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Content Flight Theory guide


Rev. 2 ! page content "as last change# $ovember % & 2''(

Groundschool Theory of Flight

A note from the author )he intent of this flight theory gui#e is to improve the un#erpinning *no"le#ge an# thus the situational a"areness& airmanship an# ultimately& the safety of recreational pilots an# their passengers. )he tutorial is "ritten on the premise that no pilot can *no" too much about aero#ynamics an# flight+ so the more information provi#e#& the better the result. Aeronautics an# aero#ynamics are very comple, sub-ects. Since the initial 2'''.2''% publication of the various mo#ules there has been /an# continues to be0 consi#erable fee#bac* from rea#ers re1uesting increase# coverage or see*ing a##itional e,planation of various aspects. 2n a##ition& the causes of acci#ents in "orl#3"i#e recreational aviation remain #istressingly familiar "hich has contribute# to a probable e,cessive laboring over some matters. Conse1uently a large number of small a##itions to the te,t has been ma#e over the years ! some mo#ules have been revise# as many as (' times an# their te,t content has treble# since first publication. 2f a stu#ent pilot fin#s some parts rather pe#antic or long3"in#e# then 2 suggest those parts be s*ippe# through initially an# perhaps re3rea# later on. )his tutorial is not provi#e# as a substitute for the many specialise# print publications #esigne# for stu#ent pilots an# the 4A5 test. RA3Aus has no "ish to intru#e on that mar*et. A "or# of caution. 2 have foun# that some fallacies or misconceptions are often repeate# from "or* to "or*. 4e "ary of the person "ho is a#amant that there is only one correct concept an# that all others shoul# be ignore#. 2 believe the grasp of a concept is ai#e# by using simple mathematical e,amples /about year 6 level0 an# there are many such #istribute#

throughout the notes. 2 have use# S2 units of measurement for these e,amples& as such notation is no" the only one familiar to younger Australians. )o simplify matters a little the te,t is "ritten aroun# normal three3a,is aeroplanes. 7roperties uni1ue to "eight shift controlle# fle,3 "ing microlights or po"ere# parachutes are covere# mainly in the "eight shift control mo#ule. Some mo#ules ! notably ta*e3off an# lan#ing ! go a little further than simplifie# theory& emphasising safety in flight practices+ but this is not inten#e# to be a 8ho" to fly8 gui#e. )he tutorial& being a "eb #ocument& is continually up#ate# an#9or e,pan#e#. 2t is not inten#e# to be anything other than a "eb #ocument though many people #o #o"nloa#& re3format an# print& because the print #ocument can be rea# in be#& or at the brea*fast table& an# can be rea#ily annotate#. 2f you #on8t have a 8Symbolic8 font available some characters in some e,pressions may not be ren#ere# correctly. )he :nite# States Fe#eral Aviation A#ministration8s ;eb site contains a lot of e#ucational material. 2f you are loo*ing for aviation oriente# material suite# for chil#ren age# .6 /an# up0 2 suggest you visit the FAA 5i#8s Corner. ... <ohn 4ran#on

Basic forces 3 => *b plus images


%.% 2ntro#uction %.2 ?ector 1uantities %.> ;eight %.= Lift %. )hrust %.@ Arag

Manoeuvring forces 3 > *b plus images


%.B Cruise performance %.( Forces in a climb %.6 Forces in a #escent %.%' )urning forces %.%% Limit loa#s an# ultimate loa#s %.%2 Conserving energy Abri#ge# trigonometrical tables

Airspeed and the properties of air 3 (( *b plus images


2.% )he atmospheric pressure gra#ient 2.2 Atmospheric #ensity

2.> )he 2nternational Stan#ar# Atmosphere 2.= 4ernoulli8s principle 2. Ceasuring airspee# 2.@ 2n#icate# airspee# 2.B Ceasuring vertical airspee# 2.( Stalling airspee#s 2.6 ?3spee#s #efine# 2.%' Aircraft flight envelope

Altitude and altimeters 3 >@ *b plus images


>.% )he sensitive altimeter >.2 Altitu#e #efinitions >.> 7hysiological effects of altitu#e >.= High #ensity altitu#e

Aerofoils and wings 3 6 *b plus images


=.% Lift generation =.2 Aerofoil simulation Aerofoil flight test simulator =.> 4oun#ary layer air flo" =.= Aspect ratio =. Span"ise pressure gra#ient =.@ 2n#uce# #rag =.B 7arasite #rag =.( Aircraft lift9#rag ratio =.6 7itching moment =.%' Ailerons =.%% Flaps =.%2 High lift #evices =.%> Lift spoilers an# airbra*es

Engine and propeller performance 3 > *b plus images


.% Dngine po"er output .2 7ropeller po"er output .> 7ropeller types .= 7ropeller theory

Tailplane surfaces 3 22 *b plus images


@.% Airframe basics @.2 HoriEontal stabiliEer @.> Dlevators @.= ?ertical stabiliser an# ru##er @. Control balances

Sta ility 3 2( *b plus images


B.% Concept of stability B.2 Longitu#inal stability B.> Airectional stability B.= Lateral stability

B. )rim an# thrust

Control 3 = *b plus images


(.% Control in pitch (.2 Control in ya" (.> Control in roll (.= Control in a turn (. )he slip as a manoeuvre (.@ Spins an# spiral #ives

!eight and alance 3 2@ *b plus images


6.% Ca,imum ta*e3off "eight 6.2 4alance 6.> 4allasting 6.= Calculating cg position

!eight shift control and powered "chutes 3 %2 *b plus images


%'.% )ri*es %'.2 7o"ere# parachutes

Ta#e$off considerations 3 (= *b plus images


%%.% )he ta*e3off se1uence %%.2 Factors affecting safe ta*e3off performance %%.> Dngine effects an# aero#ynamic phenomena %%.= Calculating #ensity altitu#e %%. Dffect of "in# %%.@ )a*e3 off proce#ure %%.B )a*ing off to"ar#s rising terrain %%.( Limiting climbing turns #uring ta*e3off

Circuit% approach and landing 3 B% *b plus images


%2.% )he lan#ing se1uence %2.2 Factors affecting safe lan#ing performance %2.> )he stan#ar# circuit pattern %2.= $on3stan#ar# circuits %2. Final approach slope an# #uration %2.@ Flare& touch#o"n an# groun# roll %2.B Foing aroun# %2.( Short fiel# techni1ues Signals that are essential to *no"

Safety& flight at e'cessive speed 3 >( *b plus images


%>.% Airframe strength an# elasticity %>.2 Stan#ar# airspee# limitations %>.> Aero#ynamic reactions to flight at e,cessive spee#

%>.= Recovery from flight at e,cessive spee# %>. $otesG compressibility of air flo" an# Cach number

Safety& control loss in turns 3 =' *b plus images


%=.% Angle of attac* increase in a turn %=.2 Loss of control in an uncoor#inate# level turn %=.> Loss of control in an uncoor#inate# #escen#ing turn %=.= Loss of control in a lo" level climbing turn %=. Stan#ar# recovery proce#ure for all stall types %=.@ Succumbing to illusory groun# reference cues %=.B Dffects of "in# shear

Supplementary documents
(perations at non$controlled airfields 3 CASA A#visory Circular 3 2> *b Safety during ta#e$off and landing 3 CASA A#visory Circular 3 B *b The first module in this Flight Theory Guide introduces the asic flight forces)

4ac* to top (ther Manuals and Guides


* +earning to Fly Guide * Aviation Meteorology Guide * * Flight ,lanning - .avigation Guide * /0F 1adiocommunication Guide * * Coping with Emergencies * Builders Guide to Aircraft Materials * * 2ecreasing your e'posure to ris# * (perations Manual * Technical Manual *

$D;CHCDRS F:2ADA )H:R Ipage @ of %'J


)he ne,t page is a groun# school mo#ule loo*ing at those atmospheric events& occurring close to the surface& "hich may affect flight.

Copyright 3 455564557 8ohn Brandon information:

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The asic forces


Revision Bb ! page content "as last change# Hctober 2(& 2''(+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au.

Groundschool 6 Theory of Flight

Module content

%.% 2ntro#uction %.2 ?ector 1uantities %.> ;eight %.= Lift

%. )hrust %.@ Arag )hings that are han#y to *no"

;n normal flight% a light aircraft derives its forward motion from the thrust provided y the engine$driven propeller) ;f the aircraft is maintaining a constant height% direction and speed then the thrust force will alance the air"s resistance to the aircraft"s motion through it) The forward motion creates airflow past the wings and the dynamic pressure changes within this airflow create an upward$acting force or lift% which will alance the force due to gravity 6 weight 6 acting downward) Thus% in normal unaccelerated flight% the four asic forces acting on the aircraft are appro'imately in e<uili rium) The pilot is a le to change the direction and magnitude of these forces and there y control the speed% flight path and performance of the aircraft)

=)= ;ntroduction

The four forces


;hen a "ell3trimme# aircraft is cruising /i.e. flying at a constant spee#& an# maintaining a constant hea#ing an# a constant altitu#e0 in non3turbulent air& there are t"o sets& or couples& of basic forces acting on it. )he t"o forces in each couple are e1ual an# appro,imately opposite to each other other"ise the aircraft "oul# not continue to fly straight an# level at a constant spee#+ i.e. the aircraft is in a state of e<uili rium "here all forces balance each other out so there is no change in motion. )he couple that acts vertically is the lift& generate# by the energy of the airflo" past the "ings an# acting up"ar#& an# the weight acting #o"n"ar#. So& being e1ual an# appro,imately opposite& the lifting force being generate# must e,actly match the total "eight of the aircraft. )he couple that acts horiEontally is the thrust& generate# by the engine3#riven propeller& an# the air resistance& cause# by the friction an# pressure of the airflo"& or drag& trying to slo" the moving aircraft. )he thrust& acting for"ar# along the flight path& e,actly e1uals the #rag. )he thrust provi#es energy to the aircraft an# the #rag #issipates that same energy into the atmosphere. )he forces are not all e1ual to each other. 2n fact& an aircraft in cruising flight might generate ten times more lift than thrust. ;hen all forces are in e1uilibrium a moving aircraft "ill ten# to *eep moving along the same flight path at the same spee# ! "hether it is flying straight an# level& #escen#ing or climbing ! until an applie# force or a #isplacement force changes that state of motion. For instance& if the pilot opens the engine throttle fully& an# maintains level flight& the thrust force is initially greater than #rag an# the aircraft accelerates. Ho"ever& as the spee# of airflo" over the aircraft increases& the air resistance also increases an# the aircraft "ill soon reach the spee# ! its ma,imum ! "here the forces are again balance#.

;nertia% momentum and energy


)his property of resisting any change in motion& or continuing in the same state of motion or state of rest& is inertia. )he mass of a bo#y is a measure of its inertia+ i.e. its resistance to being accelerate# by an applie# force increases "ith mass. )he unit of mass "e "ill be using is the *ilogram I*gJ. Some older texts refer

to the 'slug', which is the unit of mass in the old British gravitational system of measurement units and equals 32.17 l!. Air also has mass an# thus inertia& an# "ill resist being pushe# asi#e by the passage of an aircraft. )hat resistance "ill be felt both as #rag an# as pressure changes on the aircraft surfaces. A moving aircraft has momentum& "hich is mass K velocity an# is a measure of the effort nee#e# to stop it moving. /Comentum an# inertia are not synonymous0. )he same aircraft also has #inetic energy& "hich is relate# to mass K velocity s1uare#. Also& because it has climbe# above the Darth8s surface& it has ac1uire# a##itional gravitational potential energy "hich& in this case& is "eight K height gaine#. Dnergy is #iscusse# further in the section on conserving energy in the ne,t mo#ule. An aircraft in flight is 8airborne8 an# its velocity is relative to the surroun#ing air& not the Darth8s surface. "# ground$!ased o!server sees the aircraft movement resulting from the sum of aircraft velocity and the am!ient air velocity % hori&ontal motion 'the wind( )lus vertical motion 'u)drafts, downdrafts and wave action(.* Ho"ever& "hen the aircraft encounters a su##en change in the ambient air velocity ! a gust ! inertia comes into play an# momentarily maintains the aircraft velocity relative to the Darth or& more correctly& relative to space. )his momentarily changes airspeed an# imparts other forces to the aircraft. "+he fact that inertia over$rides the )hysics of aerodynamics is sometimes a cause of confusion.* A more massive /heavier0 aircraft has more inertia than a less massive /lighter0 one& so is more resistant to ran#om #isplacement forces ! "in# shear an# turbulence. :ltralights ! "hose mass is less than B ' *g ! are all regar#e# as 8lo" inertia8 aircraft an# particularly affecte# by acceleration loa#s pro#uce# by turbulence.

Freedoms of movement
An aircraft can rotate about each of three a,es ! longitudinal& lateral an# normal /or vertical0 ! an# move for"ar# along the longitu#inal a,is. An aerobatic aircraft can also move bac*"ar# along the longitu#inal a,is ! in a tail sli#e. Rotation about the longitu#inal a,is is roll& about the lateral a,is is pitch ! as in a

shi) )itching in a heavy sea ! an# about the normal a,is is yaw ! again, li,e much in aviation, a nautical term. Hther movements can inclu#e a bo#ily movement along the lateral a,is /si#eslipping& slipping or s*i##ing0 or the normal a,is /rising or sin*ing0. )hus& an aircraft has si, #egrees of free#om of movement ! three rotational an# three translational. )he three a,es are relevant to the aircraft an# each other /not to the horiEon0 so that "hen an aircraft is steeply ban*e# its normal a,is is closer to horiEontal& rather than vertical to the Darth8s surface. )he a,es are orthogonal /at right angles to each other0 an#& by convention& all are represente# as passing through the aircraft8s centre of gravity. ;hen manoeuvring& an aircraft may e,perience any combination of the rotational an# translational movements+ for e,ample& it may be rolling& pitching& ya"ing& slipping an# sin*ing all at the same time.

2irection of forces relative to the flight path


;hen an aircraft is in straight an# level flight lift acts vertically up"ar# "ith thrust an# #rag acting horiEontally. 2n fact& lift acts perpen#icular to both the flight path an# the lateral a,is of the aircraft& #rag acts parallel to the flight path& an# thrust usually acts parallel to the longitu#inal a,is of the aircraft. So if you imagine an aircraft #oing a loop& as in the #iagram belo"& you can see that at one point& "hen it is going up& thrust "ill be acting vertically up"ar#& #rag vertically #o"n"ar# an# lift acting horiEontally to"ar#s the centre of the loop. At a point on the other si#e of the loop the thrust acts #o"n"ar#& #rag up"ar# an# lift again horiEontally. ;eight& of course& al"ays acts from the centre of mass of the aircraft to"ar#s the centre of mass of the Darth& so on the #o"nsi#e of the loop& "eight an# thrust are acting together an# the aircraft "ill accelerate rapi#ly unless thrust is re#uce#.

-ou might as, yourself this. if the aircraft is using its maximum thrust when it starts the loo), how can it clim! vertically when lift no longer counters weight, and there is no extra thrust availa!le to also counter the drag )lus the weight, which are !oth now acting downwards/ +he answer is extra momentum which ena!les the aircraft to accom)lish a fast )ull$u), and usually )rovided !y the )ilot, of a lower$)owered aircraft, accelerating the aircraft in a shallow dive !efore !eginning the manoeuvre. )he lift only matches the "eight "hen the aircraft is flying straight an# level. ;hen the aircraft is in a stea#y #escent or in a stea#y climb the lift is a bit less than the "eight. ;e "ill e,plore this in the climb9#escent mo#ules but -ust be a"are that "hen the line of thrust is incline# above the horiEon the thrust "ill have a vertical component+ i.e. it "ill provi#e a lifting force. ;hen the aircraft is turning in the horiEontal plane or in the vertical plane as in the loop& or any"here in bet"een& the lift is greater than the "eight. 2n high3 performance military aircraft it can be seven or eight times greater& because the lift provi#es the centripetal force to ma*e the turn. 0ote. it's not always true that lift and drag act relative to the flight )ath. 1magine an aircraft flying straight and level, which encounters a su!stantial atmos)heric u)draught. 2ue to inertia the aircraft will, for the first milliseconds anyway, maintain its flight )ath relative to the 3arth. 2uring that time the 'effective airflow' )assing !y the

wings will no longer !e directly aligned with the flight )ath !ut will have acquired a vertical com)onent. +he lift will now act at 456 to this new 'effective airflow' rather than the actual flight )ath, and have a significant effect. #lso, the wing itself modifies the effective airflow so 7ust for now, until we loo, at aerofoils and wings, it is sim)ler to ignore the 'effective airflow' and other conce)ts and stay with the flight )ath.

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=)4 /ector <uantities


?ector 1uantities have both magnitu#e an# #irection. /elocity is a vector 1uantity having both a magnitu#e /the airspee#0 an# a >3 #imensional #irection. A force has both a #irection in "hich it is pushing or pulling an# a magnitu#e /in ne"tons I$J0& thus it is a vector 1uantity. Comentum& having mass an# velocity& is also a vector 1uantity& but inertia is not. 2gnoring "eight an# friction for no"+ "hen only one force is applie# to a stationary ob-ect& the ob-ect "ill accelerate in the same #irection as the force applie#. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity& the change being either in spee# or three3#imensional #irection& or both. 1f an aircraft accelerates in a straight line from an airs)eed of 28 metres9second 'm9s( to 78 m9s in 15 seconds then the average change in airs)eed )er second is 78 :28 9 15 ; 8 m9s, thus the acceleration is 8 metres )er second )er second '8 m9s<(. )he common usage term 8#eceleration8& referring to a re#uction in linear spee# only& is generally not use# in physics as& in that science& 8acceleration8 has both positive an# negative connotations.

1esultant forces

;hen more than one force is being applie# to an ob-ect there "ill be a resultant force& probably imparting an initial acceleration until all forces are again balance# at a ne" velocity. 2t is common practice to estimate resultant forces non3mathematically by #ra"ing scale#& arro"e# lines to represent each vector 1uantity& pro#ucing the resultant of t"o vector 1uantities in a vector parallelogram. )he lengths of the lines represent the magnitu#e of each force an# the placements in#icate the application points an# #irections. )he #iagram is an e,aggerate# representation of an unpo"ere# aircraft in a constant rate #escent& sho"ing that the lift9#rag resultant is e1ual an# opposite to the "eight vector. 1n the diagram the resultant shown is the net aggregation of the aerodynamic forces generated !y the wings, and it is conventional to then resolve that into its lift and drag com)onents. =e will !e loo,ing at aerodynamic forces in later modules.

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=)> !eight
!eight as a ody force
)here is a common& if not universal& ten#ency to e1uate the mass of a bo#y "ith its "eight. )his is not surprising& as both are usually e,presse# using the same unit ! *ilograms I*gJ. Lou nee# to appreciate that "eight is a bo#y force& the pro#uct of the bo#y mass an# the acceleration #ue to gravity. )he force #ue to gravity ! or "eight ! of an aircraft on the groun# or in flight is e,presse# as ! ? m @ g& "here ! some"hat confusingly ! m is the symbol for mass /rather than metres0 an# g is a gravity constant applie# to ob-ects on& or near& the Darth8s surface. )hat constant is not a force but an acceleration of 6.('@ m9sM ! also *no"n as the acceleration of free fall. 2n coming calculations "e "ill use the performance of an early

version of the Australian #esigne# <abiru aircraft as representative of the general aviation9ultralight four cylin#er& t"o3seat& fi,e#3pitch an# fi,e#3un#ercarriage recreational aircraft. All forces& inclu#ing "eight& are measure# in ne"tons. )he ma,imum allo"e# ta*e3off "eight IC)H;J& of the <abiru of mass =>' *g sitting on the run"ay is m N =>' K gN 6.('@ N =2%@ $. )he <abiru "ith an (' *g pilot on boar# an# "ith half the ma,imum fuel loa# "oul# have a mass of only >=' *g "hich ma*es some #ifference to performance. ;e shall e,plore this in other mo#ules. +o sim)lify calculations, we will load full fuel, )lus a lightweight )assenger, into the >a!iru giving it a loaded mass of 55 ,g and use g=10 m/s, thus weight ; 555 0.

Centre of gravity
)he position of the centre of mass or centre of gravity IcgJ "ithin the aircraft "ill vary accor#ing to the seating of passengers an# sto"age of luggage. )he *no"le#ge of the total mass of the loa#e# aircraft an# the cg position ! the weight and alance ! is very important& as "e "ill see in the 8;eight an# balance8 mo#ule. ;eight is al"ays presume# to act from the cg position to the centre of the Darth. ;e "ill also see& in the 8Altitu#e an# altimeters8 mo#ule& that atmospheric con#itions affect aircraft performance& an# subse1uently the appropriate C)H;. ?ector 1uantities are sometimes very easy to calculate+ for e,ample if a <abiru& "eighing =''' $& is cruising straight an# level& then the lift force must be =''' $ pushing vertically up"ar#.

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=)A +ift
The lift e<uation
;hen an aircraft is cruising in straight an# level flight& at lo" altitu#es& the "ings are set at a small angle ! > to O ! to the 8flight path8 /or the 'line of flight' or the 'effective airflow' or the 'free stream airflow' or the 'relative wind'& all of "hich mean much the same thing in cruising flight in a non3turbulent atmosphere0. )he net sum of the aero#ynamic reaction on the "ing is a resultant

force #irecte# up"ar#s an# bac*"ar#s. Aero#ynamicists have foun# it convenient to resolve that resultant force into -ust t"o componentsG that part acting bac*"ar# along the flight path is the "ing #rag& an# that acting perpen#icular to the flight path is the lift. )he amount of lift& an# #rag& generate# by the "ings #epen#s chiefly onG /a0 the angle at "hich the "ing meet the airflo" or flight path /b0 the shape of the "ing& particularly in cross3section ! the aerofoil /c0 the #ensity /i.e. mass per unit volume0 of the air /#0 the spee# of the free stream airflo"+ i.e. flight airspee# /e0 an# the "ing plan3form surface area. )here is a stan#ar# e1uation to calculate lift from the "ings& "hich "ill be often referre# to in these notesG /D1uation P%.%0 +ift 9newtons: ? CL @ B /C @ S

)he e,pression B /C /pronounce# half roe vee s1uare#0 represents the #ynamic pressure of the air flo" in ne"tons per s1uare metre I$9mMJ. "?lease note % if a 'Sym!olic' font is not availa!le, your !rowser will not dis)lay the @ree, letter rho, the acce)ted sym!ol for air density, and may dis)lay r or / instead.* )he #ynamic pressure e,pression& Q?M& is very similar to the *inetic energy e,pression QmvM& "here m N mass. #ir density is mass )er unit volumeA i.e. ,g9mB, so the dynamic )ressure of the airflow is the ,inetic energy )er unit volume. )he values in the e,pression areG /the Free* letter rho0 is the #ensity of the air& item /c0& in *g9mR /C is the flight spee# /not velocity0& item /#0& in m9s S is the "ing area& item /e0& in mM CL is a #imensionless 1uantity ! the lift coefficient ! "hich relates mostly to item /a0& but also to item /b0. 2n normal operations for very light aircraft& an# "hen there are no high lift #evices incorporate# in the "ing structure& CC usually has a value bet"een '.% an# %. . 2t can be regar#e# as the ratio of the conversion of #ynamic pressure into lift& by the "ing& at varying angles to the flight path.

Angle of attac# and the lift coefficient

2tem /a0 above& the angle at "hich the "ings meet the flight path ! more properly terme# the geometric angle of attac# ! is near %@O at minimum controllable airspee# an# aroun# 2 to O "hen cruising at lo" altitu#es+ less at higher spee#s& greater at higher altitu#es. ;e "ill cover the close relationship bet"een CC& angle of attac* /aoa or alpha0 an# airspee# in the aerofoils an# "ings mo#ule. )he #iagram sho"s a typical CC vs angle of attac* curve for a light aircraft not e1uippe# "ith flaps or high3lift #evices. From it you can rea# the CC value for each aoa& for e,ample at %'O the ratio for conversion of #ynamic pressure to lift is '.6. $ote that CC still has a positive value even "hen the aoa is . %O. )his is because of the higher camber in the upper half of the "ing+ some highly cambere# "ings may still have a positive CC value "hen the aoa is as lo" as .=O. A light non3 aerobatic aircraft pilot "oul# not normally utilise negative aoa because it involves operating the aircraft in a high3 spee# #escent& but "e "ill #iscuss this further in the 8Flight at e,cessive spee#8 mo#ule. Also note that the lift coefficient increases in #irect relationship to the increase in angle of attac*& until near %@O aoa "here CC reaches a ma,imum of about %.> an# then #ecreases rapi#ly as aoa passes %@O. A rule of thumb for light aircraft "ith simple "ings is that each %O aoa change ! starting from .2O an# continuing to about %=O ! e1uates to a '.% CC change. Also& it is not -ust the "ings that pro#uce lift. 7arts of a "ell3 #esigne# fuselage ! the aircraft bo#y ! can also pro#uce lift an# the vertical component of the thrust vector can supplement lift "hen that vector is angle# up"ar#s. ;e can calculate CC for the <abiru cruising at an altitu#e of @ '' feet an# an airspee# of 6B *nots / ' m9s0. )he "ing

area is very close to ( mMG S lift N "eight N =''' $ S N %.' *g9mR /the appro,imate #ensity of air at @ '' feet altitu#e0 S ?M N ' K 'N 2 '' m9s S S N ( mM Lift N CC K Q?M K S Aynamic pressure N Q K%.' K 2 '' N %2 ' $9mM So& =''' N CC K %2 ' K (& ! thus ! CC N '.=.

Changing the angle of attac#


$o" "hat happens if the pilot #eci#es to #ecrease airspee# to (( *nots /= m9s0 "hile maintaining the same altitu#eT First& the pilot #ecreases po"er to give (( *nots then a#-usts control pressure to maintain the same altitu#e ! but loo* at the changes in the lift e1uation. S lift still e1uals "eight N =''' $ S air #ensity still N %.' *g9mR S ?M changes an# is no" N = K = N 2'2 m9s S S can8t change N ( mM Aynamic pressure N QK%.' K 2'2 N %'%2. $9mM So& =''' N CC K %'%2. K (& ! an# ! CC N '. appro,imately. So& the result of #ecreasing airspee#& "hile maintaining straight an# level flight& is an increase in the lift coefficient from '.= to '. . )hat has t"o possible contributors ! the shape of the aerofoil an# the angle of attac*+ items /a0 an# /b0 above. 4ecause the pilot can8t change the aerofoil shape /unless flaps are e,ten#e#& "hich "e #iscuss in the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule0 the angle of attac* must have change#. Ho"T 4y the pilot a#-usting control pressure to apply an aero#ynamic force to the aircraft8s tailplane /or some other control surface0& "hich has the effect of rotating the aircraft -ust a #egree or so about its lateral a,is. Hnce the pilot has achieve# the #esire# aoa& as in#icate# by the ne" airspee# /"hich "ill be e,plaine# in the 8Airspee#8 mo#ule0& the tailplane trim control is a#-uste# an# the aircraft "ill then maintain that aoa.

2t may be appropriate to slip in another slight complication at this point. Lift& li*e "eight& may be ta*en as acting through a central point ! the centre of pressure IcpJ. )he position of the cp changes "ith aoa an# this movement has a significant effect ! it causes the nose of the aircraft to pitch up or #o"n. So& the lift an# "eight are usually not in e1uilibrium an# the rotational moment must be counteracte# by aero#ynamic forces pro#uce# by the horiEontal stabiliser. Hther tailplane surfaces also pro#uce aero#ynamic forces for trim an# control& so to maintain an aircraft in straight an# level flight ! apart from the four forces mentione# ! there "ill al"ays be another force& or forces& generate# by the fi,e# tailplane of most aeroplanes or its movable surfaces. ;e "ill loo* at this in the 8Stability8 mo#ule.

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=)D Thrust
Action and reaction
2n the <abiru the engine supplies tor1ue #irectly to the propeller shaft an# the propeller converts the tor1ue to thrust+ "e "ill amplify ho" this is accomplishe# in the 8Dngine an# propeller performance8 mo#ule. )he propeller pushes bac*"ar#s a tube of air "ith the same #iameter as itself+ i.e. it a##s momentum to the tube of air "here momentum N mass K velocity& an# is also a vector 1uantity. 2ncreasing the spee# also imparts *inetic energy to the air. )his tube of accelerate#& energise# air is the slipstream. Consi#ering 2saac $e"ton8s thir# la" you e,pect an e1ual an# opposite reaction to the action of a##ing momentum. )his reaction is the application of for"ar# momentum to the propeller& "hich pulls the rest of the aircraft along behin# if the engine9propeller installation is a 8tractor8 type& or pushes it if the engine9propeller installation is a 8pusher8 type.

The line of thrust


;e nee# to clarify the line of thrust. )his line is e,ten#e# for"ar# through the propeller shaft& "hich is usually aligne# "ith the longitu#inal a,is of the aircraft& but not al"ays. For instance& the

engine an# propeller installation in the carrier3borne Dellcat& of Secon# ;orl# ;ar fame& "as vertically offset so that the thrust vector "as >O #o"n+ conse1uently& the aircraft fle" "ith a rather -aunty tail3#o"n attitu#e. 2 thin* the reason "as that the thrust line then e,ten#e# bac* over the cg& ma*ing the aircraft more stable at the very lo" spee#s re1uire# for #ec* lan#ing. "-ou can read a little a!out the dec, landing techniques of those days % my youth % in this maga&ine article*. )he relationship of the longitu#inal a,is "ith the horiEontal flight path ! the aircraft8s attitude ! varies "ith the spee# of the aircraft. At ma,imum allo"able airspee#& or ?ne& the longitu#inal a,is might coinci#e e,actly "ith the flight path but as spee# #ecreases& the a,is starts to angle up an# coul# be incline# % O to the flight path at minimum controllable airspee#. 4ecause the line of #rag is al"ays aligne# "ith the flight path& then the thrust vector #oes not #irectly oppose the #rag vector.

)he #iagram& slightly e,aggerate# for clarity& sho"s the relationship bet"een angle of attac* an# line of thrust to the flight path& for an aircraft maintaining level flight at a very slo" spee#. )he flight path is horiEontal so the #rag vector "ill also be horiEontal+ i.e. aligne# "ith the relative airflo". )he line of thrust is aligne# "ith the longitu#inal a,is& so the angle bet"een the thrust line an# the horiEontal flight path is the aircraft attitu#e ! in this case& its attitu#e in pitch. )he "ing chor# line is e,ten#e# so that the geometric angle of attac* can be seen ! the angle bet"een the chor# line an# the flight path. )he lift an# "eight vectors "oul# both be at right angles to the flight path. Lou might notice from the #iagram that the thrust vector "ill have 1uite a substantial vertical component& so that part of the thrust is supplementing lift. )hus "e have -ust #estroye# our previous assertion that if an aircraft is flying straight an# level& lift must al"ays e1ual "eight. 2n this instance& the lift is less than "eight an# the /very small0 shortfall is provi#e# by the vertical component of thrust. So it is more correct to say that& if an aircraft is flying straight an# level& lift plus the vertical component of thrust must

e1ual "eight. ;e can estimate the thrust #elivere# by the <abiru8s propeller& cruising at a spee# of 6B *nots at @ '' feetG From the pilot8s operating han#boo* "e fin# that the engine is rate# at (' hp K B=@ N @' *ilo"atts I*;J& an# cruise po"er for 6B *nots is @ U& or >6 *;. )he fi,e# pitch propeller is about B'U efficient at cruising spee# so the effective po"er from the propeller is 2B *;. Hne "att is the "or* accomplishe# by a force of one ne"ton moving an ob-ect one metre in one secon#. )he aircraft is moving at 6B *nots& or ' m9s /*nots K '. %= N m9s0& so& 2B ''' ; #ivi#e# by ' Im9sJ e1uals =' $ an# that is the thrust being provi#e#& "hich also means the #rag is =' $. Compare that to the "eight an# lift of =''' $& state# in section %.>& an# you see that the lift force ! silently an# efficiently generate# simply by the angle of the "ings an# the velocity of the airflo" ! is B.= times the thrust force ! noisily an# inefficiently generate# by the engine burning e,pensive fuel. +hat is !eing a !it unfair !ecause the wings are really converting much of the thrust into a lifting force. 7ut another "ay the lift to drag ratio "hen cruising at 6B *nots is B.=G%. ;e "ill e,amine lift9#rag ratios in the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule.

The slipstream
)he slipstream spee# of an aircraft at cruising spee# might be 2'U greater than the aircraft spee#& #uring a climb it coul# be 'U faster& an# "hen the aircraft is maintaining height near its minimum controllable spee#& slipstream velocity might be %''U greater. Some aircraft are #esigne# so that the slipstream over the centre section of the "ings increases ? an# thus lift& an# the combination of the vertical component of thrust plus the slipstream effect means that possibly 2 U of the thrust output is contributing lift "hen flying in a tail3#o"n attitu#e.

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=)E 2rag

Arag is the resistance of the air to an aircraft pushing through it. )he resistance #epen#s onG /a0 the streamlining of the aircraft bo#y /b0 i. the e,crescences attache# to the airframe ii. turbulence at the -unctions of structural components iii. the cooling airflo" aroun# the engine /c0 the roughness of the surface s*in /#0 the 8"ette#8 area+ i.e. the amount of surface e,pose# to the airflo" /e0 the #ensity of the air /f0 the spee# of the airflo" /g0 the angle of attac*. )hese components of #rag are classifie# in several "ays an# "e "ill loo* at them in the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule. 7art of the air resistance& the in#uce# #rag& is a conse1uence of item /g0 the angle of attac*. 2n#uce# #rag is very high& maybe B'U of the total& at the high aoa of the minimum controllable airspee#& but in#uce# #rag #ecreases as spee# increases& being possibly less than %'U of the total at full throttle spee#. Ho"ever the balance of the air resistance& *no"n as parasite drag& increases as spee# increases until the total air resistance e1uals the ma,imum thrust that can be pro#uce#. Lou can see from the #iagram that parasite #rag is #irectly proportional to #ynamic pressure IQ ?MJ "hile in#uce# #rag is inversely proportional to it. )hus in normal straight an# level flight& air resistance is high at both minimum an# ma,imum airspee#s an# lo"est at some mi#3 range spee# "here ! as resistance is at a minimum ! the thrust re1uire# to maintain constant height "ill also be at a minimum+ conse1uently& that is the spee# ! ?br ! "hich provi#es ma,imum range. 2f #rag is at a minimum& then the lift9#rag ratio "ill be at a ma,imum+ conse1uently& this is very close to the best engine3off gli#e spee# ! ?bg. Air #ensity /an# thus air resistance0 #ecreases "ith increasing altitu#e. So& the parasite #rag component for a given airspee# #ecreases "ith increasing altitu#e "hile the in#uce# #rag component increases& because the "ing has to fly at a greater aoa to pro#uce the lift re1uire#.

)he stan#ar# e,pression for total aircraft #rag is very similar to the lift e1uationG /D1uation P%.20 Total drag 9newtons: ? CD @ B /C @ S

"here CD is the total #rag coefficient an# the ratio of total aircraft #rag to #ynamic pressure. C2 increases as aoa increases. )he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #iscusses the forces involve# in manoeuvring an aircraft. 4ut first& rea# the notes belo".

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Things that are handy to #now

)he generic term aircraft covers a "i#e range of airborne vehiclesG lighter3than3 air /aerostats0+ e.g. airships an# balloons& an# heavier3than3air /aerodynes0. )he latter inclu#es gli#ers& po"ere# parachutes& "eight3shift ultralights& rotorcraft& helicopters& unmanne# aerial vehicles an# aeroplanes of all types from high performance supersonic fighters& -ump -ets or -umbo -ets& to those li*e our frien#ly single3engine <abiru. Ho"ever& for the purpose of these notes "e use the term aircraft to refer only to a class of 8general aviation8 an# 8sport an# recreational aviation8 aeroplanes "ith piston3 engines #riving propellers+ relatively simple "ing configurations+ minimum po"er3off controllable airspee#s possibly as lo" as 2' *nots+ an# possibly a ma,imum cruise airspee#& for a really high3performance aeroplane in that class& of 2 ' *nots. )hese aircraft generally have one or t"o engines rate# at =' hp to ='' hp. )he general aviation aircraft have normal wing loadings /i.e. "eight9"ing area0 bet"een B an# 2= poun#s per s1uare foot /> .%2' *g9mM0 an# ma,imum lift9#rag ratios of 6G% to %2G%& "hile ultralights have "ing loa#ings bet"een = an# %2 poun#s per s1uare foot /2'.@' *g9mM0 an# aircraft lift9#rag ratios of BG% to %2G%. ;eight shift controlle# aeroplanes an# po"ere# parachutes "ill be treate# separately "hen nee#e#. A newton I$J is the force re1uire# to give a mass of one

*ilogram an acceleration of one m9sM. ;saac .ewton"s third lawG 2f one bo#y e,erts a force on another there is an e1ual an# opposite force ! a reaction ! e,erte# on the first bo#y by the secon#. A #not is a spee# of one nautical mile per hour& '. %== m9s or roughly %'' feet per minute. Hne nautical mile is the length& at the Darth8s surface& of one minute of arc of a great circle an# currently accepte# to e1ual %( 2 metres or @'B@.%% feet.

Stuff you don"t need to #now


S Hb-ects #o not fall freely in the Darth8s atmosphere. )he air resistance /#rag0 increases as both fall velocity an# air #ensity increase until a terminal velocity is reache# ! "here the #rag force an# the "eight /the force #ue to gravity0 are balance# ! an# the ob-ect stops accelerating. 2f the fall continues the ob-ect "ill start to slo" slightly because of increasing air #ensity at lo"er altitu#e& "hich increases #rag. A streamline# bo#y "ill have a higher terminal velocity than a non3streamline# bo#y& of the same mass& because of the lo"er #rag. Groundschool 6 Flight Theory Guide modules
| Flight theory contents | I%. 4asic forcesJ | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# |

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Manoeuvring forces
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Groundschool 6 Theory of Flight

Module content

%.B Cruise performance %.( Forces in a climb %.6 Forces in a #escent %.%' )urning forces %.%% Limiting loa#s an# ultimate loa#s %.%2 Conserving energy Abri#ge# trigonometrical tables )hings that are han#y to *no" Stuff you #on8t nee# to *no"

The performance of an aircraft in the hands of a competent pilot 6 at a given altitude 6 results from the sum of power% attitude and configuration) ,ower provides thrust and conse<uently forward acceleration% lift% drag and radius of turn) Attitude is the angle of the longitudinal a'is with the horiGon (usually called the 'pitch' which also has another meaning associated with propellers % plus the angle of attac# and the angle of an#) Attitude dictates the direction and dimension of the lift% thrust and drag vectors and% conse<uently% converts power into velocities and accelerations in the three planes) Configuration relates to the deployment of liftHdrag changing devices) There is a fourth factor 6 energy management 6 which is an art that supplements attitude plus power plus height to produce ma'imum aircraft performance) The epitome of such an art is demonstrated y air$show pilots who produce e'traordinary

performances from otherwise relatively mundane aircraft)

=)7 Cruise performance


;hen an aircraft is cruising& flying from point A to point 4& the pilot has several options for setting cruise spee#G Hne choice might be to get there as soon as possible& in "hich case the pilot "oul# operate the engine at the ma,imum continuous po"er allo"e# by the engine #esigner. )he recommen#e# ma,imum continuous po"er is usually aroun# B U of the rate# po"er of the engine an# provi#es performance cruise.

Another choice might be to get there using as little fuel as possible but in a reasonable time& in "hich case the pilot might choose a U po"er setting to provi#e an economy cruise airspee#. Hr the pilot might choose any po"er setting& in the usual engine #esign range& bet"een U an# B U+ refer to cruise spee#s in the 8Airspee# an# properties of air8 mo#ule.

The power re<uired curve


2n level flight at constant spee# thrust po"er is re1uire# to balance in#uce# an# parasite #rag. 7o"er is the rate of #oing "or*& so po"er /in "atts0 is force /ne"tons0 K #istance /metres0 9 time /secon#s0. Aistance9time is spee# so po"er re1uire# is #rag force /$0 K aircraft spee# /m9s0. )hus& if "e use the e,pression for total #rag from section %.@ an# multiply it by ? "e getG /D1uation P%.>0 ,ower re<uired for level flight 9watts: ? CD @ B /I @ S /note ? cube#0. )he total #rag curve can be converte# into a 8po"er re1uire#8 #iagram ! usually calle# the power curve ! if you *no" the total #rag at each airspee# bet"een the minimum controllable spee# an# the ma,imum level flight spee#. 2t is a #ifferent curve from that for total #rag& because the po"er re1uire# is proportional to spee# cube#

rather than spee# s1uare#. )his means that /ignoring the relate# C2 change0 if spee# is #ouble#& #rag is increase# four3fol# but po"er must be increase# eight times ! "hich in#icates "hy increasing po"er output from& say& B U po"er to full rate# po"er& "hile hol#ing level flight& #oesn8t provi#e a correspon#ing increase in airspee#. )he #iagram above is a typical level3flight po"er curve for a light aircraft. )he part of the curve to the left of the minimum po"er airspee# is *no"n as the !ac, of the )ower curve ! "here the slo"er you "ant to fly& the more po"er is nee#e#& because of in#uce# #rag at a high angle of attac*. )he lo"est possible spee# for controlle# flight is the stall spee#& "hich is #iscusse# in the 8Airspee# an# properties of air8 mo#ule. )"o aero#ynamic cruise spee#s are in#icate# ! the spee# associate# "ith minimum #rag /the point on the curve "here the #rag force factor has the lo"est value0 an# the spee# associate# "ith minimum po"er /the point on the curve "here #rag force K spee# has the lo"est value0. )o maintain level flight at spee#s less than or greater than the minimum po"er airspee#& po"er must be increase#.

,ower availa le
)he engine provi#es po"er to the propeller. )he propellers use# in most light aircraft have a ma,imum efficiency factor& in the conversion of engine po"er to thrust po"er& of no more than ('U. "Thrust power ; thrust E forward s)eed.* )he pitch of the bla#es& the spee# of rotation of the propeller an# the for"ar# spee# of the aircraft all establish the angle of attac* of the bla#es an# the thrust #elivere#. )he in3flight pitch of ultralight an# light aircraft propeller bla#es is usually fi,e# "though many such ty)es are ad7usta!le on the ground* so that the ma,imum efficiency "ill occur at one combination of rpm an# for"ar# spee# ! this is usually in the mi#3range bet"een best rate of climb an# the performance cruise airspee#s. 7ropeller bla#es are sometimes pitche# to give the best efficiency near the best rate of climb spee# /climb prop0& or pitche# for best efficiency at the performance cruise airspee# /cruise prop0. )he efficiency of all types of propellers falls off either si#e of the optimum+ one "ith a too high pitch angle may have a very poor ta*e3off performance& "hile one "ith a too lo" pitch may allo" the engine to overspee# at any time. ;ith the a#vent of higher3po"ere# four3stro*e ultralight engines& such as the <abiru >>''& there has been a

correspon#ing increase in the availability of more a#vance# light3"eight propeller systems& provi#ing ma,imum effective po"er utilisation #uring all stages of flight. For more information refer to the 8Dngine an# propeller performance8 mo#ule.

