Introduction to Aeronautical Engineering

Introduction to Aeronautical Engineering

EGN1007: Engineering Concepts and Methods

The Bottom Line
In normal flight a light
aeroplane derives
its forward motion
from the thrust
provided by the
If the aircraft is maintaining a constant height,
direction and speed then the thrust force will
balance the air's resistance (drag) to the
aircraft's motion through it. The forward motion
creates an airflow over the wings and the
dynamic pressure changes within this airflow
create an upward acting force or lift, which will
balance the force due to gravity – weight – acting

The pilot is able to change the direction and magnitude of these forces and thereby control the speed. . flight path and performance of the aeroplane.The Bottom Line Thus in normal unaccelerated flight the four basic forces acting on the aircraft are approximately in equilibrium.

The unit of mass we will be using is the kilogram [kg]. . The air also has mass and thus inertia and will resist being pushed aside by the passage of an aeroplane. That resistance will be felt as pressure changes on the aircraft surfaces.e. its resistance to being accelerated or decelerated by an applied force increases with mass.The property of resisting any change in motion: INERTIA The mass of a body is a measure of its inertia – i.

Airspeed depends on Inertia An aircraft in flight is 'airborne' and its velocity is relative to the surrounding air. This momentarily changes airspeed and imparts other forces to the aircraft. When the aircraft encounters a sudden change in the ambient air velocity — a transient gust — inertia comes into play and momentarily maintains the aircraft velocity relative to the Earth or – more correctly – relative to space. not the Earth's surface. . (The fact that inertia over-rides the physics of aerodynamics is sometimes a cause of confusion).

Direction of forces are relative to the flight path Although we said that lift acts vertically upward with thrust and drag acting horizontally. . this is only true when an aircraft is in straight and level flight. lift acts perpendicular to both the flight path and the lateral axis of the aircraft. In fact. drag acts parallel to the flight path and thrust usually acts parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.

and drag.The lift equation Aerodynamicists have found it convenient to resolve that resultant force into just two components. that part acting backward along the flight path is the wing drag and that acting perpendicular to the flight path is the lift. generated by the wings is chiefly dependent on: . The amount of lift.

Lift. Pressure. and Angle of Attack Is there a way to calculate the lift and drag? .

Lift  C L 1 v 2 A 2 . •the speed of the free stream airflow i. •the shape of the wings particularly in cross section – the aerofoil. flight airspeed. •and the wing plan-form surface area. generated by the wings is chiefly dependent on: •the angle at which the wings meet the airflow or flight path.e. mass per unit volume) of the air. •the density (i. and drag.The lift equation The amount of lift.e.

in kg/m³ •v² is the flight speed in meters per second •A is the wing area in square meters •CL is a dimensionless quantity – the lift coefficient. . Mostly depends on the ANGLE of attack and the SHAPE of the wing.The lift equation Lift  C L 1 v 2 A 2 The values in the expression are: • (the Greek letter rho) is the density of the air.

g. e. at 10° the ratio for conversion of dynamic pressure to lift is 0.Angle of attack and the lift coefficient The diagram shows a typical CL vs. From it you can read the CL value for each “aoa”.9 . angle of attack curve for a light aeroplane not equipped with flaps or high-lift devices.

5148 m/s).The lift equation: An Example 2 1 Lift  C L  v A 2 Calculate CL for the an 408. The wing area is very close to 8 m²: • lift = weight •  = 1.0 kg/m³ (the approximate density of air at 6500 feet altitude) .2 kg aircraft cruising at 6500 feet at 97 knots ( 1 knot – 0.

As CL depending on “aoa”. . We can make this assumption based on graphical data.The Drag Equation Drag  C D 1 v A 2 2 The drag equation is similar to the lift equation with the exception that we have a DRAG COEFFICIENT rather than a LIFT COEFFICIENT. the CD depends on the SQUARE of the “aoa”.

. is an increase in the lift coefficient. and that has two contributors – the shape of the wing and the angle of attack As the pilot can't change the wing shape (unless she/he extends flaps) the angle of attack must have changed.What effect does decreasing speed have? So the result of decreasing airspeed. How? By the pilot adjusting control pressure to apply an aerodynamic force to the aircraft's tailplane ( or some other control surface) which has the effect of rotating the aircraft a degree or so about its lateral axis. while maintaining straight and level flight.

Drag is present at all times and can be defined as the force which opposes thrust. Helping the force of weight is drag.Drag Without the needed thrust. it is the force which opposes all motion through the atmosphere and is parallel to the direction of the relative wind . or. weight has more influence than lift and pulls the airplane toward the ground. better yet.

Pressure Induced Drag occurs when the “aoa” Is too large and the air Flow becomes turbulent.INDUCED DRAG: Newtonian & Pressure Induced Induced drag is the unavoidable by-product of lift and increases as the angle of attack increases Newtonian or DYNAMIC DRAG is caused by the INERTIA of AIR. .

It will be found on all surfaces of the aircraft: wing. engine. and fuselage . tail. landing gear.PARASITE DRAG There are also skin-friction drag and form drag. All drag other than induced drag is parasite drag. Skin-friction drag is caused by the friction between outer surfaces of the aircraft and the air through which it moves. which are referred to as parasite drag.

Putting it all together: Lift and Drag The LIFT/DRAG ratio can be found by taking the lift coefficient and dividing by the drag coefficient. CL L / D ratio  CD The L/D ratio is a measure of EFFICIENCY!!! .

L/D Ratio The tangent of the glide angle is equal to the vertical height (h) which the aircraft descends divided by the horizontal distance (d) which the aircraft flies across the ground. .

and the greater the distance that a plane can travel across the ground for a given change in height . the lower the glide angle.L/D Ratio What good is all this for aircraft design? D L CL 1 tan      L D C D tan  h tan   d From the last equation we see that the higher the L/D.

Designers of gliders and designers of cruising aircraft want a high L/D ratio to maximize the distance which an aircraft can fly. we can think of the L/D ratio as an aerodynamic efficiency factor for the aircraft. The designer must also keep the L/D ratio high to maximize the range of the aircraft. .L/D Ratio Because lift and drag are both aerodynamic forces. It is not enough to just design an aircraft to produce enough lift to overcome weight.