselage) + [w * d](wing) + [w * d](engines) + . But for total aircraft maneuvering. the elevator. The weight is actually distributed throughout the airplane.. The center of gravity is the mass-weighted average of the component locations. The cg is determined relative to this reference location. and for some problems it is important to know the distribution. The center of gravity is the average location of the weight of the aircraft.8 meters/square sec in metric units. rudder. The total weight of the aircraft is simply the sum of all the individual weights of the components. we need to be concerned with only the total weight and the location of the center of gravity. the aircraft rotates about a point called the center of gravity.2 ft/square sec in English units and 9.. and g is the gravitational constant which is 32. using Newton's weight equation: w=m*g where w is the weight.An airplane in flight can be maneuvered by the pilot using the aerodynamic control surfaces. How do engineers determine the location of the center of gravity for an airplane which they are designing? An airplane is a combination of many parts. To determine the center of gravity cg. or ailerons. we choose a reference location. Each part has a weight associated with it which the engineer can estimate. m is the mass.

Mathematicians use the greek letter sigma to denote this addition.) W * cg = SUM(i=1 to i=n) [w * d]i This equation says that the center of gravity times the sum of "n" parts' weight is equal to the sum of "n" parts' weight times their distance. . The discrete equation works for "n" discrete parts. If we had a total of "n" discrete components. (Sigma is a zig-zag symbol with the index designation being placed below the bottom bar. the total number of additions placed over the top bar. the center of gravity cg of the aircraft times the weight W of the aircraft would be the sum of the individual i component weight times the distance d from the reference line (w * d) with the index i going from 1 to n. and the variable to be summed placed to the right of the sigma with each component designated by the index.We can generalize the technique discussed above.

the horizontal stabilizer and elevator create a symmetric airfoil like the one shown on the left of the shape effects slide. We can define a three dimensional coordinate system through the center of gravity with each axis of this coordinate system perpendicular to the other two axes. We can then define the orientation of the aircraft by the amount of rotation of the parts of the aircraft along these principal axes. a point which is the average location of the mass of the aircraft. On many fighter planes. lift increases in the upward direction. since many aircraft loop naturally. thus preventing a loop. The lift generated by the elevator acts through the center of pressure of the elevator and horizontal stabilizer and is located at some distance from the center of gravity of the aircraft. depending on the deflection of the elevator. With greater upward deflection. any aircraft will rotate about its center of gravity. when the right elevator goes up. not by changing its effective shape. The elevators work in pairs. the left elevator also goes up. A pitch motion is an up or down movement of the nose of the aircraft as shown in the animation. On many aircraft. The change in lift created by deflecting the elevator generates a torque about the center of gravity which causes the airplane to rotate. With greater downward deflection. The elevator is a hinged section at the rear of the horizontal stabilizer. The pitch axis is perpendicular to the aircraft centerline and lies in the plane of the wings. in order to meet their high maneuvering requirements. The change in force is created by changing the inclination of the entire surface. lift increases in the downward direction. The pitching motion is being caused by the deflection of the elevator of this aircraft. Or. changing the angle of deflection at the rear of an airfoil changes the amount of lift generated by the foil. . the deflection can be used to trim or balance the aircraft. the stabilizer and elevator are combined into one large moving surface called a stabilator. This produces no lift when the elevator is aligned with the stabilizer and allows the combination to produce either positive or negative lift. As described on the shape effects slide.In flight. There is usually an elevator on each side of the vertical stabilizer. The pilot can use this ability to make the airplane loop.