Speed% power and altitude


At sea3level& an aero3engine "ill #eliver its rate# po"er ! provi#e# it is in near3perfect e,3factory con#ition& properly "arme# up an# using fuel in appropriate con#ition. Ho"ever& because air #ensity #ecreases "ith increasing altitu#e& an# an engine8s performance #epen#s on the "eight of the charge #elivere# to the cylin#ers& then the full throttle po"er of a non3supercharge# four3stro*e engine "ill #ecrease "ith height. So& at about @'''.B''' feet above mean sea3level the ma,imum po"er available at full throttle may #rop belo" B U of rate# po"er. At %2 ''' feet full throttle po"er may be less than U of rate# po"er. )hus& as altitu#e increases& the range of cruise po"er airspee#s #ecreases. For best engine performance& select a cruise altitu#e "here the throttle is fully open an# the engine is #elivering @ U to B U po"er. A couple of points to note from the spee#3po"er #iagram aboveG

As air #ensity& an# conse1uently #rag& #ecreases "ith height& then airspee#& from a particular po"er level& "ill increase "ith height+ e.g. the airspee# attaine# "ith @ U po"er at sea3level is 6' *nots increasing to %'' *nots at %' ''' feet. At sea3level& an increase in po"er from B U to %''U only results in an increase in airspee# from %'' to %%' *nots. )his is the norm "ith most light aircraft ! that last >>U

po"er increase to rate# po"er only provi#es a %'U increase in airspee#.

,ower re<uired vs power availa le


2n the 8po"er available8 #iagram at left& po"er available curves have been a##e# to the earlier 8po"er re1uire#8 #iagram. )he #ashe# re# curve in#icates the rate# po"er ! that is& the full throttle engine po"er #elivere# to the propeller over the range of level flight spee#s at sea3level. )he upper green curve ! ma,imum thrust po"er& is that engine po"er converte# by the propeller after allo"ing for ('U ma,imum propeller efficiency. )he lo"er green curve is the propeller thrust po"er available "ith the engine throttle# bac* to B U po"er at sea3level& or if flying at an altitu#e such that full throttle opening "ill only #eliver B U of rate# po"er. )he intersection of those po"er available curves "ith the po"er re1uire# curve in#icates the ma,imum cruise spee# in each con#ition. )he region bet"een the ma,imum thrust po"er curve an# the po"er re1uire# /to maintain level flight0 curve in#icates the e,cess po"er available at various cruise spee#s ! this e,cess po"er is available for various manoeuvres if the throttle is fully opene#. )he simplest use "oul# be a straight unaccelerate# climb& in "hich case the ma,imum rate of climb "oul# be achieve# at the airspee# "here the t"o curves are furthest apart. 2t can be seen that the best rate of climb spee# is aroun# the same airspee# as the minimum #rag airspee# sho"n in the earlier po"ere# re1uire# #iagram. )he rate of climb "ill #ecrease at any spee# either si#e of the best rate of climb spee# because the po"er available for climb #ecreases. )he rate of

climb /metres9secon#0 N e,cess po"er available /"atts09aircraft "eight /$0. For e,ample& lets assume the prece#ing #iagram is representative of an aircraft fitte# "ith a %'' hp engine& an# at the best rate of climb spee# the engine9propeller has 2 hp /%( @'' "atts0 of e,cess thrust po"er available. )he aircraft "eight is =''' $ so the rate of climb N %( @''9=''' N =.@ m9s. )o convert metres9secon# to feet9minute& multiply by 2'' N 6>' feet9minute as the ma,imum rate of climb.

Hne thing to bear in min# is that "e have assume# the aircraft8s aero#ynamic shape ! its configuration is constant. Ho"ever if the aircraft is fitte# "ith flaps& high lift #evices or spoilers the pilot is able to change its configuration an# conse1uently its performance. Thus performance is dependent on power% plus attitude Jpitch% an#% sideslip and aoaK plus configuration)

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=)F Forces in a clim


;hen cruising& the #ifference bet"een the current po"er re1uirement an# po"er available ! the e,cess po"er ! can be use# to accelerate the aircraft or climb& to accelerate an# climb& or perform any manoeuvre that re1uires a##itional po"er. For instance if the aircraft has potential po"er available an# the pilot opens the throttle& the thrust "ill e,cee# #rag an# the pilot can utilise that e,tra thrust to accelerate to a higher spee# "hile maintaining level flight. Alternatively the pilot can opt to maintain the e,isting spee# but use the e,tra thrust to climb to a higher altitu#e. )he rate of clim /altitu#e gaine# per minute0 #epen#s on the amount of available po"er utilise# for climbing& "hich #epen#s in part on the airspee# chosen for the climb. )here are other choices than the best rate of climb spee# available for the climb spee# ! for e,ample& the best angle of climb spee# /"hich is aroun# the same as the spee# for minimum po"er0 or a

combination enroute cruise9climb spee#. )he climb spee# chosen #epen#s on terrain& "eather& clou# cover an# other operating variables. 2f an aircraft is maintaine# in a continuous full3throttle climb& at the best rate of climb airspee#& the rate of climb "ill be highest at sea3level+ it "ill #ecrease "ith altitu#e& as engine po"er #ecreases. )he aircraft "ill eventually arrive at an altitu#e "here there is no e,cess po"er available for climb& then all the available po"er is nee#e# to balance the #rag in level flight an# there "ill be only one airspee# at "hich level flight can be maintaine#. 4elo" this airspee# the aircraft "ill stall. )his altitu#e is the aircraft8s a solute ceiling. Ho"ever& unless trying for an altitu#e recor#& there is no point in attempting to climb to the absolute ceiling so the aircraft8s service ceiling shoul# appear in the aircraft8s performance specification. )he service ceiling is the altitu#e at "hich the rate of climb falls belo" %'' feet per minute+ this is consi#ere# the minimum useful rate of climb. )his #iagram of forces in a climb an# the subse1uent mathematical e,pressions& have been simplifie#& aligning the angle of climb "ith the line of thrust. 2n fact the line of thrust "ill usually be = to %'O greater than the climb angle. )he clim angle /c0 is the angle bet"een the flight path an# the horiEontal plane. )he relationships in the triangle of forces sho"n areG Lift N "eight K cosine c )hrust N #rag V /"eight K sine c0 2n a constant climb the forces are again in e1uilibrium& but no" thrust V lift N #rag V "eight. 7robably the most surprising thing about the triangle of forces in a straight climb is that lift is less than "eight. For e,ample& let8s put the <abiru into a %'O climb "ith "eight N =''' $. "+here is an a!ridged trig. ta!le at the end of this )age.* )hen& Lift N ; cos c N =''' K '.6( N >6=' $

2t is po"er that provi#es a continuous rate of climb& but momentum may also be use# to temporarily provi#e energy for climbing+ see

8Conserving aircraft energy8 belo". 2t is evi#ent from the above that in a stea#y climb& the rate of climb /an# #escent0 is controlle# "ith po"er& an# the airspee# an# angle of climb is controlle# "ith the attitu#e. )his is some"hat of a simplification& as the pilot employs both po"er an# attitu#e in unison to achieve a particular angle an# rate of climb or #escent. A very important consi#eration& particularly "hen manoeuvring at lo" level at normal spee#s& is that the steeper the climb angle the more thrust is re1uire# to counter "eight. For e,ample& if you pulle# the <abiru up into a >'O 8Eoom8 climb the thrust re1uire# N #rag V "eight K sine >'O /N '. 0 so the engine has to provi#e sufficient thrust to pull up half the "eight plus overcome the increase# #rag #ue to the increase# aoa in the climb. Clearly& this is not possible& so the airspee# "ill fall off very rapi#ly an# "ill lea# to a #angerous situation if the pilot is slo" in getting the nose #o"n to an achievable attitu#e. $ever be tempte# to in#ulge in Eoom climbs ! they are *illers at lo" levels.

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=)L Forces in a descent


2f an aircraft is cruising at& for instance& the ma,imum B U po"er spee# an# the pilot re#uces the throttle to @ U po"er& the #rag no" e,cee#s thrust an# the pilot has t"o options ! maintain height& allo"ing the e,cess #rag to slo" the aircraft to the level flight spee# appropriate to @ U po"er+ or maintain the e,isting spee# an# allo" the aircraft to enter a stea#y #escent or sin*. )he rate of sin# /a negative rate of climb& or altitu#e lost per minute0 #epen#s on the #ifference bet"een the B U po"er re1uire# for level flight at that airspee# an# the @ U po"er utilise#. )his sin* rate "ill remain constant as long as the thrust plus "eight& which are together acting forward and downward & are e,actly balance# by the lift plus #rag& "hich are together acting up"ar# an# rear"ar#. At a constant airspee#& the sin* rate an# the angle of #escent "ill vary if thrust is varie#. For e,ample& if the pilot increase# thrust but maintaine# constant airspee#& the rate of sin* "ill #ecrease ! even becoming positive+ i.e. a rate of climb. 2f the pilot pushe# for"ar# on the control column to a much steeper angle of #escent& "hile maintaining the same throttle opening& the thrust plus "eight resultant vector becomes greater& the aircraft

accelerates "ith conse1uent increase in thrust po"er an# the acceleration continues until the forces are again in e1uilibrium. Actually& it is #ifficult to hol# a stable aircraft in such a fi,e# angle 8po"er #ive8 as the aircraft "ill "ant to climb ! but an unstable aircraft might "ant to 8tuc* un#er8+ i.e. increase the angle of #ive& even past the vertical. ;e #iscuss the nee# for stability in the 8Stability8 mo#ule. ;hen the pilot closes the throttle completely& there is no thrust& the aircraft enters a gli#ing #escent an# the forces are then as sho"n in the #iagram on the left. 2n the case of #escent at a constant rate& the "eight is e,actly balance# by the resultant force of lift an# #rag. From the #ashe# parallelogram of forces sho"n& it can be seen that the tangent of the angle of gli#e e1uals #rag9lift. For e,ample& assuming a gli#e angle of %'O /from the abri#ge# trigonometrical table belo"& the tangent of %'O is '.%B@0& the ratio of #rag9lift in this case is then %G .B /%9'.%B@ N .B0. Conversely& "e can say that the angle of gli#e #epen#s on the ratio of lift9#rag IL9AJ. )he higher that ratio is& then the smaller the gli#e angle an# conse1uently the further the aircraft "ill gli#e from a given height. For e,ample& to calculate the optimum gli#e angle for an aircraft "ith a L9A of %2G%. Arag9lift e1uals %9%2& thus tangent N '.'( an#& from the trigonometrical table& the gli#e angle N O. Although there is no thrust associate# "ith the po"er3off gli#e& the po"er re1uire# curve is still relevant. )he minimum #rag airspee# sho"n in that #iagram is roughly the airspee# for best gli#e angle an# the spee# for minimum po"er is roughly the airspee# for minimum rate of sin* in a gli#e. )his is e,amine# further in the 8Airspee# an# the properties of air8 mo#ule. 2t may be useful to *no" that in a gli#e& lift N "eight K cosine gli#e angle an# #rag N "eight K sine gli#e angle. )here is further information on gli#e angles an# airspee#s in the lift9#rag ratio section of mo#ule =.

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=)=5 Turning forces


Centripetal force
;hen an aircraft turns in any plane& an a##itional force must be continuously applie# to overcome inertia& particularly as an aircraft8s normal ten#ency is to continue in a straight line. )his is achieve# by applying a force to"ar#s the centre of the curve or arc ! the centripetal force ! "hich is the pro#uct of the aircraft mass an# the acceleration re1uire#. Remember that acceleration is the rate of change of velocity ! either spee# or #irection& or both. )he acceleration& as you *no" from #riving a car through an S curve& #epen#s on the spee# at "hich the vehicle is moving aroun# the arc an# the ra#ius of the turn. Slo" spee# an# a s"eeping turn involves very little acceleration. 4ut high spee# an# hol#ing a small ra#ius involves high acceleration& "ith conse1uent high ra#ial g or centripetal force an# #ifficulty in hol#ing the turn. Dven "hen an aircraft enters a straight climb from cruising flight& there is a short transition perio# bet"een the straight an# level path an# the straight an# climbing path& #uring "hich the aircraft must follo" a curve# path ! a partial turn in the vertical plane. )he acceleration to"ar#s the centre of the turn is /CHr m9sM. )he centripetal force re1uire# to pro#uce the turn is m @ /CHr ne"tons& "here m is the aircraft mass in *ilograms an# r is the turn ra#ius in metres. $ote this is aircraft mass& not "eight.

Turn forces and an# angle


)he #iagram belo" sho"s the relationships bet"een centripetal force& "eight& lift an# ban* angle.

2n a level turn& the vertical component of the lift /Lvc0 balances the aircraft "eight an# the horiGontal component of lift /Lhc0

provi#es the centripetal force. "0ote. in a right$angle triangle the tangent of an angle is the ratio of the side o))osite the angle to that ad7acent to the angle. +hus, the tangent of the !an, angle is equal to the centri)etal force 'cf( divided !y the weight % or tan ! = cf/". Fr, it can !e ex)ressed as tan ! = #/gr . 1n the diagram, 1 have created a )arallelogram of forces so that all hori&ontal lines re)resent the centri)etal force or Chc and all vertical lines re)resent the weight or C vc.* Let8s loo* at the <abiru& of mass ='' *g& in a 2 ' m ra#ius horiEontal turn at a constant spee# of 6B *nots or ' m9sG Centripetal acceleration N ?M 9 r N ' K ' 9 2 ' N %' m9sM Centripetal force re1uire# N mass K ?M 9 r N mass K %' N ='' K %' N =''' $

)he centripetal force of =''' $ is provi#e# by the horiEontal component of the lift force from the "ings "hen ban*e# at an angle from the horiEontal. )he correct ban* angle #epen#s on the airspee# an# ra#ius+ thin* about a motorbi*e ta*ing a curve in the roa#. Auring the level turn& the lift force must also have a vertical component to balance the aircraft8s "eight& in this case it is also =''' $. 4ut the total re1uire# force is not =''' $ V =''' $+ rather& "e have to fin# the one ! an# only one ! ban* angle "here L vc is e1ual to the "eight an# Lhc is e1ual to the re1uire# centripetal force. ;hat then "ill be the correct ban* angle /M0 for a balance# turnT ;ell& "e can calculate it easily if you have access to trigonometrical tables. 2f you haven8t then refer to the abri#ge# version belo". So& in a level turn re1uiring =''' $ centripetal force "ith "eight =''' $& the tangent of the ban* angle N cf9; N ='''9=''' N %.'& an# thus the angle N = O. Actually& the ban* angle "oul# be = O for any aircraft of any "eight moving at 6B *nots in a turn ra#ius of 2 ' metres ! provi#e# the aircraft can fly at that spee#& of course. "2o the sums with an aircraft of mass 2855 ,g, thus weight ; 28 555 0.*. $o"& "hat total lift force "ill the "ings nee# to provi#e in a level turn if the actual "eight component /aircraft plus contents0 is

=''' $ an# the ra#ial component also =''' $T Resultant total lift force N actual "eight #ivi#e# by the cosine of the ban* angle or + ? ! H cos M. ;eight is =''' $& cosine of = O is '.B'B N ='''9'.B'B N @@' $. )he loa# on the structure in the turn is @@'9=''' N %.=% times normal& or %.=%g.

Manoeuvring load factors


2n aviation usage& 8g8 #enotes the acceleration cause# by the force of gravity. ;hen an aircraft is airborne maintaining a constant velocity an# altitu#e ! the total lift pro#uce# e1uals the aircraft8s "eight an# that lift is e,presse# as being e1uivalent to a 8%g8 loa#. Similarly& "hen the aircraft is par*e# on the groun#& the loa# on the aircraft "heels /its "eight0 is a %g loa#. Any time an aircraft8s velocity is change#& there are positive or negative acceleration forces applie# to the aircraft an# felt by its occupants. )he resultant manoeuvring 8load factor8 is normally e,presse# in terms of g load& "hich is the ratio of the forces e,perience# #uring the acceleration to the forces e,isting at the normal %g flight state. Lou "ill come across terms such as 82g turn8 or 8pulling 2g8. ;hat is being implie# is that #uring a particular manoeuvre the lift force is #ouble# an# a radial acceleration is applie# to the airframe ! for the <abiru a 2g loa# N ='' *g K 2' m9sM N (''' $. )he occupants "ill also feel they "eigh t"ice as much. )his is centripetal force an# 8ra#ial g8+ it applies "hether the aircraft is changing #irection in the horiEontal plane& the vertical plane or anything bet"een. Lou may also come across mention of 8negative g8. 2t is conventional to #escribe g as positive "hen the lift pro#uce# is in the normal #irection relative to the aircraft. ;hen the lift #irection is reverse#& it is #escribe# as negative g. Re#uce# g an# negative g can occur momentarily in turbulence. An aircraft e,periencing a sustaine# %g negative loa#ing is flying in e1uilibrium& but upsi#e #o"n. 2t is also possible for some high3po"ere# aerobatic aircraft to fly an 8outsi#e8 loop+ i.e. the pilot8s hea# is on the outsi#e of the loop rather than the insi#e& an# the aircraft /an# its very uncomfortable occupants0& "ill be e,periencing various negative g values all the "ay aroun# the manoeuvre.

1t can !e a little misleading when using terms such as 2g. Gor instance, it was said earlier that a lightly loaded >a!iru has a mass of 3 5 ,g, and if you again do the )receding centri)etal force calculation using 3 5 ,g mass you will find that the centri)etal acceleration is 15 m9s<, centri)etal force is 3 55 0, weight is 3 55 0 and total lift ; H55 0. +he actual load is 25I less !ut it is still a 1. 1g turnA i.e. the ratio H5593 55 ; 1. 1. Rather than thin*ing in terms of ratios& it may be more appropriate to consi#er the actual loa#s being applie# to the aircraft structures. )he norm is to use the lift loa# pro#uce# by the "ing as the primary structural loa# reference. 2n the previous case the loa# pro#uce# is @@'9( N B'B $9mM& compare# to the '' $9mM loa# in normal cruise.

;ncreasing the lift force in a turn


Lou might "on#er ho" #oes the <abiru increase the lift if it maintains the same cruise spee# in the level turnT ;ell& the only value in the e1uation ! lift N CC K Q?M K S ! that can then be change# is the lift coefficient. )his must be increase# by the pilot increasing the angle of attac*. "Jonversely if JC % the angle of attac, % is increased during a constant s)eed manoeuvre the lift % and consequently the load factor % must increase.* 2ncreasing aoa "ill also increase in#uce# #rag& so that the pilot must also increase thrust to maintain the same airspee#. )hus& the ma,imum rate of turn for an aircraft "ill also be limite# by the amount of a##itional po"er available to overcome in#uce# #rag. For a level turn& the slo"est possible spee# an# the steepest possible ban* angle "ill provi#e both the smallest ra#ius an# the fastest rate of turn+ but there are limitations ! see this 1uiE ans"er. ;hile you are there& also rea# 1uestion 22. )he ra#ius of turn N ?M9g tan W metres. 2f you consi#er an aerobatic aircraft "eighing %' ''' $ an# ma*ing a turn in the vertical plane !such as a loop ! an# imagine that the centripetal acceleration is 2g+ "hat "ill be the loa# factor at various points of the turnT #ctually, the centri)etal acceleration varies all the way around !ecause the airs)eed and radius must vary. Gor sim)licity we will ignore this and say that it is 2g all around. 2f the acceleration is 2g then the centripetal force must be 2' ''' $ all the "ay aroun#. A turn in the vertical plane #iffers from a horiEontal turn in that& at

both si#es of the loop& the "ings #o not have to provi#e any lift component to counter "eight& only lift for the centripetal force ! so the total loa# at those points is 2' ''' $ or 2g. At the top& "ith the aircraft inverte#& the "eight is #irecte# to"ar#s the centre of the turn an# provi#es %' ''' $ of the centripetal force "hile the "ings nee# to provi#e only %' ''' $. )hus& the total loa# is only %' ''' $ or %g& "hereas at the bottom of a continuing turn the "ings provi#e all the centripetal force plus counter the "eight ! so the loa# there is >' ''' $ or >g. )his highlights an important pointG "hen acceleration loa#s are reinforce# by the acceleration of gravity& the total loa# can be very high. 1f you have difficulty in conceiving the centri)etal force loading on the wings, thin, a!out it in terms of the reaction momentum, centrifugal force which, from within the aircraft, is seen as a force )ushing the vehicle and its occu)ants to the outside of the turn and the lift "centri)etal force* is counteracting it. Jentrifugal force is always ex)ressed as g multi)les.

!ing loading 6 !HS


)he term 8"ing loa#ing8 has t"o connotations. )he first connotation is the stan#ar# e,pression ! #esign ;9S /usually -ust 8;9S80 ! "hich is the ratio of the aircraft #esigner8s ma,imum allo"able ta*e3off "eight to the gross "ing area. "+here are some com)lications when national regulations s)ecify a maximum allowa!le weight lower than the design weightA see the '=eight and !alance' module.* Aircraft "ith lo" ;9S have lo"er stall spee#s than aircraft "ith higher ;9S ! "hich conse1uently have shorter ta*e3off an# lan#ing #istances. High ;9S aircraft are less affecte# by atmospheric turbulence. ;9S is e,presse# in poun#s per s1uare foot IpsfJ or *ilograms per s1uare metre I*g9mMJ. )he secon# "ing loa#ing connotation is as the operating ;9S+ if the aircraft ta*es off at a "eight lo"er than ma,imum& then the operating ;9S must also be lo"er than the #esign ;9S.

=)== +imiting loads and ultimate loads


)o receive type approval certification the #esign of a general aviation or ultralight aircraft must conform to certain stan#ar#s& among "hich are the in3flight manoeuvring loa#s plus the turbulence3in#uce# loa#s that the structure must be able to sustain. )he turbulence loa#s are calle# the gust$induced loads.

)he Fe#eral Aviation Regulation /FAR0 7art 2> is the recognise# "orl# stan#ar# for light aircraft certification an# the follo"ing are e,tracts Iemphasis a##e#JG K... limit loads ... 'are( the maximum loads to !e ex)ected in service /i.e. the highest loa# e,pecte# in normal operations0 and ultimate loads ... 'are( limit loads multi)lied !y 'a safety factor of 1.8(.K K+he structure must !e a!le to su))ort limit loads without detrimental, )ermanent deformation. #t any load u) to limit loads, the deformation may not interfere with safe o)eration ... +he structure must !e a!le to su))ort ultimate loads without failure for at least three seconds ...K )he minimum positive limit load factor that an aircraft in the 8normal8 operational category /at ma,imum ta*e3off "eight0 must be #esigne# to "ithstan# is >.(g. For a non3aerobatic aircraft& the negative limit loa# factor is '.= times the positive limit& "hich ma*es it %. g for the normal category. :ltralights& "hich are limite# to ban*e# turns not e,cee#ing @'O& fit into the normal category so their minimum limit loa# factors are V>.(g an# .%. g. )he ultimate loa#s for the normal category are V .Bg an# .2.2 g. Amateur buil#ers shoul# aim to meet the same minimum values for limiting loa# an# ultimate loa# factors. For aircraft "ith aerobatic capability& the negative limit loa# factor must be '. times the positive value. )he 8utility8 category /"hich inclu#es training aircraft "ith spin certification0 limit loa#s are V=.=g an# .2.2g. )he 8acrobatic8 category limit loa#s are V@.'g an# . >.'g. 2t shoul# not be thought that aircraft structures are significantly "ea*er in the negative g #irection. )he normal loa# is V%g so "ith a V>.(g limit then an a##itional positive 2.(g acceleration can be applie# "hile "ith a .%. g limit an a##itional negative 2. g acceleration can be applie#. )he manufacturer of a particular aircraft type may opt to have the aircraft certificate# "ithin more than one category& in "hich case there "ill be #ifferent ma,imum ta*e3off "eights an# centre of gravity limitations for each operational category. See "eight9cg position limitations. The sustaina le load factors only relate to a new factory$ uilt

aircraft) The repairs% ageing and poor maintenance that it has een e'posed to since leaving the factory may decrease the strength of individual structural mem ers considera ly) 1ead the current airworthiness notices issued y the 1A$Aus technical manager)

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=)=4 Conserving aircraft energy


Energy availa le
An aircraft in straight an# level flight hasG linear momentum ! m K v I*gXm9sJ *inetic energy /the energy of a bo#y #ue to its motion0 ! QmvM I-oules or ne"ton metres /$Xm0J+ remembering that 8m8 in the QmvM term represents mass
"0ote. normally, the newton metre % the S1 unit of moment of force % is not used as the measure of wor, or energyA however throughout this guide, it is more hel)ful to ex)ress the ,inetic energy in the 0Lm form rather than 7oules % the 0Lm and the 7oule are dimensionally equivalent*

gravitational potential energy ! in this case& the pro#uct of "eight in ne"tons an# height gaine# in metres chemical potential energy in the form of fuel in the tan*s air resistance that #issipates some *inetic energy as heat or atmospheric turbulence.

+o sim)lify the text from here on, we will refer to 'gravitational )otential energy' as 7ust )otential energy and 'chemical )otential energy' as 7ust chemical energy. ;e can calculate the energy available to the <abiru cruisingG S at a height of @ '' feet /2''' m0 S an# /air #istance flo"n over time0N 6B *nots / ' m9s0 S "ith mass N ='' *g& thus "eight N =''' $ S fuel N ' litres. )henG

S potential energy N "eight K height N =''' K 2''' N ( million $Xm S *inetic energy N QmvM N Q K ='' K ' K ' N '' ''' $Xm S momentum N mass K v N ='' K ' N 2' ''' *gXm9s S chemical energy N ' litres Y B. million -oules N >B million -oules.

4ecause it is the accumulation of the "or* #one to raise the aircraft @ '' feet& the potential energy is %@ times the *inetic energy& an# is obviously an asset that you #on8t "ant to #issipate. 2t is e1uivalent to 2U of your fuel. 2t is al"ays "ise to balance a shortage of potential energy "ith an e,cess of *inetic energy& an# vice versa. For e,ample& if you #on8t have much height then have some e,tra spee# up your sleeve for manoeuvring or to provi#e e,tra time for action in case of engine or "in# shear problems. Hr if *inetic energy is lo" /because of flying at lo"er spee#s than normal0 ma*e sure you have ample height or& if approaching to lan#& hol# height for as long as possible. )he only time to be 8lo" an# slo"8 is "hen you are about to touch #o"n. 0owever% during ta#e$off it is not possi le to have an e'cess of either potential or #inetic energyN thus% ta#e$ off is the most critical phase of flight% closely followed y the go$around following an a orted landing approach) Ensure that a safe clim speed is achieved as <uic#ly as possi le after ecoming air orne 6 or commencing a go$around 6 and efore the clim $out is actually commencedN see ta#e$off procedure)

Oinetic energy measurement


5inetic energy is a scalar 1uantity e1ual to QmvM -oules if the aircraft is not turning. Ho"ever& the velocity must be measure# in relation to some frame of reference& an# "hen "e #iscuss inflight energy management& the aircraft velocity chosen is that "hich is relative to the air+ i.e. the true airspee#. For a lan#borne /or about to be lan#borne0 aircraft "e are generally concerne# "ith either the "or* to be #one

to get the aircraft airborne or the /impact0 energy involve# in bringing the aircraft to a halt. So& the velocity use# is that "hich is relative to the groun#. Froun#spee# represents the horiEontal component of that velocity& an# rate of climb9sin* represents the vertical component. 5inetic energy& gravitational potential energy an# energy conservation are comple, sub-ects. 2f you "ish to go further& plug the search terms 8*inetic energy8 8reference frame8 into Foogle.

Momentum conversion
Let8s loo* at momentum conversion. Consi#er the <abiru& "eighing =''' $ an# cruising at 6B *nots / ' m9s0 an# the pilot #eci#es to re#uce the cruise spee# to (( *nots /= m9s0. )his coul# be accomplishe# by re#ucing thrust ! belo" that nee#e# for (( *nots ! allo"ing #rag to #issipate the e,cess *inetic energy then increasing po"er for (( *nots. Ho"ever& if traffic con#itions allo"& the e,cess *inetic energy can be converte# to potential energy by re#ucing po"er& but only to that nee#e# to maintain (( *not cruise& an# at the same time& pulling up ! thus re#ucing airspee# but still utilising momentum ! then pushing over into level flight -ust before the (( *not airspee# is ac1uire#. Ho" much height "oul# be gaine#T Consi#er thisG S *inetic energy at 6B *nots N QmvM N Q K ='' K ' K ' N '' ''' $Xm S *inetic energy at (( *nots N QmvM N Q K ='' K = K = N =' ''' $Xm S *inetic energy available N 6 ''' $Xm S but potential energy I$XmJ N "eight K height S thus height /gaine#0 N energy available #ivi#e# by "eight S N 6 ''' $Xm 9 =''' $ N 2= metres N B( feet& or 6 feet gaine# per *not of spee# converte#.

2f "e recalculate the prece#ing figures ! #oubling the initial /%'' m9s0 an# final velocities /6' m9s0 ! the height gaine# "ill increase fourfol# to 6@ metres& or about %( feet per *not.

Conversely& if "e halve the initial velocity to about ' *nots& the height gaine# per *not converte# is halve#& to about = feet. $ote that as mass appears in both the *inetic energy an# the "eight e,pressions& it can be ignore#& thus the figures are the same for any mass. Sometimes momentum /mass K velocity0 is confuse# "ith inertia /a particular 1uality of mass0. Lou "ill come across the e,pression "low inertia H high drag" applie# to some ultralight aircraft. )his means that although all ultralights are lo"3inertia aircraft& compare# to other ultralights this minimum aircraft has a relatively lo" inertial mass combine# "ith a relatively high parasite #rag profile+ thus if the thrust is re#uce# or fails& the #rag re#uces the airspee# very rapi#ly. )his is e,acerbate# if the aircraft is climbing. An aluminium tube an# sailcloth aircraft at one en# of the spectrum may be terme# 8lo" momentum8 or 8#raggy8& "hile an epo,y composite aircraft at the other en# may be terme# 8slippery8+ an# some are very slippery in#ee#. )he stan#ing "orl# spee# recor# for an aircraft un#er >'' *g is 2%> miles per hour+ that amateur3#esigne# an# built aircraft "as po"ere# by only a @ hp t"o3stro*e Rota,. )he han#ling characteristics for a lo" inertia9lo" #rag aircraft #iffer consi#erably from those of a lo" inertia9high #rag /lo" momentum0 aircraft. / )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is containe# "ithin section %2.2 8Factors affecting safe lan#ing performance8 0

)he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e e,amines aspects of airspee# an# air properties& but you may first "ish to rea# the notes belo".

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A ridged trigonometrical ta le
Relationship bet"een an angle "ithin a right angle triangle an# the si#esG )angent of angleNopposite si#e9a#-acent Sine of angleNopposite9hypotenuse

Cosine of angleNa#-acent9hypotenuse Aegrees Sine Cosine )angent % %' % 2' >' =' = '.'%B '.666 '.'%B '.'(B '.66@ '.'(B '.%B> '.6( '.%B@ @' @ B' B (' 6' '.2 6 '.6@@ '.2@( '.>=2 '.6>6 '.>@= '. '' '.(@@ '. BB '.@=> '.B@@ '.(>6 '.B'B '.B'B %.''' Aegrees Sine Cosine )angent ' '.B@@ '.@=> %.%62 '.(%6 '. B= %.=2( '.(@@ '. '' %.B>2 '.6%' '.=2> 2.%= '.6>6 '.>=2 2.B=B '.6@@ '.2 6 >.B>2 '.6( '.%B> %.''' ' .@B2 infinity

Things that are handy to #now

1ated power is the bra*e horsepo"er #elivere# at the propeller shaft of a #irect #rive engine& operating at ma,imum #esign rpm an# best po"er fuel9air mi,ture& in stan#ar# sea3level air #ensity con#itions. /2n a regulatory sense the #efinition is a little more comple,.0 An engine is only operate# at its rate# capacity for short perio#s #uring flight& usually #uring ta*e3off an# the initial climb. Rate# po"er for small aero3engines is usually e,presse# as bra*e horsepo"er rather than the S2 unit of *ilo"atts. Further #iscussion is provi#e# in the 8Dngine an# propeller performance8 mo#ule. )o convert horsepo"er to "atts multiply by B= .B+ or to calculate *ilo"atts& multiply by '.B . 4et"een V%g an# .%g lies the realm of re#uce# gravity& or microgravity. $ASA an# other organisations use C%> an# AC36 aircraft flying a parabolic tra-ectory to pro#uce re#uce# or near3Eero gravity con#itions& for the aircraft occupants& for perio#s of 2'.>' secon#s. A light aircraft can also pro#uce re#uce# gravity& but only for a perio# of 2.> secon#s. 2esign !HS is usually bet"een %% an# 22 psf for FA aircraft& an# = an# %2 psf for ultralights. Gross wing area inclu#es the notional portion of the "ing conceale# "ithin the fuselage.

Stuff you don"t need to #now

High3performance military aircraft can achieve an aoa e,cee#ing = O. Aerobatic pilots ! an# combat pilots ! use a value terme# specific energy or energy height% 0e. 2t is the potential energy plus the *inetic energy per *g of aircraft "eight+ i.e. He N mgh9; V QmvM9; As ; N mg& then the e1uation can be re3arrange# as H e N h V ?M92g "here h N height. ;hat it e,presses is the height that coul# be achieve# if all *inetic energy "ere transferre# to potential energy& but it is of little interest to ultralight aviation.

)he thermal energy content of one litre of avgas is >' million -oules. ;ith goo# engine han#ling by the pilot& that litre can provi#e %' million -oules of mechanical energy to the propeller shaft of most engines. )he propeller of the <abiru is maybe B'U efficient at cruise spee# an# provi#es B.' million -oules& or $Xm& of energy from the litre of fuel. Roughly ho" far "ill that ta*e the <abiru cruising at 6B *notsT DasyZ Arag is =' $& so B ''' ''' 9 =' N %2 6@ m or B.' air nautical miles. ;e specify air nautical miles because "in# "ill affect the #istance travelle# over the groun#.

Groundschool 6 Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | /%b. Canoeuvring forces0 | | 2. Airspee# & air properties | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | B. Stability | (. Control | | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
* (perations at non$controlled airfields * Safety during ta#e$off landing *

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Airspeed and the properties of air


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Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

2.% )he atmospheric pressure gra#ient 2.2 Atmospheric #ensity 2.> )he 2nternational Stan#ar# Atmosphere 2.= 4ernoulli8s principle an# the continuity e1uation 2. Ceasuring airspee# 2.@ 2n#icate# airspee# 2.B Ceasuring vertical airspee# 2.( Stalling airspee#s 2.6 ?3spee#s 2.%' Flight envelope )hings that are han#y to *no" Stuff you #on8t nee# to *no"

Atmospheric density% which decreases with increasing height% affects the generation of lift and aircraft performance 6 as does the angle of attac# at which the aircraft is flown) ;n unaccelerated flight% there is a relationship etween airspeed and angle of attac#) So% in light aircraft% the airspeed indicator instrument acts as a very limited angle of attac# indicator) From this comes the need to esta lish a safe aircraft flight envelope within which a range of critical and est performance airspeeds are defined)

4)= The atmospheric pressure gradient

)he ran#om molecular activity or internal *inetic energy "ithin a parcel of air is *no"n as the static pressure an# is proportional to the absolute temperature. Static pressure e,erts a force on an ob-ect /for e,ample& an aircraft "ing0 at right angles to all the e,pose# non3porous surfaces& an# is measure# in ne"tons per s1uare metre IpascalsJ of surface. Air pressure is usually reporte# as hectopascals Ih7aJ for meteorological purposes+ one hectopascal e1uals %'' $9mM Ior one millibarJ. Atmospheric pressure reflects the average #ensity /i.e. mass per cubic metre0& an# thus the "eight& of the column of air above a given level. So& the pressure at a point on the Darth[s surface must be greater than the pressure at any height above it& in that column. An increase in surface pressure #enotes an increase in mass& not thic*ness& of the column of air above the surface point. Similarly& a #ecrease in surface pressure #enotes a #ecrease in the mass of air. )he air throughout the column is compresse# by the "eight of the atmosphere above it& thus the #ensity of a column of air is greatest at the surface an# #ecreases "ith increasing altitu#e. Ho"ever& a "armer air column "ill be thic*er ! i.e. e,ten# further up"ar#s ! than a cooler air column "ith the same surface pressure. )hus a particular pressure level "ill be at a higher elevation in the "armer column. )his means that the level in the atmosphere at "hich any particular pressure occurs is also #epen#ent on the temperature /or thic,ness0 of the air column. Ceteorological offices pro#uce 8thic*ness charts8 for aviation use.

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4)4 Atmospheric density


)he average #ensity of #ry air in temperate climates is about %.22 *g9mR at mean sea3level+ the #ensity #ecreases "ith increasing altitu#e. )here are several gas la"s that relate the temperature& pressure& #ensity an# volume of air. )he e1uation most pertinent to aeronautical nee#s is the e1uation of stateG ? ,H1T "hereG

/the Free* letter rho0 N air #ensity *g9mR , N static air pressure in hectopascals 1 N the gas constant N 2.(B T N air temperature in *elvins I5J N OC V 2B> ;e can calculate the 2SA stan#ar# sea3level air #ensity& *no"ing that stan#ar# sea3level pressure N %'%> h7a an# temperature N % OC or 2(( 5 i.e. Air #ensity N %'%> 9 /2.(B K 2((0 N %.22 *g9mR 2f the air temperature happene# to be >' OC or >'> 5 at the same pressure& then #ensity N %'%> 9 /2.(B K >'>0 N %.%@ *g9mR& or a U re#uction.

4y restating the e1uation of state asG , ? 1 T & it can be seen that if #ensity remains constant& pressure increases if temperature increases.

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4)> The ;CA( ;nternational Standard Atmosphere


)he 2nternational Civil Aviation Hrganisation8s I2CAHJ 2nternational Stan#ar# Atmosphere I;SAJ provi#es a fi,e# stan#ar# atmospheric mo#el that is use# for many purposes& among "hich are the uniform assessment of aircraft performance an# the calibration of some aircraft instruments. )he mo#el is a*in to the average con#ition in mi#3latitu#es& but contains the follo"ing assumptionsG #ry air is assume# throughout the atmosphere the mean sea3level ImslJ pressure N %'%>.2 h7a the msl temperature N % OC I2(( 5J the tropopause is at >@ '6' feet I%% *mJ an# the pressure at the tropopause N 22@.> h7a the temperature lapse rate to >@ '6' feet N @. OC per *m& or nearly 2 OC per %''' feet the temperature bet"een >@ '6' an# @ @'' feet

I2' *mJ remains constant at . @. OC. )he table belo" sho"s a fe" values #erive# from the 2SA. )hose pressure levels note# "ith a flight level #esignator are stan#ar# pressure levels use# for aviation "eather purposes& particularly thic*ness charts. ,ressure h,a %'%> %''' 6 ' 6'' ( ' ('' B ' B'' @ ' @'' ' '' = ' ='' > ' >'' 2 ' 2'' % ' %'' FL>'' FL>=' FL>( FL== FL2> FL%( FL%=' A%'' A' ' Flight level Temperature PC % %=.> %%. (.@ . 2.> .%.' .=.@ .(.> .%2.> .%@.@ .2%.2 .2@.2 .>%.B .>B.B .==. . 2.> . @. . @. . @. Air density #gHmI %.22 %.2%2 %.%@> %.%%> %.'@> %.'%2 '.6@' '.6'( '.( '.('2 '.B=B '.@62 '.@> '. BB '. %( '.= B '.>6 '.>22 '.2=% '.%@% Altitude feet msl >@= %BB> >2=> =B(% @>6= ('6% 6((2 %% B(' %> ('% % 6@2 %( 2(6 2' (%2 2> B= 2@ @>% >' '@ >> 666 >( @@2 == @=B > '(>

$ot imme#iately apparent from the 2SA table is that the pressure lapse rate starts at about one h7a per 2( feet& averaging aroun# one h7a per >' feet up to ( ' h7a& then slo"ing to =' feet per h7a at @ ' h7a& ' feet at = ' h7a& B feet at >'' h7a an# so on. Ho"ever& this provi#es a useful rule of thumbG

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\An altitu#e change of >' feet per h7a can be assume# for operations belo" %' ''' feet.\

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4)A Bernoulli"s principle and the continuity e<uation


Aaniel 4ernoulli "1755$17H2* "as a S"iss mathematician "ho propoun#e# the principle that for a given parcel of freely flo"ing flui#& the sum of *inetic energy& gravitational potential energy an# static pressure energy al"ays remains constant. "1ncidently his father was the mathematician who first ado)ted the sym!ol 'g' for the acceleration due to gravity*. For aero#ynamic purposes& the gravitational potential energy can be ignore#. 5inetic energy N QmvM "here m N mass an# #ensity I J is mass per unit volume. )hus& #ynamic pressure is *inetic energy per unit volume an# static pressure is internal *inetic energy per unit volume+ i.e. potential energy.
0ote. a lower case $ is the sym!ol for s)eed in )hysics while an u))er case # is generally the sym!ol for the free stream s)eed in aerodynamics.

So& 4ernoulli8s principle can be re#uce# toG B vC I#ynamic pressure or *inetic energyJ R , Istatic pressure or pressure potential energyJ ? constant )he e1uation #oesn8t ta*e into account viscosity& heat transfer or compressibility effects& but for operations belo" %' ''' feet an# airflo" velocities belo" 2 ' *nots& compressibility effects can be

ignore# ! thus no change in flo" #ensity I J is assume#. The e<uation then indicates that% in a free stream flow% if speed 9v: increases static pressure 9,: must decrease to maintain constant mechanical energy per unit volumeN and the converse 6 if speed decreases% static pressure must increase) (r% turning it around% a free stream airflow will accelerate in a favoura le pressure gradient and decelerate in an adverse pressure gradient) 4ernoulli8s principle #oesn8t apply in boun#ary layer flo" because the viscosity effects intro#uce loss of mechanical an# thermal energy #ue to the s*in friction. Another aspect of the e1uation is that the constant is the stagnation pressure ! the pressure energy nee#e# to halt the airflo" ! thus it can be "ritten B vC R , ? stagnation pressure+ the stagnation pressure is the highest pressure in the system. )his aspect of 4ernoulli8s principle is use# in the air spee# in#icator& as #emonstrate# belo". Stagnation )ressure is also the !asis of the )arachute wing. +hose wings consist of an u))er and lower fa!ric surface enclosing individual front$o)ening cells. 1n a moving airstream, the )ressure in the cells is near "fa!ric )ermea!ility has an effect* the stagnation )ressure % the highest % and thus forms the semi$ rigid wing sha)e that )rovides the high manoeuvra!ility of such )arachutes.

Continuity e<uation
)here is another principle of aero#ynamic interest to us ! the continuity e<uation ! "hich states that& in a stea#ily moving airstream& the pro#uct of #ensity& velocity an# cross sectional area IsJ must al"ays be a constantG @ s @ v ? constant 2f there is no change in #ensity "ithin the flo" /"hich is the norm in the airspee# range of light aircraft+ see compressibility effects0 then "e can state thatG s @ v ? constant )hus& if air flo"s into a smaller cross3sectional area spee# must increase to maintain the constant. 4ernoulli8s principle states that if

spee# increases& static pressure must #ecrease+ so the velocity of a constricte# airstream increases an# its static pressure #ecreases. 4oth the above e1uations are relate# to the conservation laws+ 4ernoulli8s principle to the conservation of energy& an# the continuity e1uation to the conservation of mass. ;e "ill e,amine these properties of air further in the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule. )he venturi effect ! use# in carburettors& the total energy variometer an# the airframe3mounte# venturi that provi#es suction for some flight instruments ! is an application of the principles state# above.

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4)D Measuring airspeed


)he #ynamic pressure of the airflo"& in $9mM& is represente# by the e,pression Q?M& "hereG is the #ensity of the air I*g9mRJ ?M is the aircraft /or free airstream0 spee# Im9sMJ an# "e can #e#uce that the spee# of the airstream is relate# to air #ensity an# #ynamic pressure. ;e can measure the #ynamic pressure "ith a simple mechanical pressure gauge. 2magine a @ mm internal #iameter aluminium tube positione# un#er the "ing of a moving aircraft& outsi#e the slipstream& so that the open en# points for"ar# into un#isturbe# airflo" an# the other en# of the tube terminates "ithin a spring3loa#e#& fle,ible capsule ! similar to that in an aneroi# barometer ! thus the capsule stops the airflo" "ithin the tube. )he bac* pressure& applie# by the capsule to stop the airflo"& must be e1ual to the stagnation pressure. )he capsule is containe# "ithin a casing "hich& in turn& is connecte# to a static vent that supplies the casing "ith the ambient atmospheric pressure+ or& in a lo"er31uality system& the casing may -ust be open to the atmospheric pressure "ithin the fuselage.

So& if "e have stagnation or impact pressure ! "hich is #ynamic pressure plus static pressure ! "ithin the capsule an# static pressure surroun#ing it& the capsule "ill e,pan# or contract to reflect the changes in #ynamic pressure at the mouth of the tube. "+he system is a ')itot tu!e' devised !y Denri ?itot "1M48$1771*. 2uring =orld =ar 1, the airs)eed indicating instruments themselves were called ')itots'.* )he capsule movement is mechanically or electrically lin*e# to rotate a pointer on a #ial. Although the #ial is calibrate# an# mar*e# to in#icate airspee# in *nots or mph rather than h7a& it is still basically a simple pressure gauge an# an imperfect airspee# gauge. 4ecause the instrument cannot #etermine the #ensity component of the #ynamic pressure& the calibration assumes a constant air #ensity of %.22 *g9mR. )his coc*pit instrument is then an airspeed indicator IAS; J an# it #isplays the indicated airspeed I;ASJ& base# on ;SA con#itions. )he in#icate# airspee# is not the actual aircraft spee# through the air& 8?8 in the e1uations. A bit confusing ! but ta*e heart& for it gets "orseZ ;e can calculate the #ynamic pressure for the <abiru using the scenario in section %.= for calculating CC+ i.e. cruising at @ '' feet& airspee# 6B *nots or ' m9s& an# air #ensity %.' *g9mR. )he 2SA atmospheric pressure at @ '' feet is about ('' h7a. S static pressure N ('' h7a S #ynamic pressure N Q?M N Q K %.' K ' K ' N %2 ' $9mM N %2. h7a

$ote that the #ynamic pressure at %2 ' $9mM& or %2. h7a& is less than 2U of the static pressure& but applying that #ynamic pressure over the ( mM of "ing area an# the lift coefficient of '.=+ i.e. %2 ' K ( K '.=& still gives the lift force of =''' ne"tons that "e calculate# in the 8Lift8 section. )he airspee# 8?8 in the e1uations is the true airspeed ITAS J ! the free stream spee# or the air #istance flo"n over time. ;e *no" that the AS2 #ial is calibrate# assuming a fi,e# air #ensity of %.22 *g9mR& so a perfect AS2 "ill only in#icate the real airspee# /the true airspee#0 "hen the actual environment #ensity is %.22 *g9mR+ that is& "hen the aircraft

is operating close to sea3level. ;hat "ill be the 2AS in our e,ample aboveT 2AS N ? 9 s1uare root /%.22 9 0 N 6B 9 ]/%.22 9 %.'0 N 6B 9 %.% N (( *nots.

From this "e can #e#uce that a perfect AS2 "ill generally un#errea#. )he 2AS "ill al"ays be less than the )AS& e,cept in col# con#itions at very lo" altitu#e "here the air #ensity may be greater than %.22 *g9mR. For instance& using the e1uation of state above& if temperature "as .> OC an# pressure "as %'>' h7a& the #ensity "oul# be %.>> *g9mR. 2ensity is a!out 1I greater than 1S# for each 3 6J that tem)erature is !elow 1S#.

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4)E ;ndicated airspeed


So& you might as*& "hat8s the point of an AS2 that really is in#icating -ust #ynamic pressure& an# is unli*ely to in#icate your real airspee# ! air #istance flo"n over time ! accuratelyT ;ell& a#mitte#ly it #oes mean a little more calculation to be #one in navigation& but there are very significant a#vantages "ith an instrument that #isplays 2AS rather than )AS. )his "ill be covere# in the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule. Fenerally& for all angles of attac* in unaccelerate# flight at a particular "eight& there is a correspon#ing 2AS+ though the relationship bet"een aoa an# 2AS #oes get a bit fuEEy near CCmax. So& in the absence of an angle of attac* instrument& the AS2 can generally^ be regar#e# as an in#ication of angle of attac* if the lift being pro#uce# matches aircraft mass. Also& all the performance parameters /the 8numbers80 for an aircraft ! best rate of climb& best angle of climb& best gli#e angle& etc. ! re1uire it to be flo"n at a particular aoa for that "eight& an# thus a particular 2AS. Hr more accurately& a particular

cali rated airspeed ICAS J an# that particular CAS #oes not change "ith altitu#e /as )AS #oes0& but changes only "ith "eight. /^)he reason "hy CAS #oes not al"ays correlate to aoa is that "hen inertia an# ran#om #isplacement forces ! atmospheric turbulence ! come into play& aoa may change momentarily "ithout a change in CAS.0 An AS2 is an imperfect mechanical instrument "hich is sub-ect to instrument errors. )he associate# pitot9static system is also prone to pressure sensing errors #ue to the positioning of the pitot hea# an# the static vent relative to the airstream. )hat relative position changes as aoa changes. CAS is the airspee# after you have applie# corrections to the 2AS for those instrument an# position errors occurring at that aoa in that particular aircraft. )he measure# corrections shoul# be state# on a car# place# near the AS2. Lou shoul# also be a"are that position errors may be 1uite significant& possibly %' *nots or so ! particularly at high aoa or "hen the aircraft is slipping. 4elo" is an airspee# correction car# for a particular aircraft in balance# flight+ i.e. not slipping or s*i##ing. )he normal cruise spee# for this aircraft is aroun# 6 *nots. 2n this particular installation the AS2 significantly un#errea#s at lo" spee#s an# overrea#s at high spee#s. ;AS #nots =2 CAS #nots =6 2 @% @6 B> (B 6@ %'= %%> %22 %>' B @= B% B> (@ 6= %'2 %%' %%B %2

;e nee# )AS for navigation an# there is a simple mental calculation to #etermine it from CAS.

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\)o convert CAS to )AS multiply the /#ensity0 altitu#e& in %'''s of feet& by a factor of about %. to get the percentage increase to apply.\ e.g. CAS N (( *nots at @ '' feet N @. , %. N %'U N 6B *nots. )he factor increases "ith increasing altitu#e& reaching about 2 at >' ''' feet.

The airspeed indicator


Lou "ill note the green an# "hite peripheral arcs& an# other colour mar*s& on the face of this instrument. )hese are stan#ar# mar*ings& some of "hich shoul# appear on the face of every light aircraft AS2& as they #isplay the spee# constraints applicable to the aircraft operations. )he "hite arc in#icates the flaps operating range starting& at the lo"er en#& from the in#icate# airspee#& /so I *notsJ& at "hich the aircraft "ill stall in the lan#ing configuration "ith flaps fully e,ten#e#& an# "ith the throttle close#. )he top en# of the "hite arc in#icates the ma,imum spee#& /fe I%'( *notsJ& at "hich the aircraft8s flaps can be e,ten#e#& or remain e,ten#e#& "ithout causing strain. )he bottom en# of the green arc in#icates the stalling spee# of the aircraft& /s= I@2 *notsJ& "ith flaps /an# lan#ing gear if applicable0 up& throttle close# an# %g loa# factor. )he top en# of the green arc in#icates the ma,imum structural cruise spee#& /no I%B> *notsJ. )he green arc in#icates the #esigne# range of cruising spee#s for the aircraft. )he yello" arc in#icates a spee# range in "hich the aircraft may be flo"n& but "ith caution an# only in smooth atmospheric con#itions. )he re# line at the top en# of the yello" arc in#icates the spee#& /ne& that shoul# never be e,cee#e# because of ris* of structural #amage. )he other re# mar* at B' *nots& an# the blue mar* at (( *nots& are of no interest for single3engine aircraft+ these mar*ings only appear on a t"in3engine aircraft AS2 an# relate to operations "ith one engine shut #o"n. A properly functioning AS2 respon#s rapi#ly to pressure changes because there is no instrument lag. A slo" response attribute# to instrument lag is most li*ely only #ue to the inertia of the aircraft ! "hen attitu#e in pitch is change#& an aircraft ta*es a little time to accelerate9#ecelerate to the appropriate airspee#.

Airspeed summary

True airspeed I)ASJ N ? in the #ynamic pressure e1uation an# other e,pressions N air #istance flo"n over time.

;ndicated airspeed I2ASJ N airspee# #isplaye# on the coc*pit airspee# in#icator IAS2J ! base# on a fi,e# air #ensity of %.22 *g9mR. )he AS2 only in#icates true airspee# "hen ambient atmospheric #ensity is actually %.22 *g9mR an# the system error corrections are ma#e. Cali rated airspeed ICASJ N 2AS a#-uste# /mentally from a printe# table0 for *no"n system errors occurring "ithin the normal spee# range.

Electronic AS;
Dlectronic flight instrument systems IDF2SJ use soli# state electronic componentry as sensors plus soft"are to #isplay flight #ata on a single screen. 2n such systems& the static an# #ynamic pressures are fe# to pressure trans#ucers "hich sense an# convert pressures to voltages that the electronic circuitry converts to an airspee# #isplay. See the li1ui# crystal primary flight #isplay of the Aynon A%'A light aircraft DF2S. )he DF2S has an outsi#e air temperature probe an#& "ith static pressure& the soft"are can calculate air #ensity an# thus #isplay )AS "hen nee#e#. Dlectronic AS2s are also available as single panel instruments or possibly combine# "ith an altimeter function. )he electronic systems are still sub-ect to much the same errors as a mechanical system& an# the 2AS has to be correcte# for CAS unless there is a means for incorporating some form of compensating table into the soft"are.

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4)7 Measuring vertical airspeed


The vertical airspeed indicator
2n flight it is important for a pilot to *no" the rate at "hich the aircraft may be climbing or #escen#ing. A simple vertical spee# in#icator I/S;J is a pressure gauge that measures the rate of pressure change as an aircraft is climbing or #escen#ing. )here are t"o pressure inputs& both from the static vent system ! one to each si#e

of a fle,ible #iaphragm or capsule. Hn the open si#e there is a normal input that reflects the static pressure change as it occurs. Hn the close# si#e the input9output is a fine capillary tube that slo"s the e1ualising pressure change ! an# also the response time of the instrument. )he resultant #eflection of the #iaphragm is magnifie# via a geare# mechanical lin*age to a #ial pointer& "hich in#icates "hether the aircraft is maintaining altitu#e /in "hich case& the pressure on both si#es of the #iaphragm is e1ual0& climbing or #escen#ing& an# the rate& usually gra#uate# in feet IK%''J of altitu#e per minute. Some form of vibration #amping an# thermal change compensation is inclu#e# "ithin the ?S2 an# AS2 instruments.

The variometer
2n free flight& gli#er pilots are totally reliant on fin#ing sources of atmospheric uplift to gain the gravitational potential energy that enables the aircraft to stay airborne for sufficient time to complete the flight plan. A variometer /usually abbreviate# to vario0 is a specialise# vertical spee# in#icator that enables a pilot to #erive the vertical spee# of the parcel of air in "hich the aircraft is flying. ?ariometers are also fitte# to ultralight motor gli#ers an# other po"ere# aircraft that have some soaring capability. For more information on varios an# their uses see the article 8 Basic sail)lane instruments8.

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4)F Stalling airspeeds


The normal stall
Hne of the first 1uestions a pilot might consi#er& "hen converting to a ne" aircraft type& is \;hat8s the stall spee#T\ )he reason for consi#ering this is that usually& but not al"ays& the approach spee# chosen for lan#ing is %.> to %. times /so ! the minimum stea#y flight spee# in the lan#ing configuration& belo" "hich spee# the aircraft "ill stall or at "hich spee# the aircraft "ill stall if any manoeuvring is attempte#.

$ote that the %'O increase in the ban* angle bet"een 2'O an# >'O increases stall spee# by =U. 4ut the %'O increase in the ban* angle bet"een 'O an# @'O increases stall spee# by %@U+ i.e. four times greater& "hile bet"een @'O an# B'O the stall spee# is increase# by >'U. Aircraft certificate# in the normal category are limite# to a turning angle of ban* of not more than @'O. $ote that at an approach spee# of %.> K ?s the aircraft "ill stall if turning "ith a =O ban*. )he limits on climbing an# #escen#ing turns are #iscusse# in the 8SafetyG control loss in turns8 mo#ule. I)he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the section 8Critical spee#s8 J

The tor<ue stall


For high3performance aircraft& "ith a very high po"er3to3"eight ratio& the possibility of a tor<ue stall e,ists. )he most li*ely scenario is a su##en application of full po"er in a 8go3aroun#8 follo"ing an aborte# lan#ing& "here the airspee# has been allo"e# to #ecay belo" the safety spee#. )he tor1ue of the engine an# inertia of the heavy propeller ten#s to t"ist the aircraft aroun# the propeller shaft& an# the conse1uent roll may increase the aoa of the #o"ngoing "ing past the critical aoa. 2f that happens& the "ing loses lift& "hich accelerates the roll an# the aircraft loses height very rapi#ly. Ho"ever& tor1ue stalls are probably not applicable to light aircraft& although the tor1ue effect may influence the characteristics of a stall in a climbing turn.

Effect of weight
2f the aircraft is belo" its C)H;& the operating "ing loa#ing "ill be less than the #esign ;9S an# the stall "ill occur at a lo"er spee# than that mar*e# on the AS2. For e,ample& if "e refer to the <abiru& the "ing area is B.6 mM& C)H; is =2'' $& ?so is =' *nots CAS an# "e can calculate

that CC "ith flaps fully e,ten#e# is 2.'. ;e sa" above in the section 8)he acceleration or accelerate# stall8 that ;9S at the stall N CC K Q?M. ;e "ill rearrange that an# say ?sM N /;9S0 9 /CCmax K Q0. Substituting the values& inclu#ing %.22 for #ensity& "e getG ?sM N /=2''9B.60 9/2.' K '. K %.22 0 N >29%.22 N =>= m9s an# ?s N 2'.( m9s N =' *nots CAS $o" "hat "ill ?s be "hen the <abiru "ith no passenger on boar# is at the lo" "eight of >='' $T ;ell& substituting that "eight "e getG ?sM N />=''9B.60 9/2.' K '. K %.22 0 N =>'9%.22 N > % m9s an# ?s N %(.B m9s N >@ *nots CAS.

)here are other& some"hat simpler& "ays to calculate the re#uction in ?s correspon#ing to a re#uction in "eight but "hat "e see above is that a re#uction in "eight of ('' $& or about %6U& re#uces ?s by = *nots& or about %'U. )his brings us to the mathematical rule of thumb that "hen t"o values are not that far apart in percentage terms& say up to ='U& their s1uare roots are about half that #istance apart in percentage+ an# because aero#ynamic pressure is proportional to ?M& there are many occasions "here the s1uare root of a value is relevant. )his allo"s a simple& but reasonably accurate& mental calculationG

1ule of Thum Q>


\)he percentage re#uction in ?s is half the percentage re#uction in "eight.\ i.e. 2f "eight is re#uce# by %'U from C)H; then ?s "ill be re#uce# by U& an# conversely& if "eight is %'U over C)H; then ?s "ill be U higher ! one of several reasons to avoi# overloa#ing an aircraft. /)here is further #iscussion on "eight control throughout these notes.0

)hus in the section 8)he acceleration or accelerate# stall8 above& "here "e referre# to unloa#ing the "ings "ith the aircraft ban*e# at @'O& the loa# re#uction from %g #o"n to '.(g is 2'U so the

unloa#e# stall spee# "oul# be about 6'U of ?s%. Lou can also see the same relationship in the prece#ing table+ for ban* angles up to = O the percentage increase in ?s is about half the percentage increase in ;9S. 2t is appropriate to mention here that it is not only aircraft "eight9"ing loa#ing that affects the stall spee#. Some of the other critical performance values are also achieve# at a particular aoa& an# the associate# airspee#s are also change# by a change in "eight. )he same rule of thumb applies to them. )hese critical performance values /the 8numbers80 areG best rate of climb spee#& best angle of climb spee#& lo"est po"er3off sin* rate spee#& best gli#e ratio spee#& manoeuvring spee#& an# #esign cruise spee#. Another aspect "e "ill loo* at in the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule is the effect of flaps& but "e "ill -ust state here that flaps provi#e an increase# CC at all angles of attac* conse1uently allo"ing a re#uction in ?M an# the stalling spee#. 2n some aircraft e,ten#ing flaps also increases "ing area& thus ;9S is re#uce#& a han#y techni1ue for high3performance military aircraft& manoeuvring at ma,imum allo"e# "ing loa#ing ! they can tighten the turn even further "ithout brea*ing the aircraft. )he final aspect of the stall is the effect of atmospheric turbulence on aoa an# this affects 8manoeuvring spee#8. ;e "ill loo* at it in the 8Aircraft flight envelope8 section belo".

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4)L /$speeds
2t is important to have a simple& universally un#erstoo# an# accepte#& i#entification metho# for the various airspee#s at "hich an aircraft may be operate#& but currently it8s a bit messy an# there is no complete& an# universally recognise#& airspee# #esignation system publishe# by any regulatory authority. Current nomenclatures are generally ma#e up of t"o to si, letters9numbers& "ith the first being ?. Some of these ?3spee# co#es "ith alternatives& an# #efinitions are sho"n belo". )hese may be relevant to light single3engine aircraft inclu#ing ultralights& an# might appear in flight manuals& pilot8s operating han#boo*s an# even sales literature. )hose spee#s in#icate# "ith open

bulleting _ are probably only applicable to a fe" very light aircraft types. 7lease be a"are that the various 8best8 performance spee#s mentione# belo" ! rate of climb& angle of climb& cruising range& gli#ing range& etc. ! merely in#icate the mi#point in an airspee# range e,ten#ing perhaps %.2U either si#e of that point. Also& the performance spee#s are very much affecte# by the horsepo"er of the particular engine fitte#& plus the type of propeller an# its pitch setting. 2f there is no pilot8s operating han#boo* for the particular airframe9engine9propeller configuration& then the pilot must calculate the performance spee#s by trial an# measurement.

Critical limiting speeds


S /a ! #esign manoeuvring spee#. )his is sometimes referre# to as the 8spee# for ma,imum control #eflection8. Aesign rules state that the minimum acceptable manoeuvring spee# is a fi,e# calculation relative to ?s% for all aircraft "ithin the same category. For a normal category light aircraft /"hose certificate# vertical loa# limit factor is V>.(g0& minimum ?a N >.( ?s%& or %.6 K ?s%. For a utility category light aircraft /"hose certificate# vertical loa# limit factor is V=.=g0& minimum ?a N =.= ?s%& or 2.% K ?s%. 2t is un"ise to ma*e full or abrupt applications of any one primary flight control if you are flying at a spee# greater than ?a& because at higher spee#s it is easy to apply forces that coul# e,cee# the aircraft8s structural limitations& an# particularly so if you apply more than one control& e.g. apply lots of elevator an# aileron together. Dven "hen flying at or belo" ?a& it is un"ise to ma*e rapi# control reversals. ?a is not mar*e# on the AS2 but there shoul# be a placar# in#icating the C)H; manoeuvring spee# on the instrument panel near the AS2+ if not& you can assume it8s t"ice ma,imum "eight ?s% for non3aerobatic light aircraft. ?a #ecreases as the aircraft8s "eight #ecreases from C)H;& because the effects of the aero#ynamic forces become more pronounce# as its "eight #ecreases. Sometimes the aircraft8s flight manual "ill specify the #esign manoeuvring spee#s for "eights belo" C)H; but it may be left up to the pilot to calculate. :sing Rule of )humb P> above& the re#uction in ?a "ill be half the percentage re#uction in aircraft "eight+ for

e,ample if& "ith only one person on boar#& "eight is %@U belo" C)H; then ?a is re#uce# by (U. /#ctually, Na decreases with mass rather than weight, !ut that is s)litting hairs a !it. 0 2f you loo* at the manoeuvring flight envelope for a particular aircraft type belo"& you "ill note that ?a is 6= *nots. -ou can also see from the accelerated stall curve in the diagram that flying at s)eeds much !elow Na in tur!ulent conditions also enhances the )ossi!ility of stalls induced !y vertical gusts % and also may reduce aileron and rudder effectiveness. Cisuse of controls in light aircraft can generate greater structural loa#s than those possibly encountere# in turbulence& so ?a is also useful as a 8turbulent air operating spee#8 an# most light aircraft operating han#boo*s recommen# that airspee# be re#uce# to ?a in turbulent con#itions. ;hen flying above this spee#& gust3in#uce# loa#s can e,cee# the structural #esign limit. Fust loa#s in the high temperature con#itions of the Australian tropical continental air mass can be e,tremely high. ?a is the recommen#e# in#icate# cruising spee# /CAS0 "hen flying in mo#erate turbulence ! strong intermittent -olts. At this compromise spee#& the aircraft "ill generally pro#uce an accelerate# stall an# thus alleviate the aero#ynamic force on the "ings& if it encounters a vertical current that imparts an acceleration sufficient to e,cee# the loa# limit factor. Rea# 8)he spee# to fly in turbulence8& in the \Aecreasing your e,posure to ris*8 gui#e+ particularly the section referring to ?a. 2f the aircraft #esigner has specifie# a manoeuvring spee# that is greater than the minimum specifie# in the regulations then& "hen flying at ?a an# if a substantial nose3up pitching manoeuvre is applie#& the aircraft may e,cee# the limit loa# factor before stalling. A ma,imum manoeuvring spee# /o might be establishe# as an operating limitation& "hich is a selecte# spee# that is not greater than >.( ?s% for a normal category aircraft an# is a spee# "here the aircraft "ill stall in a nose3up pitching manoeuvre before e,cee#ing the structural loa# limits. _ / ! the #esign spee# for ma,imum gust intensity or the ma,imum gust penetration spee#. ?b is #evelope# by the #esigner as a recommen#e# turbulence penetration spee# for commercial passenger aircraft rather than using ?a& so that higher cruise spee#s can be maintaine# an# there is no #anger of ina#vertent stall. Stalling larger aircraft is not a goo# i#ea& not least because of height loss an# possible e,cessive loa#s in

the recovery. S /no ! ma,imum structural cruise spee# or 8normal operating limit8& in#icate# by the top en# of the AS2 green arc. Flight above ?no shoul# only be con#ucte# cautiously an# in smooth air. ?no must be e1ual to or greater than ?c /belo" in section 8Cruise spee#s80& but in most light aircraft ?no an# ?c are assume# synonymous. ;hen cruising at an# belo" ?no& the aircraft shoul# not be #amage# by a >' feet9secon# vertical gust ! "hich is in the top en# of the mo#erate turbulence scale of 2'.> feet9secon# vertical gusts. Rea# 8)he spee# to fly in turbulence8. S /ne ! never e,cee# spee#& "hich is the 2AS "hich shoul# never be intentionally e,cee#e# in a #ive or other manoeuvre ! in smooth air. 2t is in#icate# by the re# line at the top en# of the AS2 yello" arc. For light aircraft operating belo" %' ''' feet& it can usually be assume# that ?ne is a fi,e# 2AS. 2f aircraft have higher altitu#e capability or particular airframe vibration characteristics& it is possible that the #esigner "ill specify ?ne as a )AS& above a particular altitu#e. 2f ?ne varies "ith altitu#e& then FAR 7art 2>.% = /c0 re1uires a means /a placar# ne,t to the AS20 to in#icate to the pilot the appropriate limitations throughout the aircraft8s operating altitu#e range. For further information rea# 8Aon8t fly real fast8 in the \Aecreasing your e,posure to ris*8 gui#e. S /s= /sometimes incorrectly sho"n as ?si0 ! stalling spee#& or the minimum stea#y flight spee#& in a specifie# flight configuration. For a simple aircraft& ?s% is normally measure# in level flight "ith flaps up& at C)H; an# %g "ing loa#ing& "ith engine i#ling follo"ing a gra#ual #eceleration Ione *not per secon#J ! accompanie# by increasing rear"ar# movement of the control column ! to that minimum flight spee#. 2t is in#icate# by the bottom en# of the AS2 green arc& but it may be #ocumente# as 2AS or CAS+ if it8s the former& the 1uote# stall spee# is probably inaccurate. ?s% #ecreases as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H;& "hich also means that if the pilot can re#uce the "ing loa#ing belo" %g ! by an 8unloa#ing8 manoeuvre ! ?s% is #ecrease#. Stalling spee# un#er a 2g "ing loa#ing& for instance& might be referre# to as ?s2g. S /so ! stalling spee#& or the minimum stea#y flight spee#& in the lan#ing configuration of flaps #o"n an# engine at lo" or i#le po"er as it "oul# be -ust prior to touch#o"n. )his is

measure# using the same metho# as ?s% but "ith the cg at the most e,treme position allo"e#& usually the most for"ar# position "here bac*"ar# movement of the control column may be limite#. 2t is in#icate# by the bottom en# of the AS2 "hite arc& but it may be #ocumente# as 2AS or CAS. Li*e ?s%& ?so #ecreases as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H;. )he #esignation /s is use# as a general reference to either or both /so an# /s=. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section 2.%' 8Aircraft flight envelope8 J

Cruise speeds
S / r ! best range& or /md ! minimum #rag& is the spee# that provi#es ma,imum L9A by pro#ucing minimum #rag an# thus the best po"er3to3spee# ratio. )his spee# might utilise about U po"er an# is usually flo"n at the lo"est altitu#e "here the throttle is fully open to obtain that spee#. ?br9?m# #ecreases as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H;. 2t8s rather boring to fly at that spee#& "in# con#itions have to be ta*en into account& an# the fuel saving may not be that significant compare# to flying at a spee# %'U faster. Also& the engine manufacturer8s operating recommen#ations shoul# be follo"e#& but mi,ture is usually leane#& an# minimum rpm set if a constant spee# propeller is fitte#. ?br9?m# has the same basic airspee# range as ?y an# ?bg Ibelo"J. )here is a #ifference in concept bet"een ?br an# ?m#. 7ilots of lo"3po"ere# aircraft are generally not intereste# in the best po"er to airspee# ratio in cruise+ groun# spee# achieve# per litre is far more significant& so in some con#itions ?br e1uals ?m# but in hea#"in# con#itions ?br is increase#. Loo* at the #iagram from section %.B at left an# note the pin* line that has been #ra"n from the -unction of the vertical an# horiEontal a,es tangential to the po"er re1uire# curve. )hat line -ust touches the curve at a position correspon#ing to the minimum #rag airspee# ?m#. $o" imagine a >' *not hea#"in# an# start the tangential line from a point along the horiEontal a,is that is e1uivalent to >' *nots+ that /the blue line0 "ill be tangent to the po"er re1uire# curve at a position correspon#ing to a higher spee# ! ?br for a >' *not hea#"in#. )he rule of thumb is to a## half the hea# "in# to the basic ?br&

"hich& in this case& in#icates a ?br that is about % *nots greater than ?m#. )his is the same principle use# by gli#er pilots to establish their best penetration spee# ! see the spee# polar curves for optimum gli#e spee# in the 8Coping "ith emergencies gui#e8. S / e ! best en#urance& or /mp ! minimum po"er& is the CAS that gives the greatest airborne time per litre /i.e. least fuel flo" per hour an#& of course& po"er is proportional to fuel flo"0& possibly aroun# ('U of ?br9?m#& an# #ecreases as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H;. Flight at lo"est safe altitu#e provi#es best engine performance. Cight utilise about = U po"er at C)H;. 2t is the spee# for minimum po"er re1uire# for level flight& as sho"n in the po"er re1uire# curve above. ?be9?mp is the spee# that might be use# "hen flying a search pattern to allo" a proper area survey& or "hen "aiting for groun# fog to #isperse& but it is possibly uncomfortable to fly for long perio#s at such a lo" spee#. Also the very lo" po"er setting may be inconsistent "ith goo# engine han#ling practice. Carburettor icing may be aggravate#. )he ?mp #esignation an# spee# is also use# as a po"er3off gli#e spee#& provi#ing the best en#urance ! least rate of sin* ! in the gli#e+ see 87o"er3off #escent spee#s8 belo". ?be9?mp is in the same spee# range as ?, ! the best angle of climb airspee#. S /c ! the #esign cruising spee# or the optimum cruise spee# ! the latter being the spee# that gives the most velocity /i.e. greatest #istance9time0 from a litre of fuel& usually utilisies B U po"er at C)H; an# is about 2'.>'U greater than the ma,imum L9A spee# ! ?br. )he spee# an# po"er re1uire# both #ecrease as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H;. Refer to Rule of )humb P> in section 2.( 8Stalling airspee#s8. For most light aircraft& ?c is synonymous "ith ?no. For normal category aircraft& FAR 7art 2> specifies a minimum #esign cruising spee# /in *nots0 N >> !HS. For this calculation the "ing loa#ing ;9S is e,presse# in poun#s per s1uare foot. Alternatively& ?c can be set at 6'U of ?h ! see ne,t. Cany minimum ultralights are unable to comply "ith the FAR 7art 2> #esign re1uirement for a minimum #esign cruising spee#. _ /h ! the ma,imum level flight in#icate# spee# /CAS0 attainable at sea3level& utilising ma,imum continuous engine po"er. For most engines ma,imum continuous engine po"er at sea3level "ill be less than full throttle po"er.

Ta#e$off and landing speeds


S /fe ! ma,imum flaps e,ten#e# spee#. 2t is in#icate# by the top en# of the AS2 "hite arc. Flight "ith flaps e,ten#e#& or e,ten#ing flaps& above this spee# may result in #istortion of the flaps or the e,tension mechanism. ?arious ?fe spee#s may be specifie# accor#ing to the available flap settings. Fenerally spea*ing& the flight loa# limit factors are re#uce# by about 'U "hen flaps are fully e,ten#e#+ for e,ample& for a normal category aircraft the aircraft flight manual "ill probably note that loa# limit factor is re#uce# from >.(g to 2g. _ /le ! for retractable un#ercarriage aircraft ! the ma,imum in#icate# spee# at "hich the lan#ing gear can remain e,ten#e# "ithout ris*ing gear #oor #amage. _ /lo ! the ma,imum in#icate# spee# at "hich the lan#ing gear system can be operate#. ?le an# ?lo are unli*ely to be applicable to most ultralights. _ /lof ! the lift3off in#icate# spee# for normal ta*e3off. ?lof is about %'U above ?mu. S /mu ! minimum unstic* spee#. )his is an in#icate# spee# use# in ta*e3off con#itions "here it is a#visable to lift off at the lo"est possible airspee# to get the tyres off the surface /e.g. soft fiel# or "et grass 0 an# safely fly in groun# effect until a /toss is attaine# to allo" climb3out. Acceleration after lift3off at ?mu is slo"& #ue to the #rag at the high aoa& an# shoul# not be use# as an obstacle clearance techni1ue. S /ref ! the threshol# spee# or the reference in#icate# approach spee#. :sually about %.> to %. times ?so plus 'U of the "in# gust spee# in e,cess of the mean "in# spee#+ e.g. ?so N >' *nots& "in# spee# %' *nots gusting to 2' *nots& ?ref N %.> , >' V *nots N == *nots. Faster& heavier aircraft "oul# ten# to"ar#s the %.> times ?so en#+ lighter& slo"er aircraft "oul# ten# to"ar#s the %. times ?so en#. $ormal lan#ing proce#ure is to set up the approach so that an imaginary % metre I ' ftJ high screen place# before the run"ay threshol# is crosse# at ?ref an# the airspee# is re#uce# to maybe %.2 to %.> K ?so ! plus the gust allo"ance ! "hen roun#ing out prior to touch#o"n. )he groun# #istance from the screen to the touch3 #o"n point can be roughly estimate#& using the %3in3@' rule& from the approach slope. For e,ample& "ith a @O slope ! "hich

is aroun# the norm for most light aeroplanes ! the #istance "ill be @'9@ K % N % ' m. )o this must be a##e# any float perio# plus the groun# roll #istance "ith normal bra*ing& to give the total lan#ing #istance over the stan#ar# % m screen ! in nil "in# con#itions. S /toss ! minimum ta*e3off safety spee#. )his is an in#icate# spee# chosen to ensure that a#e1uate control "ill still e,ist #uring initial climb after lift3off if po"er is lost or turbulence encountere#. After lift3off& the aircraft shoul# be hel# #o"n an# not allo"e# to climb a"ay until ?toss is attaine#. CAH%'%32(& an air"orthiness certification re1uirement for commercially supplie# amateur3built *it ultralights& states in partG \)he ta*e3off #istance shall be establishe# an# shall be the #istance re1uire# to reach a screen height of ' feet from a stan#ing start& "ith ... short& #ry grass surface ... the aeroplane reaching the screen height at a ta#e$off safety speed not less than =)4 /s= ... ta*e3off charts ... shall sche#ule #istances establishe# in accor#ance "ith the provisions of this paragraph& factore# by %.% .\ Sea3level 2SA an# nil "in# con#itions are implie#. CAH 6 . has much the same "or#ing but specifies =)> /s= as the ta#e$off safety speed . /Similarly& CAH%'%32( states that the lan#ing #istance "ill be that to come to a full stop from a screen height of ' feet& "ith the screen being crosse# at %.> ?so an# the same con#itions as specifie# for the ta*e3off #istance.0 2n normal ta*e3off con#itions ?toss shoul# be some"here bet"een %.> an# %. times ?s% "ith 8#raggy8 aircraft ten#ing to the higher value. 2f po"er is lost in the initial climb& a #raggy aircraft "ill lose airspee# very rapi#ly an# ta*e some time to regain it even though the pilot reacts 1uic*ly an# pushes the control column for"ar#. See 8Dngine failure after ta*e3off8.

Clim speeds
S /' ! in#icate# spee# provi#es best angle of climb for obstacle clearance+ i.e. to attain height over the shortest groun# #istance using ma,imum thrust available. )his is probably better #escribe# as the emergency clim speed ! the initial climb spee# use# "hen there are obstructions off the en# of a marginal airstrip or "hen climbing out of an obstructe# valley.

?, #ecreases as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H; /refer Rule of )humb P> above0& but the angle of attac* is maintaine# at aroun# (.%'_. 2t is the climb airspee# "here the ratio of vertical spee# to horiEontal /groun#0 spee# is the highest. ?, may be less than or e1ual to ?toss. Ho"ever& be a"are that the angle of climb "ill also #epen# on the lo"3level "in# con#itions at the airfiel#. 2n a hea#"in#& the spee# flo"n is re#uce# by aroun# one 1uarter of the "in#spee#& but this spee# is increase# in a tail"in# by a similar amount. Also note that aoa #uring climb may be only or @O belo" the critical aoa& thus care must be ta*en not to in#uce a 8#eparture stall8& particularly in turbulent con#itions. An# remember that ?s% increases in a turn& so that the small safety gap bet"een ?, an# ?s% "ill be ero#e# if a climbing turn is attempte#+ see 8SafetyG loss of control in lo" level turns8. Climbing at ?, shoul# al"ays be regar#e# as a short3term emergency proce#ure& an# once clear of obstacles& airspee# shoul# be increase# to ?y ! or any appropriate 8enroute climb spee#8. )he latter re#uces the rate of climb but has the benefit of re#ucing total sector time. )his may be beneficial to engine operation but& more importantly& provi#es a little more airspee# in han# shoul# the engine falter or fail. )he airspee# for ?, increases "ith /#ensity0 altitu#e an# is much the same airspee# as ?be& although engine cooling nee#s might re1uire a higher airspee#. S /y ! in#icate# spee# for best rate of climb. )his spee# is use# to attain height in the shortest time using ma,imum po"er& or possibly ma,imum continuous climb po"er. ?y #ecreases as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H; /refer to Rule of )humb P> above0& but the angle of attac* is maintaine# at aroun# @.(_. After reaching a safe height airspee# may be increase# to an appropriate enroute climb spee#. )he CAS for ?y #ecreases "ith /#ensity0 altitu#e ! i.e. as )AS increases ! an# also is usually fairly close to the ma,imum L9A spee# ?br& ta*ing engine cooling flo"s into account. ?, an# ?y converge as /#ensity0 altitu#e increases.

,ower$off descent speeds


S / g ! best po"er3off gli#e )his is the airspee# that provi#es minimum #rag thus ma,imum L9A& or gli#e ratio& an# thus the greatest still air gli#e range from the potential energy of height. 2t is much the same basic airspee# as ?br9?m# an# ?y&

though it may be a bit lo"er an# #ecreases as the aircraft "eight #ecreases from C)H;. Ho"ever& li*e ?br& "in# #irection an# spee# have to be ta*en into account before you can choose the ?bg spee# "hen in a force# gli#e+ for more information on the po"er3off gli#e spee#s rea# the 85no" the best gli#e an# minimum #escent airspee#s8 an# 85no" the practical gli#e ratio an# terrain footprint8 sections in the 8Coping "ith emergencies gui#e8. 2n lo"er "in# con#itions& ?bg is increase# in a hea#"in# by aroun# one 1uarter of the "in#spee#& but is #ecrease# in a tail"in# by a similar amount. 2n higher "in# con#itions& say above 2 *nots& the spee# changes re1uire# "oul# be aroun# one half of the "in#spee#. _ /mp ! minimum po"er. )his is the spee# that results in the lo"est rate of sin* in a po"er3off gli#e& an# provi#es the longest #uration of flight from the potential energy of height. )he lo"est rate of sin* occurs at the minimum value of #rag K velocity. 2t is probably aroun# ('.( U of ?bg& an# may be a similar spee# to ?be an# ?,. ?bg for an average sailplane "ith a "ing loa#ing of >2 *g9mM coul# be ' *nots& provi#ing a gli#e ratio of >(G%& "hile ?mp "oul# be =% *nots provi#ing a sin* rate of '.@ m9s or %2' feet9minute. 2f you "ant further e,planation of sin* rates& etc. /"ith e,cellent #iagrams0 rea# this article on gli#er performance airspee#s. "0ote. the term #md meaning minimum descent, rather than minimum drag, is in common usage to designate the s)eed for lowest rate of sin, in a )ower$off glide.* 4oth ?bg #istance an# ?mp time are a#versely affecte# by the e,tra #rag of a "in#milling propeller& "hich creates much more #rag than a stoppe# /but unfeathere#0 propeller follo"ing engine shut3#o"n or failure. A "in#milling propeller has a negative aoa an# the 8thrust8 #irection is reverse#& in effect a##ing to #rag. Cuch the same thing can happen "hen simulating a gli#e at the specifie# ?bg9?mp spee# "ith the engine i#ling+ the propeller #rag "ill increase the rate of sin* beyon# that e,pecte# an# perhaps lea# to the erroneous conclusion that the best gli#e spee#s in the han#boo* are un#erstate#. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section %%.2 8Factors affecting safe ta*e3off performance8J

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4)=5 Aircraft flight envelope


)he #esign flight envelope of an aircraft may be state# as \the parameters "ithin "hich an aircraft can be safely operate#& "ith average pilot ability& at varying #ensity altitu#es& airframe states& po"er outputs& "ing loa#ings an# atmospheric turbulence\. /)he flight envelope is not the cruise3to3stall ratio& nor the range of airspee# bet"een minimum an# ma,imum airspee#.0 8Airframe states8 refer to flap e,tensions& un#ercarriage position an# the "eight. 2t is a #ynamic t"o3or3three #imensional mo#el that has airspee# along one a,is& "ing loa#ing or 8g8 along the secon#& an# perhaps #ensity altitu#e along a thir#& an# there are separate flight envelopes for each airframe state. )he parameters for a light aircraft usually are the limiting critical airspee#s ! ?a& ?ne& ?no& ?s% an# ?so+ the certificate# loa# limits an# possibly an angle of ban* limitation ! e.g. @'O. For "eight3shift aircraft in particular& there are pitch limitations+ ! e.g. = O nose up or nose #o"n from the horiEontal. Cost of the critical airspee#s vary "ith changes in static "eight an# in #ynamic loa#ing an# an e,treme cg position may place further limitations on the flight envelope. )he ?3n Ior ?3gJ #iagram belo" is a simplifie# representation of a fe" aspects of the manoeuvring flight envelope for a 8utility category8 aircraft at C)H;. )his #isplays airspee# along the horiEontal a,is an# the "ing loa#ing along the vertical ! in units of 8g8 ! bet"een the usual certificate# loa# limits for such aircraft of V=.=g to .%.(g. )he curves represent the accelerate# stall spee#s of ?s% K g+ thus the stall spee# "ith a =.=g loa#ing is 6= *nots& "hich is usually ?a ! the #esign manoeuvring spee# at ma,imum ta*e3off "eight. Lou can see from the curve that at 6= *nots the aircraft "ill stall "hen the "ing loa#ing reaches =.=g. )he aircraft cannot be flo"n in the regions to the left of the accelerate# stall curves because the "ings "ill be stalle#. 2n section 2.( "e #etermine# that a @'O ban*e# level turn #ouble# the normal "ing loa#. 2f you visualise a horiEontal line from the 2g point& the interception "ith the curve "ill e1uate "ith about @ *nots ?s.

)he ma,imum airspee# allo"e# is ?ne& but full an# abrupt control applications are restricte# to spee#s at or belo" ?a. So& the aircraft can be flo"n in the green area "ithout limits on control use an# it can be operate# "ith #ue care "ithin the yello" area& but it shoul# not be operate# in the pin* area. "?lease note the green9yellow areas are not related to those green9yellow arcs that a))ear on the #S1.* 2f it is ina#vertently operate# in the re# area ! i.e. outsi#e the certificate# loa# limits& or at velocities greater than ?# ! structural #istortion then failure may result. )he more the "ings are loa#e# "hile the aircraft is operating in the re# region& the greater the possibility of structural failure. )he potential e,ists to e,cee# both ?# an# ma,imum loa# in the pullout from a spiral #ive. ?ertical gusts impose loa#s on the "ing structure by in#ucing rapi#& but momentary& changes in aoa "ith conse1uent changes in the lift force. )he faster the aircraft is moving& the greater the gust3in#uce# loa#. FAR 2> has re1uirements for #esigners to consi#er une,pecte# gust loa#s. A gust envelope is often represente# as an overlay to the ?3n #iagram& an# this has the effect of #iminishing the flight envelope. ?b is #evelope# by the aircraft #esigner as a recommen#e# turbulence penetration spee# in severe turbulence& "ith varying vertical gust components ! up to ' feet9secon# consi#ere# for a light aircraft at cruise spee#. Ho"ever& ?b is not specifie# for ultralights or& in#ee#& for most light aircraft because there is probably not much #ifference bet"een ?a an# ?b.

)he flight envelope is consi#erably re#uce# if asymmetric manoeuvring loa#s are applie# to the airframe. Such loa#s might be applie# by an aircraft ya"ing or rolling "hile recovering from a high3spee# #escent. )here are other attributes that #efine the envelope . resistance to spin an# spin recovery& for e,ample. $ote that the term 8average pilot ability8 #oesn8t imply that those "ho consi#er themselves 8above average8 can push the envelope "ithout losing control or stressing the airframe. )here is more information on the flight envelope in the safety brief #ocument 8Fly real fast8. I)he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section (.@ 8)he stall9spin phenomenon8 J

)he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #iscusses altitu#e an# altimeters& but first rea# the notes belo".