the vertical stabilizer and rudder create a symmetric airfoil. As described on the shape effects slide. For the vertical stabilizer and rudder. With greater deflection of the rudder to the left. changing the angle of deflection at the rear of an airfoil changes the amount of lift generated by the foil. The rudder is a hinged section at the rear of the vertical stabilizer. the side force increases to the right. This produces no side force when the rudder is aligned with the stabilizer and allows the combination to produce either positive or negative side force. Some fighter planes have two vertical stabilizers and rudders because of the need to control the plane with multiple. A yaw motion is a side to side movement of the nose of the aircraft as shown in the animation. depending on the deflection of the rudder. On all aircraft. The yawing motion is being caused by the deflection of the rudder of this aircraft. the orientation of the airfoil causes a side force to be generated.In flight. The yaw axis is perpendicular to the wings and lies in the plane of the aircraft centerline. The change in side force created by deflecting the rudder generates a torque about the center of gravity which causes the airplane to rotate. a point which is the average location of the mass of the aircraft. very powerful engines . The lift generated by the rudder acts through the center of pressure of the rudder and vertical stabilizer and is located at some distance from the center of gravity of the aircraft. any aircraft will rotate about its center of gravity. With greater deflection to the right. the side force increases to the left. The pilot uses this ability to keep the nose of the aircraft pointed in the direction of travel. We can then define the orientation of the aircraft by the amount of rotation of the parts of the aircraft along these principal axes. We can define a three dimensional coordinate system through the center of gravity with each axis of this coordinate system perpendicular to the other two axes.

It's an interesting trade! . The ailerons work in opposition. This produces an unbalanced force with the other wing. The roll axis lies along the aircraft centerline. the lift will increase in the upward direction. a point which is the average location of the mass of the aircraft. Because the forces are not equal. the lift on one wing increases as the lift on the opposite wing decreases. With greater downward deflection. The twisting changed the local angle of attack of sections of the wing which changed the lift being generated by that section. A spoiler is a plate that is raised between the leading and trailing edges of the wing. but there are other ways to produce a rolling motion on an aircraft. or torque about the center of gravity and the aircraft rotates about the roll axis. Unequal forces on the wings caused the aircraft to roll. any aircraft will rotate about its center of gravity. Their wings were wired together in such a way that the outer panels of each wing could be twisted relative to the inner panel. As described on the shape effects slide. The rolling motion is being caused by the deflection of the ailerons of this aircraft. and causes a section of the wing to decrease its lift. We can then define the orientation of the aircraft by the amount of rotation of the parts of the aircraft along these principal axes. disrupts the flow over the wing. the left aileron goes down. the lift will decrease in the upward direction. Since the ailerons work in pairs. but they always decrease the total amount of lift for the aircraft. The Wright brothers used a method called wing warping. The aileron is a hinged section at the rear of each wing. Airliners use spoilers because spoilers can react more quickly than ailerons and require less force to activate. with greater upward deflection. Many modern airliners use a spoiler to roll the aircraft. The spoiler effectively changes the shape of the airfoil. when the right aileron goes up. On this page we have demonstrated an aircraft roll induced by movement of the ailerons.In flight. We can define a three dimensional coordinate system through the center of gravity with each axis of this coordinate system perpendicular to the other two axes. there is a net twist. A roll motion is an up and down movement of the wings of the aircraft as shown in the animation. which causes the roll. The pilot can use this ability to bank the aircraft which causes the airplane to turn. changing the angle of deflection at the rear of an airfoil will change the amount of lift generated by the foil.

a point which is the average location of the mass of the aircraft. the control surfaces of an aircraft produce aerodynamic forces. A rolling motion is an up and down movement of the wing tips of the aircraft. it is necessary to control the attitude or orientation of a flying aircraft in all three dimensions. A pitch motion is an up or down movement of the nose of the aircraft. These forces are applied at the center of pressure of the control surfaces which are some distance from the aircraft cg and produce torques (or moments) about the principal axes. At the trailing edge. any aircraft will rotate about its center of gravity. In flight. and the ailerons produce a rolling moment. We can then define the orientation of the aircraft by the amount of rotation of the parts of the aircraft along these principal axes. In flight.You can tell whether an airliner is using spoilers or ailerons by noticing where the moving part is located. and is directed towards the nose of the aircraft. it's a spoiler. between the leading and trailing edges. The ability to vary the amount of the force and the moment allows the pilot to maneuver or to trim the aircraft . Since we live in a three dimensional world. The roll axis is perpendicular to the other two axes with its origin at the center of gravity. A yaw motion is a movement of the nose of the aircraft from side to side. We can define a three dimensional coordinate system through the center of gravity with each axis of this coordinate system perpendicular to the other two axes. The yaw axis is defined to be perpendicular to the plane of the wings with its origin at the center of gravity and directed towards the bottom of the aircraft. The elevators produce a pitching moment. it's an aileron. The torques cause the aircraft to rotate. The pitch axis is perpendicular to the yaw axis and is parallel to the plane of the wings with its origin at the center of gravity and directed towards the right wing tip. the rudder produces a yawing moment.

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There must be motion between the object and the fluid. the solid body must be in contact with the fluid. Lift acts perpendicular to the motion. For drag to be generated. If there is no fluid. There are many factors that affect the magnitude of the drag. there is no drag. Drag is generated by the difference in velocity between the solid object and the fluid. there is no drag. Drag is a force and is therefore a vector quantity having both a magnitude and a direction. It is not generated by a force field. How is drag generated? Drag is a mechanical force. . It makes no difference whether the object moves through a static fluid or whether the fluid moves past a static solid object. where one object can affect another object without being in physical contact. Drag acts in a direction that is opposite to the motion of the aircraft.Drag is the aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft's motion through the air. Many of the factors also affect lift but there are some factors that are unique to aircraft drag. If there is no motion. Drag is generated by every part of the airplane (even the engines!). in the sense of a gravitational field or an electromagnetic field. It is generated by the interaction and contact of a solid body with a fluid (liquid or gas).

both the upper and lower surfaces contribute to the flow turning. Because air is a gas and the molecules are free to move about. Neglecting the upper surface's part in turning the flow leads to an incorrect theory of lift. many of the explanations are misleading and incorrect. Lift acts through the center of pressure of the object and is directed perpendicular to the flow direction. in the sense of a gravitational field. It makes no difference . NO LIFT Lift is a mechanical force. according to Newton's Third Law of action and reaction. in basic physics textbooks. For an aircraft wing. Lift is generated by every part of the airplane. Without air. HOW IS LIFT GENERATED? There are many explanations for the generation of lift found in encyclopedias. It is not generated by a force field. any solid surface can deflect a flow. The flow is turned in one direction. where one object can affect another object without being in physical contact. Unfortunately. There must be motion between the object and the fluid: no motion. NO MOTION. having both a magnitude and a direction associated with it. no lift. the solid body must be in contact with the fluid: no fluid. It is generated by the interaction and contact of a solid body with a fluid (liquid or gas). NO FLUID. but most of the lift on a normal airliner is generated by the wings. There are several factors which affect the magnitude of lift. and on Web sites. there is no lift generated by the wings. Space is nearly a vacuum. Theories on the generation of lift have become a source of great controversy and a topic for heated arguments. Lift is a mechanical aerodynamic force produced by the motion of the airplane through the air.or an electromagnetic field. and the lift is generated in the opposite direction. For lift to be generated. To help you understand lift and its origins. NO LIFT Lift is generated by the difference in velocity between the solid object and the fluid. no lift. The Space Shuttle does not stay in space because of lift from its wings but because of orbital mechanics related to its speed. it is a vector quantity.Lift is the force that directly opposes the weight of an airplane and holds the airplane in the air. Because lift is a force. a series of pages will describe the various theories and how some of the popular theories fail Lift occurs when a moving flow of gas is turned by a solid object.

so the propulsion system must be in physical contact with a working fluid to produce thrust. Drag acts in the direction opposed to the motion. and to overcome the weight of a rocket. . Since thrust is a force. Thrust is the force which moves an aircraft through the air. Thrust is generated by the engines of the aircraft through some kind of propulsion system. the thrust is generated in the opposite direction from the accelerated gas. The magnitude of the thrust depends on the amount of gas that is accelerated and on the difference in velocity of the gas through the engine. Thrust is a mechanical force. Lift acts perpendicular to the motion. Thrust is generated most often through the reaction of accelerating a mass of gas. it is a vector quantity having both a magnitude and a direction. or the fluid moves past a static solid object.whether the object moves through a static fluid. Thrust is used to overcome the drag of an airplane. The engine does work on the gas and accelerates the gas to the rear of the engine.

the gravitational force. because each of us have our own weight which we can measure every morning on the bathroom scale.Weight is the force generated by the gravitational attraction of the earth on the airplane. the source of the force does not have to be in physical contact with the object to generate a pull on the object. lift and drag. is fundamentally different from the aerodynamic forces. We know when one thing is heavy and when another thing is light. Aerodynamic forces are mechanical forces and the airplane has to be in physical contact with the the air which generates the force. But weight. We are more familiar with weight than with the other forces acting on an airplane. The gravitational force is a field force. .

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