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Things that are handy to #now


S A solute temperature is e,presse# in *elvins I5J. Hne 5 e1uals % OC an# ' OC is e1uivalent to 2B> 5. S 2n a free stream airflo"& a favoura le pressure gradient is one "here static pressure #ecreases "ith #istance #o"nstream. An adverse pressure gradient is one "here static pressure increases "ith #istance #o"nstream. S AS; position error. )he static vent is an opening& best place# at a position on the aircraft8s fuselage& "here atmospheric static pressure is not influence# by the shape of the fuselage or other aero#ynamic #isturbances. /Some aircraft may be fitte# "ith a static vent on each si#e of the fuselage to counteract static pressure #isturbances cause# "hen the aircraft is slipping9s*i##ing& an#9or a s"itchable alternative static source "ithin the coc*pit.0 )he opening is a tube connecte# to the coc*pit an# supplies the ambient atmospheric pressure& or static pressure& to the three pressure sensing instruments ! AS2& ?S2 an# altimeter. )he static vent is usually sub-ect to some pressure #isturbances at particular aircraft attitu#es& as is the pitot tube& but

probably to a lesser #egree. )hese #isturbances result in position errorG for a "ing3mounte# vent& the AS2 may un#errea# by %' *nots at stalling aoa. 2n a si#eslip& a single fuselage3mounte# static vent may be sub-ect to #ynamic pressure an# AS2 an# ?S2 rea#ings "ill conse1uently be completely mislea#ing. Also& the instrument movements "ill have inbuilt errors& usually cause# by e,cessive friction. Hbstructions in the tubes ! such as "ater or "asp8s nests ! "ill cause misrea#ings. ,osition error corrections for the instruments shoul# be note# in the 7ilot8s Hperating Han#boo* an# placar#e# on the instrument panel. )he 2AS correcte# for instrument an# position errors is calle# the calibrate# airspee# ICASJ. Dither CAS or 2AS may be the reference spee# in the 7ilot8s Hperating Han#boo* for aircraft operations& but if the position error corrections are not sho"n then the AS2 system has not been assesse# for accuracy. 2n some poor AS2 installations& 2AS may be 2'U less than CAS at lo" spee#s& but they are usually much the same at normal cruising spee#s. Regulations for type3certificate# aircraft re1uire that the complete airspee# in#icating system of pitot hea#& static vent& connecting tubes an# instrument be tune# so that the 2AS rea#ing is "ithin >U of the true rea#ing over the normal airspee# range from ?s to ?c. Ho"ever& you shoul# suspect that any non3certificate# ultralight AS2 system "ill be inaccurate at all spee#s& an# particularly so at high aoa. ;hen comparing publishe# stall spee#s bet"een #ifferent aircraft types& it is "ise to #etermine CAS& as publishe# 2AS stall spee#s may be #o"nright mislea#ing. S Compressi ility effects. )he compressibility of air "ithin the pitot tube has little effect on the accuracy of the AS2 rea#ing for aircraft operating belo" %' ''' feet an# 2'' *nots+ at an airspee# of 2'' *nots& compressibility "ill cause CAS to overrea# by only '. *nots or so. Ho"ever& for aircraft operating at high spee# or high altitu#e& compressibility "ill cause the AS2 to overrea# significantly& so there is a nee# to correct CAS using a compressibility correction chart. )he correction value is #e#ucte# from CAS to give the compressibility correcte# CAS ! other"ise *no"n as e<uivalent airspeed IEASJ. For most me#ium3spee# aircraft& it is probable that the compressibility correction value has been built into the 2AS.CAS airspee# correction table. )here is no practical application for recreational pilots& but aero#ynamicists ten# to use the DAS term ! rather than 2AS or CAS ! assuming an AS2& that has no errors cause# by

mechanical& position& aoa or compressibility effects& "oul# #isplay the 2SA stan#ar# con#ition sea3level true airspee#& "hich is e1uivalent to the #ynamic pressure in the instrument at any altitu#e. For more information see 8$otesG compressibility of airflo" an# Cach number8. S Chec#ing validity of claimed stall speeds) )here is a simple metho# to chec* the vali#ity of publishe# stall spee#s. 7ractically all very light aircraft /e,cept those "ith single surface "ings li*e the ;heeler Scout or "eight3shift aircraft0 use simple& long proven& stan#ar# camber aerofoils to form the "ings. )he lift coefficient attainable at ma,imum aoa "ith such "ings "ithout flaps is about %.2 or %.> for faster3cruising aircraft& an# %. or %.@ for the slo"er& higher3lift sections. 2f e1uippe# "ith flaps over& say& half the trailing e#ge& then CCmax might be increase# by '. "hen the flaps are e,ten#e# to at least > O. ;hen other high3lift #evices /for e,ample& full length lea#ing e#ge slats9slots0 are a##e# to the "ing& then CCmax might increase '.@. )hus& a specialise# short ta*e3off an# lan#ing aircraft fitte# "ith a high3lift aerofoil& full3length lea#ing e#ge slats an# large e,ten#e# flaps "oul# have a CCmax of /at least0 %.@ V '. V '.@ N 2.B. )he lift e1uation at normal stall spee# isG +ift ? CLma% @ B /C @ S ? weight or re3arrange#G
CLma%

? weight H JB /C @ SK

;e can use that e1uation to chec* the vali#ity of stall spee# claims if "e *no" the ma,imum ta*e3off "eight IC)H;J an# the "ing area ISJ. Let8s say a supplier claims that an aircraft& lac*ing any high3lift #evices& has a stall spee# of >' *nots. )he C)H; is = ' *g an# the "ing area is %2 mM. 2n the e1uation& the "eight must be e,presse# in ne"tons ! so multiply *g K %' N = '' $+ an# the stall spee# must be e,presse# in metres per secon# ! so -ust halve the velocity in *nots N % m9sG the air #ensity use# must be the 2SA msl #ensity N %.22 *g9mR. )hus CLma% ? AD55 H J5)D @ =)44D @ =D @ =D @ =4K ? 4)7 A lift coefficient of 2.B is very much higher than that achievable

"ithout high3lift #evices& so you "oul# conclu#e that the claime# stall spee# is nonsense+ a figure of >( *nots is probably closer to the mar*. S Conversely you can #o a rough appro'imation of stall speeds using the follo"ing simplifie# formulae if you /%0 *no" the "ing loa#ing in *ilograms per s1uare metre or in poun#s per s1uare foot& an# /20 can estimate CCmax "ith flaps sto"e# or fully e,ten#e#. Stall spee# I*notsJ N B.( K s1uare root /"ing loa#ing in *g9mM #ivi#e# by CCmax0 /or0 Stall spee# I*notsJ N %B.2 K s1uare root /"ing loa#ing in lb9ftM #ivi#e# by CCmax0 :sing our previous e,ample of a lightly3loa#e# <abiru "ith a mass of >=' *g /B=( lb0& "ing area of B.6 mM /( ftM0 thus "ing loa#ing N => *g9mM /(.( lb9ftM0 an# estimating CCmax "ith flaps fully e,ten#e# as 2.' thenG estimate# stall spee# N B.( K s1uare root /=>920 N B.( K =.@= N >@ *nots or estimate# stall spee# N %B.2 K s1uare root /(.(920 N %B.2 K 2.% N >@ *nots

Stuff you don"t need to #now


S )he tropopause mar*s the boun#ary bet"een the t"o lo"er layers of the atmosphere ! the troposphere& an# above it& the stratosphere. )he height of the tropopause varies #aily& seasonally& an# latitu#inally ! it is about 2( ''' feet at the poles an# perhaps ''' feet at the e1uator. )he significant #ifference bet"een the troposphere an# the stratosphere is that air temperature #ecreases stea#ily "ith height in the troposphere& but initially remains constant then increases stea#ily "ith height in the stratosphere& until the stratopause at about ' *m. )he stratosphere contains very little "ater vapour an# is much more stable than the troposphere. )he oEone layer is "ithin the stratosphere.

S 4oyle[s la"G at a constant temperature& the volume /?0 of a given mass of gas is inversely proportional to the pressure /70 upon the gas+ i.e. 7? N constant. S )he pressure la"G at a constant volume& the pressure is #irectly proportional to temperature /)0 in *elvins. S Charles[ la"G at a constant pressure& gases e,pan# by about %92B> of their volume& at 2B> 5& for each one *elvin rise in temperature+ i.e. the volume of a given mass of gas at constant pressure is #irectly proportional to the absolute temperature. S For one mole of gas& the prece#ing la"s are combine# in the gas e1uation 7? N R)& "here R N the gas constant N 2.(B "hen 7 is e,presse# in hectopascals. Hr#inary gases #o not behave e,actly in accor#ance "ith the gas la"s. S )he change in altitu#e for each one h7a change in pressure can be roughly calculate# from the absolute temperature an# the pressure at the level using the e1uationGN6@)97 feet. S )he term 8burble8 also refers to the atmospheric "a*e of an ob-ect. S*y#ivers refer to their "a*e as 8the burble8 "hile the #isturbe# airflo" an# e,haust gases behin# a fast3moving aircraft carrier "as /an# probably still is0 *no"n to pilots as 8the burble8.

Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | I2. Airspee# & air propertiesJ | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

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| Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s | Safety #uring ta*e3off & lan#ing |

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Altitude and altimeters


Revision =% ! page content "as last change# $ovember 2& 2''(. )he page has been e#ite# by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au.

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

>.% )he sensitive altimeter >.2 Altitu#e an# `3co#e #efinitions >.> 7hysiological effects of altitu#e >.= High #ensity altitu#eG effect on ta*e3 off9lan#ing performance

)hings that are han#y to *no" Stuff you #on8t nee# to *no"

The instrument for indicating the aircraft"s altitude% the altimeter% measures static air pressure and is cali rated in accordance with an international standard atmospheric pressure and temperature model) Air density has a significant effect on aircraft ta#e$off performance% and e<uivalent air density at the airfield can e ascertained from current pressure and air temperature)

>)= The sensitive altimeter


)he sensitive altimeter is the coc*pit instrument that in#icates the aircraft8s altitu#e. )he instrument is a refine# aneroi# barometer "ith a #ial in#icating height above a pre3set level rather than atmospheric pressure. )he main component of such an instrument is a small& fle,ible& corrugate# metal capsule from "hich the air has been partially evacuate# ! fitte# "ith a metal closure or #iaphragm. )here is a spring "ithin the capsule that applies a constant force to the bottom of the #iaphragm& "hile atmospheric static pressure applies a counter force to the top& so that the #iaphragm moves as atmospheric pressure changes. )he movement of the pressure3sensing capsule is transferre# an# magnifie# ! via a mechanical lin*age or pieEo31uartE component ! to a #ial pointer or pointers& or a #igital #isplay& "hich in#icate the altitu#e rea#ing. )he static pressure is #ra"n from the aircraft8s static vent& "hich may in#uce slight position errors #ue to aero#ynamic effects aroun# the vent. )he level in the atmosphere at "hich any particular pressure occurs is also #epen#ent on temperature ! as "e sa" in the 8Airspee# an# the properties of air8 mo#ule ! but the altimeter #oes not sense the air temperature. Conse1uently& all altimeters are calibrate# in accor#ance "ith the 2nternational Stan#ar# Atmosphere I2SAJ mo#el& "hich utilises a stan#ar# temperature lapse rate "ith height of @. OC per *m. )he atmosphere in any region rarely correspon#s to the 2SA& so aneroi# altimeters #o not in#icate totally accurate height. )his is not that important& as true altitu#e can be calculate#& in the rare circumstance that it is nee#e# for terrain clearance purposes. )here is no problem "ith air traffic management& in that all aircraft in the same region& "ith properly set /an# functioning0 altimeters& "ill be out by the same amount. 2t is& of course& #esirable to set the current local surface pressure into the altimeter by setting that reference pressure into a pressure3 setting scale /,nown since the 1435s as the 'Oollsman =indow'0& "hich in turn resets the position of the height3in#icating pointers

against the #ial. Hr& if the aircraft is on the groun#& the same result is achieve# by turning the pressure3setting scale until the altimeter in#icates the *no"n airfiel# elevation. )he altimeter in the image in#icates an altitu#e of %='' feet "ith the baro3scale set at 26.6 inches of mercury Iin9HgJ ! e1uivalent to %'%> h7a. 2f the altitu#e "as %% ='' feet& the pointer "ith the inverte# triangle on the en# "oul# be past the figure % on the image& in#icating V%' ''' feet. 2n Australia& all barometric pressures are reporte# in hectopascals Ie1uivalent to millibarsJ+ an# in the :SA in units of inches of mercury Iin9Hg N>>.(@ h7aJ. )he sub3scale setting range provi#e# in mo#ern altimeters is from ( ' to %' ' h7a.

Electronic altimeter
Dlectronic flight instrument systems IDF2SJ use soli#3state electronic componentry plus soft"are to #isplay the usual flight instrument rea#ings on a li1ui# crystal& or similar& screen. 2n such systems& the atmospheric static pressure is fe# to a pressure trans#ucer& "hich senses an# convert pressures to voltages. See the screen #isplay of the Aynon A%'A light aircraft DF2S. $ote that the DF2S has an outsi#e air temperature probe an# the soft"are can calculate #ensity altitu#e /see section 8Altitu#e an# `3co#e #efinitions80 "hen nee#e#. Dlectronic altimeters are also available as single instruments or possibly combine# "ith an AS2 function.

Altitude encoding
2n some flight con#itions& an aircraft must operate a transpon#er for traffic separation purposes. )he transpon#er obtains altitu#e #ata from a special altitu#e enco#ing altimeter or from a !lind encoder+ the latter being an electronic #evice that obtains current atmospheric pressure from the static pressure line an# the reference pressure use# is preset at %'%>.2 h7a. )hat same reference pressure is use# for the altitu#e enco#ing function of the altimeter& thus the transpon#er broa#casts pressure altitu#e only.

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>)4 Altitude and S$code definitions

Altitude
Altimeter indicated altitudeG the appro,imate height of the aircraft above mean sea3level IamslJ& calculate# in accor#ance "ith the 2SA. Cali rated altitudeG the in#icate# altitu#e& correcte# for internal instrument error an# static vent position error. 2ensity altitudeG a calculation use# to #etermine possible aircraft performance ! see section 8High #ensity altitu#e8 belo". )his is the pressure altitu#e a#-uste# for variation from stan#ar# temperature& or the height in 2SA having a #ensity correspon#ing to the location #ensity& then calle# density height. 2eclared density altitudeG seasonal charts sho"ing regional values to be a##e# to airfiel# elevation to give #eclare# #ensity altitu#e "ere publishe# in section 2'.B of the Civil Aviation Hr#ers. For e,ample the summer chart sho"s regional values of 2''' feet on the eastern coast an# >@'' feet in south3"est `ueenslan#. )hese regional values are to be use# only if there are no other means of calculating current #ensity altitu#e. ,ivotal altitudeG is not associate# "ith altimeter setting+ it is a term use# by the proponents of 8groun# reference8 manoeuvres such as 8eights on )ylons8. 2t is a particular height above groun# at "hich& from the pilot8s vie"point& the e,ten#e# lateral a,is line of an aircraft #oing a >@'O level turn /in nil "in# con#itions0 "oul# appear to be fi,e# to one groun# point& an# the aircraft8s "ingtip thus pivoting on that point. )he pivotal altitu#e in nil "in# con#itions is easily calculate# by s1uaring the )AS in *nots an# #ivi#ing by %%.>. So an aircraft circling at (' *nots "oul# have a pivotal altitu#e aroun# ' feet& no matter "hat the ban* angle. ;hen an aircraft is turning at a height greater than the pivotal altitu#e& the "ingtip appears to move bac*"ar#s over the lan#scape. ;hen an aircraft is turning at a height less than pivotal altitu#e /i.e. usually close to the groun#0 the "ingtip appears to move for"ar# over the lan#scape. For more information see ')ivotal altitude and reversal height'. ,ressure altitudeG the altimeter rea#ing "hen the pressure3setting scale is set to %'%>.2 h7a. 2t is the 2SA Standard ,ressure setting& sometimes terme# pressure height. Stan#ar# pressure is also the stan#ar# factory setting for altitu#e enco#ing #evices. All aircraft cruising in the Standard &ressure 'egion ! above a

transition layer that /in Australia0 commences at %' ''' feet ! use the stan#ar# pressure setting& an# the subse1uent altimeter rea#ing is normally referre# to as flight level 9F+:. Ho"ever an aircraft maintaining a constant altitu#e using %'%>.2 h7a& or any other fi,e# setting for that matter& is follo"ing an isobaric surface "hose height amsl "ill vary accor#ing to atmospheric con#itions. An aircraft maintaining FL%= /i.e. %= '' feet0& an# flying to"ar#s a lo"er pressure area& "ill actually be #escen#ing at a rate appro,imating =' feet per one h7a #ecrease in surface level pressure. True altitudeG the calibrate# altitu#e correcte# for atmospheric temperature con#itions. 4ut as the correction "ill assume stan#ar# pressure an# temperature lapse rates bet"een the surface an# the aircraft level& it "ill not be an accurate reflection of the aircraft8s height above mean sea3level. 2f you maintain a particular altitu#e& you "ill be follo"ing an isobaric surface an# not maintaining a constant height. )he only "ay to measure height accurately is by triangulation ! an# that can only be #one by a F7S receiver in the aircraft. Ho"ever& there are still problems in #etermining the vertical #atum. See geoi#3ellipsoi# separation.

S$codes
$oteG the letters in the `3co#e nomenclature have no literal significance+ these are remnants of an e,tensive notation system from the #ays of "ireless3telegraphy. )here "ere some 2'' three3 letter `3co#es& each representing a sentence& a phrase or a 1uestion. For instance& `RC \2 am being interfere# "ith\Z. Some >' `3co#es are still use# by amateur ra#io9morse co#e enthusiasts an# the four belo"& plus `AC /the magnetic bearing to a station0& still survive in aviation. For a full listing of `3co#es try """.cbug.org.u*9all1co#es.htm. )he follo"ing four co#es relate to altimeter settings. SFEG the barometric pressure at the station location or aero#rome elevation #atum point. 2f `FD is set on the altimeter pressure3 setting scale "hile par*e# at an airfiel#& the instrument shoul# rea# close to Eero altitu#e ! if the local pressure is close to the 2SA stan#ar# for that elevation. Ho"ever& the use of `FD is #eprecate# an# any"ay& if the airfiel# elevation is higher than perhaps >''' feet& ol#er9cheaper altimeters may not be provi#e# "ith sufficient sub3scale range to set `FD. SFFG the mean sea$level 9msl: pressure #erive# from the barometric pressure at the station location. )his is #erive# by calculating the "eight of an imaginary air column e,ten#ing from

the location to sea3level ! assuming the temperature an# relative humi#ity at the location are the long3term monthly mean& the temperature lapse rate is 2SA& an# the relative humi#ity lapse rate is Eero. )his is the metho# use# by the Australian 4ureau of Ceteorology+ `FF calculations #iffer among meteorological organisations. `FF is the location value plotte# on surface synoptic charts an# is closer to reality than `$H& though it is only in#irectly use# in aviation. S.0G the msl pressure #erive# from the barometric pressure at the station location by calculating the "eight of an imaginary air column e,ten#ing from the location to sea3level ! assuming the temperature at the location is the 2SA temperature for that elevation& the temperature lapse rate is 2SA an# the air is #ry throughout the column. )he Australian aviation regulations state that "hen an 8accurate8 `$H is set on the pressure3setting scale at an airfiel#& the altimeter in#ication shoul# rea# "ithin %'' feet of the publishe# airfiel# elevation& or %%' feet if elevation e,cee#s >>'' feet+ other"ise the altimeter shoul# be consi#ere# unserviceable. Ho"ever& #ue to the inherent inaccuracy possible in `$H& this may not be so. )he #ifference bet"een `FF an# `$H "hen calculate# on a hot #ay at a high airfiel# in Australia can be as much as = h7a& e1uivalent to about %2' feet. )he a#vantage to aviation in using the less realistic `$H is that all aircraft altimeters in the area "ill be out by about the same amount& an# thus maintain height interval separation. )he +ocal S.0 at an airfiel# is normally #erive# from an actual pressure rea#ing. 4ut the Area S.0 use# outsi#e the airfiel# Eone is a forecast value& vali# for three hours& an# may vary by up to h7a from any Local `$H in the same area. Dither Local `$H or Area `$H may be set on the altimeter pressure3setting scale of all aircraft cruising in the (ltimeter Setting 'egion& "hich /in Australia0 e,ten#s from the surface to the Transition Altitude of %' ''' feet. )he cruising levels "ithin the Altimeter Setting Region are prefi,e# by 8A8+ e.g. A'@ N @ '' feet amsl. ;hen there is no official Local `$H available at an airfiel# an# the site elevation is *no"n& the Local `$H can be #erive# by setting the sub3scale /"hen the aircraft is on the groun#0 so that the altimeter in#icates the *no"n airfiel# elevation. )he use of Local `$H is important "hen con#ucting operations at an airfiel#& as the circuit an# approach pattern is base# on #etermining height above groun# level IaglJ.

$ote that it is not man#atory for ?FR aircraft to use the area `$H "hilst enroute. Lou may substitute the current local `$H of any aero#rome "ithin %'' nm of the aircraft or the local `$H at the #eparture airfiel#. See 8Ac1uiring "eather an# `$H information in3 flight8. +he )ur)ose of the Transition Layer is to maintain a se)aration &one !etween the aircraft using P0D and those using the standard )ressure setting. Jruising within the +ransition Cayer is not )ermitted. 1f #rea P0D was 1535 h?a, there would !e a!out 855 feet difference dis)layed !etween setting that value and setting standard )ressure. +he +ransition Cayer extends from the +ransition #ltitude to the Transition Le$el which, in #ustralia, is usually at GC115 !ut it may extend to GC128 % de)ending on #rea P0D. Qore detail is availa!le in '#eronautical 1nformation ?u!lication "#1?* #ustralia' section 30R 1.7A downloada!le from #irservices #ustralia. S.EG common usage accepts `$D as the 2SA Stan#ar# 7ressure setting of %'%>.2 h7a. Ho"ever another #efinition of `$D is the 8altitude dis)layed on the altimeter at touchdown with 1513 set on the altimeter su!$scale8. 2t is also referre# to as the 8landing altimeter setting8. ;ithin the latter meaning& the term is only li*ely to be use# "hen an e,tremely lo" `$H is outsi#e an aircraft8s altimeter sub3scale range& an# the pilot re1uests aero#rome `$D from air traffic services. 2n Australia& such e,treme atmospheric con#itions are only li*ely to occur near the core of a tropical #epression9cyclone an# as `$D is not liste# in the 2CAH \7roce#ures for Air $avigation Services\& air traffic services "oul# not provi#e `$D on re1uest. Ho"ever& `$D can be calculate# by #e#ucting the `$H from %'%>& multiplying the result by 2B /the appropriate pressure lapse rate per h7a0 an# a##ing the airfiel# elevation. For e,ampleG `$H 6@' h7a& airfiel# elevation '' feet& pressure setting %'%>. `$D N %'%> .6@' N > K 2B N %=>% V '' N %6>% feet /the rea#ing at touch#o"n0.

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>)> ,hysiological effects of altitude


)he tissues an# organs of the human bo#y nee# a constant an# a#e1uate supply of o,ygen to function at ma,imum efficiency+ insufficient o,ygen in those tissue an# organs is calle# hypo'ia. )here are many causes for the con#ition& but the one of most interest to sports an# recreational aviators is that cause# by continuing flight at an altitu#e "here the partial pressure of the atmospheric o,ygen is less than that re1uire# for proper functioning of the brain. )he bo#y utilises the o,ygen partial pressure to pass it through the membrane of the lung alveoli into the bloo#stream. "+he 'stagnant' forms of hy)oxia % greyout and )lac*out % caused !y reduced !lood flow to the eyes and !rain at aircraft accelerations exceeding S3g to S g is also, of course, of interest to aero!atic )ilots. Gor a )ilot of average fitness, greyout "dimness of vision* will start !etween S3.8g and S .8g, reaching !lac,out "com)lete loss of vision* !etween S g and S8.8g and g$induced loss of consciousness '@CFJ( !etween S .8g and SMg.* Atmospheric o,ygen partial pressure #eclines as altitu#e increases+ see the atmospheric o,ygen section in the Aviation Ceteorology Fui#e. )he table in that section sho"s the time a reasonably fit person "ill remain conscious at those altitu#es "ithout using supplemental o,ygen. Ho"ever& the effects of hypo,ia commence at much lo"er altitu#es& probably aroun# (''' feet for a fit person but much lo"er for a heavy smo*er. )hese effects inclu#e a gra#ual #eterioration in thin*ing& calculating an# reacting+ inability to ma*e appropriate -u#gements+ an# a poor memory recall. :nfortunately& the afflicte# person is usually una"are of the symptoms occurring. For more information rea# the article 8Hypo,ia8 from Glight Safety #ustralia magaEine. )he Australian Civil Aviation Hr#er 7art 2'.= "hich applies to all Australian aircraft& re1uires thatG \A flight cre" member "ho is on flight #ec* #uty in an unpressurise# aircraft must be provi#e# "ith& an# continuously use& supplemental o,ygen at all times #uring "hich the aircraft flies above %' ''' feet altitu#e.\

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>)A 0igh density altitude& effect on ta#e$

offHlanding performance
High 8#ensity altitu#e8 con#itions at an Australian airfiel#& particularly in summer& can provi#e severely haEar#ous con#itions for any aircraft "here the #ifference bet"een po"er re1uire# an# po"er available is small. )his concerns most general aviation an# all ultralight aircraft engage# in ta*e3off or lan#ing at that airfiel#. ;hat "e are really #oing "hen calculating #ensity altitu#e is estimating the #ensity of the air. At a #ensity altitu#e of @''' feet amsl the air #ensity "ill be about %.' *g9mR /about 2'U less than sea3level stan#ar#0. So the "eight of the charge #elivere# to the cylin#ers& in a normally aspirate# engine& "ill be only ('U of the stan#ar# sea3level #ensity. )hus& only ('U of the engine8s rate# po"er can be supplie# at the propeller shaft for ta*e3off an# climb3 out& or for a go3aroun#. As "ell as that& the lo"er air #ensity / B in the lift e1uation0 #irectly re#uces the thrust performance of the propeller by %'U in "hich case the thrust performance "ill be 6'U of ('U& or about B2U of the rate# sea3level performance. )he ma,imum lift possible to be generate# "ill be re#uce# by %'U /lift ? CL @ B /C @ S 0 an# the groun# roll spee# relate# to 2AS9CAS prior to ta*e3off "ill be higher+ i.e. #uring ta*e3off at msl in 2SA sea3level con#itions )AS N 2AS9CAS& but in high #ensity altitu#e con#itions& )AS is greater than 2AS9CAS. )hus& the groun# roll spee# prior to reaching 2AS9CAS for rotation must be higher than that at sea3level& an# both the time an# the #istance nee#e# to ac1uire ta*e3off lift ! an# to clear obstacles at the en# of the strip ! must be increase#. An# that is before ta*ing into account the effect of re#uce# engine9propeller performance on ta*e3off #istance. Remember that ?M in the lift e1uation refers to )AS not CAS. "Grom the )revious module, to convert J#S to +#S multi)ly the density altitude, in 1555s of feet, !y a factor of a!out 1.8 to get the )ercentage increase to a))lyA i.e. at M555 feet density altitude, +#S will !e a!out 4.5I higher than J#S.* )here are many con#itions that e,ist& or might e,ist& at high #ensity altitu#e "hich& though they may be in#ivi#ually slight& all affect the airframe an# engine performance a#versely. For instance& attempting ta*e3off "ith a combination of some of the follo"ing con#itions may cause some #ifficulty+ attempting ta*e3off "hen most con#itions e,ist may "ell be #isastrousG at an elevate# airfiel# "ith high surface temperature

on a short strip "ith unslashe#& "et grass at ma,imum "eight "ith incorrect flap setting an# light an# variable "in#s #eparting into rising terrain an# a sin*ing air environment.

Aensity altitu#e at a particular location can vary consi#erably from #ay to #ay& an# also accor#ing to time of #ay. For instance& the table belo" sho"s a mi#3afternoon an# an early morning rea#ing at Alice Springs& in central Australia& on #ifferent #ays. )he airfiel# elevation is %6'' feet. SFE 6=% h7a 6 B h7a Temperature => OC .2 OC Air density %.'>B %.2>' ,ressure altitude 2'2' feet % (' feet 2ensity altitude @'' feet .%'' feet

Aensity altitu#e is roughly %2' feet greater than pressure altitu#e for each % OC that the temperature e,cee#s 2SA for that level& an# %2' feet less for each % OC that the outsi#e air temperature is less than 2SA. For e,ampleG Armi#ale& $e" South ;ales& airport /elevation > ' feet0 on a "arm #ay& temperature >' OC. 7ressure altitu#e "ith %'%>.2 stan#ar# pressure setting rea#s >='' feet. Hr& conversely "ith the altimeter set so that altitu#e rea#s > '& the pressure3setting sub3scale #isplays (6 h7a /i.e. `FD0. 2n the 2SA table (6 h7a e1uates "ith a pressure altitu#e of >='' feet.

2SA stan#ar# temperature for an elevation of > ' feet N I% ./>. , 20J N ( OC )hen Armi#ale temperature e,cee#s stan#ar# by 22 OC& thus a#-ustment a##e#N 22 K %2' N 2@=' ft. 7ressure altitu#e N >='' feet )hen the appro,imate #ensity altitu#e N 2@=' V >='' N @'=' feet

Alternatively& the #ensity of #ry air at altitu#e can be calculate# using the e1uationG N 7 9 /2.(B )0& "hereG

N rho ! the #ensity of #ry air I*g9mRJ 7 N the pressure Ih7aJ 2.(B N the gas constant for #ry air ) N the air temperature I5J

e.g. 2n the Armi#ale e,ample& the temperature is >'> 5 />' OC V 2B>0 thus #ensity N (6 9 /2.(B K >'>0 N %.'26 *g9mR. )he height in 2SA having a correspon#ing #ensity is about ( ' feet. )his gives a more accurate calculation of #ensity altitu#e than the prior metho#. 2n 2SA& the #ensity of #ry air at msl is %.22 *g9mR& thus at %.'26 *g9mR the #ensity re#uction is '.%6@ *g9mR /or %@U0. Ca,imum possible lift at Armi#ale in the above con#itions is %@U less than that possible un#er stan#ar# msl con#itions. )he efficiency of a fi,e#3pitch propeller in converting engine po"er to thrust "oul# also be re#uce# by a similar amount because of the re#uce# #ensity. Similarly& the )AS at /lof "oul# be about %'U higher /see rule of thumb0 than msl con#itions thus the aircraft has to accelerate to a %'U higher groun# roll spee# before reaching lift3off 2AS. As a small& normally aspirate# engine may only pro#uce ('U po"er /or less0 on ta*e3off at a #ensity altitu#e of @'' feet& an# the po"er converte# to thrust is also re#uce# consi#erably& then the ta*e3off thrust available in the Armi#ale e,ample might be less than @'U of the rate# msl thrust. +he same conditions a))ly when landingA the +#S at #ref will !e 15I higher and the consequent ground roll will !e longer. +he

thrust availa!le for a go$around, in the event of an a!orted a))roach, might !e less than 85I of the rated msl thrust, which would )ro!a!ly )reclude a go$around. Also& it must be borne in min# that the air is not #ry+ rather& the absolute humi#ity may be very high. )his #oes not have a significant effect on lift& but #oes a#versely affect the engine performance a little. 2n a carburation or in-ection system fuel is metere# on the volume of gas being in#ucte# "hether it is air or "ater vapour. ;ith "ater vapour in the gas& there is less air present. )his enriches the mi,ture slightly as the fuel is metere# for the total volume of gas. ;ater vapour slo"s burning& "hich slightly affects po"er. 2n a##ition& un#er high #ensity altitu#e con#itions& the mi,ture may be e,cessively over3rich. +he recommendation for normally as)irated Cycoming engines is that the mixture should !e leaned to maximum r)m !efore ta,e$off, !ut only if the density altitude is 8555 feet or greater.

4efore you can start to estimate the ta*e3off #istance re1uire# un#er high #ensity altitu#e con#itions& you must *no" the ta*e3off #istance re1uire# un#er stan#ar# 2SA mean sea3level con#itions. CAH %'%32(& an air"orthiness certification re1uirements for commercially supplie# amateur3built *it ultralights& states in partG \)he ta*e3off #istance shall be establishe# an# shall be the #istance re1uire# to reach a screen height of '

feet from a stan#ing start& "ith ... short& #ry grass surface ... the aeroplane reaching the screen height at a ta*e3off safety spee# not less than %.2 /s= ... ta*e3off charts ... shall sche#ule #istances establishe# in accor#ance "ith the provisions of this paragraph& factore# by %.% .\ Sea3level 2SA an# nil "in# con#itions are implie#. CAH %'%. has much the same "or#ing& but specifies %.> ?s% as the ta*e3off safety spee#. FAR 7art 2> is similar. J#F 151$2H also requires that the landing distance stated will !e that to come to a full sto) from a screen height of 85 feet at the threshold, with the screen !eing crossed at 1.3 #so and the same conditions as s)ecified for the ta,e$off distance. Refer to #ref. 2f buying an aircraft or *it& you shoul# re1uire that the stan#ar# ta*e3off an# lan#ing #istance chart information for the airframe9engine9propeller combination be supplie#. Statements such as \)a*e3off groun# roll %' m to =' m\ have no value. Lou must insist& particularly "ith importe# aircraft& that the #istances shoul# be state# clearly in one form only \)a*e3off #istance to clear ' feet /% m0 screen\ or \Lan#ing #istance over ' feet /% m0 screen\. Tou have to #now without dou t% having done the necessary calculations% that you can clear o stacles at the end of the unslashed paddoc# on a hot% umpy day without ris# to you or your passenger% and that if it is necessary to a ort a

landing% the aircraft will have the a ility to go$around safely) For more information on ta*e3off an# climb performance in high #ensity altitu#e con#itions& see ta*e3off consi#erations.

I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section 6.% Conse1uences of e,cee#ing C)H; J

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Things that are handy to #now


Altimeter rules of thum S For each %' OC that the outsi#e air temperature is "armer than 2SA stan#ar#& increase the in#icate# altitu#e by =U to give true altitu#e. Conversely& for each %' OC cooler& #ecrease in#icate# altitu#e by =U ! %'92B> appro,imates to =U+ refer to Charles8 la". S ;hen flying from higher to lo"er pressure con#itions& "ithout altering `$H& the altimeter "ill ! if belo" %' ''' feet ! overrea# /in#icate higher than actual altitu#e0 by about >' feet for each one h7a pressure change. S ;hen flying from lo"er to higher pressure con#itions& "ithout altering `$H& the altimeter "ill ! if belo" %' ''' feet ! un#errea# /in#icate lo"er than actual altitu#e0 by about >' feet for each one h7a pressure change. S 2f the altimeter sub3scale setting is less than `$H the altimeter "ill overrea#. Conversely& if the setting is greater than `$H& the altimeter "ill un#errea#. S Air #ensity #ecreases by about %U for eachG ! %' h7a fall in pressure& or ! >'' feet increase in height& or ! > OC increase in temperature& from the msl stan#ar#.

Stuff you don"t need to #now


S )here is a semi3#iurnal atmospheric ti#e& similar to the oceanic ti#e& "hich is most apparent in the lo"er latitu#es. )he ti#e pea*s at %''' hrs an# 22'' hrs local solar time& "ith the minima at '='' hrs an# %@'' hrs. At Cairns& %BO S latitu#e& the #aily minima an# ma,ima are 2 h7a either si#e of the mean pressure+ e.g. '='' hrs ! %'%= h7a+ %''' hrs ! %'%( h7a+ %@'' hrs ! %'%= h7a+ 22'' hrs ! %'%( h7a. )he run"ay elevation at Cairns is %' feet amsl& so that if you left a par*e# aircraft at %@'' hrs "ith the altimeter rea#ing %' feet& si, hours later it "oul# be rea#ing %%' feet belo" mean sea3level. ;hen ma*ing their regular pressure rea#ing reports& "eather observation stations a#-ust the reporte# `FF accor#ing to a 8time of #ay8 table. S )here is also a semi3#iurnal gravity variation at the Darth8s soli# surface& also pea*ing at %''' hrs an# 22'' hrs. A movement of ' cm from the lo" to high earth ti#e has been ascertaine# in central Australia. S 7erhaps the highest surface pressure recor#e# is %'(>.> h7a at Agata& Siberia on >% Aecember %6@(. 2t is not *no"n "hether this "as `FD or `FF. Agata is ( ' feet amsl. )he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #iscusses lift generation& aerofoils an# "ings.

Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | I>. Altitu#e & altimetersJ | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | | @. )ailplane surfaces | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
* (perations at non$controlled airfields * Safety during ta#e$off landing *

)he ne,t section "ithin the Aviation Ceteorology groun# school covers clou#& fog an# precipitation

Copyright 3 4555455F 8ohn Brandon 9contact information:

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Aerofoils and wings


Revision > ! page content "as last change# February 22& 2''6. D#ite# by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au $ovember 22& 2''(.

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

=.% Lift generation Aerofoils an# the aero#ynamic force 7ressure #ifferential Lift coefficient =.2 Aerofoil simulation =.> 4oun#ary layer air flo" Laminar an# turbulent flo" Flo" separation =.= Aspect ratio =. Span"ise pressure gra#ient =.@ 2n#uce# #rag Dlliptical lift force #istribution ;ing t"ist or "ashout Dffect of "ing span9aspect ratio on in#uce# #rag <abiru in#uce# #rag calculation =.B 7arasite #rag =.( Aircraft lift9#rag ratio Fli#e ratio =.6 7itching moment =.%' Ailerons =.%% Flaps =.%2 High3lift #evices =.%> Lift spoilers an# airbra*es $otes for homebuil#ers

The lift force is generated y a small pressure differential

etween the upper and lower surfaces of the wing% caused y the aerodynamic reaction to the wing motion through the atmosphere) The magnitude of the pressure differential% and the conse<uent momentum applied to the airflow% is generally dependent on the speed of the aircraft% the angle of attac# and the physical characteristics of the wing) The wing centre of pressure moves fore and aft in response to changes in the aerodynamic reaction% there y introducing pitching moments that affect the aircraft"s trim) 2rag induced y the generation of lift is modified y the plan form% the twist and the aspect ratio of the wing) Ailerons% flaps% and other lift and drag changing devices are fitted to the wing for control and performance purposes)

A)= +ift generation


2n the 84asic forces8 mo#ule it "as state# that "hen an aircraft is moving through the air& the conse1uent pressure changes or aerodynamic reactions to its motion "ill be acting at every location on its surface. ;e ha# a loo* at the formula for calculation of lift from the "ingsG /D1uation P%.%0 +ift 9 newtons: ? CL @ B /C @ S 2t is usual to substitute the symbol 8S8 to represent #ynamic pressure IQ?MJ so the e,pression above may be more simply presente# asG /D1uation P=.%0 +ift 9newtons: ? CL @ S @ S "here ` K S is a force. 2t is appropriate to state here that the formula is an appro,imation of the average lift from the "ings. At any one time& the aero#ynamic reactions "ill vary over the span of the "ing an# "ith the position at "hich the "ing control surfaces are set.

Aerofoils and the aerodynamic force


An aerofoil /airfoil& wing section or wing profile0 is an ob-ect ! "ith the shape of the cross3section of the "ing ! having the function of pro#ucing a controllable net aero#ynamic force by its motion through the air. )o be useful this aero#ynamic force must have a lifting component that is much greater than the resistance or #rag component. 2n a po"ere# aircraft& motion through the air is provi#e# by the thrust+ so in effect& the aerofoil is a #evice that

converts thrust into lift. )he aero#ynamic force has t"o sourcesG the frictional shear stress& or s*in friction& that acts tangential to the surface at every point aroun# the bo#y+ an# the pressure e,erte# perpen#icular to the surface at every point. /At spee#s over about 2 ' *nots& flo" compressibility intro#uces other factors.0 )he resultant net aero#ynamic force is the sum of all those forces as #istribute# aroun# the bo#y. For "ings& it is conventional to sho" the resultant force as acting from an aero#ynamic centre an# resolve# into t"o componentsG that acting perpen#icular to the flight path is the lift& an# that acting parallel to the flight path is the #rag. For propeller bla#es& the aero#ynamic reaction is resolve# into the thrust component an# the propeller tor1ue component. For rotor bla#es& a more comple, resolution is necessary. 0ote. normally the aerofoil is incor)orated into a wing with u))er and lower surfaces enclosing the load !earing structure. Dowever, when designing a low s)eed minimum aircraft such as the =heeler Scout there are advantages in using a 'single surface' cam!ered aerofoil wing, very similar to a hang glider wing. Such wings incor)orate a rounded leading edge "formed !y the aluminium tu!ing leading edge main s)ar* that directs the airflow into the u))er and lower streams at all angles of attac,. +he slight cam!er is formed !y !attens sewn into sleeves in the 'sails'. Such wings are somewhere !etween a thin curved )late and a full aerofoil, and are similar in cross$section to a !ird's wing. # )arachute wing uses the ram air )rinci)le to form the aerofoil sha)e % see )owered )arachute. $o" "e nee# to establish ho" that airflo" actually pro#uces the lifting force. <ohn S Aen*er has publishe# a "eb boo* 8See Ho" it Flies8 that has a particularly goo# section on lift generation "ith e,cellent illustrations. Lou shoul# carefully rea# through section > 8Airfoils an# airflo"8 an# particularly ac1uaint yourself "ith the Dulerian approach of 8streamlines8 to visualise airflo". 2n the illustrative #iagram at left& narro"ing /A0 of streamlines in#icates accelerating local spee# an# #ecreasing local pressure. Hpening up /A0 of streamlines in#icates flo" #eceleration an# increasing pressure. )he term 8free stream8 is usually substitute# for 8flight path8 "hen #iscussing aerofoil characteristics because the aerofoil is presume# stationary an# the airstream flo"s aroun# it. )he follo"ing summarises the content of section >G

S A flat plate& hel# at a small aoa& "ill generate an aero#ynamic force ! lift an# #rag ! an# in#ee#& some lo" momentum aircraft #o use basically flat plates as their tailplane surfaces. As mentione# above& the shape of sail3type "ings is some"here bet"een a plate an# the more usual "ing. Ho"ever& for aircraft that cruise in the '.% ' *not range& a "ing "ith a roun#e# lea#ing e#ge& a sharp or s1uare3cut trailing e#ge& a cambere# upper surface an# a flat or slightly cambere# bottom surface ! i.e. a full aerofoil section ! "ill be far more efficient ! aero#ynamically an# structurally ! an# more effective in performance. "+he faster the aircraft, the more the aerofoil section tends to flatten out. So, for su)ersonic aircraft we are nearly !ac, to the shar)$edged flat )late.* Aerofoil characteristics

)he straight line -oining the lea#ing e#ge /left0 an# trailing e#ge /right0 is the chor# line. )he curve# mean camber line is #ra"n e1ui#istant bet"een the top an# bottom surfaces& an# the light coloure# gap bet"een the chor# an# mean camber lines represents the camber ! "hich& in this particular aerofoil Ia $ACA ==% J& e1uates to =U of the length of the chor# at its ma,imum point "hich occurs at ='U of chor# length from the lea#ing e#ge. Aerofoil thic*ness is the #istance bet"een upper an# lo"er surfaces. )he ma,imum thic*ness of this aerofoil e1uals % U of the chor#+ that is calle# the 8thic*ness ratio8. At the trailing e#ge the inclu#e# angle bet"een the upper an# lo"er surfaces is significant in "a*e generation ! a lo"er angle is better& an# if the trailing e#ge is s1uare3cut the thic*ness there shoul# not e,cee# '. U of the chor#. 2n flight& the angle the "ing chor# line subten#s "ith the flight path is the geometric angle of attac*.

S A cambere# "ing "ill still pro#uce lift at Eero& an# slightly negative& geometric angles of attac*& as sho"n in the lift coefficient #iagram. )he aoa "here no lift ! only #rag ! is pro#uce# is calle# the Gero$lift aoa "hich& in the #iagram& is nearly .2O. From that #iagram you can infer that camber contributes a lift coefficient of about '.2 an# anything greater must be provi#e# by aoa. Hf course& this "ill vary "ith the amount of camber in a particular aerofoil. 2f the aoa "as re#uce# belo" the Eero3lift value& for e,ample .=O& then the #irection of lift "oul# be reverse#. )he only time you "oul# nee# such a negative aoa is "hen you are flying inverte#& or performing aerobatics& neither of "hich are currently allo"able in aircraft registere# "ith the RA3Aus.

At the Eero3lift aoa& all the aero#ynamic force is acting parallel to the free stream an# is mostly s#in friction drag& "ith a less significant amount of pressure #rag but the latter "ill increase as the aoa is increase#. 7ressure #rag is e,plaine# in section =.B 87arasite #rag8. Jam!ered wings )erform quite well in inverted flight, !ut are not as efficient as in normal flight !ecause a higher aoa is needed to ma,e u) for the lower wing surface having the maximum cam!er when inverted. Gor this reason, aero!atic aircraft tend to use symmetrically sha)ed aerofoils % i.e. the 'cam!er' of the !ottom surface !alances the 'cam!er' of the to) surface and aerodynamically the result is &ero cam!er % thus such wings rely )urely on the geometric aoa to )roduce lift. S At positive angles of attac* there is a stagnation point& or line& -ust un#er the lea#ing e#ge of the aerofoil "here some of the airflo" has been brought to a stan#still. )he air molecules reaching that line& in the incoming stream& are e1ually li*ely to go un#er or over the "ing. Stagnation pressure& the highest in the system& e,ists along the stagnation line. )he location moves #o"n an# un#er the lea#ing e#ge as aoa increases& up to the stalling aoa. Another more confine# stagnation point e,ists at the trailing e#ge. 2f an imaginary line is #ra"n bet"een the t"o stagnation points& the cross3sectional vie" of the #ivision of the aerofoil into upper an# lo"er flo" areas becomes apparent. S )he behaviour of the airstream flo"ing aroun# such a "ing accor#s "ith 4ernoulli8s principle. As the air accelerates a"ay from the stagnation line& the local airflo" over the upper surface gains a greater spee# than the lo"er. Conse1uently& to retain constancy& the static pressure on the upper surface "ill #ecrease& an# on the lo"er surface it may #ecrease very slightly at lo" aoa but "ill increase as aoa increases. )here is another concept for e,plaining the pressure #ifferential bet"een upper an# lo"er "ing surfaces. Leonhar# Duler "as a mathematician "ho "as a contemporary of& an# collaborator "ith& Aaniel 4ernoulli. )he Duler D1uations /a special case of $e"ton[s )hir# La" of Cotion0 e,press the relationship bet"een flo" velocity an# the pressure fiel#s in frictionless flo". 4ecause the air particles follo" the curve# streamlines above the upper surface& there must be a centripetal force across the streamlines that accelerates the flo" to"ar#s the centre of curvature. )hat force must be associate# "ith a pressure gra#ient across the streamlines+ i.e. ambient atmospheric pressure at some #istance

from the surface& gra#ing to a lo"er pressure on the upper "ing surface. For more information enter the terms 8Duler curvature airfoil HR aerofoil8 into a search engine. S )he usual "ay of loo*ing at the lift force is that the "ing pro#uces an upflo" in the air in front of it an# a #o"n"ash behin# it. )hat #o"n"ash continuously imparts momentum ! "ith a #o"n"ar# velocity component ! to the air affecte# by the passage of the aircraft. As you "ill recall from the 84asic forces8 mo#ule the action of a##ing #o"n"ar# momentum "ill have an e1ual an# opposite reaction& "hich in this case is an up"ar# force applie# to the "ing. An#& of course& the energy provi#e# to impart momentum to the air comes from engine po"er+ in a gli#er it "oul# come from the gravitational potential energy of height. )here is a #istinction bet"een the 8downflow8 pro#uce# by the aerofoil an# the a##itional 8downwash8 pro#uce# by "ing vortices /see belo"0& the #eflection of "hich increases "ith angle of attac*. Ho"ever& for our purposes "e can treat all the momentum imparte# to the airstream as 8#o"n"ash8. Lou "ill also recall& from the 84asic forces8 mo#ule& that thrust is the reaction from the momentum imparte# to a tube of air "ith the #iameter of the propeller. )he associate# sli)stream or 8prop "ash8 is the a##e# momentum ! 1uite apparent if you stan# behin# a stationary aircraft "hen 8running3up8 the engine. Helicopter rotor bla#es are long& slen#er rotating "ings ! some"here bet"een propeller bla#es an# normal "ings ! an# the momentum applie# to the air ! the 8rotor "ash8 ! can be seen clearly by its effect on #ust& vegetation an# other ob-ects /li*e par*e# ultralights0 beneath a hovering helicopter. Similarly& a "ing pro#ucing lift continuously accelerates a flattene# tube of air "ith #iameter appro,imating the "ing span+ the longitu#inal #o"n"ar# inclination to the flight path of that flat tube increases as aoa increases. Some li*en that concept to the "ing acting as an airscoop. S Another concept associate# "ith the aero#ynamic force ! circulation theory ! is a mathematical #escription of a 8boun# vorte,8& "hich also fits in "ith the generation of the physical wing$ tip vortices. ?orticity is rotary motion in a flui#& an# the 8circulation8 refers to the apparent flo" rotation ! up"ash then #o"n"ash ! aroun# the upper9lo"er surfaces. 0ote. there is a long$held and still$continuing argument, )articularly in newsgrou)s and other internet venues, a!out the )ros and cons of the various lift generation theories. 0one of the arguments )ut forward "often ill$informed* affect in any way how an aircraft flies, how it should !e safely and economically o)erated, or

how it should !e !uiltA so it is !est to ignore them unless you are )articularly interested in the science of aerodynamics and s,illed in calculus.

,ressure differential
At any aoa bet"een the Eero lift an# stalling angles& the total pressure pushing #o"n on the "ing upper surface "ill al"ays be less than the total pressure pushing up on the lo"er surface. )he absolute pressure #ifference bet"een the upper an# lo"er surfaces "ill increase as aoa increases up to the stalling aoa. Although it is still small in comparison with the am ient atmospheric pressure% it is this pressure differential resulting from the wing deflecting the air that initiates the lifting forceN and this is true however lift theory may e e'pounded) Much wor# has een done in designing aerofoils that will maintain the re<uired pressure difference in the targeted flight conditions) ;e can calculate the net pressure #ifference for the <abiru using the scenario in the 84asic forces8 mo#ule section %.=+ i.e. cruising at @ '' feet& airspee# 6B *nots or ' m9s& air #ensity %.' *g9mR. )he 2SA atmospheric pressure at @ '' feet is about ('' h7aG static pressure N ('' h7a #ynamic pressure N ` N Q?M N Q K %.' K ' K ' N %2 ' $9mM N %2. h7a Cultiplying the #ynamic pressure of %2 ' $9mM by the lift coefficient of '.= gives the pressure #ifferential of '' $9mM. )hat pressure #ifferential of '' $9mM / h7a0 is less than %U of the ambient static pressure& but applying that over the ( mM of "ing area gives the lift force of =''' ne"tons that "e calculate# in section %.=.

+ift coefficient
)he lift coefficient CC is a #imensionless 1uantity /it has no units of measure0 relating mostly to aoa. 2t increases as the aoa increases from the normal aoa use# in cruise flight& an# also to the form of the "ing an# the aerofoil section. CC represents the proportion of total #ynamic pressure converte# to lift force. $ote that the CC for an aerofoil "ill have a value perhaps %'.2'U higher than the CC for any "ing incorporating that

aerofoil+ this is #iscusse# in the span"ise pressure gra#ient section. "+he convention is to use a lower case 'C' 'thus Jl ( when referring to the lift coefficient for an aerofoil to distinguish it from the lift coefficient for a wing, !ut 1 have retained JC for !oth.* 2n level& non3manoeuvring flight& lift e1uals "eight& so e1uation =.% can be restate# asG /D1uation P=.20 CL ? ! H JS @ SK )he usable value of CC in a very light aircraft "ith lo"3aspect ratio "ings "ithout lift3enhancing #evices might range bet"een '.% an# %.@. "Tnless it is a symmetrical aerofoil % same cam!er to) and !ottom % the lift coefficient range will !e different for the same wing when in inverted flight.* Ho"ever& a very lo" CC value can be obtaine# momentarily if the "ings are 8unloa#e#8 in flight. )his can be achieve# by applying sufficient continuous for"ar# pressure on the control column to attain a near3Eero aoa such that the net pressure #ifferential bet"een the upper an# lo"er "ing surfaces is very lo". )his "oul# imply lo" lift generation an# re#uce# #rag& so the thrust "ill accelerate the aircraft a little faster than normal. Furthermore& a negative CC can be obtaine# by maintaining so much for"ar# pressure on the control column that the aero#ynamic force is reverse#. 2f initially flying straight an# level& the aircraft "ill 8bunt8+ i.e. enter the first fe" #egrees of an outsi#e loop "ith the centripetal force for the turn being supplie# by the reverse# lift. "+his reverses the direction of the wing loading and should never !e attem)ted in weight$ shift aircraft nor three$axis aircraft unless the three$axis manufacturer's flight manual allows such a manoeuvre.* An#& of course a suitably e1uippe# aircraft can be flo"n in inverte# level flight ! in "hich case the un#er3"ing surface becomes the upper an# a completely #ifferent CC range applies& because the cambere# surface is no" un#erneath an# a higher aoa is necessary to maintain the lift re1uire# for level flight. 1ncidentally many )ilots utilise the low JC technique when landing a taildragger. +he a))lication of forward )ressure on the control column after touchdown ')egs' the aircraft down !y reducing the aoa and thus generated lift, and there!y )uts increased )ressure on the tyres, and am)lifies

friction and any !ra,ing force a))lied. +he same technique was used to !ring military 2J3 aircraft to a quic, sto).

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A)4 Aerofoil simulation


;hichever "ay lift theory is e,poun#e#& this simple e1uation is applicableG +ift ? CL @ S @ S 2 suggest you try out "hat you have learne# so far in an aerofoil flight test simulation program. Lou nee# a <ava3enable# bro"ser. Rea# the instructions carefully an# reset the measurement units from poun#s to ne"tons. 2n this case& airspee# "ill be sho"n in *m9h but -ust mentally #ivi#e by t"o /an# a## %'U0 to get *nots ! halve it again if you "ant m9s. Lou can try this simple mo#el out "ith a popular aerofoil& the $ACA 2=%2& "hich is one of a series #imensione# by the :.S. $ational A#visory Committee for Aeronautics /the forerunner of $ASA0 in the %62's an# %6>'s. )he 4$A$=4 /twenty$four twelve0 has a camber of 2U I4J of chor# "ith ma,imum camber occurring at ='U IAJ of chor# from the lea#ing e#ge an# a thic*ness9chor# ratio of %2U I=4J. 0ote that all dimensions are )ro)ortional to the chord so the same aerofoil section sha)e is retained throughout a wing even if it is ta)ered in )lan form. +he wing is thic,est at the root and thinnest at the ti)A i.e. it must also !e ta)ered in thic,ness. Qost aerofoils suita!le for light aircraft have a cam!er of 2: I, thic,ness ratio of 12:18I and the ma%imum thic*ness "not cam!er* occurring at around 35I of chord. $o" type the follo"ing #ata into the FoilSim bo,es using the 8enter8 *ey or use the sli#ersG Si&eG chor# % m& span ( m /area ( mM0 Sha)eG angle /of attac*0 2O& camber 2U& thic*ness %2U Glight testG spee# %@@ *m9h /6' *nots0& altitu#e %6=B m /@='' feet0 Chec* the results #isplaye# in the blac* bo,es an# in the plots.

)he static air pressure shoul# be ('.' *7a /('' h7a0 an# the lift is =2>> $. 2f you select 8surface pressure8 from the output plots& you "ill see a plot of the pressure #istribution across the chor# for the upper /"hite line0 an# lo"er /yello" line0 surfaces. Anything appearing above the green line /the atmospheric static pressure0 can be regar#e# as a positive pressure pushing that surface at that point. Anything belo" the green line is a negative pressure pulling that surface at that point. )he area bet"een the t"o curves represents the magnitu#e of the #ifferential pressure #istribution. )he horiEontal a,is in#icates the percentage #istance from the mi#3chor# position. )he pressure gra#ient plot for the upper surface sho"s a ma,imum #ecrease of aroun# %. *7a /% h7a0 close to the lea#ing e#ge but changing to a slight positive increase in pressure at the trailing e#ge. )he pressure gra#ient plot for the lo"er surface sho"s an increase in pressure un#er the lea#ing e#ge& 1uic*ly changing to a #ecrease# pressure of a fe" h7a then bac* to a positive pressure from mi#3chor# bac*. 2f you press the 8Save Feom8 button& a #ata table "ill be #isplaye# sho"ing the pressure an# local velocity rea#ings at %6 a3L coor#inate positions on both the upper an# lo"er surfaces. 2f you no" select 8surface velocity8 for the output plot& you "ill see a plot of the local velocity #istribution across the chor# for the upper /"hite line0 an# lo"er /yello" line0 surfaces. Lou can see that the local velocity increases to about ='U above the free stream velocity a very short #istance #o"nstream from the lea#ing e#ge& then it gra#ually slo"s until local velocity is less than free stream velocity at the trailing e#ge. $o" change the airspee# to %%' *m9h /@' *nots0 an# the aoa to %2O& an# loo* at the surface pressure an# surface velocity plots again. $ote the big increase in local velocity that is no" some 2. times the free stream velocity a very short #istance #o"nstream from the lea#ing e#ge. Also note the big increase in the pressure #ifferential an# that most /about B'U0 is occurring "ithin the first 2 U of the chor#. Lou shoul# #o a little e,ploration starting "ith the aerofoil #esign& changing -ust one value at a time an# noting the changes in the upper an# lo"er pressure gra#ients. For instance change the camber from 2 to =U /i.e. the $ACA ==%2 aerofoil0 an# see the lift generate# increase to @>@6 $ "ith a CC no" '.B=. Lou can #o the same "ith the flight performance items un#er pilot control ! aoa& altitu#e an# airspee#. Hf course& FoilSim #oesn8t provi#e any

information concerning #rag generation or pitching moment.

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A)> Boundary layer airflow


1n the following section 1 use the conce)t of the airstream flowing over a stationary wing "as in a wind tunnel ex)eriment* rather than the reality of the aircraft moving through stationary air, for easier ex)lanation. )he innermost molecules of the moving air come into contact "ith the soli# surface of the "ing /an# other parts of the aircraft0 an# are entrappe# by the surface structure of the airframe materials. )his is calle# the 8no3slip con#ition8 an# is common to all flui# flo"s. )he interaction bet"een those air molecules an# the molecules of the soli# surface transfers energy an# momentum from the air molecules to the soli# surface molecules ! pro#ucing s#in friction drag an# shear stress that act tangentially to the surface. )hose surface3interacting air molecules retreating from the surface conse1uently carry less momentum than they #i# on approach. 2n the very thin viscous sublayer a#-acent to the soli# surface& these molecules "ith re#uce# momentum move ran#omly into the flui# a small #istance from the surface. )he stream"ise momentum per unit volume of the molecules that have interacte# "ith the surface is less than the momentum a small #istance from the surface. )he ran#om mi,ing of the t"o groups of molecules re#uces the stream"ise momentum of the molecules that have not #irectly interacte# "ith the surface. )his e,change of momentum bet"een slo"er an# faster molecules is the physical origin of air viscosity /the resistance to flow when a fluid is su!7ect to shear stress0 an# of that viscous sublayer or oundary layer comprising the region bet"een the "ing surface an# the unrestraine# or inviscid outer stream. )he #iagram sho"s the velocity gra#ient "ithin the boun#ary layer+ the more turbulent the flo"& the steeper the gra#ient an# the greater the shear stress an# friction. )he atmospheric boun#ary layer is similar but& of course& on a

gran#er scale.

+aminar and tur ulent flow


)he thic*ness of the boun#ary layer starts at Eero at the "ing lea#ing e#ge stagnation point& but "ill increase /as an increasing number of molecules lose momentum0 until a ma,imum thic*ness is reache# near the trailing e#ge. )he friction bet"een air layers moving at #ifferent velocities "ithin the boun#ary layer is generally "ea*& so the flo" from the stagnation point is initially ma#e up of smooth3flo"ing stream lines or laminae ! laminar oundary layer flow. 4ut on both the "ing upper an# lo"er surfaces not far #o"nstream from the lea#ing e#ge& the laminar flo"& less than % mm in thic*ness& usually transitions to a flo" "ith small irregular fluctuations ! tur ulent oundary layer flow ! an# continues to increase in thic*ness by aroun# %U of the #istance travelle# to a ma,imum near the trailing e#ge of perhaps %'.% mm for a %2'' mm "ing chor#. Arag increases as the boun#ary layer thic*ens. )he e,tent of laminar flo" an# thus the location of the transition Gone ! "here boun#ary flo" is a mi, of laminar an# turbulent ! #epen#s on the #esigne# aerofoil shape in profile& contour variations /ripples& "aviness0 forme# #uring construction an# service& the fle,ibility of the "ing8s s*in& surface roughness9cleanliness& porosity& an# the pressure gra#ient along the "ing chor#. 2n the area "here the pressure gra#ient is favourable /i.e. #ecreasing& thus the flo" is accelerating0& laminar flo" "ill ten# to continue& though becoming thic*er& unless something trips it into the more irregular turbulent boun#ary layer flo" ! even paint stripes can trip laminar flo". )he laminae nearest the s*in move slo"ly an# cohesively& thus minimising s*in friction #rag. 2n the turbulent flo" boun#ary layer& the air nearer the "ing is moving faster an# some"hat chaotically& thus greatly increasing s*in friction #rag. )he transition Eone ten#s to occur a particular #istance #o"nstream /for a combination of the prece#ing factors0 rather than a percentage of chor# even though the aerofoil might be #esigne# for laminar flo" for a particular percentage of chor#. )he aerofoils use# for light aircraft "ings have very little laminar flo". 4ut specialise# high3spee# aerofoils are #esigne# to promote laminar flo" over perhaps the first >'.='U of the "ing chor# by provi#ing a favourable pressure gra#ient for at least that #istance /i.e. ma,imum thic*ness at ='. 'U of chor#0 an# a properly

contoure#& very smooth& clean& non3fle,ing& seamless s*in. )he latter con#itions are also important for minimising the thic*ness of the turbulent boun#ary layer flo" "ith conse1uent re#uction in s*in friction #rag an# are achievable in composite construction.

Flow separation
Fenerally at lo"er angles of attac*& the boun#ary layer an# the outer stream "ill separate /brea* a"ay or #etach0 from the "ing upper surface at the trailing e#ge or perhaps slightly upstream from the trailing e#ge& causing a thin trailing "a*e to form bet"een the outer streams. As aoa increases past perhaps %2O& the boun#ary layer separation on the "ing upper surface might ten# to move upstream a little. 4ut at the stalling aoa& separation "ill su##enly move much further upstream& an# a thic* turbulent "a*e "ill form bet"een the t"o remnant boun#ary or shear layers an# "ill be #ragge# along by the aircraft. )he reaction to the "ing accelerating an# energising that previously stationary air is a su##en #eceleration of the aircraft& accompanie# by a su##en increase in the magnitu#e of the nose3#o"n pitching moment. Ao"n"ash #isappears an# the rate of loss of lift "ill increase rapi#ly as the aircraft slo"s. Aero#ynamicists #evote much effort to controlling an# energising the boun#ary layer flo" to #elay separation an# thus allo" flight at lo"er spee#s+ for e,ample& see vorte, generators. Core lift an# much less pressure #rag is generate# in attache# turbulent boun#ary layer flo" than in partially separate# flo".

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A)A Aspect ratio


Aspect ratio is the "ing span #ivi#e# by the mean "ing chor#. An aircraft "ith a rectangular "ing of area %2 mM might have a "ing span of ( m an# constant "ing chor# of %. m. 2n this case the aspect ratio is .>>. 2f the span "as %2 m an# the chor# % m& then the aspect ratio "oul# be %2. Ho"ever because "ings have varie# plan forms& it is usual to e,press aspect ratio asG Aspect ratio ? wing spanC H wing area

2t is conventional to use the symbol 8b8 to represent span& so the e1uation above is "ritten asG /D1uation P=.>0 A? CHS

)he <abiru8s aspect ratio /span B.6 m& area (.' mM0 N B.6 K B.6 9 ( N B.(& "hereas an aircraft li*e the )hruster "oul# have an aspect ratio aroun# @. Conse1uently you "oul# e,pect such an aircraft to in#uce much more #rag at high angles of attac*& an# thus slo" much more rapi#ly than the <abiru. An# inci#ently& the mean chord /not the mean aero#ynamic chor#0 of a "ing is span9aspect ratio. A high3performance sailplane "ing #esigne# for minimum in#uce# #rag over the CC range might have a "ingspan of 22 m an# an aspect ratio of >'& thus a mean chor# of '.B m. )here are a fe" ultralight aeroplanes& #esigne# to have reasonable soaring capability& that have aspect ratios aroun# %@. %(& but most ultralights "oul# have an aspect ratio bet"een . an# (& an# averaging @. . Feneral aviation aircraft have an aspect ratio bet"een B an# 6& probably averaging aroun# B. . $ote that the higher the aspect ratio in po"ere# aircraft& the more li*ely is "ingtip #amage on lan#ing. 0ote that 'wing area' includes the nominal extension of the wing sha)e into and through the fuselage. +his would a))ear quite a)t for a )arasol wing or a high$wing aircraft, !ut will no dou!t seem odd for a mid or low wing. 1t is 7ust a means for consistent com)arison !etween aircraft designs. )he span loading is the aircraft "eight #ivi#e# by the "ingspan N !H . )he term sometimes refers to the loa#s applying at specifie# stations along the span.

A)D Spanwise pressure gradient


)here is a positive span"ise pressure gra#ient "the rate of )ressure change with distance* on the upper "ing surface from the "ing tip to the "ing root& imparting an in"ar# acceleration to the airflo" close to an# above the "ing. Conversely& at other than a very small aoa& there is a positive un#er"ing pressure gra#ient from the "ing root to the "ingtip& an# airflo" un#er the "ing ac1uires an out"ar# acceleration. )hese span"ise /or more correctly semi3span"ise0 pressure gra#ients on the upper an# lo"er surfaces are cause# by the higher pressure air from the un#ersurface revolving aroun# the "ingtip into the lo"er pressure upper surface. )his tip effect results in a near total loss of lift at the "ingtip because of the re#uce# pressure #ifferential& "ith the

loss of pressure #ifferential progressively #ecreasing "ith #istance inboar#. ;here these t"o surface airflo"s "ith #ifferent span"ise velocities recombine past the trailing e#ge& they initiate a sheet of trailing vortices. )hese are "ea*est near the fuselage an# strongest at the "ingtips& an# roll up into t"o large vortices& centre# -ust inboar# an# aft of each "ingtip. )he vortices increase in magnitu#e as aoa an# lift increase& an# so increase the vertical component of& an# the momentum imparte# to& the #o"n"ash. As the centre of each vorte, is a little inboar# of the "ingtip& the vortices also have the effect of re#ucing the effective "ing span an# the effective "ing area. )he vortices also affect the air ahea# of the aircraft by re#ucing the magnitu#e of the upflo" in front of the "ing an# thus mo#ifying /#ecreasing0 the effective "ing aoa& "ith the greatest effect near the "ing tip an# little effect near the "ing root. ;hen a "ing is at a lo" CC aoa the airstream affecte# by the "ing has a slight #o"n"ar# flo". ;hen it is at ma,imum CC aoa& that airstream has a more substantial #o"n"ar# flo" contribute# by the vortices. 4ecause of the re#uction in the effective aoa& the "ing must fly at a greater aoa to achieve the same lift coefficient that a t"o3 #imensional aerofoil "ill achieve in the laboratory. Also& the "ing tip vortices have a #ecreasing effect "ith increasing aspect ratio. )his is #emonstrate# in the #iagram "here there are three /e,aggerate#0 CC an# aoa curves plotte#. Hn the left is the laboratory curve for an aerofoil& in the mi##le the curve for a high aspect ratio "ing utilising the same aerofoil an# the curve on the right is for a lo" aspect ratio version. )he re# horiEontal line connects "ith a particular CC value& say %.2. )he vertical re# lines in#icate a #ifferent aoa for each curve at the same CC& thus the high aspect ratio "ing must fly at a higher aoa an# the lo" aspect ratio "ing must fly at a still higher aoa for either to achieve CC %.2. Hr to put it another "ay& at any aoa the "ings pro#uce less lift than the laboratory aerofoil. Also apparent from the #iagram is that a higher aspect ratio has the effect of a higher rate of lift increase& as aoa increases& than lo"er aspect ratio "ings. A high aspect ratio "ing "ill have a

higher CCmax but a lo"er stalling aoa than a lo" aspect ratio "ing utilising the same aerofoil. 2n#uce# #rag has a #irect relationship to aspect ratio+ see section =.@. =ing$ti) vortices are usually referred to as wa*e $ortices in the context of air traffic and are the same as other atmos)heric vortices in that there is a central low )ressure core that is often visi!le as condensation trails when an aircraft )ulls higher g in a humid atmos)here.

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A)E ;nduced drag


As e,plaine# in section =. the effect of the vortices is to re#uce the effective aoa of the "ing compare# to that of the laboratory aerofoil& "hich has the further effect of giving a more rear"ar# inclination to the resultant aero#ynamic force for the "ing& compare# to the aerofoil& at a particular geometric aoa. ;hen that aero#ynamic force is resolve# into lift an# #rag components& the a##itional inclination "ill pro#uce a re#uce# lift vector /apparent in the prece#ing CC9aoa #iagram0 an# an increase# #rag vector. )hat increase in the #rag vector is the induced drag. 2n#uce# #rag is least at minimum aoa an# greatest at ma,imum aoa. 2t is often sai# that the in#uce# #rag is the energy #issipate# to in#uce lift+ i.e. if CC is increase#& in#uce# #rag increases& so thrust must be increase# to provi#e a##itional energy ! if the aircraft8s flight path is to continue as before. For e,ample& if the pilot "ants to increase aoa an# maintain the same airspee# /as in a constant rate level turn0& then thrust must be increase# to counter the increase in in#uce# #rag. )here is a point in an aircraft8s flight envelope "here& because of the increasing in#uce# #rag& the slo"er you "ant to fly the greater the po"er you must apply ! *no"n as 8flying the bac* of the po"er curve8 ! "hich is opposite to the norm of applying po"er to fly faster.

Elliptical lift force distri ution


As state# in section =. & "ith most "ings ! particularly rectangular "ings ! the higher pressure air un#erneath the "ing flo"s aroun#

the "ing tip into the lo"er pressure area above& thus re#ucing the pressure #ifferential an# the lift+ the effect of this #ecreases as span an#9or aspect ratio increase. 2n#uce# #rag is minimise# if the span"ise #istribution of the lift forces can be ma#e to present an elliptically shape# pattern& as sho"n in the #iagram& an# that aero#ynamic loa# is e1ually #istribute# over the "ing so that all areas of the "ing contribute to loa# sharing. "+his idealised lift force distri!ution diagram )resents a head$on view of the whole wing without any re)resentation of % or distortion !y % the fuselage.* . Dlliptical span"ise lift #istribution "ill provi#e a #esirable uniform #o"n"ash along the span& an# can be achieve# by choice of "ing plan form an#9or by t"isting the "ing to provi#e something near an elliptical #istribution in a spee# ban# selecte# by the #esigner. High aspect ratio elliptically shape# /in plan form0 "ings generally achieve span"ise elliptical lift #istribution+ ho"ever& because of the compoun# s*in curvatures they are the most #ifficult an# time3 consuming to construct. Lo" aspect ratio constant chor# /i.e. rectangular0 "ings "ithout t"ist are the easiest to construct but generate the most in#uce# #rag+ ho"ever& the intro#uction of t"ist ma*es such a "ing much more efficient. Ce#ium aspect ratio "ings "ith a me#ium taper ratio plus t"ist are probably the most use# shape. Taper ratio is the ratio of the tip chor# to the "ing root chor#. 8Ce#ium taper8 "oul# in#icate that the tip chor# is greater than 'U of the root chor#. Sailplane #esigners have #emonstrate# that the most effective high aspect ratio "ing is one that has a straight /i.e. non3tapere#0 trailing e#ge "ith a lea#ing e#ge that is increasingly tapere# in sections from root to tip.

!ing twist or washout


)he terms 8"ing t"ist8 an# 8"ashout8 refer to "ings #esigne# so that the outboar# sections have a lo"er inci#ence& >.=O or so& an# thus lo"er aoa than the inboar# sections in all flight con#itions. Hne reason for "ing t"ist is to re#uce in#uce# #rag /see section 8Dlliptical lift force #istribution80& but the main reason is to improve the stall characteristics of the "ing so that flo" separation begins

near the "ing roots an# moves out to"ar#s the "ingtips. ;ith t"ist& the sections near the "ing root reach the stalling aoa first& thus allo"ing effective aileron control even as the stall progresses from inboar# to outboar#. )his is usually achieve# by buil#ing geometric t"ist into the structure by rotating the trailing e#ge& so provi#ing a gra#ual #ecrease in aoa from root to tip. ;ashout re#uces the total lift capability a little but this #isa#vantage is more than offset by the "ing t"ist improving elliptical lift #istribution an# thus #ecreasing in#uce# #rag. Another form of "ashout ! aero#ynamic t"ist ! might be attaine# by using an aerofoil "ith a higher stalling aoa in the outboar# "ing sections. Aircraft incorporating "ashout ten# to not #rop a "ing #uring an unaccelerate# stall. 2nstea#& there is a ten#ency to -ust 8mush8 #o"n se#ately then #rop the nose an# regain flying spee#. )he turbulent "a*e from airflo" separation starting at the "ing root buffets the tailplane& thus provi#ing some "arning of the oncoming stall before it is fully #evelope#. Also& "ashout is usually applie#& for aero#ynamic balance& to the s"ept "ings utilise# in "eight3shift ultralights. Ho"ever& geometric "ashout can cause problems at e,cessive spee#.

Effect of wing spanHaspect ratio on induced drag


)he e1uation for calculating in#uce# #rag for a "ing isG ;nduced drag ? J# @ CLC H AK @ S @ S "here A is the "ing aspect ratio IbM9SJ an# * is relate# to a span effectiveness ratio. So& in#uce# #rag is #irectly proportional to CCM an# inversely proportional to #ynamic pressure I`J& an# might comprise 'U of total #rag at ma,imum angle of climb spee#s. )he lo"er the span loa#ing I;9bJ/i.e. the greater the physical span or the 8effective8 span0& the lesser the in#uce# #rag at all angles of attac*. )his results in a #ecrease in the thrust nee#e#& particularly for climb ! or an increase in the potential energy of height for a sailplane. ?arious "ingtip #esigns& such as Hoerner "ingtips& have the effect of moving the vortices slightly further outboar#& thereby increasing the effective span an# thus re#ucing the span loa#ing an# in#uce# #rag. +he information in the following !ox may only !e of interest to aircraft home!uilders, so s,i) it if you wish and go to the next )art .

Aspect ratio e1uals bM9S /e1uation P=.20& so the e1uation above can be re"ritten asG /D1uation P=.=0 ;nduced drag ? J# @ CLC @ S H CK @ S @S

)he factor # e1uals %9e "here IpiJ e1uals >.%= an# e is the span effectiveness factor that might vary bet"een '.B an# '.6 for the aircraft as a "hole. For an elliptic plan form "ing& something li*e that of the near3elliptical "ing of the Seafire =@ at left& "ith /theoretically0 no fuselage interference& then eN%.' an# * N%9>.%= K %.' N '.>2. A non3t"iste# tapere# "ing "ill have a span effectiveness factor of perhaps '.6& so in#uce# #rag "ill be %'U greater an# greater still /V2'UT0 for a non3t"iste# rectangular "ing. Ho"ever& fuselage interference "ill re#uce the span effectiveness of the "ing. D1uation P=.2 states that CC N ; 9 /` K S0. Substituting that for CCM in D1uation P=.=G 2n#uce# #rag N * K I;M9 /`M K SM0J K /S 9 bM0 K ` K S Some of the terms cancel out& leavingG /D1uation P=. 0 ;nduced drag ? # @ !C H J C @ SK

D1uation P=. sho"s that in#uce# #rag is proportional to span loa#ing s1uare# I;M9bMJ an# inversely proportional to #ynamic pressure I`J& so that t"o aircraft "ith 1uite #ifferent aspect ratios but having an i#entical span effectiveness factor& "ing span an# "eight "oul# pro#uce the same in#uce# #rag at the same #ynamic pressure /e.g. same #ensity an# )AS or lo"er #ensity an# higher )AS& etc0. Anything #one that gives a small increase in effective "ing span "ill provi#e a proportionately higher re#uction in in#uce# #rag.

8a iru induced drag calculation


2f "e guess that the <abiru aircraft span effectiveness factor is about '.(& "e have enough information to #o a rough calculation of the in#uce# #rag on our <abiru cruising at 6B *nots at @ '' feet /as in the pressure #ifferential calculation above0. ;e "ill use a more practical form of in#uce# #rag e1uation for those "ho s*ippe# the prece#ing bo,G 2n#uce# #rag N * K CCM 9 A K Q?M K S For the <abiru& * N %9/>.%= K '.(0N '.=& aspect ratio IAJ is B.( an# the CC at that spee# is '.=. N '.= K /'.= K '.= 9 B.(0 K /'. K %.' K ' K '0 K (.' N '.= K '.'2 K %2 ' K ( N (' ne"tons 2f you repeat the CC calculation in section %.= using the <abiru8s stall spee# at @ '' feet& say a )AS of 2 m9s& you "ill fin# that C Cmax is %.@. $o" if you repeat the in#uce# #rag calculations& you "ill fin# it has increase# fourfol#G 2n#uce# #rag N '.= K /%.@ K %.@ 9 B.(0 K /'. K %.' K 2 K 2 0 K (.' N '.= K '.>> K >%2. K ( N >>' ne"tons

A)7 ,arasite drag


7arasite #rag is all the air resistance to a light aircraft in flight that is not consi#ere# as 8in#uce#8& an# consists solely of pressure #rag an# s*in friction #rag+ the latter is #ue to viscous flo" an# has been covere# in the boun#ary layer air flo" section above. )he parasite #rag constitutes much of the total aircraft #rag at minimum aoa /i.e. high spee#0 but comparatively little at ma,imum aoa /minimum spee#0. Refer to the #iagram in section %.@. ;hen associate# "ith airflo" aroun# an aerofoil& the parasite #rag is terme# profile drag. ,ressure drag or form drag is the net pressure #ifferential of those points on the "ing+ for e,ample& "here a component of the pressure acts in the fore an# aft #irection& an# that pressure #ifferential ten#s to retar# the aircraft. 7ressure #rag& li*e s*in friction& applies to all parts of the aircraft 8"ette#8 by the airflo". 2t is greatest for any part of the airframe that presents a flat surface perpen#icular to the flo" an# least for a streamline# shape that

has a fineness ratio /i.e. length to brea#th0 bet"een >G% an# =G%.

)he illustration ! a cross3section of a >G% fineness ratio "ing strut ! sho"s the flo" streamlines #etaching from the surface close to the trailing e#ge& "ith the characteristic "a*e associate# "ith pressure #rag. ;hat is not apparent from the illustration is that& in this instance& the s*in friction #rag "oul# be significantly greater than the pressure #rag

)here are t"o specially name# classes of parasite #ragG interference an# cooling #rag. ;nterference drag occurs at the -unctions of airframe structures+ for e,ample& the -unction of the "ings an# fuselage or the -unction of the un#ercarriage legs an# fuselage. )he boun#ary an# outer streamflo"s interfere "ith each other at the intersections an# cause consi#erable turbulent #rag. 2nterference #rag for a "ell3#esigne# composite aircraft might be .%'U of total parasite #rag but can be very much higher. )he cross3flo" associate# "ith unbalance# flight /slip9s*i#0 e,acerbates interference #rag. 2f interference #rag potential is ignore# by the #esigner& vorte, #evelopment can occur at the "ing9fuselage -unctions& effectively splitting the span"ise lift #istribution into t"o separate elliptical patterns+ this is particularly so "ith lo"3"ing configurations but not so much "ith high "ings. )he problem is minimise#& an# total parasite #rag consi#erably #ecrease#& by careful #esign to re#uce the number of -unctions& an# to use fillets an# fairing to #irect a smooth airflo" aroun# the remain#er. :sually the most visible evi#ence of an interference #rag re#uction program is the large "ing root fillet use# in lo" "ing aircraft as seen in the AR3 photograph. Dngine cooling drag is normally associate# "ith the cooling airflo" for engines enclose# in a #rag re#ucing co"ling. )he cooling airflo" is #esigne# to be efficiently #irecte# from an air inta*e through a system of baffles for optimum engine cooling& an# perhaps to utilise the energy of the a##e# heat to provi#e a little thrust at the co"ling e,it point. ;here the engine is not co"le#& there is a great #eal of parasite #rag that certainly cools the engine but "oul# not be specially classe# as cooling #rag.

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A)F Aircraft liftHdrag ratio


2n unaccelerate# straight an# level flight& lift e1uals "eight& an# thus "ill be a constant value. 2f you loo* at the total #rag #iagram in section %.@ you "ill see that the #rag varies "ith the airspee# "hich means& of course& that it varies "ith angle of attac*. )he #iagram on the left is a plot of the fi,e# lift value #ivi#e# by the total #rag value+ i.e. the L9A ratio& at varying aoa for a reasonably efficient aircraft. 2t can be seen that L9A IC over 2J improves rapi#ly bet"een Eero or negative aoa up to =. O then #rops off until the stall angle& "here the #eterioration rate accelerates. $ote that a non3aerobatic light aircraft in normal flight "oul# not e,perience these lo" L9A values at aoa bet"een 'O an# 2O. )he ma'imum +H2 for light aeroplanes ! a measure of the aero#ynamic efficiency of the aircraft ! is possibly bet"een ( an# %2. Some of the ultralights #esigne# "ith "i#e span& high aspect ratio "ings to provi#e some soaring capability have a ma,imum L9A aroun# >'. High3performance sailplanes that are built "ith very "i#e span& slen#er& high aspect ratio "ings have the greatest L9A& at =' . '& an# thus the greatest efficiency. 7o"ere# parachutes have a L9A ratio aroun# >. )here is a limit to the thrust that the engine9propeller can provi#e /i.e. the #rag that it can match0 thus there is also a minimum L9A at "hich ma,imum engine po"er is re1uire# to maintain constant altitu#e. Conse1uently& there "ill be a minimum aoa /ma,imum airspee#0 an# a ma,imum aoa /minimum airspee#0 at "hich an aircraft can maintain level flight. As there may not be much range bet"een minimum an# ma,imum L9A& the minimum L9A can be 1uite significant for ultralight aircraft& "here a range of engines& some "ith rather lo" po"er& may be utilise# in the same mo#el. An un#er3po"ere# aircraft "ill perform very ba#ly at the bac* of the po"er curve.

Glide ratio
Ca,imum L9A usually occurs at an angle of attac* bet"een =O an#

O& or "here the CC is aroun# '.@. )his L9A ratio is also terme# the glide ratio because it is -ust about the same ratio as #istance covere#9height lost in an engine3off gli#e. For e,ample& if ma,imum L9A N%2 then the gli#e ratio is %2G%& meaning the aircraft "ill gli#e a #istance of %2 ''' feet for each %''' feet of height lost& in still air. ;e can use the 8%3in3@'8 rule to calculate the angle of the gli#e path relative to the groun#+ for e,ampleG L9A N %2& then @'9%2 N O gli#e path angle. 2f the aircraft is maintaine# in a gli#e at a #egra#e# L9A& then the gli#e path "ill be steeperG L9A N (& then @'9( N B. O gli#e path angle. )his is one effect of using flaps /see section =.%%0. 4e a"are that 1uote# L9A ratios rarely ta*e into account the consi#erable #rag generate# by a "in#milling propeller. )he aoa associate# "ith ma,imum L9A #eci#es the best engine3off gli#e spee# I?bgJ for #istance an# the best spee# for range I?brJ accor#ing to the operating "eight of the aircraft. 4ut because of the flat shape of the curve aroun# ma,imum L9A& these spee#s are more a*in to a small range of spee#s rather than one particular spee#.

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A)L ,itching moment


;hen using the FoilSim aerofoil flight test simulation program& the static pressures aroun# the aerofoil are given in the output plot that sho"s the pressure #istribution pattern changing "ith the aoa. 2t is convenient to sum that #istribution an# represent it as one lift force vector acting from the centre of pressure IcpJ of the aerofoil or "ing for each aoa+ much the same "ay as "e

sum the #istribution of aircraft mass an# represent it as one force acting through the centre of gravity. )he plot on the left is a representation of the changing "ing centre of pressure position "ith aoa. )he cp position is measure# as the #istance from the lea#ing e#ge e,presse# as a percentage of the chor#. "?lease note the diagram is not a re)resentation of the )itching moment.* At small aoa /high cruise spee#0 the cp is locate# aroun# 'U chor#. As aoa increases /spee# #ecreases0 cp moves for"ar# reaching its furthest for"ar# position aroun# >'U chor# at %'.%2O aoa& "hich is usually aroun# the aoa for ?,& the best angle of climb spee#. ;ith further aoa increases& the cp no" moves rear"ar#+ the rate of movement accelerates as the stalling aoa& about %@O& is passe#. Cost normal flight operations are con#ucte# at angles bet"een >O an# %2O& thus the cp is normally positione# bet"een >'U an# ='U of chor#. )he movement of the cp of the lift force changes the pitching moment of the "ing& a rotational force applie# about some reference point ! the lea#ing or trailing e#ges for e,ample ! "hich& in isolation& "oul# result in a rotation about the aircraft8s lateral a,is. )he conse1uence of the rotation is a further change in aoa an# cp movement that& #epen#ing on the cp starting position may increase or #ecrease the rotation. )hus a "ing by itself is inherently unstable an# "ill change the aircraft8s attitu#e in pitch ! i.e. the aircraft8s nose "ill rotate up or #o"n about its lateral a,is& "hich may be reinforce# or countere# by the action of the lift9"eight couple ! so there must be a reacting moment9balancing force built into the system provi#e# by the horiEontal stabiliser an# its a#-ustable control surfaces. )his "ill be #iscusse# further in the Stability an# Control mo#ules.

Aerodynamic centre
)here is a point on the "ing8s mean aero#ynamic chor# /see belo"0 calle# the aerodynamic centre IacJ "here the pitching moment coefficient I Cmac J about that point is small ! for the $ACA 2=%2 aerofoil Cmac is .'.%. )he negative value in#icates the moment pro#uces a nose3#o"n tor1ue& "hich is the norm for cambere# "ings. Cmac remains more or less constant "ith aoa changes but becomes more nose3#o"n at the stall. For the

cambere# aerofoils use# in most light aircraft "ings& that aero#ynamic centre "ill be locate# in a position bet"een 2>U an# 2BU of the chor# length aft of the lea#ing e#ge& but for stan#ar#isation& aero#ynamicists generally establish the lift& #rag an# pitching moment coefficients at the 2 U /1uarter0 chor# position. )he notation for the pitching moment at 1uarter chor# is Cc9 . )he pitching moment is consistently nose3#o"n& changing in magnitu#e as airspee# changes. ;hen plotte# on an aerofoil "in# tunnel #ata graph& the moment coefficient Cmc9 is a roughly horiEontal line for most of the angle of attac* range& but the straight line may have a slight slope if the actual aero#ynamic centre varies a little from the 2 U chor# location. 7itching moment e1uationG /D1uation P=.@0 ,itching moment 9 Mc/+ : ? Cmc/+ @ B /C @ S @ c )he pitching moment e1uation is much the same as the lift an# #rag e1uations "ith the a##ition of the mean aero#ynamic chor# IcJ for the moment arm+ using S2 units the result is in $Xm. As the coefficient is al"ays negative an# nearly constant /up to the stall0& then ?M is the significant contributor to the nose3#o"n pitching tor1ue& "hich must be offset by tailplane forces to *eep the aircraft in balance# flight. Ho"ever& high torsion loa#s may still e,ist "ithin the "ing structure+ see aero#ynamic effects of flight at e,cessive spee#. )he concept of the aero#ynamic centre is useful to #esigner9buil#ers& because it means the centre of application of lift can be assume# fi,e# at 2 U chor# an# only the lift force changes. For non3rectangular "ings& a mean aerodynamic chord ICACJ for the "ing has to be calculate#+ see ascertaining mean aero#ynamic chor# graphically ! in that #iagram the aero#ynamic centre position IacJ is sho"n on the root chor# line.

.eutral point
2t is not -ust the "ings that pro#uce lift& the tailplane surfaces also pro#uce lift /"hich is #iscusse# in mo#ule @0& an# so #o parts of a "ell3#esigne# fuselage. Conse1uently the aero#ynamic centre for the aircraft as a "hole& *no"n as the neutral point& "ill not be in the same location as the "ing aero#ynamic centre but ! for a tailplane aircraft ! behin# it an# on the fuselage centreline. )his is the fi,e# point from "hich net lift& #rag an# aircraft pitching moment are assume# to act.

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A)=5 Ailerons
;e mentione# in section %.= that the pilot cannot change the shape of the "ing aerofoil. 4ut this& li*e many statements ma#e regar#ing aeronautics& nee#s 1ualification. 2n fact& the pilot manoeuvres the aircraft in the lateral plane by altering the effective camber of the outboar# sections of the "ings. An# remember in the last paragraphs of section =.% above& using FoilSim& "e foun# that altering camber from 2U to =U pro#uce# a substantial increase in CC an# lift. 2f you e,amine the Seafire photograph& in section =.@& you "ill see that each "ing has a separate# section at the outboar# trailing e#ge. )hese are ailerons& hinge# to the main "ing so that they can move #o"n or up an# lin*e#& via control ro#s or cables& to left9right movement of the pilot8s control column. )hus the pilot can& in effect& increase or #ecrease the camber of the outer portion of each "ing+ as sho"n by the effective chor# lines in figures A an# 4 at left. )he ailerons are interconnecte# so that #o"n"ar# movement ! a camber increase ! in one is combine# "ith an up"ar# movement ! a camber 8refle,8 ! in the other. )he aileron movement then increases the lift generate# by the outer section of one "ing "hilst #ecreasing that from the other& thus the change# lift forces /at a #istance from the aircraft8s longitu#inal a,is0 impart a rolling moment in the lateral plane about that a,is. )his rolling moment is primarily use# to initiate a turn but other manoeuvres #epen# on the amount an# timing of aileron movement+ more about this in the 8Control8 mo#ule+ see 8Control in a turn8. #ilerons s)an )erha)s the outer 38I of each wing and occu)y )erha)s the aft 25I of the wing chord at that location. Digh$s)eed aircraft may have two sets. a normal outer wing set used only for low$s)eed flight "!ecause of the moment of force they are ca)a!le of a))lying at high s)eed* and a second, high$s)eed set of s)oiler$ ty)e ailerons located at the in!oard end of the wing.

Aileron drag

2ncreasing camber an# thus CC also increases in#uce# #rag /in proportion to CCM0 so that the "ing that is pro#ucing greater lift "ill also be pro#ucing greater in#uce# #rag& ten#ing to rotate "yaw* the aircraft8s nose in the #irection of the lo"ere# aileron. 7arasite #rag "ill be increase# on the "ing "ith the lo"ere# aileron. )his in#uce# plus parasite #rag reaction is calle# aileron drag an# particularly complicates aileron effects at lo" spee#s "hen CC is high& the aero#ynamic pressure on control surfaces is lo"& an# it is easy to impart an e,cessive control movement. 4ecause the ya" is to"ar#s the lo"ere# aileron an# thus opposite to the re1uire# #irection of turn& the effect is calle# adverse yaw an# is particularly evi#ent in aircraft that have long3span "ings "here the ailerons have a much longer moment arm. Aileron #rag can have an opposite ya" effect. ;hen an aircraft is turning at lo" spee# an# the pilot applies aileron to roll upright& the #o"n"ar#s movement of the aileron on the lo"er "ing might ta*e the aoa& on that part of the "ing& past the critical aoa. )hus that section of "ing ! rather than increasing lift an# ma*ing the "ing rise ! "ill stall an# lose lift. )he aircraft& instea# of straightening up& "ill roll into a steeper ban*. Although the "ing section may be stalle#& CC an# thus in#uce# #rag "ill still be fairly high& so there "ill be a substantial ya" to"ar# the lo"er "ing "hich pulls the nose #o"n an# increases the rate of #escent. )here is potential for other aileron3in#uce# problems "hen turning at lo" spee#s+ see 8Control in a turn8. )here are a number of configurations "hich& use# singly or -ointly& re#uce aileron #rag. For e,ample& differential ailerons& "here the #o"n3going aileron moves through a smaller angle than the up3 going aileron or Frise ailerons& "here the lea#ing e#ge of the up3 going aileron protru#es belo" the "ing un#ersurface& increasing parasite #rag on the #o"n3going "ing.

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A)== Flaps
)he other camber increasing #evices& forming part of the inboar# "ing trailing e#ge in the Seafire photo& are the flaps. 7lain flaps are also a hinge# section of the "ing ! as in figures C an# A in the aileron #iagram above ! but move only /an# -ointly0 #o"n"ar#

usually to fi,e# pre#etermine# positions& each position provi#ing varying #egrees of increase# lift coefficient an# increase# #rag coefficient that the #esigner thought appropriate. For instance& for one particular aircraft& at O #eflection there is a goo# increase in CC "ith only slight increase in #rag. At % O the #rag increase starts to e1uate "ith the increase in the CC& "hereas at 2 O or >'O the increase in #rag is much greater than the increase in CC+ at = O the flap is starting to act as an airbra*e. )he change in camber /over perhaps '.@'U of the "ing span an# 2'.2 U of the "ing chor#0 cause# by lo"ering flaps in flight& "ithout changing other control positions& has effects "hich "ill vary accor#ing to the amount of #eflection employe#G )he aircraft8s nose "ill pitch #o"n a fe" #egrees about its lateral a,is /i.e. its attitude in )itch is altered0 because of the nose3#o"n pitching moment associate# "ith flaps. )he position of the aircraft8s line of #rag "ill change an# this also ten#s to change the aircraft8s attitu#e in pitch. Aepen#ing on the relative mounting of the aircraft8s "ings an# tailplane& the change of #irection /an# the increase0 of #o"n"ash may affect the trim of the aircraft ! nose up or #o"n. )he lift increases an# the aircraft "ill initially ten# to rise. )he #rag increases an# the aircraft slo"s belo" its trimme# airspee#& lift re#uces& an# the aircraft sin*s unless po"er is increase#. )he pilot has to ta*e appropriate control action #epen#ing on the reason for lo"ering flaps. )he effects of trim associate# "ith lo"ering or raising flaps for a particular aircraft type "ill be note# in the 7ilot8s Hperating Han#boo*. As "e sa" in FoilSim& the effect of increasing camber is an increase in C /the ratio of lift to #ynamic pressure or
C

airspee#0 at all aoa. )his is sho"n in the plot at the left. At an aoa of @O CC is about %.' "ith flaps lo"ere# ! about 'U greater than the CC of '.@ "ith flaps raise#. ;hat this means is that the minimum controllable flight spee# is lo"er "ith flaps #eploye#. So& returning to the e1uationG lift N CC K Q?M K S thus for lift to remain constant if CC increases then ?M must #ecrease. Conse1uently& the stall spee# is also lo"er "ith flaps #eploye#. "1ncidently, this diagram shows that the &ero lift aoa for this wing occurs at :26.* $ote that the flappe# section "ill stall at a lo"er aoa than the unflappe# section. Fenerally the flappe# "ing area& being the inboar# section of the "ing& represents a very large proportion of the total "ing area ! chec* the Seafire photo. Also& even if the flappe# section has passe# its stalling angle& it is still pro#ucing lots of lift. 7rovi#ing there is sufficient thrust available to overcome the big increase in #rag& the aircraft can still maintain height an# stability because the "ing outboar# section an# ailerons are not stalle#. Bear in mind that to maintain the same airs)eed and altitude after lowering fla)s, that thrust, if availa!le, must !e increased to counter the additional drag from the lowered fla)s. Similarly, when fla)s are raised, the aircraft will initially sin, due to the loss of lift unless the )ilot ta,es com)ensating control actionA this is )articularly im)ortant when a landing a))roach is discontinued and a go$around initiated. $o" "hat aoa are "e measuringT 2f you loo* at figure C /in the #ra"ing in section =.%'0 "hich represents the unflappe# part of the "ing& you can see that it has an aoa of about O or so "hereas& at the same time& the flap e,ten#e# section of "ing /figure A0 has a consi#erably greater aoa. As the flappe# section "ill still have a stalling aoa aroun# %@O "e can surmise that this flappe# "ing section is going to stall "hen the unflappe# section is only at %>O or so. /)he horiEontal a,is of the plot sho"s only the aoa of the unflappe# "ing.0 Ho"ever& "e also have to ta*e into account the increase# #o"n"ash an# thus the change in effective aoa associate# "ith it& so the effect of flaps is not as straight3for"ar# as implie# in the prece#ing.

Flap systems
)here are a many types of flap systems& but if flaps are use# at all in ultralights or other very light aircraft& then only the simpler #evices sho"n at left are nee#e#. )he most common /because of its simplicity0 is the plain flap& "hich might provi#e a '. increase in CCmax "ith a large increase in #rag "hen fully #eflecte#. )he split flap provi#es slightly more increase in lift but a larger increase in #rag& an# is more #ifficult to construct an# thus probably not "orth the effort. )he slot incorporate# into the -unction bet"een the main "ing an# the plain flap in the slotted flap arrangement allo"s airflo" from un#er the "ing to energise /i.e. accelerate an# smooth0 the turbulent boun#ary layer flo" over the upper surface of the lo"ere# flap. )his provi#es better #o"nstream boun#ary layer a#herence& an# thus allo"s a larger angle of attac* to be achieve# before stall& "ith higher CC an# lo"er #rag than the plain flap. Ailerons may also be 8slotte#8 for improve# performance. )he rear"ar# e,tension of the Fowler flap as it is #eflecte# increases "ing area as "ell as camber& so it provi#es the best increase in lift of all the simpler systems ! although perhaps even a single3element Fo"ler flap li*e that sho"n is not that simple to construct.

Summary 6 flap effect on coefficient of lift


2n the #iagram above& it can be seen that the #eflection of flaps provi#es an increase in CC of about '.= at all angles of attac*. )his is probably representative of plain flaps e,ten#ing along 'U of the "ing trailing e#ge "ith chor# e1uivalent to about 2'U of the "ing chor#& an# #eflecte# 2 O. )he attainable CC increase #epen#s on flap span& chor# an# #egrees #eflecte#& plus the comple,ity of the flap system ! CC increase of '.( might be achieve# "ith long3 span Gowler flaps #eflecte# to > O. 2ncorporating slots into plain or Fo"ler flaps increases CC.

Advantages of using flaps


2f flaps are fitte#& a small flap #eflection ! say %'O ! might be use# for safer ta*e3off& #ue to the lo"er lift3off spee# available. 4ut half to full flap #eflection is al"ays use# for lan#ing to provi#eG

lo"er safe approach an# touch3#o"n spee#s a nose3#o"n attitu#e for a better vie" of the lan#ing area a steeper approach path /because of the #egra#e# L9A0 for better obstacle clearance& "hich can be controlle# at "ill a shorter 8float8 after roun#ing out because of increase# #rag a shorter groun# roll& if flaps are left fully e,ten#e# until the aircraft has e,ite# the run"ay.

An# flaps enable the approach to be ma#e "ith engine po"er "ell above i#le& "hich is beneficial to the engine& allo"s po"er changes to either increase or #ecrease the rate of sin* an# provi#es better engine response in case of a go3aroun#.

Flaperons
2n some light aircraft #esigns& particularly those "ith short ta*e3off an# lan#ing IS)HLJ capability& it has been foun# e,pe#ient to incorporate the aileron an# a plain flap into one control surface that e,ten#s the full length of the "ing trailing e#ge. )he #ifferent functional movements are sorte# out by a control mi,er mechanism. :sually& the flaperon is not integral "ith the "ing but brac*ete# to the un#er"ing to provi#e a slotte# flap ! acting li*e an e,ternal aerofoil flying in close formation "ith the main "ing. Although the CC increase attainable might be %.'& there are #ra"bac*s to this arrangement& "hich particularly e,acerbate lo" spee# aileron #rag.

1efle' flaps
Some aircraft are fitte# "ith flaps that also can be

#eflecte# up"ar# O or %'O above the normal neutral or sto"e# position in a##ition to the normal #o"n"ar# #eflection positions #escribe# above. :p"ar# #eflection of flaps is #one at cruising spee#& an# increases the ma,imum cruise spee# perhaps U by refle,ing camber an# re#ucing #rag& an# is often associate# "ith aerofoils that have goo# laminar flo".

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A)=4 0igh$lift devices


Another short ta*e3off an# lan#ing IS)HLJ #evice use# in light aircraft is an aerofoil section ! a slat ! fi,e# to the lea#ing e#ge of the "ing& "ith a slot bet"een the slat an# the "ing. )he slat9slot "or*s in much the same "ay as the slotte# flap e,cept that lea#ing e#ge slats in#uce a nose3up pitching moment. At lo" aoa& the fi,e# slat has no value+ it -ust increases #rag an# thus #egra#es cruise performance. At high aoa& the higher pressure on the un#ersi#e of the slat is channelle# through the slot& gaining velocity an# energising the boun#ary layer flo" over the upper surface of the "ing ! thus #elaying boun#ary layer separation& a##ing perhaps a '.@ CC increase an# increasing the stalling aoa to perhaps 2'O. )he usual increase in CC an# the stalling aoa is illustrate# "ith the green curves in the CC9aoa #iagram above. Some slat9slot systems also have the effect of increasing "ing area thus re#ucing ;9S an# stall spee#. Lea#ing e#ge slots combine# "ith long3span slotte# flaps& as use# in S)HL aircraft& allo" a critical aoa much greater than the usual %@O. )hey can perhaps #ouble the ma,imum CC of the basic "ing& "hich allo"s much lo"er lan#ing spee#s but re1uires flight at the bac* of the po"er curve. Fi,e# lea#ing e#ge slots "or* particularly "ell "ith a tail"heel configuration in a 8utility8 aircraft such as the Slepcev Storch& but in a touring aircraft they have no value unless the pilot inten#s operating into very small& rough airstrips. )here are simple automatic slat9slot systems "here the slat is sto"e# "hen flying at lo"er angles of attac* but pops out to form the slot "hen a particular angle of attac* is reache#. )here are also retractable slat9slot systems that provi#e S)HL capability "hen re1uire# "ithout sacrificing cruise performance& e,cept for the

"eight increase #ue to the more comple, operating system. 2 suggest no" you have a loo* at the #iagrams in these t"o pages ! High lift "ing #esign an# Anatomy of a S)HL aircraft.

A)=> +ift spoilers and air ra#es


)he converse of the high3lift #evices is the light aircraft spoiler& common in gli#ers but occasionally seen in high L9A ratio ultralights. )he usual spoiler is a flush3mounte# front3hinge# spring3loa#e# flat plate incorporate# into the upper "ing surface& "hich can be elevate# by lever operation to varying #egrees of opening. ;hen activate#& it in#uces separation over part of the "ing& thereby acting as a lift3#umper. 4ut it is not spee# limiting+ the nose "ill pitch #o"n an# the pilot must use elevator to maintain the re1uire# approach spee#+ thus the spoiler is use# to increase the sin* rate on the approach path. Air ra#es or spee#bra*es have a similar but more effective function. )hey are often vertically mounte# plates& pairs of "hich are incorporate# into the "ing structure an# "hich protru#e from the upper an# lo"er "ing surfaces "hen activate#. )hey create a lot of #rag but little or no change in pitch& so the pilot must lo"er the nose to maintain approach spee#. Airbra*e or spoiler configurations are sometimes associate# "ith flap systems that are primarily #irecte# to lift generation& rather than lift generation plus #rag creation. Such flap systems "oul# have ma,imum #o"n"ar# #eflection of perhaps 2'O. Cilitary aircraft utilise very comple, flaperon9spoileron systems. The ne't module in this Flight Theory Guide discusses engine and propeller performance)

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Things that are handy to #now

The aerofoil is often referred to as a "two$dimensional" o Uect) )his means that that the span"ise ! thus 8thir#3 #imensional8 ! pressure gra#ient effects associate# "ith a normal "ing& an# varying significantly "ith the "ing form rather than the aerofoil shape& are ignore# "hen

consi#ering aerofoil characteristics.

!ing upflowG all the air #isturbances cause# by the passage of an aircraft are propagate# as pressure pulses moving out"ar# /from molecule to molecule0 in all #irections at the spee# of soun#. )hus& in subsonic flight& the pressure variances /compression then rela,ation0 contribute to the air upflo" occurring in front of the "ings.

,otes for home)uilders


S The parasite drag coefficient. )he e1uation for calculation of the total parasite #rag for an aircraft isG ,arasite drag 9newtons: ? CDp @ B /C @ S :nli*e the lift coefficient& the parasite #rag coefficient C2) is more or less a constant ! the ratio of #rag to #ynamic pressure ! an# thus provi#es a means for comparing the relative aero#ynamic 8cleanness8 of t"o aircraft. )he coefficient is usually in the range '.'> to '.'( for fi,e#3un#ercarriage aircraft. S )here is another value& the 8e<uivalent flat plate area8 IF7AJ use# by aircraft& motor vehicle an# structural engineers "ho are concerne# "ith the calculation of air resistance. F7A is often 1uote# in aviation magaEines "hen comparing the parasite #rag efficiency of an aircraft "ith other similar aircraft& an# it is usually state# in terms of s1uare feet. F7A is calculate# as C2) times the "ing area #ivi#e# by the C2) for a flat plate. Ho"ever& it is assume# that the C2) for a flat plate hel# at 6'O to the airstream N % "in fact it is a!out 25I greater, !ut that is of no real consequence* so the flat plate C2) is omitte# from the calculation& thusG F,A ? CDp @ S ftC For e,ample& the F7A for the run3of3the3mill t"o or four3seater fi,e#3 un#ercarriage general aviation aircraft "oul# be aroun# @ ftM "ith C2) of '.'> to '.' & an# the retractables aroun# =. ftM "ith C2) of '.'2 to '.'>. F7A of a very clean& high3performance general aviation aircraft li*e a Cooney mo#el& is aroun# > ftM "ith C2) about '.'% . Some very clean& high3performance FA *it3built aircraft have F7A less than 2. $ote that F7A #oes not represent the frontal cross3section area of the aircraft.

,ro a ly the smallest #nown F,A is not associated with a general aviation aircraft ut with an owner$designed and uilt ultralightV Californian Ci*e Arnol#8s @ hp t"o3stro*e Rota, (2 po"ere# AR3 hol#s the "orl# spee# recor#& in the un#er >'' *g class& of 2%> mph. )his han#some little glass3epo,y aircraft has an F7A of '.(( ftM "ith C2) about '.'%@. 2t #emonstrates "hat can be achieve# ! an unmatchable >.> mph per hp ! in an ultralight #esign "hen the home #esigner9buil#er pays the utmost attention to #etail. $ote the beautifully shape# engine co"ling& the "ing root fillet an# the minimisation of the -unctions of un#ercarriage leg fairing an# "heel cover. )he choice of a glass3epo,y composite structure also facilitates the #rag re#uction program. Aon8t let anyone tell you ultralights have to be slo" an# #raggyZ S 8Separation u les8 or 8laminar flow separation u les8. 2n laminar flo"& sometimes the laminar flo" boun#ary layer separates from the "ing surface then reattaches itself a short #istance #o"nstream. )his forms a 8bubble8 of stagnant air "ith a significant span"ise #imension that changes the aero#ynamic thic*ness of the "ing "hich& in effect& increases pressure #rag. 4ubbles may also cause increase# turbulent flo" to be generate# #o"nstream of the reattachment point. Aircraft #esigners avoi# laminar separation at cruising spee#s by in#ucing a turbulent ! but attache# ! boun#ary layer "here necessary. Separation bubbles that increase #rag may also occur on the fuselage an# tailplane. S 1eynolds num er. Hccasionally& in reference to boun#ary layer laminar to turbulent flo" an# flo" separation characteristics you may see mention of the critical Reynol#s number. Reynol#s number IReJ is a measure of the relative influence of viscous an# inertia effects on boun#ary layer behaviour. For rough estimates Re in airstreams N air #ensity9air viscosity K airflo" velocity K flo" #istance. 2SA sea3level #ensity is %.22 *g9mR an# stan#ar# viscosity is '.''''%B6 *g9m9s& so stan#ar# air #ensity9air viscosity N @( = 6 /say B' '''0. 2f the Re is estimate# for an average flo" across the entire "ing at a particular airspee#& then the e1uation can be simplifie# toG Re N velocity /m9s0 K the mean aero#ynamic chor# /m0 K B' '''. )hus& the "ing chor# Reynol#s number for an aircraft "ith a CAC of %.2 m flying at 6B *nots / ' m9s0 is roughly ' K %.2 K B' ''' N = 2'' '''. ;hen that same aircraft is cruising at B( *nots /=' m9s0& Re "oul# be about > >@' '''.

For a particular "ing an# "ing surface con#ition& there is a critical boun#ary layer Re& above "hich the laminar flo" "ill transition to turbulent flo". 2n slo" flight spee#& the critical boun#ary layer Re "ill be attaine# a particular #istance #o"nstream from the lea#ing e#ge stagnation point+ as airspee# increases /an# in accor#ance "ith the e1uation above0& that #istance must shorten. S )he vorte' generators I?FsJ use# in a fe" light aircraft #esigns& or as post3#elivery 8a##3ons8& are small boun#ary layer control #evices of varying shapes& machine# from a polycarbonate or aluminium 8)8 e,trusion& a ro" of >' or =' of "hich are usually glue# along the upper surface of each "ing& probably close to the transition Eone. Dach ?F is carefully site#& "ith a specific angle of attac* an# "ith sufficient height to nearly intru#e into the free3stream flo". So situate#& they in#uce fast3 rotating& highly organise#& #o"nstream vortices /much the same principle as "ingtip vortices0 "hich mi, the high3spee# free3stream airflo" into the slo"3moving& surface boun#ary layer flo"+ entraining an# re3energising that flo" so that the chor#"ise pressure gra#ient profile on the upper surface is #ecrease# /see boun#ary layer flo"0. Conse1uently& surface pressure is #ecrease#& so the pressure #ifferential ! an# thus the lift coefficient ! is increase# at all aoas. ?Fs are usually paire#& to pro#uce counter3rotating vortices. )he ?Fs also #elay boun#ary layer separation at high aoa+ i.e. ?Fs lo"er the stall spee# "hile improving the aircraft8s lo"3 spee# behaviour. 4ut there is li*ely to be minimum "arning of onset of the stall& an# stall behaviour may be more violent. Appropriately siEe# an# site# "ing vorte, generators can be effective at provi#ing goo# manoeuvring control of the aircraft "hen operating lo" an# slo"& an# provi#e a greater CCmax& an# improve aileron performance an# aircraft climb performance. )hey are sometimes also use# on the horiEontal an# vertical stabilisers mounte# -ust for"ar# of the ru##er9elevator hinge lines "here they have the effect of allo"ing greater control surface #eflection before separation occurs. ?Fs are also useful in locations "here interference #rag is a problem. )he use of ?Fs in light aircraft may slightly #egra#e performance at the upper en# of the spee# range& probably #epen#ing on the amount of a##itional turbulence they generate outsi#e the normal turbulent boun#ary flo". S )he term ur le is sometimes use# to #escribe a turbulent stream. For e,ample a #isturbance emanating from something on the fuselage can in#uce a turbulent streamflo" that affects the tailplane. )here may also be a separation of flo" at the -unctions of structural components& "hich causes interference #rag.

Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | I=. Aerofoils & "ingsJ | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight3shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
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Engine and propeller performance


Revision %Bc ! page content "as last change# $ovember %@& 2''(+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

.% Dngine po"er output .2 7ropeller po"er output .> 7ropeller types .= 7ropeller theory )hings that are han#y to *no"

Engine power is the product of tor<ue and engine speed) Two$stro#e engines favour engine speed to produce the power and are very inefficient at other than high rpmN four$stro#e engines use lower rpm and higher tor<ue) The efficiency of normally aspirated engines decreases with altitude 6 ut tur ocharging helps considera ly) The propeller converts engine power into an aerodynamic force) The portion of the force acting forward is the thrust power% and the portion acting in the plane of rotation is the propeller tor<ue) ;n unaccelerated level flight% the propeller tor<ue alances the engine tor<ue while thrust alances the aircraft"s aerodynamic drag) The thrust conversion efficiency depends on the propeller configuration and aircraft speed) The simple fi'ed$pitch configuration is inefficient at most speeds) The varia le$pitch% constant$speed propeller is reasona ly efficient at most speeds)

D)= Engine power output


Dngine po"er e1uals the pro#uct of force an# spee#. Tor<ue is the rotational force acting about the engine cran*shaft multiplie# by the moment arm+ i.e. it is the pro#uct of the firing stro*e in the cylin#er an# the

ra#ius of the cran* to "hich the connecting ro# is attache#. )he bigger the cylin#er the bigger the rotational force ! the 8bang8. Dngine spee# is measure# in cran*shaft revolutions per minute IrpmJ. 2n the 8Canoeuvring forces8 mo#ule "e #iscusse# the po"er re1uire# for various flight con#itions& an# loo*e# at po"er re1uire#9po"er available curves an# the effect of altitu#e on po"er output. 2t may be appropriate to revie" section %.B of that mo#ule.

.ormally aspirated aero engines


)he ma,imum po"er that can be #evelope#& in the cylin#ers of a particular piston engine& increases or #ecreases #irectly "ith the #ensity of the air in the inta*e manifol#& an# air #ensity #ecreases as altitu#e increases ! or temperature increases. See the atmospheric #ensity an# the 2nternational Stan#ar# Atmosphere sections in the 8Airspee# an# the properties of air8 mo#ule. )hus& the full throttle po"er output of a normally aspirated engine ! one that relies solely on the ambient atmospheric #ensity ! #ecreases as operating altitu#e increases. )he #iagram in section %.B sho"s ho" ma,imum bra*e horse3po"er IbhpJ& #elivere# at full throttle in a normally aspirate# engine& #ecreases "ith altitu#e. A %'' hp engine operating at @ U po"er "ill be #elivering @ hp. 7o"er pro#uce# is proportional to the air #ensity at the inta*e manifol#& the cylin#er #isplacement an# compression ratio& the number of cylin#ers& an# the rpm. Hf those items& only the air #ensity at the inta*e manifol# an# the engine rpm alter& or can be altere#& #uring flight. "=ith a normally as)irated engine and a )ro)eller whose )itch is not varia!le in flight, the throttle controls manifold )ressure, which then determines r)m.* A tra#itional four3stro*e light aircraft engine& such as the Lycoming H32> & has an in#ivi#ual cylin#er #isplacement of 6 ' cc& a compression ratio of BG% an# a ma,imum #esign spee# of 2@'' rpm& at "hich its rate# %%' bhp is pro#uce# ! in sea3level 2SA con#itions. )he Rota, 6%2& the most common light"eight four3cylin#er aero3engine& utilises an in#ivi#ual cylin#er #isplacement of only >'' cc& a compression ratio of 6G%& but #oubles the ma,imum #esign spee# to '' rpm to achieve its rate# %'' bhp. )he light"eight <abiru 22'' utilises an in#ivi#ual cylin#er #isplacement of ' cc& a compression ratio aroun# (G% an# a ma,imum #esign spee# of >>'' rpm to achieve its rate# (' hp. )he three engines mentione# are all horiEontally oppose#& four3stro*e an# four3cylin#er+ a popular configuration provi#ing a fully balance# engine that #oesn8t re1uire cran*shaft balance "eights. Dngines are often #escribe# in terms of 8total capacity8 /cylin#er #isplacement by number of cylin#ers0 in litres or cubic centimetres. )hus& the Lycoming H32> is >.( litres or >('' cc /2> cubic inches0& the Rota, 6%2 is %.2 litres an# the <abiru 22'' is 2.2 litres. Cost engines use# in ultralights ten# to be aroun# >'U lighter /in terms of "eight per rate# hp0 than the ubi1uitous Lycoming

an# Continental piston engines use# in general aviation aircraft. )hus& they are cheaper to manufacture but less robust& "ith a conse1uent shorter time bet"een overhaul I)4HJ. Although aero3engines can 1uite happily operate continually at their rate# po"er& #oing so is not goo# practice. 2t is uneconomical in terms of fuel efficiency& but ! more importantly ! it may shorten engine life& if engine operating temperatures an# pressures are e,cee#e#. $ormally the ma,imum ! an# optimum ! po"er setting for continuous cruise operation is B U of rate# po"er.

Tur ocharging
)he volumetric efficiency /i.e. the cylin#er3filling capability0 of an engine can be improve# by increasing the #ensity of the fuel9air charge #elivere# to the cylin#ers by compressing the air in the atmospheric inta*e manifol#. )his process is supercharging an# #evelops more tor1ue at all engine spee#s. )he compressor is usually a light"eight centrifugal impeller #riven by a gas turbine that utilises the other"ise "aste# energy of the engine e,haust gases. Such a system is a turbine3po"ere# supercharger& usually #escribe# as a tur ocharger. An oilpressure3#riven butterfly valve or waste gate is incorporate# "ithin the e,haust manifol# system& automatically a#-usting ! accor#ing to the pressure "ithin the inta*e manifol# ! to allo" all& or a portion& of the e,haust gases to bypass the turbine+ thus continually maintaining the system "ithin the #esigne# operating limits. )here is a slight penalty in that turbocharging also increases the temperature of the charge. )his conse1uently #ecreases the achievable #ensity an# possibly lea#s to #etonation& unless a charge cooling #evice ! an intercooler ! is incorporate# bet"een the compressor an# the cylin#ers. Gor some information on mechanically )owered su)ercharging, read this maga&ine article. )urbocharging may be use# to increase the sea3level rate# po"er of the engine& but the use of that full throttle po"er at lo" altitu#es "oul# normally be limite# to short perio#s because of engine temperature limitations. )he big a#vantage is the increase in po"er available at altitu#e. )he #iagram plots the po"er achieve# /percentage of rate# po"er0 at full throttle& in 2SA stan#ar# con#itions& for a normally aspirate# engine an# the turbocharge# version. )he turbocharge# engine can maintain its rate# po"er from sea3level up to the 8critical altitu#e8& probably aroun# @''' or B''' feet& after "hich it "ill #ecrease. )he "aste gate "oul# probably be fully open at sea3level an# then start closing as altitu#e increases ! so that it "oul# be fully close# at& an# above& the critical

altitu#e. )urbocharging raises the service ceiling of the aircraft. )he service ceiling is the 2SA altitu#e at "hich the aircraft8s best rate of climb /from an e,ten#e# climb starting at C)H; an# unassiste# by any atmospheric phenomena0 #rops belo" %'' feet per minute ! regar#e# as the minimum useful climb rate. )his shoul# be the aircraft8s ceiling 1uote# by the manufacturer. +he Rotax 41 series 118 h) tur!ocharged engines are often regarded as 7ust !eing suita!le for ultralight aircraft. Dowever, those engines )ower the ?redator RP19QP1, unmanned aerial reconnaissance and surveillance vehicles, used so successfully in the #fghanistan and 1raq cam)aigns of recent years. +he ?redators have a maximum ta,e$off weight around 1555 ,g, cruise around 45 ,nots, normal mission duration around 25 hours % !ut could o)erate for 5 hours % and service ceiling of 28 555 feet. +hey often carried two 85 ,g Dellfire missiles for attac,ing acquired targets % they also need 8555 feet of )aved runway for ta,e$off.

Two$stro#e aero engines


)he lo"er po"er /say& up to @ hp0 engines use# in ultralight aircraft are usually t"o3stro*e engines& although the half3?; four3stro*e auto engine conversions are aroun# =' hp. )"o3stro*es #on8t have very goo# volumetric efficiency& an# the engine is efficient only in a narro" rpm an# throttle opening range occurring at very high rpm. 2n fact& ultralight t"o3 stro*es ten# to run very roughly at spee#s belo" 2 '' rpm. )he three most common t"o3stro*es are t"o3cylin#er mo#els "ith in#ivi#ual cylin#er #isplacements aroun# 2 ' cc+ they achieve their rate# po"er at @('' rpm. 7o"er #rops off very 1uic*ly as rpm is re#uce# belo" that figure. Fearing or belt re#uction is use# to improve the tor1ue #elivere# to the propeller shaft "hile also re#ucing the rpm to something more suitable for the propeller. )he tor1ue increases because of the larger rotational ra#ius of the #riven gear. )he big a#vantage "ith t"o3stro*e engines is their mechanical simplicity& an# conse1uent "eight an# cost saving& because they lac* the camshaft an# associate# valve train of the four3stro*es. Some very small /% hp0 t"o3stro*es are use# to po"er self3launching po"ere# hang3gli#ers. 4et"een %666 an# 2''>& there "ere 6( engine failures reporte# to RA3 Aus+ >6 "ere t"o3stro*e engines an# 6 "ere four3stro*e. 2t is estimate# at that time about @ U of the ultralight fleet& of some %(''.2''' aircraft& "ere e1uippe# "ith t"o3stro*es. 2t "oul# appear #uring that perio# the t"o3stro*es "ere more reliable than the light"eight four3stro*e aero3 engines& though the #evelopment of light"eight four3stro*es "as then not as far along the learning curve as t"o3stro*e #evelopment.

D)4 ,ropeller power output


An aircraft engine supplies energy& in the form of rotational po"er& to the propeller shaft. )he propeller converts the rotational po"er to thrust po"er& either pulling the aircraft along behin# it /a tractor installation0 or pushing the aircraft in front of it /a pusher installation0. )he propeller accelerates a tube of air& "ith much the same #iameter as the propeller #isc+ i.e. it a##s momentum to the tube of air an# the reaction force propels the aircraft for"ar#. )he velocity of this accelerate# airstream /the sli)stream0 has both rotational an# rear"ar# components. Comentum N mass K velocity& so if the mass of air passing through per secon# is increase# by increasing the #iameter of the propeller& the rear"ar# velocity imparte# can be #ecrease# but still pro#uce the same rear"ar# or a,ial momentum. )he rate at "hich a,ial momentum is imparte# to the air e1uates "ith thrust. ,ropeller efficiency is the ratio of the thrust po"er /thrust K aircraft for"ar# spee#0 output to the engine po"er input. )he "or* #one /the energy e,pen#e#0 by the propeller is the *inetic energy imparte# to the slipstream N QmvM -oules /if mass is in *ilograms an# v in metres per secon#0& so less energy is e,pen#e# if the mass is increase# an# the velocity #ecrease#. :sing a simplifie# static thrust e,ample& if m N %' *g an# v N %'' m9s& then the momentum is %''' *gXm9s an# energy e,pen#e# is Q K %' K %''M N ' *<. 4ut if the values for m an# v are interchange# /i.e. m N %'' *g an# v N %' m9s0 the momentum "ill still be the same but the energy e,pen#e# "ill be #ecrease# substantially+ i.e. Q K %'' K %'M N *<. )hus& the most efficient system is to utilise the greatest propeller #iameter possible ! limite# byG the stress effects on the engine /the gyroscopic moments increase e,ponentially "ith #iameter+ see belo"0 groun# clearance re1uirements in "orst con#itions /e.g. heavy lan#ing an# #eflate# tyre0 propeller bla#e strength bla#e tip spee#. =hen a )ro)eller is rotating, the s)eed at any )oint on a !lade is the )roduct of the r)m and the distance of that )oint from the hu!, and thus the s)eed at the )ro)eller ti) is the greatest. Jom)ressi!ility constraints dictate that the s)eed at the !lade ti)s should not exceed a!out Qach 5.H8 % 8M5 ,nots or 245 m9s at sea$level. But significant com)ressi!ility effects !ecome evident at 285 m9s and, if the )ro)eller is close to the )ilot, the noise may !e extremely uncomforta!le. So, for comfort, ti) s)eed is usually in the range 255:2 5 m9s. For light aircraft engine9propeller systems& it is usual to restrict

propeller spee# to less than > '' rpm+ so& the high rpm engines must incorporate a gear3#riven or belt3#riven propeller spee# re#uction unit I7SR:J bet"een the cran*shaft an# the propeller shaft. )he rotational spee# of the fi,e#3pitch propeller #epen#s on the pitch of the bla#es& the po"er supplie# to the propeller an# the aircraft velocity. 7ropeller bla#e area is an important consi#eration in propeller #esign an# choice. 4la#e aspect ratio is usually maintaine# aroun# @.(+ so& "ith a limite# propeller #iameter& bla#e area can only be increase# by increasing the number of bla#es.

Matching engine and propeller


7ropellers must be carefully matche# "ith the characteristics of the airframe& engine an# re#uction gear to "hich they are mate#. )he engine must be neither un#erloa#e# nor overloa#e#. At best& a mismatch coul# ma*e the engine an# aircraft incapable of #elivering its #esigne# performance& or create the situation "here the engine cannot be opene# up to full throttle because the lac* of loa# /see the follo"ing paragraph0 "oul# ta*e the rpm beyon# the re#3line limit& or it coul# result in cran*shaft or cran*case fracture. At "orst& a mismatch coul# lea# to torsional vibration or propeller bla#e #estruction in#uce# by centrifugal force. )his can rea#ily cause the engine to #ismount from the airframe an# lea# to conse1uent total loss of the aircraft. ;hen #iscussing the po"er re1uire# curve it "as note# that po"er re1uire# is proportional to aircraft velocity cube#. Similarly& the po"er #elivere# by a propeller varies in accor#ance "ith rpm cube# /if everything else is *ept constant0. )hus& the loa# on the propeller may be substantially increase# -ust "ith a relatively minor further increase in rpm "hen operating at high rpm& "hich can lea# to loss of the bla#es. $ote that centrifugal forces on the bla#es change in accor#ance "ith the rpm s1uare#. 0ote. +he load on the engine is the )ro)eller torque. =hen the aircraft is stationary, with the engine throttle wide o)en, the )ro)eller torque and the static thrust generated "i.e. the efficiency of the engine and the )ro)eller com!ination* de)end on the )ro)eller )itch. 1f the )itch is &ero or slightly negative, the static thrust will !e &ero and the )ro)eller torque will !e very low so that the engine will race % overs)eed % and lose )ower !ecause of inefficient cylinder charging, etc. Fn the other hand, if the )ilot is a!le to set the )ro) to a more negative )itch, then reverse thrust will !e generated together with sufficient torque to maintain constant engine r)m and the aircraft will move !ac,ward.

1f the )itch is 'fine' "low aoa*, the )ro)eller will generate near maximum static thrust and sufficient torque to maintain high engine r)m, thus delivering am)le )ower to the )ro)eller shaft. +his is the ideal situation to get the aircraft rolling for ta,e$off and clim!$out. 1f the )itch is very 'coarse' "high aoa*, then static thrust is low !ut )ro)eller torque is very high, which will slow the engine. +his is the worst situation for ta,e$off % the aircraft will move forward sluggishly and, ho)efully, never reach ta,e$off s)eed. Gor an interesting article on ground testing of aircraft engines for )ower out)ut, read K+esting one, two threeK in the >uly$#ugust 2552 issue of 8Flight Safety Australia8 maga&ine. ;hen an aircraft "ith a fi,e#3pitch propeller is flying the bac* of the po"er curve /i.e. an increasing thrust po"er output is nee#e# as the airspee# #ecreases0& the propeller efficiency "ill #ecrease as airspee# #ecreases& "hile the increasing propeller tor1ue "ill be slo"ing the engine po"er. )hus& it may be #ifficult to arrest any sin* that #evelops at lo" spee#s ! as might be e,perience# on the approach to a short3fiel# lan#ing. Ho"ever& even "ith an apparently "ell3matche# engine9propeller combination& there may be a certain rpm range /or ranges0 "here the fre1uency of a particular engine vibration resonates& "ith some natural fre1uency of the propeller& to pro#uce an intrusive vibration an# a potentially #amaging stress cycle. 2n such aircraft& that rpm range or ranges is /or shoul# be0 in#icate# as a yello"& perhaps re#& arc on the face of the engine tachometer. Rpm settings "ithin those ranges shoul# not be use#. Any gyroscopic moment in#uce# #epen#s on the rate of change in aircraft pitch or ya"& an# the rotational spee# an# moment of inertia of the propeller. 2ts mass moment of inertia #epen#s on propeller mass an# #iameter. )he gyroscopic loa#s are transferre# to the airframe via the engine cran*shaft& cran*case an# mountings. :n#er some con#itions& gyroscopic loa#s may lea# to cran*shaft9cran*case failures. See 8)he Fo, story8. +he failure conditions usually identified are the use of a )ro)eller of excessive diameter "the moment of inertia increases ex)onentially with diameter* )ossi!ly com!ined with an excessive 'overhung' moment % the distance from the )ro)eller cg to the engine. 3xcessive gyrosco)ic loads may also !e )laced on the cran,shaft9cran,case !y using !ra,e, rudder and a !urst of throttle to swing an aircraft ra)idly when taxiing. )he flight con#itions that follo" propeller bla#e failure cannot be simulate# in training& but an e,treme out3of3balance con#ition /loss

of one bla#e for e,ample0 can very 1uic*ly sha*e the engine from its mountings.

D)> ,ropeller types


The following is a copy of a document authored y Marcus Graney and pu lished on the we site of the .ew Wealand manufacturer of Airmaster propellers) ; have added the notes presented in italic) ))) 8B )he most common type of propeller in sport aviation is the fi,e#3pitch propeller. Although cheap& this is one of the cru#est propulsion #evices you coul# use& an# has been superse#e# by a variety of more a#vance# options& no" rea#ily available on the mar*et. 4ut& ho" #o you *no" ho" each type of propeller operates an# "hat a#vantages the #ifferent types offerT Ho" are you going to choose bet"een the #ifferent types available for your aircraft& especially consi#ering that a more capable propeller is also more e,pensiveT )here are four common families of propeller& "hich 2 "ill intro#uce to you. )hey are fi,e#3pitch& groun#3a#-ustable& inflight3a#-ustable an# constant3 spee#. )he last t"o are both e,amples of varia le$pitch propellers. 2n or#er to appreciate the a#vantages "hich are characteristic of the #ifferent families of propeller& "e must first consi#er the most fun#amental characteristic of a propeller ! the pitch. 7itch is important& as it is the manner in "hich pitch is controlle# that allo"s us to #ifferentiate bet"een one family of propeller an# another. A useful analogy "hen consi#ering the affect of pitch is that of an automobile gearbo,. 4y comparing a propeller8s pitch to a gear ratio& an# consi#ering the function of a gearbo,& "e "ill gain an appreciation of the #ifferent families of propellers.

!hat is pitchX
7ropeller theory inclu#es a variety of concepts that may at times be calle# pitch. 7itch can refer to the bla#e angle "ith respect to a flat plane& the #istance that a propeller "ill a#vance through the air for each rotation or the amount of \bite\ that the bla#e has on the air. Dssentially these concepts all #escribe the same thing. )o use our automobile analogy& pitch is li*e the gear ratio of the gearbo,. )he important thing to note "ith pitch& is that it is available in a "i#e variety of #egrees& or 8amounts8& much li*e #ifferent gear ratios. )o #emonstrate& consi#er the follo"ing e,amplesG

A fine pitch propeller has a lo" bla#e angle& "ill try to move for"ar# a small #istance through the air "ith each rotation& an# "ill ta*e a 8small8 bite of the air. 2t re1uires relatively lo" po"er to rotate& allo"ing high propeller spee# to be #evelope#& but achieving only limite# airspee#. )his is li*e having a lo" gear in your automobile. A coarse pitch propeller has a high bla#e angle& "ill try to a#vance a long #istance through the air "ith each rotation& an# "ill ta*e a big 8bite8 of the air. 2t re1uires greater po"er to rotate& limiting the propeller spee# that can be #evelope#& but achieving high airspee#s. )his is li*e having a high gear in your automobile.

,itch and the different families of propellers


As "e sa" above& pitch is a *ey element in the #escription of propellers /along "ith other factors such as #iameter an# bla#e area0. ;hen consi#ering the four families of propellers it is useful to start "ith the simple fi,e#3pitch propeller& an# loo* at the enhancements in pitch control that are gaine# as "e progress through each family to the most a#vance#& the constant3spee# propeller. Fi'ed$pitch propeller ;ith a fi,e#3pitch propeller& the pitch of the propeller is fi,e# from manufacture. )he performance of your aircraft is #etermine# on the #ay your propeller is fitte#& an# is going to be limite# "ithin the constraints of the propeller. An analogy "ith an automobile is as though you ha# only one gear. Hften "hen choosing a fi,e#3pitch propeller for your aircraft& manufacturers give you a choice of either a climb or a cruise prop. A climb propeller has a relatively fine pitch an# a cruise propeller has a relatively coarse pitch. )his is li*e a car manufacturer giving you a choice of a lo" or a high gear. Dither you "ill be really slo" off the mar*& or your engine is going to have to be re#3line# to get any"here at a reasonable spee#. Ground$adUusta le propeller Cany propellers manufacture# an# sol# for ultralight an# e,perimental aircraft are groun#3a#-ustable. )hese propellers have the a#vantage of being able to have their pitch set before each flight if re1uire#& ta*ing into account the type of flying you inten# to #o. Core usually ho"ever they are use# as a lo" cost "ay to try out various pitches an# settle on the propeller pitch that best suits your aircraft an# your style of flying. )his can be compare# to

having a gearbo, in your car that you can only change before you set out on your -ourney. /aria le$pitch propeller ;ith a variable3pitch propeller& you really have choices. )o use the automobile analogy again& your car no" has a real gearbo, that you can change gear "ith on the go. /2 hope that your car can #o this at leastZ0 2n a##ition& rather than being limite# to = or gears& you can utilise any pitch along the continuum from ma,imum to minimum. )he pitch of the propeller may be controlle# in flight to provi#e improve# performance in each phase of flight. )ypically you "oul# ta*e3off in a fine pitch /lo" gear0 allo"ing your engine to #evelop reasonable revs& before increasing the pitch /change up gears0 as you accelerate# to your cruising spee#. Lou8ll en# up "ith the propeller at a relatively coarse pitch& /high gear0 allo"ing the miles to pass beneath you at a rapi# rate& "hile your engine is gently tic*ing over at a comfortable spee#. )his feature of a variable3pitch propeller "ill provi#e you "ith performance a#vantages& inclu#ingG

Re#uce# ta*e3off roll an# improve# climb performance. Fine pitch allo"s the engine to reach ma,imum spee# an# hence ma,imum po"er at lo" airspee#s. ?ital for ta*e3off& climb& an# for a go3 aroun# on lan#ing. 2mprove# fuel efficiency an# greater range. Coarse pitch allo"s the #esire# aircraft spee# to be maintaine# "ith a lo"er throttle setting an# slo"er propeller spee#& so maintaining efficiency an# improving range. Higher top spee#. Coarse pitch "ill ensure your engine #oes not overspee# "hile the propeller absorbs high po"er& pro#ucing a higher top spee#. Steeper #escent an# shorter lan#ing roll. ;ith a fine pitch an# lo" throttle setting& a slo" turning propeller is able to a## to the aircraft8s #rag& so slo"ing the aircraft 1uic*er on lan#ing.

?ariable3pitch propellers actually come in a variety of versions. )hese #ifferent versions refer to the #ifferent "ays that they are controlle#& an# inclu#eG )"o3position propeller. 2nflight3a#-ustable propeller. Automatic propeller.

Constant3spee# propeller.

A couple of these are no" of historic interest only& so lets concentrate on the t"o most common options these #ays+ the inflight3a#-ustable operation an# the constant3spee# propeller. )he inflight3a#-ustable propeller allo"s the pilot to #irectly vary the pitch of the propeller to the #esire# setting. Combine# "ith the throttle control& this control allo"s a "i#e variety of po"er settings to be achieve#. A range of airspee#s can be maintaine# "hile *eeping the engine spee# "ithin limits. ;hile rare in larger aircraft& the inflight3a#-ustable propeller is the most common type of variable3pitch propeller that is encountere# in sport aviation. ;hen operate# in manual mo#e& the Airmaster propeller is an e,ample of an inflight3a#-ustable propeller. Constant$speed propeller )he constant3spee# propeller is a special case of variable pitch& "hich is consi#ere# in a family of its o"n& an# offers particular operating benefits. ;ith constant spee# control& the pitch of the variable3 pitch propeller is change# automatically by a governor. After the pilot sets the #esire# engine9propeller spee# "ith the propeller spee# control& the governor acts to *eep the propeller spee# at the same value. 2f the governor #etects the propeller spee# increasing& it increases the pitch a little to bring the spee# bac* "ithin limits. 2f the governor #etects the propeller spee# #ecreasing& it #ecreases the pitch a little to bring the spee# again bac* "ithin limits. )his operation may be compare# to an automatic gearbo, in an automobile& "here the gears are change# automatically to *eep the engine operating at a reasonable spee#. "+he governor or constant speed unit -.S/0 may !e an electronic device that detects the rotational s)eed of a sli)$ring incor)orated in the )ro)eller hu!, and controls o)eration of a servomotor9leadscrew )itch change actuator in the hu! assem!ly. Fr, it may !e an hydraulic fly$!all governor attached to the engine,

using engine oil to o)erate a hydraulic )itch change )iston in the hu! assem!ly. 1n the first case, the coc,)it control device is li,ely to !e ,no!s and switches. 1n the hydraulic system, the governor is li,ely to !e ca!le o)erated from a coc,)it lever % >B.* A constant3spee# propeller "ill automatically #eliver you the a#vantages outline# above for variable3pitch propellers& "ith almost no control re1uire# from the pilot. Hnce a propeller9engine spee# is selecte#& the pilot is able to control the po"er purely "ith the throttle /actually controlling manifol# pressure& "hich then #etermines po"er output0 an# the controller "ill act to *eep the propeller9engine spee# at the selecte# setting. ;hile allo"ing the pilot to ignore the propeller for most of the time& the pilot must still choose the most appropriate engine9propeller spee# for the #ifferent phases of flight.

)a*e3off& go3aroun# an# lan#ing. A high spee# setting is use# "hen ma,imum po"er is nee#e# for a short time such as on ta*e3off. )he high spee# setting may also be use# to *eep the propeller pitch lo" #uring approach an# lan#ing& to provi#e the #esire# #rag an# be rea#y for a go3 aroun# shoul# it be re1uire#. Climb an# high spee# cruise. A me#ium spee# setting is use# "hen high po"er is nee#e# on a continuous basis& such as #uring an e,ten#e# climb& or high spee# cruise. Dconomic cruise. A lo" spee# setting is use# for a comfortable cruise "ith a lo" engine spee#. )his operation pro#uces lo" fuel consumption an# longer range& "hile the a#vantages of lo" noise an# lo" engine "ear are also en-oye#.

;hen operate# in automatic mo#e& the Airmaster propeller is an e,ample of a constant3spee# propeller.

Special pitch modes As "ell as the ability to vary the pitch of the propeller to optimise the aircraft performance& some variable3pitch propellers have some other special mo#es of operation that can be very useful in certain circumstancesG

Feather. A feathering propeller can alter the pitch of the bla#es up to almost 6' #egrees. )hat is& the bla#e pitch is change# so that they have their lea#ing e#ge pointing right into the #irection of flight& offering minimum resistance to the airflo". )his mo#e allo"s the propeller rotation to be stoppe#& "ithout a##ing e,cessive #rag to the aircraft. Feather may be use# to improve the performance of the aircraft after the failure of an engine& but more usually in light aircraft it is use# in motor gli#er applications. Here the engine is use# to gain altitu#e& before the engine is s"itche# off& the propeller feathere#& an# then gli#ing flight commence#. Reverse. A reversing pitch propeller can alter the pitch of the bla#es to a negative angle. )hat is& the bla#e pitch is change# so that they have their lea#ing e#ge pointing slightly opposite to the #irection of flight. )his mo#e allo"s reverse thrust to be #evelope# by the propeller. 2n larger commuter an# transport aircraft this feature is often use# to slo" the aircraft rapi#ly after lan#ing& but in sport aircraft it is more usually use# to enhance manoeuvring on the groun#. A popular

application is in seaplanes& "here the ability to manoeuvre bac*"ar#s& an# sometimes to re#uce the thrust to nothing& is especially useful.

Summary
)his overvie" "as #esigne# to assist the un#erstan#ing of ho" the ability to control propeller pitch is use# to categorise the #ifferent families of propeller #esign. Core importantly it has illustrate# that as "e progress from one #esign family to another& "e realise significant improvements in performance& effectiveness an# efficiency. ;hile a family of propellers that offers better performance is li*ely to be more e,pensive to purchase& you can e,pect that over time the efficiency of a higher performance propeller "ill pro#uce savings that "ill offset the initial cost. 2n a##ition your flying "ill be a more rela,e# an# en-oyable e,perienceZ ;hen #eci#ing "hat type of propeller to buy for your aircraft& you have to "eigh up the relative a#vantages an# costs. )o help& "e can summarise the most common families of propellers& an# ma*e a simple comparison of their respective a#vantages in cost an# capability.

Conclusion
2f performance& economy an# en-oyment are your goals& Constant Spee# is the choice you shoul# ma*e. Rea# the FA`s on the Airmaster site. Marcus Graney Aeronautical Dngineer $ovember 2'''

D)A ,ropeller theory


The forces
7ropeller bla#es are constructe# using aerofoil sections to pro#uce an aero#ynamic force& in a similar manner to a "ing. Conse1uently& the bla#es are sub-ect to the same aero#ynamics ! in#uce# #rag& parasite #rag& "ingtip vortices& lift9#rag ratios at varying aoa& pressure #istribution changing "ith aoa& etc. )here is a #ifference in application because& in flight& the propeller has rotational velocity a##e# to the for"ar# velocity. )hus& the flight path of any bla#e section is a spiral ! a helical flight path. )he #iagram at left represents a bla#e section in flight an# rotating about the shaft a,is. 4ecause of the #ifferent application& it #oesn8t serve much purpose to e,press the resultant aero#ynamic force as "e "oul# for a "ing+ i.e. "ith the components acting perpen#icular /lift0 an# parallel /#rag0 to that helical flight path& as in the upper figure. So& "e resolve the aero#ynamic force into the component acting for"ar# an# aligne# "ith the aircraft8s longitu#inal a,is as the thrust force& an# that acting parallel to the #irection of rotation as the propeller tor1ue force. As you see in the lo"er figure the component of the 8lift8 acting in the rotational plane has no" been a##e# to the 8#rag8 to pro#uce the 8propeller tor1ue force8 vector. )he remaining for"ar#3acting portion of 8lift8 is then the thrust. )hat is "hy propeller efficiency is usually no greater than ('. ( U+ not all the 8lift8 can be use# as thrust& an# the propeller tor1ue force consumes 1uite a bit of the shaft horsepo"er. )he propeller tor1ue an#

the engine tor1ue "ill be in balance "hen the engine is operating at constant rpm in flight. )here are other forces acting on the bla#es #uring flight. Centrifugal force imposes consi#erable stress& tor1ue reaction ten#s to ben# the bla#es in the reverse #irection of rotation& the thrust force ten#s to ben# the outer sections of the bla#es for"ar# an# turning moments ten# to t"ist the bla#es to a #ecrease# pitch. )he air inflo" at the face of the propeller #isc also affects propeller #ynamics.

Blade angle and pitch


Although all parts of the propeller& from the hub to the bla#e tips& have the same for"ar# velocity& the rotational velocity ! an# thus the helical path of any bla#e station ! "ill #epen# on its #istance from the hub centre. Conse1uently& unless a#-uste#& the angle of attac* "ill vary along the length of the bla#e. 7ropellers operate most efficiently "hen the aoa at each bla#e station is consistent /an#& for propeller efficiency& that giving the best lift9#rag ratio0 over most of the bla#e& so a t"ist is built into the bla#es to achieve a more or less uniform aoa. )he lade angle is the angle the chor# line of the aerofoil ma*es "ith the propeller8s rotational plane an# is e,presse# in #egrees. 4ecause of the t"ist& the bla#e angle "ill vary throughout its length. So& normally the stan#ar# bla#e angle is measure# at the bla#e station& B U of the #istance from the hub centre to the bla#e tip. )he angle bet"een the aerofoil chor# line an# the helical flight path /the relative airflo"0 at the bla#e station is the angle of attac* an# the angle bet"een the helical flight path an# the rotational plane is the angle of a#vance or heli, angle. )he aoa an# heli, angle vary "ith rotational an# for"ar# velocity. )he basic #imensions of propellers for light aircraft are usually state# in the form of number of bla#es& an# #iameter an# pitch "ith values in inches+ e.g. >3bla#e @=\ K >(\. )he pitch referre# to is the geometric pitch that is calculate# for any bla#e station& but usually the station at B U ra#ius. Geometric pitch N the circumference /2br0 of the propeller #isc at the bla#e station multiplie# by the tangent of the bla#e angle. )hus& it is the #istance the propeller ! an# aircraft ! "oul# a#vance #uring one revolution of the propeller if the bla#e section follo"e# a path e,trapolate# along the bla#e angle. e.g. For a bla#e station 2= inches from the hub centre /'.B r0 an# a %=O bla#e angle& the circumference N 2 K >.%= K 2= N % ' inches& an# tangent

%=O N '.2 . )hus& the geometric pitch is % ' K '.2 N >( inches. 7ropellers are usually #esigne# so that all bla#e stations have much the same geometric pitch. Aesigners may establish the ideal pitch of a propeller& "hich is the theoretical a#vance per revolution that "oul# cause the bla#e aerofoil to be at the Eero lift aoa+ thus& it "oul# generate no thrust an#& ignoring #rag& is the theoretical ma,imum achievable aircraft spee#. )he velocity that the propeller imparts to the air flo"ing through its #isc is the slipstream. Slip use# to be #escribe# as the #ifference bet"een the velocity of the air behin# the propeller /i.e. accelerate# by the propeller0 an# that of the aircraft. $o"a#ays& slip has several interpretations& most being aero#ynamically unsatisfactory& but you might consi#er it to be the #ifference& e,presse# as a percentage& bet"een the i#eal pitch an# the a#vance per revolution "hen the the propeller is "or*ing at ma,imum efficiency in converting engine po"er to thrust po"er. Slip in itself is not a measure of propeller efficiency+ as state# previously& propeller efficiency is the ratio of the thrust po"er /thrust K aircraft velocity0 output to the engine po"er input.

,itch and velocity


)he performance of aircraft fitte# "ith fi,e#3pitch or groun#3a#-ustable propellers is very much #epen#ent on the chosen bla#e angle. Fi,e#3pitch propellers limit the rpm #evelope# by the engine at lo" for"ar# velocity& such as occurs #uring the ta*e3off groun# roll+ they may also allo" the engine rpm to e,cee# re#3line ma,imum "hen the loa# on the engine is re#uce#& such as occurs in a shallo" #ive. Fi,e#3pitch propellers operate at best efficiency at one combination of shaft po"er an# airspee#. 4la#e angle is usually chosen to pro#uce ma,imum performance at a particular flight con#ition& for e,ampleG S ?y climb+ i.e. a climb propeller S ?c cruise+ i.e. a cruise propeller. )he climb propeller is usually chosen "hen the aircraft normally operates from a restricte# airfiel# or in high #ensity altitu#e con#itions. )he climb propeller "ill pro#uce ma,imum efficiency at full throttle aroun# the best rate of climb airspee# an# "ill perform fairly "ell at ta*e3off. 4ut #uring the initial ta*e3off acceleration& even the climb propeller may restrict the engine rpm to less than B U po"er. )he cruise propeller "ill achieve ma,imum efficiency at B U po"er at airspee#s aroun# the #esign cruising spee# but aircraft ta*e3off an# climb performance "ill not be the optimum.

)he cruise propeller usually has a little more pitch than the stan#ar# propeller fitte# to the aircraft. A high3spee# propeller might be fitte# "hen the aircraft is inten#e# to be operating at& or above& rate# po"er for short perio#s ! in spee# competition& for e,ample. A variable3pitch constant3spee# propeller allo"s the engine to #evelop ma,imum rate# po"er an# rpm #uring the groun# roll& an# to #evelop full po"er throughout its normal rpm range. ;ith a constant3spee# propeller& the pilot controls the inlet manifol# air pressure I MA,J "ith the throttle lever an# the engine rpm "ith the rpm control lever or *nob9s"itches. /CA7 is the pressure of the air9fuel mi,ture being #elivere# to the cylin#ers an# is usually measure# in inches of mercury Iin9HgJ rather than hectopascals. Stan#ar# sea3level barometric pressure is 26.62 in9Hg or %'%>.2 h7a.0 )he aircraft flight manual usually provi#es the pilot "ith several combinations of rpm9CA7 to achieve a particular po"er setting. For e,ample& in one particular aircraft& the recommen#e# combinations for @ U po"er at sea3level are 2%'' rpm V 2@ in9Hg CA7& or 22'' rpm V 2 in9Hg& or 2>'' rpm V 2= in9Hg& or 2='' rpm V 2> in9Hg. So& you can use lo" rpm an# high CA7& or high rpm an# lo" CA7& to achieve e,actly the same po"er output. )he 2%'' rpm92@ in9Hg lo" rpm9high CA7 combination probably gives more efficient cylin#er charging an# better combustion plus less friction. )he high CA7 also acts as a cushion in the cylin#ers& re#ucing engine stress. Hbviously& if a constant3 spee# propeller is fitte# to an aircraft then an inta*e manifol# air pressure gauge ! mar*e# "ith the allo"able engine operating ranges ! must be fitte#& other"ise e,cessive manifol# pressure /"hich raises the cylin#er compression pressure0 may overstress the engine. ?ariable3pitch in3flight a#-ustable propellers also necessitate fitment of a manifol# air pressure gauge.

The windmilling propeller


)he angle of attac* of a fi,e#3pitch propeller& an# thus its thrust& #epen#s on the for"ar# spee# of the aircraft an# the rotational velocity. Follo"ing a non3catastrophic engine failure& the pilot ten#s to lo"er the nose so that for"ar# airspee# is maintaine# "hile at the same time the rotational velocity of the engine9propeller is "in#ing #o"n. As the for"ar# velocity remains more or less unchange# "hile the rotational velocity is

#ecreasing& the angle of attac* must be continually #ecreasing. At some particular rpm& the angle of attac* "ill become negative to the point "here the lift component becomes negative /reverses0 an# the propeller autorotates+ in effect& #riving the #ea# engine as an air pump. )his acts as greatly increase# aero#ynamic #rag& "hich a#versely affects the aircraft8s L9A ratio an# thus gli#e angles. )he #rag /inclu#ing the reverse# lift0 is greater than that of a stationary propeller. )he engine rotation may cause a##itional mechanical problems if oil supply is affecte#. 2f the for"ar# spee# is increase#& "in#milling "ill increase. 2f for"ar# spee# is #ecrease#& "in#milling "ill #ecrease. )hus& the "in#milling might be stoppe# by temporarily re#ucing airspee# probably to near stall ! so that the reverse# lift is #ecrease# to the point "here the engine airpump tor1ue an# friction "ill stop rotation. )his is not something that shoul# be attempte# "ithout ample height. Shoul# the 7SR: fail in flight& the propeller is thereby #isconnecte# from the engine an# may 8free"heel8 rather than 8"in#mill8. 2n the #iagram& the upper figure sho"s the forces associate# "ith a section of a propeller bla#e operating normally. )he lo"er figure sho"s the forces an# the negative aoa associate# "ith the propeller no" "in#milling at the same for"ar# velocity. A variable3pitch propeller may have a feathering facility& "hich turns the bla#es to the minimum #rag position /i.e. the bla#es are more or less aligne# fore an# aft0 an# thus stops "in#milling "hen the engine is no longer pro#ucing po"er. Such a feature is not usually fitte# to a single3 engine aircraft& but a fe" recreational aircraft are #esigne# "ith "i#e span& high aspect ratio "ings that provi#e L9A ratios aroun# >'G%& an# thus have e,cellent soaring capability. Such aircraft are usually fitte# "ith a feathering propeller. Some motor3gli#ers are #esigne# "ith the engine9propeller unit mounte# on a retractable pylon& so that "hen goo# atmospheric lift con#itions e,ist the engine plus propeller can be stoppe# an# sto"e# "ithin the fuselage. See the )S)3> Alpin.

The runaway propeller


As a propeller system increases in comple,ity& then the possibilities for malfunction increase. A problem associate# "ith constant3spee# propellers is governor failure #uring flight "hich& in most installations& "ill cause the propeller bla#es to #efault to a fine pitch limit. )his greatly re#uces the loa# on the po"er plant& an# the engine "ill imme#iately overspee#& particularly if in a shallo" #ive. Aepen#ing on the fine pitch limit setting& the rpm of an overspee#ing engine ! sometimes referre# to as a 8runa"ay prop8 ! may 1uic*ly go "ay past re#3line rpm an#& unless

imme#iate corrective action is ta*en& the engine is li*ely to self3#estruct an#9or the propeller bla#es brea* a"ay from the hub #ue to the increase# centrifugal force. )he corrective action is to imme#iately close the throttle an# re#uce to minimum flight spee# by pulling the nose up. /4ut see 8Recovery from flight at e,cessive spee#8.0 Hnce everything is settle# #o"n& fly slo"ly& consistent "ith the fine pitch setting& to a suitable airfiel# using minimum throttle movements. "+he constant$s)eed )ro)eller fitted to a com)etition aero!atic aircraft usually defaults to a coarse )itch limit to )revent overs)eeding, !ut an immediate landing is required.* 7ropeller theory is comple, an# not appropriate to this Flight )heory gui#e& but the outline above at least intro#uces some of the every#ay terms encountere#. )he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory gui#e e,amines the tailplane stability an# control surfaces.

Things that are handy to #now

)he term 8bra*e horsepo"er8 is a measure of the po"er #elivere# at the engine output shaft+ measure# by means of a #ynamometer or similar bra*ing #evice. )he term 8shaft horsepo"er8 IshpJ is a measure of the engine po"er available at the propeller shaft. Fenerally it is the same as bhp but if the coupling is not #irect #rive ! a propeller spee# re#uction unit I7SR:J is interpose# bet"een the cran*shaft output an# the propeller shaft as in the Rota, 6%2 ! the shp "ill be a little less than bhp because of the po"er loss in #riving the belt or gear #riven 7SR:. )he use of the horsepo"er term for piston aero engines has successfully "ithstoo# metrication. )o convert horsepo"er to "atts multiply by B= .B or by '.B to convert to *ilo"atts. ;hen tor1ue is e,presse# in ne"ton metres& an# engine spee# in ra#ians per secon#& po"er "ill be in "atts. )he stoichiometric /chemically correct0 air9fuel mi,ture pro#uces complete combustion of all the fuel an# all the o,ygen in the cylin#er charge ! an# also the highest temperatures& "hich may be #etrimental to the engine

metallurgy. )he stoichiometric air9fuel ratio for gasoline fuels is %=.BG% by "eight. Spar* ignition engines provi#e best po"er "ith an air #eficiency of .% U from stoichiometric ! i.e. about %2. %>G% /rich0 ! an# provi#e minimum fuel consumption "ith aroun# %'U e,cess air+ i.e. about %@G% /lean0. )his in#icates that the engine& at sea3level an# using a stoichiometric mi,ture& "oul# process about ( '' litres of air per litre of fuel. "#vgas weighs 5.71 ,g )er litre, and air at sea$level weighs 1.228 ,g )er 1555 litres.* )he leane# mi,ture for best economy cruise is aroun# %@G% /6''' litres of air0& an# for ma,imum engine rich mi,ture performance& aroun# %2G% /B''' litres of air0. )he Rota, 6%2 %.2 litre engine pro#uces B U po"er at ''' rpm& an# "ith a firing cycle every secon# revolution it "oul# process %.2 , '''92 N >''' litres of air9fuel mi,ture per minute. )he fuel use# "oul# be >'''96''' N '.>> litres9minute or aroun# 2' litres9hour& at sea3level.

Cost four3stro*e& normally aspirate#& aero3engines bet"een (' an# ='' hp have a specific fuel consumption close to '.%6 *g or '.2B litres& per horsepo"er per hour /or '.=2 lbs9hp9hr0. )hen the <abiru8s engine& rate# at (' hp& but using only @ U for the 6B *not cruise& "oul# consume (' K '.@ K '.2B N %= litres over %'' air nautical miles& or B air nautical miles per litre. 0ote that you can create a little rule of thum! here that is a))lica!le to most four$ stro,e engines % Kthe fuel !urn, at ')erformance cruise s)eed', is a!out one$fifth of the rated engine horse)ower % in litres )er hour.K +hus, fuel !urn for the >a!iru cruising at 78I )ower is H598 ; 1M litres9hour. +wo$stro,e engines have to use a richer mixture to run cooler so, for such engines, add a!out 15I to the calculated result.

Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents page | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | | 2. Airspee# & air properties | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | | I . Dngine & propeller performanceJ | @. )ailplane surfaces | B. Stability | (. Control | | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations |

| %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
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Tailplane surfaces
Revision %= ! page content "as last change# Carch %'& 2''6. 7age e#ite# by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au $ovember 2(& 2''(.

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

@.% Airframe basics @.2 HoriEontal stabiliser @.> Dlevators

@.= ?ertical stabiliser & ru##er @. Control balances $otes for scratch buil#ers

!e discussed the control surfaces that form part of the wing structure in the ailerons and flaps sections of the "Aerofoil and wings" module) ;n this module we will loo# at the sta ilising and control surfaces that form the tailplane) But we first need to consider the structure of the usual three$a'is very light aeroplane 6 we will loo# at "tri#es" and powered "chutes later on)

E)= Airframe asics


A monoplane has a single "ing& or a left an# right pair of "ings ! the port an# starboar# mainplanes. A iplane has t"o sets of "ings mounte# one above the other. )he engine an# propeller may be in front of the "ing /a "tractor" configuration0 or behin# the "ing /a "pusher" configuration0. 2t must have some sort of pilot9passenger seating /usually enclose# in a coc#pit or pod& "hich "ill have either tan#em or si#e3by3si#e seating0+ fuel tan*/s0+

an# a rigi# structure mounting the engine9propeller& the "heels or un#ercarriage& an# the coc*pit& so that their "eight is supporte# by the "ing main spar/s0 an# the propeller thrust reaction is transmitte# to the bo#y an# "ings.

)he photograph of Cic* CcCann8s 84reeEy8 sho"s the basic high3 "ing monoplane pusher configuration "ith tan#em pilot9passenger seating& nose3"heel un#ercarriage an# an open3frame& "el#e# tubular3steel fuselage ! the aft part of "hich is ups"ept& so that the aircraft8s attitu#e in pitch can be a#-uste# #uring ta*e3off an# lan#ing "ithout the tail stri*ing the groun#. +he term fuselage is derived from an old Grench word meaning a 's)indle'. )here are no refinements for comfort ! or for #rag re#uction. )he fuel tan* is not #iscernible in the photograph but is small an# close to the engine. At the tail& the horiEontal stabiliser an# elevators& plus the vertical fin an# ru##er& together form the pitch an# ya" stabilising an# control mechanisms ! the tailplane or empennage. )he latter term is #erive# from a French "or# meaning to feather an arro"+ maybe that is "hy some people refer to the empennage as the 8tailfeathers8. Sometimes the horiEontal stabiliser plus elevators is calle# the 8tailplane8.

Moments and couples


)he moment of a force or tor<ue is a measure of the rotational effect pro#uce# by a force acting about ! or "ith respect to ! a fulcrum& a,is& centre of mass or aero#ynamic centre. 2ts magnitu#e is the pro#uct /in ne"ton metres0 of the force /$0 an# the length /m0 of the arm "the leverage* from the pivotal point to the line of action of the force. )he moment "ill act in a particular #irection& for

e,ample& as "e sa" in the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule& the pitching moment of a cambere# "ing pro#uces a nose3#o"n tor1ue. )he forces generate# by the tailplane control surfaces are #epen#ent on the stabiliser area& the control surface area& the length of the tail arm& the control surface #eflection an# the airspee#. Hnly #eflection an# airspee# are controlle# by the pilot. )"o e1ual an# opposite forces acting parallel to each other& but separate#& form a couple. )he rotational effect or moment of a couple is the pro#uct of one force an# the perpen#icular #istance bet"een them. )he ailerons& for e,ample& form a couple "hen #eflecte#.

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E)4 0oriGontal sta iliser


)he e,istence of the "ing pitching moment ma*es the "ing inherently unstable. )o overcome this problem& it is necessary to couple it "ith another aero#ynamic moment about the lateral or pitch a,is ! opposing the "ing pitching moment ! that "ill balance that moment at an airspee# selecte# by the #esigner. )he moment of a force is the arm length multiplie# by the force+ so the longer the tail arm& the smaller the aero#ynamic force re1uire#. )he stan#ar# solution is to e,ten# the fuselage rear"ar#s so that a horiGontal sta iliser can be mounte# at a #istance from the cg+ note the 4reeEy8s very long tail arm bet"een the cg an# the small horiEontal stabiliser. )here may be a#vantages in mounting the stabiliser in front of the "ing ! a canard ! but such arrangements are rather rare. )he horiEontal stabiliser is usually a lift3generating surface ! or 8plane8 ! mounte# so that the aero#ynamic force acts in the opposite #irection to the lift from the mainplane+ i.e. #o"n"ar#s. )he plane coul# incorporate a cambere# aerofoil "ith the cambere# surface un#erneath& or perhaps a symmetrical aerofoil& or even -ust a flat plate ! as the 4reeEy8s appears to be. )he symmetrical aerofoil an# the flat plate "oul# both be mounte# at a negative inci#ence to pro#uce the #o"n"ar# force. )he en# result is that the net pitching moment of the mainplane an# stabiliser

couple is Eero at a particular geometric aoa of the main "ing+ that aoa "oul# e1uate "ith a spee# selecte# by the #esigner ! usually the stan#ar# cruise spee# or perhaps the engine3off gli#e spee#. As the horiEontal stabiliser pro#uces negative lift& the "ing must fly at a slightly greater aoa to provi#e a##itional lift& so that the net aircraft lift balances "eight.

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E)> Elevators
)he pilot must be able to initiate aoa changes for airspee# a#-ustments& accelerations in the pitching plane /pull3ups& turns& push3#o"ns0 an# a#-ustments of aircraft attitu#e relative to the airfiel# surface #uring ta*e3off an# lan#ing. )he elevators ! hinge# to the trailing e#ge of the horiEontal stabiliser so that they can be #eflecte# up or #o"n ! are the control surfaces that enable changes in aoa. Dlevators are aero#ynamically similar to the ailerons& but move in unison rather than #ifferentially. )he elevators control aoa& thereby controlling airspee#. )he force able to be e,erte# via the elevators is the most significant control force. )he elevators are lin*e#& via control ro#s or cables& to for"ar#9bac*"ar# movement of the control column& so the pilot can& in effect& increase or #ecrease the camber of the stabiliser. elevator combination. Camber changes "ill alter the magnitu#e an# #irection of the aero#ynamic reactions generate# by the stabiliser.elevator& an# the change# forces impart a pitching moment in the longitu#inal plane. )his pitching moment rotates the aircraft about its lateral a,is& initiating a change in "ing aoa. Hnce the ne" aoa is establishe#& the pitch moment returns to Eero an# the aircraft "ill hol# that aoa ! provi#e# the elevators are hel# in the #eflecte# position by the pilot or a trim #evice. 4ac*"ar# movement of the control column raises the elevators an# the aircraft8s nose pitches up+ for"ar# movement lo"ers the elevators an# the aircraft8s nose pitches #o"n. +he terms 'u)' and 'down' are not relative to the hori&on !ut to the original flight )ath in the aircraft's longitudinal )lane.

A sta ilator is an 8all3moving8 or 8all3flying8 combine# horiEontal stabiliser an# elevator /provi#ing similar force "ith a lesser #eflection0& sometimes use# in higher spee# light aircraft but rarely in very light aircraft.

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E)A /ertical sta iliser and the rudder


4ecause of #rag an# other effects& aircraft perform much better if their longitu#inal a,is is accurately aligne#& in plan vie"& "ith the flight path. 2f unaligne#& the aircraft velocity "ill have both a for"ar# component an# a slight lateral component& an# the relative airflo" ! the flight path ! "ill not be aligne# "ith the longitu#inal a,is. Such bo#ily si#e"ays /translational0 movement is calle# sideslip or slip or s#id+ the latter is generally associate# "ith e,cess 8bottom8 ru##er an# s*i##ing out in a turn& as a roa# vehicle might. )hus& some means is re1uire# to ensure that if the horiEontal #irection of the relative airflo" is change# /i.e. the aircraft ac1uires si#eslip because of a minor #isturbance0 then the aircraft "ill automatically ya" ! rotate itself about its normal a,is ! to realign its longitu#inal a,is "ith the airflo"& so that the sum of all the lateral moments ! fore an# aft of the cg ! e1uals Eero. )he long3establishe# means is to use a fin& or vertical stabiliser& mounte# at the rear of the aircraft& that has an aerofoil section ! usually symmetrical ! or is -ust a flat plate. )he fin applies the restoring moment to realign the longitu#inal a,is "ith the airflo". )hat moment #oes not realign the aircraft "ith its original flight path+ after restoring alignment "ith the relative airflo"& the aircraft may be aligne# "ith a #ifferent flight path& #epen#ing on the amount of original #isplacement. )he rudder is the control surface hinge# to the fin an# is the vertical e1uivalent of the elevators+ though the ru##er is operate# by the pilot8s ru##er pe#als rather than the control column. 7ressure on the left pe#al causes the ru##er to #eflect to the left& so that the fin9ru##er act together as a cambere# aerofoil to pro#uce an aero#ynamic force that pushes the tail to the right ! an# conse1uently the nose s"ings left+ i.e. the aircraft ya"s left.

"-aw is an old nautical term associated with the motion of the sea swinging the !ow off$course.* )he amount of ya"& at a given airspee#& is #epen#ent on the #egree of ru##er #eflection. "But, of course, it is )rimarily de)endent on the tail moment arm and rudder area.* )he aircraft "ill continue ya"ing if the ru##er #eflection is hel# by the pilot& but as the aircraft turns /i.e. it is rotating about its normal or vertical a,is "hile moving for"ar#0& the "ing on the outsi#e of the turn must be moving slightly faster than the inner "ing an# thus generates more lift. )he increase# lift "ill raise the outer "ing an# the aircraft "ill enter a ban*e# turn& but "ill ten# to s*i# out because the ban* angle "ill not be correct for the turn. Fnly one !an, angle will )roduce the desired radius or rate of turn for a )articular airs)eed. $ote the 4reeEy8s small fin "ith its relatively large ru##er. )he pilot8s feet are on the pe#als lin*e# to the ru##er an# he is hol#ing the control column ! lin*e# to the ailerons an# the elevators ! "ith one han#. )he other han# is probably hol#ing the engine throttle lever. )he ru##er initiates ya" about the normal a,is+ the ailerons initiate roll about the longitu#inal a,is+ the elevators initiate pitch movement about the lateral a,is.

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E)D Control alances


Aircraft #esigners try to impart a goo# 8feel8 to the controls so that the pilot fin#s they are not too 8heavy8 or too 8light8 to operate through most of the spee# range. So& the elevators an# ru##er are usually fitte# "ith some sort of aerodynamic alance& "hich puts part of the control surface for"ar# of the hinge line. Such #evices might be inset hinge balances& lea#ing3e#ge balances or control horns that re#uce the hinge moments nee#e# to #eflect the control surface. )here is another problem "ith control surfaces ! because they nee# to be hinge# near the lea#ing e#ge& the centre of mass "ill be "ell aft of the hinge line+ i.e. the mass of the control is not mechanically balance#. )hat& combine# "ith the necessary elasticity of aircraft structures& lea#s to a control flutter problem+ this might occur "ith unbalance# control surfaces at any spee#& but particularly "ith ailerons at high spee#. Flutter has the potential to lea# to structural failure. )he prime solution to the mechanical

balance an# the flutter problems is for the manufacturer to accurately balance the control mass by inserting "eights for"ar# of the hinge line usually "ithin the hinge insets or the control horn. )his is *no"n as mass alance. )rimming tabs& aero#ynamic balances& control flutter an# mass balances are #escribe# in Sel*ir*8s 8Supplemental flight controls8 page. 2n an ultralight aircraft& a #evice incorporating a spring or bungee is li*ely to be use# as a trim mechanism& "hich hol#s the elevators at a particular angle an# thereby relieves the pilot of the nee# to maintain a constant pressure on the control column. 2 suggest you also try the control actuation #emonstration on Sel*ir*8s 8 7rimary flight controls8 page. Hn the same page is a #emonstration of tab control systems "hich are use# on a fe" very light aircraft. )he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #eals "ith aspects of aircraft stability.

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,otes for scratch1)uilders

Lou may occasionally come across the terms tail volume an# tail volume ratio. )he horiGontal tail volume is the surface area of the horiEontal stabiliser plus elevators multiplie# by the length of the moment arm of the horiEontal stabiliser measure# from the "ing CAC 1uarter chor# to the horiEontal tail CAC 1uarter chor#. )he horiEontal tail volume ratio or tail volume coefficient is the tail volume #ivi#e# by the pro#uct of "ing area an# "ing CAC. )ail volume ratio is usually in the range '.> to '.= for minimum aircraft an# '.= to '. for aircraft of FR7 construction ! "hen the units of measurement are feet. )he higher the coefficient value& the more stable the aircraft. )here is a similar e1uation for the vertical stabiliser an# ru##er& but the #ivisor is the pro#uct of "ing area an# "ing span. Such ratios are of interest to an aircraft #esigner& as there is a linear relationship bet"een tail moment or tail area& an# stability ! #oubling the tail moment or the tail area #oubles the static stability an#

1ua#ruples the #ynamic stability.

Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %b. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | | I@. )ailplane surfacesJ | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# |

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Sta ility
Revision %% ! page content "as last change# $ovember 2=& 2''(+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

B.% Concept of stability B.2 Longitu #inal stability

B.> Airecti onal stabilit y B.= Lateral stabilit y

B. )rim an# thrust Stuff you #on8t nee# to *no"

;mportantV
7lease note that in this an# the follo"ing mo#ules there are no #iagrams. 2nstea# there are lin*s to the intranet of the Sel*ir* College in 4ritish Columbia& Cana#a& "hose aviation program contains a number of very informative animate# #emonstrations that are relative to this te,t. )heir pages also contain some a##itional #etails that are not covere# in this page. )he Cacrome#ia 8Shoc*"ave8 bro"ser plug3in is re1uire# to vie" these #emonstrations. 2f you #on8t have Shoc*"ave alrea#y installe# you "ill be prompte# to #o"nloa# it. )he #o"nloa# an# self3loa#ing installation ta*es only a fe" secon#s. 2t is very *in# of the Sel*ir* College to con#one access to their intranet. 7lease note that each Sel*ir* page "ill open in a ne" bro"ser "in#o" to ma*e it easier to s"ap bet"een the RA3Aus te,t an# the Sel*ir* #emonstrations. :nfortunately you "ill have to manually e,it each Sel*ir* page after the session.

This module e'amines how an aircraft responds to changes in

relative airflow% initiated y atmospheric tur ulence% y unintentional pilot input or y some other distur ance) The su Uect is comple' and only a simplified overview is presented here) Earlier it was stated that an aeroplane has si' degrees of freedom of movement 6 three rotational Jhence "three$a'is"K and three translational) ;t is important to grasp that the translational movements are not rotations a out the cg ut odily movements sideways Jside$slippingK or vertically JrisingHsin#ingK) 1isingHsin#ing or mushing are associated with aerodynamics and sta ility% and clim ingHdescending are associated with power in that they are forward velocities angled up or down)

7)= Concept of sta ility


)he aircraft8s response to #isturbance is associate# "ith the inherent #egree of sta ility built in by the #esigner& in each of the three a,es& that eventuates "ithout any pilot action. Another con#ition affecting flight is the aircraft8s state of trim ! or e1uilibrium "here the net sum of all forces e1uals Eero. Some aircraft can be trimme# by the pilot to fly 8han#s off8 for straight an# level flight& for climb or for #escent. 4ut ultralights generally have to rely on the state of trim built in by the #esigner an# a#-uste# by the rigger& although some have an elevator trim #evice. 2f the trim is poor ! an# perhaps it flies "ith one "ing lo" ! inherent stability may maintain e1uilibrium "ith that "ing3lo" attitu#e an# not restore the aircraft to a proper "ings3level attitu#e. 2n "hich case& the pilot has to maintain a slight but constant aileron #eflection to hol# the "ings level& "hich can be 1uite annoying. 2t is #esirable that longitu#inal trim #oesn8t change significantly "ith alterations in po"er& nor #oes #irectional trim change significantly "ith alterations in airspee#. An aircraft8s stability is e,presse# in relation to each a,isG lateral sta ility ! sta!ility in roll& directional sta ility ! sta!ility in yaw an# longitudinal sta ility ! sta!ility in )itch. )he latter is the most important stability characteristic. Lateral an# #irectional stability are inter3#epen#ent.

2egrees of sta ility


An aircraft "ill have #iffering #egrees of stability aroun# each a,is+ here are a fe" e,amplesG

A totally sta le aircraft "ill return& more or less imme#iately& to its trimme# state "ithout pilot intervention+ ho"ever& such an aircraft is rare ! an# un#esirable. ;e usually "ant an aircraft -ust to be reasonably stable so it is easy to fly+ if it is too stable they ten# to be sluggish in manoeuvring an# heavy on the controls. 2f it ten#s to"ar# instability the pilot has to continually "atch the aircraft8s attitu#e an# ma*e the restoring inputs& "hich becomes tiring& particularly "hen flying by instruments. Some forms of instability ma*e an aircraft unpleasant to fly in bumpy "eather. )he normally sta le or positively sta le aircraft& "hen #isturbe# from its trimme# flight state& "ill ! "ithout pilot intervention ! commence an initial movement bac* to"ar#s the trimme# flight state but overrun it& then start a series of #iminishing #amping oscillations about the original flight state. )his #amping process is usually referre# to as dynamic sta ility an# the initial movement bac* to"ar#s the flight state is calle# static sta ility. )he magnitu#e of the oscillation an# the time ta*en for the oscillations to completely #amp out is another aspect of stability. :nfortunately a statically stable aircraft can be #ynamically unstable in that plane+ i.e. the oscillations #o not #amp out. )he neutrally dynamically sta le aircraft "ill continue oscillating after #isturbance& but the magnitu#e of those oscillations "ill neither #iminish nor increase. 2f these "ere oscillations in pitch& an# if there "ere no other #isturbances an# the pilot #i# not intervene& the aircraft "oul# -ust continue 8porpoising8. )he negatively sta le or fully unsta le aircraft may be statically unstable an# never attempt to return to"ar#s the trimme# state. Hr it can be statically stable but #ynamically unstable& "here it "ill continue oscillating after #isturbance& "ith the magnitu#e of those oscillations getting larger an# larger. Significant instability is an un#esirable characteristic& e,cept "here an e,tremely manoeuvrable aircraft is nee#e# an# the instability can be continually correcte# by on3boar# 8fly3by3 "ire8 computers rather than the pilot ! for

e,ample& a supersonic air superiority fighter. )he best piston3engine# ;;22 #ay fighters "ere generally #esigne# to be -ust stable longitu#inally& neutrally stable laterally an# positively stable #irectionally. 2 suggest you no" loo* at the Sel*ir* College 8Stability Aefinition8 page ! it "ill open in a ne" "in#o". $ote the list of si, possible stability variations associate# "ith each a,is an#& if you are incline#& figure the number of possible combinations.

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7)4 +ongitudinal sta ility


Longitu#inal stability is associate# "ith the restoration of aoa to the trimme# aoa after a #isturbance changes it. 2n section @.2 "e #iscusse# the provision of a tailplane to act as a horiEontal /longitu#inal0 stabiliser. 4efore "e go any further "e nee# to loo* at another structural aspect of the airframe.

Angle of incidence
Angle of inci#ence is a term that is sometimes mista*enly use# as synonymous "ith "ing angle of attac*+ ho"ever& the former cannot be altere# in flight. Angle of inci#ence& usually -ust e,presse# as incidence& is "ithin the province of the aircraft #esigner "ho calculates the "ing aoa to be employe# in the main role for "hich the aircraft is being #esigne#& probably the aoa in performance cruise mo#e. )he #esigner might then plan the fuselage "ing mounting so that the fuselage is aligne# to pro#uce the least #rag "hen the "ing is flying at the cruise aoa. =ings that incor)orate washout will have differing angles of incidence at the wing root and at the outer section. A notional horiEontal #atum line is #ra"n longitu#inally through the fuselage& an# the angle bet"een that fuselage reference line IFRLJ an# the "ing chor# line is the angle of inci#ence. 2nci#ence shoul# be vie"e# as the mounting angle of the fuselage rather than the mounting angle of the "ings ! see 8Stuff you #on8t nee# to *no"8.

2nci#ence may also be calle# the 8rigger8s inci#ence8 or some similar e,pression carrie# over from the earlier #ays of aviation. For ultralight aircraft& inci#ence is something that shoul# be chec*e# at regular inspections by a 1ualifie# person.

+ongitudinal dihedral
An angle of inci#ence is also calculate# for the horiEontal stabiliser "ith reference to the FRL. )he angular #ifference bet"een "ing an# stabiliser angles is calle# the longitudinal dihedral& although it is probably more correct to say that the longitu#inal #ihe#ral is the angular #ifference bet"een the t"o surfaces at their Eero lift aoa. +he angle of the line of thrust is also ex)ressed relative to the GRC. 2t is the longitu#inal #ihe#ral& combine# "ith the horiEontal stabiliser area an# moment arm& "hich provi#es the restoring moment to return aoa to the trimme# state. Ho"ever& bear in min# that the moment arm& "hich supplies the restoring leverage an# thus the stability& is affecte# by the cg position. 2f the cg lies outsi#e its limits& the aircraft "ill be longitu#inally unstable. ;e learne# in section 2.@ that "hen flying "ith level "ings& at a particular "eight& each aoa is associate# "ith a particular 2AS. ;e might as "ell ta*e a#vantage of that by arranging the longitu#inal #ihe#ral so that the built3in state of trim pro#uces a particular in#icate# airspee#. 2n some ultralights a #esigner9rigger might pic* ?bg ! best po"er3off gli#e spee# ! as the natural airspeed so that& lac*ing pilot input& the aircraft "ill naturally attempt to a#-ust its aoa to the ?bg aoa& "hether po"er is on or off. $o" please rea# Sel*ir*8s 8stabiliser an# longitu#inal stability8 page an# particularly the 8stabiliser trims aircraft to a fi,e# angle of attac*8 #emonstration. remember to substitute the "or#s 8relative airflo"8 for the terms 8relative "in#8 or 8"in#8. 2t is "orth"hile to vie" the 8Dffect of pitch change on velocity moment8 #emonstration in the Hverall stability page.

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7)> 2irectional sta ility

Airectional stability is associate# "ith the realigning of the longitu#inal a,is "ith the flight path /the angle of Eero slip0 after a #isturbance causes the aircraft to ya" out of alignment an# pro#uce slip+ remember ya" is a rotation about the normal /vertical0 a,is. 2n section @.= "e #iscusse# the provision of a fin to act as a #irectional stabiliser. )he restoring moment ! the static stability ! provi#e# by the fin is the pro#uct of the fin area an# the moment arm. )he moment arm leverage "ill vary accor#ing to the cg position ! the aircraft8s balance. )he area re1uire# for the fin has some #epen#ency on the net sum of all the restoring moments associate# "ith the aircraft fuselage an# un#ercarriage si#e surfaces fore /negative moments0 an# aft /positive moments0 of the cg. For instance& the 4reeEy has& e,cept for the pilot8s bo#y& very little lateral moment ahea# of the cg because of the open frame fuselage+ thus a small fin provi#es all the moment necessary for #irectional stability. 4ut if the pilot an# passenger "ere enclose# in a coc*pit or po#& "ith a much greater si#e surface& then the negative moments "oul# be greater an# conse1uently the fin area "oul# have to be greater. 2f the pilot removes his9her feet from the ru##er pe#als the ru##er& "ill 8float8& aligning itself "ith the relative airflo" an# thereby re#ucing the restoring moment of the fin. )he #irectional stability of ultralights "ith a lot of for"ar# *eel area ! such as those "ith a coc*pit po# an# a 8boom8 in place of a rear fuselage ! may be 8con#itional8+ i.e. it is sensitive both to the position of the cg "ithin its normal range an# to the amount of si#eslip. )his is because the negative lateral forces of the po# are very much greater than the positive lateral forces of the boom an# fin. )hus& beyon# a certain angle of slip the moments change& positive stability is change# to neutral stability an# ya" becomes loc*e# in. 2t might also be associate# "ith the fin stalling at high si#eslip angles. )he most noticeable symptom to the pilot is aero#ynamic rudder over alance /or 8ru##er force reversal8 or 8ru##er loc*80 ! "here the ru##er moves to full #eflection "ithout any a##itional pilot input& or #oesn8t return to the neutral position "hen the ru##er pe#al pressure is release#& or the pe#al force has to be reverse# as si#eslip angle is increase#. 2t may re1uire significant opposite ru##er input& an# probably an increase in airspee#& to return to the normal state. +he areas of side surface a!ove and !elow the cg also affect other as)ects of sta!ility. 2 suggest you again loo* at the Sel*ir* College 8Stability Aefinition8 page an# the #emonstration title# 87ositive Airectional Static an#

Aynamic Stability8. )here is a typographical error 8"eather3veining8 ! the restorative action is being li*ene# to the action of a "eather3 vane s"inging into "in#. +he more common term 'weathercoc,ing' also refers to the action of an aircraft, moving on the ground, attem)ting to swing into wind. 1t is !rought a!out !y the )ressure of the wind on the rear ,eel surfaces, fin and rudder, which cause the aero)lane to )ivot a!out one or !oth of its main wheels. 1t is usually more a))arent in tailwheel aircraft !ecause of the longer moment arm !etween the fin and the main wheelsA although if a nosewheel aircraft is 'wheel!arrowing' with much of the weight on the nosewheel, then there will !e a dangerously long moment arm !etween the nose wheel )ivot )oint and the fin. Also vie" the 8Airectional stability8 page. Lou can no" close all the open Sel*ir* pages.

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7)A +ateral sta ility


Lateral stability refers to roll stability about the longitu#inal a,is+ in section =.( "e establishe# that ailerons provi#e the means "hereby the aircraft is rolle# in the lateral plane. Ho"ever& unli*e the longitu#inal an# normal planes "here the horiEontal an# vertical stabilisers provi#e the restoring moments necessary for pitch an# ya" stability& no similar restoring moment #evice e,ists in the lateral plane. 4ut let8s imagine that some atmospheric #isturbance has prompte# the aircraft to roll to the left& thus the left "ingtip "ill be moving for"ar# an# #o"n& an# the right "ingtip "ill be moving for"ar# an# up. $o" thin* about the aoa for each "ing ! the "ing that is moving #o"n "ill be meeting a relative airflo" coming from for"ar# an# belo"& an# conse1uently has a greater aoa than the rising "ing. A greater aoa& "ith the same airspee#& means more lift generate# on the #o"ngoing si#e an# thus the left "ing "ill stop going further #o"n or perhaps even rise a little& although pilot action is usually nee#e# to get bac* to a "ings level state. )his #amping of the roll is *no"n as lateral damping.

So roll stability& e,cept "hen at or very close to the stall& is intrinsic to practically all single3engine# light aircraft. "=hen the aircraft is flying close to the stall, the aoa of the downgoing wing could exceed the critical aoa and thus stall, which will exacer!ate the wing dro) and might lead to an inci)ient s)in condition. See the stall9s)in )henomenon.* 4ut ! an# there al"ays seems to be a 8but8 ! "hen the aircraft is ban*e#& other forces come into play an# affect the process. 2f you ree,amine the turn forces #iagram in the manoeuvring forces mo#ule& you "ill see that "hen an aircraft is ban*e# the lift vector has a substantial si#e"ays component+ in fact& for ban* angles above = O& that si#e"ays force is greater than "eight. So "e can say that any time the aircraft is ban*e#& "ith the ru##er an# elevators in the neutral position& an a##itional force "ill initiate a movement in the #irection of ban*+ i.e. creating a slip. ;e *no" from the section B.> that the aircraft8s #irectional stability "ill then ya" the nose to negate the slip an# the ya" initiates a turn& "hich "ill continue as long as the same ban* angle is maintaine#. )here are several #esign features that stop the slip an# level the "ings& thus promoting lateral stability. For instance& placing the "ing as high as possible above the cg increases so3calle# pen#ulum stability& /)he stability #ue to the high "ing is not really pen#ulum stability as applicable to po"ere# 8chutes.0 ;ing dihedral is usually employe# "ith lo"3"ing monoplanes /an# to a lesser #egree of tilt "ith high "ings0& "here the "ings are tilte# up from the "ing root a fe" #egrees. A s"ept3bac* "ing format is use# "ith tri*es. Another #esign metho# is anhedral& "here the "ings are angle# #o"n from the "ing root& but it is unli*ely to be use# in light aircraft& although the po"ere# parachute "ing utilises an anhe#ral arc for stability. 2 suggest you no" chec* out the #emonstrations an# e,planatory material on Sel*ir* College8s lateral stability page. $ote the remar*s on roll damping but ignore the section on Autch Roll& as it is unli*ely to be applicable to lo"3spee# light aircraft. Close the page "hen finishe#.

Spiral insta ility


An aircraft "ith positive spiral sta ility ten#s to roll out of a turn by itself if the controls are centre#. Some light aircraft "ith little or no "ing #ihe#ral an# a large fin ten# to have strong static #irectional stability but are not so stable laterally. 2f a si#eslip is intro#uce# by turbulence& such aircraft ! left to their o"n #evices ! "ill gra#ually start to ban* an# turn& "ith increasing slip& an# hence

increasing turn rate an# rapi# increase in height loss. )he con#ition is spiral insta ility an# the process is spiral divergence "hich& if allo"e# to continue an# given sufficient height& "ill turn into a high3spee# spiral #ive& "hich often occurs "hen a pilot "ithout an instrument flight rating strays into thic* clou#. $eutral spiral stability is the usual aim of the #esigner. 2t is evi#ent that #irectional stability an# lateral stability are couple# /i.e. rotation aroun# one a,is prompts rotation aroun# the other0 an# to pro#uce a alanced turn+ i.e. "ith no slip or s*i#& the aileron& ru##er an# elevator control movements an# pressures must be balance# an# coordinated.

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7)D Trim and thrust


;e have covere# above the reaction of the aircraft to changes in relative airflo" "hether in#uce# by the pilot or minor atmospheric turbulence. ;e *no" from sections %.( an# %.6 that if an aircraft is properly trimme# for cruise flight an# "e increase thrust then it "ill climb+ an# if "e re#uce thrust it "ill #escen#. 4ut ho" this eventuates is not at all straightfor"ar#. )he reaction to changing po"er& "ithout the pilot touching the control column& #epen#s on "hether the cg is above& belo" or inline "ith the line of thrust+ in the 4reeEy& the cg is belo" the thrust line. )he thrust line is best locate# so that it passes close to the vertical cg position to minimise the initial pitching moments associate# "ith po"er changes. Sel*ir* has some very informative& an# possibly surprising& #emonstrations of the processes. 2f you can follo" them you have obtaine# a goo# grasp of longitu#inal stability an# pitching moments in three a,is aeroplanes. Close the page "hen finishe#. )he placement of the horiEontal an# vertical stabilisers& in relation to the propeller slipstream an# to the "ing #o"n"ash& affects flight performance an# particularly flight at slo" spee#s ! because then the total air velocity "ithin the slipstream tube is nearly #ouble that outsi#e the tube+ also the slipstream is rotating& an# "ill thus impart a si#e"ays moment to the fuselage an# vertical stabiliser. Dffects on in#ivi#ual aircraft types vary accor#ing to the #esigner8s inbuilt compensationsG for e,ample& if the horiEontal stabiliser

operates in the "ing root #o"n"ash airflo"& then "hen the "ing root stalls an# the #o"n"ash becomes turbulent the stabiliser might un#ergo an abrupt change in aoa /an# thus in its stability restoring moment0. Hr if the horiEontal stabiliser operates substantially outsi#e the #o"n"ash but if it is in the path of the turbulent flo" from the stalle# "ing& it "ill then lose part of its aero#ynamic force. 2f a mo#ification is ma#e to that #esign& even a seemingly minor change& the conse1uential effect on stability may be 1uite surprising. )o illustrate the point& 2 suggest you rea# an air"orthiness report regar#ing /among other factors contributing to general stability problems0 a small change ma#e in relocating the e,haust manifol# of a )hruster that& at a particular aoa& promote# turbulent flo" over the upper "ing surface& "hich then e,ten#e# to the horiEontal stabiliser& an# re#uce# the stabilising moment imparte# by that surface. )he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #eals "ith aspects of aircraft control.

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Stuff you don"t need to #now

)he term 8decalage8 "Grench ; ga) or shift forward9!ac,* relates to the #ifference in the angles of inci#ence of the upper an# lo"er mainplanes of a biplane. Aecalage is no" occasionally use# as synonymous "ith longitu#inal #ihe#ral. )he angle of inci#ence has some effect on the pilot8s vie" over the nose. A very fe" naval aircraft #esigns have inclu#e# 8variable inci#ence "ings8 "here the angle of inci#ence coul# be change# by the pilot #uring flight& "ithin a range of say 2.% O& using electric motors. Such aircraft inclu#e# lea#ing e#ge slats as a high3lift #evice.)he i#ea "as to ta*e full a#vantage of the high ma,imum CL an# conse1uent lo" spee#& #uring the lan#ing approach& "ithout having the fuselage coc*e# up at a high angle bloc*ing the vie". As aoa increase# an#

the aircraft slo"e#& the pilot "oun# the fuselage #o"n& so that it remaine# more or less level #uring the approach an# thus provi#e# a better vie" of the flight #ec*Z ?ariable inci#ence "ings "ere also use# "ith one of the post3;;22 Supermarine amphibian #esigns. Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules
| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %b. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | IB. StabilityJ | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight3shift control | | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# |

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| Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s | Safety #uring ta*e3off & lan#ing |

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Control
Revision == ! page content "as last change# $ovember >'& 2''(+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

(.% Control in pitch (.2 Control in ya" (.> Control in roll (.= Control in a turn

(. Si#eslip as a manoeuvre (.@ Spins Stuff you #on8t nee# to *no"

;mportantV
7lease note that in this an# the follo"ing mo#ules there are no #iagrams. 2nstea# there are lin*s to the intranet of the Sel*ir* College in 4ritish Columbia& Cana#a& "hose aviation program contains a number of very informative animate# #emonstrations that are relative to this te,t. )heir pages also contain some a##itional #etails that are not covere# in this page. )he Cacrome#ia 8Shoc*"ave8 bro"ser plug3in is re1uire# to vie" these #emonstrations. 2f you #on8t have Shoc*"ave alrea#y installe# you "ill be prompte# to #o"nloa# it. )he #o"nloa# an# self3loa#ing installation ta*es only a fe" secon#s. 2t is very *in# of the Sel*ir* College to con#one access to their intranet. 7lease note that each Sel*ir* page "ill open in a ne" bro"ser "in#o" to ma*e it easier to s"ap bet"een the RA3Aus te,t an# the Sel*ir* #emonstrations. :nfortunately you "ill have to manually e,it each Sel*ir* page after the session.

ln this module we e'amine how the aircraft is controlled to initiate and maintain normal rotations a out the three a'esN i)e) to manoeuvre in three dimensions) There are some unusual control practices that provide useful flight manoeuvres and some techni<ues for recovery from unusual attitudes)

F)= Control in pitch


2n section @.> "e learne# that movement of the elevators provi#es a pitching moment about the lateral a,is& "hich initiates a change in the aoa. Hnce the ne" aoa is establishe#& then ! provi#e# the elevators are hel# in that #eflecte# position by the pilot or a trim #evice ! the pitch moment returns to Eero an# the aircraft maintains that aoa /an# there is a #irect relationship bet"een aoa an# 2AS0. 2n the manoeuvring forces mo#ule "e establishe# that aoa an# po"er combinations provi#e /a0 increase# spee# or climb an# /b0 #ecrease# spee# or #escent ! or varying #egrees of either. )hus& control in pitch /i.e. of aoa0 combine# "ith throttle control allo"s an aircraft to ta*e3off& climb& cruise at various spee#s& #escen# an# lan#. Ho"ever& control in pitch involves more than initiating a #iscrete pitching moment to effect an aoa change an# subse1uent attitu#e change. 2n section %.%' "e foun# that to sustain a turn& an a##itional force must be continuously applie# to"ar#s the centre of the curve or arc ! the centripetal force. )his is achieve# by an increase# aoa ! greater than the normal for a particular straight an# level airspee# ! hel# "ith control column bac*3pressure. )he increase# aoa provi#es the centripetal force& an# that force *eeps the aircraft constantly pitching 8up8 in the longitu#inal plane& into the #irection of turn. 2 suggest you no" revie" the Sel*ir* elevator control #emonstration an# clic* the 8sho" constant pitch rate8 an# the 8step bac*8 buttons. 4ac* to top

F)4 Control in yaw


Aircraft perform much better if their longitu#inal a,is is accurately aligne#& in plan vie"& "ith the flight path+ i.e. "ith the relative airflo". Also& an aircraft flying "ith a constant angle of si#eslip is part "ay to en#ing up in an unusual flight attitu#e. )hus& the primary tas* of the fin an# ru##er is to act as a stability an# trim #evice so that the #irectional stability system "ill restore flight to the proper state of Eero si#eslip angle. 2f the ru##er has no trim tab& as "oul# be the case "ith most light aircraft& then the pilot "oul# have to *eep the aircraft in trim by applying pressure to one ru##er pe#al. )his pressure "ill vary "ith airspee# an# the si#eslip angle. )his trimming tas* also inclu#es the use of ru##er to overcome a#verse ya" "hen

initiating a turn& an# to *eep the turn balance# or 8coor#inate#8. )he very simple flight instrument provi#e# to in#icate slip ! or s*i# in a non3coor#inate# turn ! is the alance all. A metal ball is enclose# in a short& transparent& slightly curve# tube "here movement is some"hat #ampe# by the restriction of the tube. ;hen the aircraft is flying "ith Eero si#eslip& the ball "ill be centre# at the bottom of the curve+ "hen the aircraft is slipping into /or s*i##ing out of0 the turn& the inertial forces "ill move the ball left or right in the #irection of the slip. )o trim the aircraft& the pilot applies pressure on the ru##er pe#al on the si#e to "hich the ball has move#+ i.e. 8steps on the ball8. ;hen the aircraft is slipping& the pilot "ill also feel those inertial forces apparently pushing his9her "eight in the same #irection as the ball& hence the e,pression 8flying by the seat of your pants8. )he amount of pilot3in#uce# ya"& at a given airspee#& is #epen#ent on the #egree of ru##er #eflection. 2f the pilot hol#s the ru##er #eflection& the aircraft "ill continue ya"ing an# si#eslipping. 4ut& as the aircraft rotates about the normal a,is& the "ing on the outsi#e of the rotation must be moving a little faster ! an# the inner "ing a little slo"er ! so there "ill be a small lift #ifferential. )he #iffering lift moments "ill raise the outer "ing an# lo"er the inner "ing an# the aircraft "ill enter a ban*e# turn. A pilot "oul# not initiate a sustaine# turn by using ru##er alone& but there are occasions "hen it is appropriate an# effective to alter the aircraft8s hea#ing a fe" #egrees by using -ust ru##er ! or perhaps ru##er plus a little opposite aileron to stop the ban*. Such occasions are "hen finally aligning the aircraft "ith the run"ay centre3line or compensating for small changes in "in# #irection "hen lan#ing. ;e "ill cover this in the 8Circuit& approach an# lan#ing8 mo#ule. Having sai# that& there is still an occasion "here a rapi# %('O change in #irection is achieve# solely "ith ru##er+ see the follo"ing bo,.

+he ultimate use of rudder to yaw the aircraft is demonstrated when the )ilot of an aero!atic aircraft executes a 'stall turn' or 'hammerhead'. +he former term is )erha)s a misnomer, !ecause the wing does not reach the critical aoa during the manoeuvre. +he manoeuvre involves )ulling the aircraft into a full$)ower vertical clim! then, as the airs)eed decays to somewhere near the normal stall s)eed, a))lying full rudder so that the aircraft is yawed 1H56, a!out the normal axis, into a vertical descent. +he sli)stream su))lies the energy to the rudder for the turn. +he interesting thing is that, although the aircraft is at or !elow normal stall s)eed, the wings are nowhere near the critical aoa as, towards the end of the clim!, the control column is held forward of the neutral

)osition % and !ecause of the low aoa and low N<, the wings are not )roducing much aerodynamic forceU. +he length of the vertical 'u)$line' de)ends on the aircraft's )ower9weight ratio % and thrust )ower and momentum are reducing quic,ly. Ff course, if the )ilot delays too long !efore a))lying full rudder, the weight vector will ta,e over and cause the aircraft to slide vertically !ac,wards % a tailslide. U1n fact the wing could !e at the '&ero lift' aoa where the aerodynamic forces on !oth sides of the wing are equal and o))osite.

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F)> Control in roll


;e #iscusse# ho" ailerons pro#uce a rolling moment in section =.%'& so "hat happens "hen the ailerons are normally #eflecte#& by the pilot moving the control column to the left or rightT 2nitially the aircraft "ill start to roll& an# if the control column is then returne# to the neutral position the roll "ill cease but the ban* angle reache# "ill ten# to remain. )o level the "ings& the column has to be move# to the opposite si#e ! then returne# to neutral once the "ings are again level. ;hich in#icates there al"ays ten#s to be a sort of 8neutral stability8 in the lateral plane. Ho"ever& that situation #oesn8t e,ist because& as "e foun# in section B.=& other forces come into play "hen the aircraft is ban*e# ! creating si#eslip& then ya" an# eventually a turn. So the prime reason for intro#ucing a roll is as the first step in turning. Ho"ever& before going on to the turn& let8s -ust loo* a little further at the effect of aileron #eflection "hile elevator an# ru##er are hel# in the neutral position& "hen the aircraft8s velocity is high+ i.e. pure roll.

+he sim)lest aero!atic manoeuvre is the aileron roll, which "in aircraft that have !een certificated for aero!atics* is usually accom)lished !y first gaining some extra ,inetic energy, a))lying full )ower and raising the nose so that it is )ointing 256 or so a!ove the hori&on with the !alance !all centred. +he control column is then smartly moved left or right to the full extent of travel and held there, while the elevators and rudder are !oth held in the neutral )ositionA i.e. the roll is )roduced solely !y the aileron deflection. +he aircraft will then continue to roll a!out its longitudinal axis % !ecause the ailerons !eing )ositioned towards the wingti)s )roduce a strong rolling moment a!out the axis % more or less at a steady rate of roll, until the accumulated extra energy is exhausted. 1f the column was not moved to its full extent, the

aircraft will still roll, !ut the rate of roll will !e slower yet still steady. +he time to com)lete a full 3M56 roll is very much de)endent on the aircraft design and that roll rate dictates how many com)lete rolls can !e )roduced !efore the aircraft ends u) with the nose )ointed well !elow the hori&on % !ecause of the com!ined effects of sli), yaw and the full 3M56 inclination of the lift vector. +he rate of roll for a com)etition$class aero!atic aircraft is around 3M56 )er secondA for the more mundane aero!atic aircraft, it is around M56 )er second, which will )ro!a!ly )roduce only one full 3M56 roll.

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F)A Control in a turn


;e come then to the 1uestion 8ho" #o you turn an aircraftT8 ;ell& you can ma*e the aircraft8s nose turn -ust a fe" #egrees "ithout ban*ing by -ust applying pressure on the ru##er pe#al in the #irection you "ant the nose to move an# at the same time moving the control column a little si#e"ays in the opposite #irection to stop the conse1uent ban*. Applying pressure to the ru##er in one #irection "ith opposite aileron is cross$controlling. $ormally& this is a very sloppy "ay to fly but also a habit that can lea# to trouble ! particularly in lo"3spee# #escen#ing turns& such as ma#e in the approach to lan#ing. Although not #irectly relate# to turns& this e,tract from an RA3Aus inci#ent report illustrates ho" easy it is to get into #ifficulties if you #on8t realise you are cross3controlle# at lo" spee#s. K+he student had com)leted two solo circuits and landings without incident. 2uring the third the landing a))eared normal, the aircraft touched down without !ouncing !ut then veered left and the left wing lifted. +he student a))lied full )ower !ut the aircraft failed to clim! normally and a))eared to !e staggering and slowly or!iting to the left. +he aircraft only gained a!out 5 feet height then gradually descended, stri,ing the ground nose low and left wing low. +he student was not in7ured. 1t was found that he had maintained full left rudder when he a))lied full )ower and was using aileron to counter the yaw % the aircraft !asically sidesli))ed into the ground.K )he normally recommen#e# "ay to initiate a level turn /to the left0 is to move the control column to the left until the re1uire# ban* angle is achieve#& then return the control column to neutral. At the same time as applying aileron& -ust sufficient bottom /left0 ru##er is applie# to balance the turn so that there is no slip or s*i# an# the balance ball stays centre#. Also& the amount of ru##er re1uire# increases as airspee# #ecreases. As

the aircraft ban*s& the lift vector #eparts from the vertical& so the aoa must be increase# sufficiently that the vertical component of lift al"ays e,actly balances "eight. )his means an increasing bac*3pressure on the control column as ban* is applie#. As aoa increases& in#uce# #rag increases so& to maintain ?M throughout the turn& po"er must be increase#. )hus a properly balance#& constant rate an# constant spee# turn implies a smoothly coor#inate# application of aileron& ru##er& elevator an# po"er. 1n some aircraft, )articularly slower aircraft with high as)ect ratio wings , it is necessary to lead the turn with quite a !it of rudder "!ecause of aileron drag* !efore adding aileron. 1n other aircraft it is quite easy to initiate and continue a turn without using rudder at all, !ut the turn will !e uncoordinated % i.e. the !alance !all not centred % and such conditions are not desira!le. Auring a ban*e# level turn& the outer "ing is moving very slightly faster than the inner "ing an# "ill conse1uently pro#uce more lift+ the ban* "ill ten# to increase an# the turn to "rap3up even though the ailerons are in the neutral position. 2n or#er to maintain the re1uire# ban* angle it is necessary to apply a slight opposite pressure to the control column& "hich is *no"n as 8holding1off )an*8. )his is relative to level an# climbing turns& but #ifferent physics apply to #escen#ing turns. 2n a clim ing turn& the outer "ing has a greater aoa than the inner "ing& an# thus a##itional lift. Combine# "ith its faster spee#& this reinforces the ten#ency for the ban* angle to increase an# the nee# to hol#3off ban*. +he reason for the higher aoa of the outer wing is !ecause of a difference in relative airflow. 1magine an aircraft doing one com)lete rotation of a continuing clim!ing turn. F!viously all )oints on the airframe are going to ta,e the same time to achieve the higher altitudeA however, the s)iral followed !y the outer wingti) must have a larger radius than that followed !y the inner, and therefore the )ath followed !y the outer wingti) is not as stee) as that followed !y the inner. +he less stee) )ath of the outer wing "i.e. the relative airflow* means that the aoa of the outer wing will !e greater than that of the inner. -ou might have to thin, a!out it a !itV )he reverse occurs in a descending turn! the steeper path of the inner "ing means that it "ill have a larger aoa than the outer ing& "hich may compensate& or overcompensate& for the faster velocity of the outer "ing. 2n or#er then to maintain the re1uire# ban* angle it is necessary to apply an in"ar# pressure to the control column+ i.e. in a #escen#ing turn the ban* must be 8held on8. 2f the pilot ten#s to hol#3off ban* in such a turn& there "ill be an e,cess of 8bottom8 ru##er an# the aircraft must be s*i##ing. ;henever an aircraft is slipping or s*i##ing& the "ing on the si#e to "hich the ru##er is #eflecte# "ill stall before the other& "ith a conse1uent instantaneous roll in that #irection. So the situation "e8ve #escribe# ! hol#ing3off ban* in the #escen#ing turn "ith e,cess bottom ru##er ! means that shoul# the aircraft ina#vertently stall ! a cross$

controlled stall ! it is going to roll further into the ban* an# enter an incipient spin. Hence the ol# a#age ! 8never hold$off !an, in a gliding turn'. A cross3controlle# stall typically occurs in the turn onto final approach for lan#ing. 2f you must fly cross3controlle# "hen ban*e#& then it is better to fly "ith an e,cess of top ru##er& as in the si#eslip manoeuvre. )hus& if the aircraft shoul# stall& the roll "ill be in the #irection of the upper "ing+ i.e. to"ar#s an upright position. An# never apply an e,cess of bottom ru##er in an attempt to tighten any turn& particularly "hen the airspee# is lo" for the ban* angle employe# an#9or height is lo". )his is #iscusse# further in the 8SafetyG control loss in turns8 mo#ule. A rea#ing turn is a #efensive flying manoeuvre& "hich every pilot shoul# be able to perform rapi#ly an# automatically to avoi# collision& particularly in the circuit. 2t involves very rapi# transition& usually into a steep #escen#ing turn& but a steep climbing turn may be necessary. A level turn is an unli*ely choice& but "hatever turn is chosen you must be able to perform it instinctively "hile your hea# is continually s"ivelling to ascertain the location of other aircraft ! "ithout falling out of the s*y by ina#vertently applying bac*pressure on the control column an# thus e,cee#ing the critical aoa. 4efore "e go on to the si#eslip& another very simple aero#ynamic #emonstration ! but only for aerobatic aircraft that have been certifie# to ta*e the loa#s& an# absolutely never for ultralights ! is the flic* roll.

+he flic* or snap roll is an accelerated stall com!ining a ra)id increase in aoa to near critical with a full yaw. 1t is !rought a!out % when flying straight and level at something less than Na % !y )ulling the control column smartly !ac, as far as it will go while ,ic,ing on full left or right rudder. +he wing in the direction of the a))lied rudder stalls first and the aircraft flic,s onto its !ac, or may roll 3M56. +he faster the entry s)eed, the higher the asymmetric load on the airframeA !ut the slower the s)eed, the greater the li,elihood of entering a s)in, and recovery technique is de)endent on several varia!les. +he roll is usually a lot sna))ier in the o))osite direction to )ro)eller rotation.

Such a simple control action% whether or not while turning% demonstrates how easily misuse of rudder can end up in an unusual and dangerous attitude% and where the possi ilities increase as speed decreases) And e aware that you don"t have to actually push on the rudder pedal% you can easily achieve misuse y inadvertently slipping one foot off the rudder ar at a critical time 6 the turn onto

"final approach" for e'ample) I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section %> Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s J 4ac* to top

F)D Sideslip as a manoeuvre


)ypes of si#eslip vary in #egree ! from ina#vertently flying cross3 controlle# in the cruise /i.e. one "ing slightly lo" an# compensating "ith opposite ru##er0 to a fully3fle#ge# cross3controlle# turn "here the aircraft is steeply ban*e# in a #escen#ing turn "ith full opposite ru##er applie#. All si#eslips reflect uncoor#inate# flight an# result in increase# #rag. 0ote. in aerodynamic terms, any time it is evident that the aircraft's longitudinal axis is at an angle to its flight )ath "in )lan view* then the aircraft is sidesli))ing "i.e. its motion has a lateral com)onent*, and the angle !etween the flight )ath and the axis is the sidesli) angle. #erodynamicists don't generally distinguish !etween sidesli) and 'sli)' or 's,id', !ut many )ilots use 'sli)' as the general term, 's,id' to descri!e sli))ing away from the centre of a turn and 'sidesli)' to descri!e a )articular ty)e of height$loss manoeuvre. )he si#eslipping manoeuvre is only for the pilot "ho has a very goo# feel for their aircraft because& among other things& the AS2 "ill most li*ely be provi#ing a false airspee# in#ication. High si#eslip angles combine# "ith high aoa must be avoi#e#. )here seem to be as many #efinitions of the types of slip as there are e,ponents of si#eslip techni1ues& but the safe e'ecution of all sideslips re<uires ade<uate instruction and continuing practice. Here are some typesG

The straight or steady$state sideslip approach to landing


)he helmet an# goggles cro"# "ho& very sensibly& li*e to fly biplanes an# other open3coc*pit aircraft not e1uippe# "ith flaps& nee# a manoeuvre for use on the lan#ing approach to a short strip that enables them to lose height 1uic*ly "ithout increasing airspee# an# "hich provi#es a goo# vie" of the lan#ing area. )he ans"er has long been the cross3controlle# stea#y state si#eslip+ a manoeuvre #esigne# to lose height over a short #istance& #umping the potential energy of height by converting it to #rag turbulence rather than *inetic energy. Such si#eslips may also be a re1uirement "hen e,ecuting a force# lan#ing& an# the same type of slipping approach may also be necessary for those aircraft "here& in a normal approach& the pilot8s vie" of the run"ay is obstructe# by the nose.

Hnce establishe# on the approach #escent path at the correct airspee#& the aircraft is ban*e# "ith sufficient opposite /top0 ru##er applie# to stop the #irectional stability ya"ing the nose into the relative airflo" an# thus turning. Slight a##itional bac*"ar# pressure on the control column may be nee#e# to *eep the nose from #ropping too far. )he aircraft si#eslips in a mo#erate to steep ban* "ith the fuselage angle# across the flight path& giving the pilot a very goo# vie" of the lan#ing area. )he greatly increase# #rag& from the e,posure of the fuselage si#e or 8*eel8 surfaces to the oncoming airflo"& enables an increase# angle of #escent "ithout an increase in the approach airspee#. )he e,ecution of a si#eslip to a lan#ing varies from aircraft to aircraft an# it may not "or* particularly "ell "here there is a lac* of *eel surface ! an open3frame aircraft li*e the 4reeEy& for e,ample. )he sin* rate is controlle# by aileron an# po"er is hel# constant& usually at i#le9lo" po"er& an# the si#eslip must be ease# off before the flare an# touch#o"n. ;hen recovering& care must be ta*en to coor#inate rela,ation of the bac*3pressure& leveling of the "ings an# straightening of the ru##er ! other"ise the aircraft may #o its o"n thing or stall& particularly in turbulent con#itions. )he straight si#eslip is limite# by the ma,imum ru##er authority available+ there "ill be a ban* angle beyon# "hich full opposite ru##er "ill not stop the aircraft from turning.

#lthough this manoeuvre usually comes under the )ro)rietorshi) of the 'stic, and rudder' )eo)le, the use of the sidesli), !y the ca)tain of a Boeing 7M7, undou!tedly saved the lives of many )eo)le in an extraordinary incident that occurred in 14H3 when, due to a train of errors % as are most accidents9incidents % an #ir Janada 7M7 ran out of fuel at 1 555 feet. +he ca)tain su!sequently glided the aircraft to a safe landing on an out$of$service runway, which was !eing used for a drag racing event at the time. +he aircraft was sidesli))ed through several thousand feet to lose excess height on the a))roach. Gor more information a!out this magnificent demonstration of airmanshi) "following an execra!le demonstration of )reflight )rocedure !y many )eo)leA ,ee) the old adage in mind % K)ro)er )re$flight )rocedure )recludes )oor )erformanceKV* google the )hrase '@imli glider'.

The sideslipping turn


Slipping "hilst turning is a manoeuvre often use# in non3flap e1uippe# aerobatic aircraft "here it is #esirable to perform a curving lan#ing approach. )his is also a useful emergency manoeuvre if it is necessary to

increase the sin* rate #uring a turn ! such as the turn onto final approach in a force# lan#ing "hen an overshoot of the lan#ing site is apparent. 2t is -ust a si#eslip "here insufficient top ru##er is applie# to stop the aircraft turning "hile slipping. )he rate of turn an# the rate of sin* are controlle# by the amount of ban* an# the amount of ru##er but it is an uncoor#inate# #escen#ing turn. Aangerously high #escent rates are achieve# if the ban* angle applie# e,cee#s the full ru##er authority.

Fishtailing
Fishtailing is a series of si#eslips "here the "ings are hel# level in the approach attitu#e "ith /alternating0 aileron "hile the aircraft is repeate#ly ya"e# from si#e to si#e by applying alternate ru##er+ the increase# #rag increases the sin* rate an# is possibly use# as an emergency measure if overshooting a force# lan#ing. )he manoeuvre is generally not recommen#e#& because uncoor#inate# control use at lo" levels may lea# to #angerous loss of control+ also& e,cessive alternating ru##er reversals may overstress the fin.

Sideslip to a crosswind landing


2n a si#eslip to a cross"in# lan#ing& the aircraft is al"ays ban*e# "ith the into3"in# "ing #o"n so that the si#eslip can be smoothly #ecrease# to a for"ar# slip /belo"0 before the roun#out. Cost aircraft ten# to be slo"er in the slip& so the nose "ill nee# to be a bit lo"er than that nee#e# to maintain the normal approach spee#. A smoothly e,ecute# si#eslip approach re1uires much practice& but #isplays consi#erable finesse to a groun# observer.

The forward slip crosswind approach


A 8for"ar#8 slip is a mo#erate si#eslip application #esigne# only to compensate for cross"in# #uring approach an# lan#ing. )he slip can be applie# throughout the final approach or -ust in the last stages& an# it usually follo"s a full si#eslip approach in cross"in# con#itions. )he into3 "in# "ing is lo"ere# "ith sufficient ban* so that the slip is e,actly negating the cross"in# #rift& "hile opposite /top0 ru##er is applie# to stop a turn #eveloping an# to align the aircraft[s longitu#inal a,is "ith the flight path ! an# the run"ay centreline. 2f #rifting off the path& -ust a## or remove some aileron pressure an#& at the same time& a## or remove some ru##er pressure to maintain #irection. An approach spee# 2.> *nots above normal is set up& the sin* rate /"hich "ill be greater than usual because of the incline# lift vector0 is controlle# by the po"er setting& the into3"in# main lan#ing gear "ill touch #o"n first an# the aircraft is hel# straight "ith ru##er by pivoting on that one "heel until groun# spee# has re#uce# to a safe level. )he for"ar# slip is the particularly recommen#e# techni1ue for cross"in#

lan#ings in high3"ing tail#ragger aircraft. 2nci#ently& a useful techni1ue for a high3"ing tail#ragger in a significant cross"in# is to also perform the ta*e3off run on one main "heel. 2f there is any real #ifference bet"een the straight si#eslip an# the for"ar# slip it is -ust the amount of pressure applie# to the controls. 2n a si#eslip& the aileron pressure #ictates the angle of #escent an# the ru##er pressure #ictates the amount the fuselage is #eflecte# across the flight path. 2n a for"ar# slip& the aileron pressure is -ust enough to compensate for the cross"in# #rift an# thus maintain position on the e,ten#e# run"ay line& an# the ru##er pressure -ust enough to *eep the fuselage aligne# "ith both the lan#ing path an# the flight path.

+here is one manoeuvre for certified aero!atic aircraft that demonstrates what might !e considered a reversal of all we have stated in this module. +his is the 'four )oint slow roll' or 'hesitation roll' where the aircraft is rolled through 3M56 in level flight around a )oint on the hori&on, !ut the roll is )aused for a second or two at each 456 )ointA i.e. when the wings are first vertical, when the aircraft is u)side down, when the wings are again vertical and when the aircraft returns to normal attitude. +he roll is started "to the left* with normal aileron and a !it of left rudder, then as the roll )rogresses through the first 456 to) "right* rudder is increasingly a))lied to negate the yaw, and also to hold the nose u). 2uring the slight )ause at the 456 )osition the aircraft is !eing held in a nose$u) attitude !y the rudder whilst the elevators are used to sto) the nose wandering to the left or right across the hori&on, and the ailerons are neutral. Some lift will !e generated !y the fuselage having an aoa !ecause the nose is !eing held u). +hen the roll is restarted until, at the 1H56 )osition, the aircraft is inverted and the nose is held u) !y a large forward movement of the control column and the aoa is negativeA i.e. the lift is )eing generated )y a re$ersed aerofoil. #nd so the roll continues. Ff course, all the control movements involve gradual increase9decrease in )ressures throughout the sequence.

4ac* to top

F)E Spins

The "stallHspin" phenomenon


;hen an aircraft is hel# in a turn& an# near the critical aoa "ith e,cess bottom ru##er applie# /i.e. a cross3controlle# s*i##ing turn& "hich often happens "hen the pilot tries to 8hurry8 the turn "ith bottom9insi#e ru##er instea# of increasing ban*0 the lo"er& partly blan*ete#& "ing "ill be pro#ucing less lift than the upper "ing. Any tightening of bac*3 pressure on the control column /or any ina#vertent bac*3pressure applie# "hen& for instance& loo*ing over your shoul#er+ or even any encountere# turbulence or "in# shear0 may ta*e the aoa past the critical angle. )he lo"er "ing "ill #rop sharply in an 8uncomman#e#8 roll& an# thus become more #eeply stalle# than the upgoing "ing ! "hich may not be stalle# or -ust partly stalle#. )he high aoa of the lo"er "ing causes greatly increase# in#uce# #rag& ya"ing forces in the same #irection as the lo"er "ing come into action& the nose s"ings #o"n an# the aircraft enters an incipient /i.e. partly #evelope#0 spin con#ition& "here it is about to start autorotation /belo"0. All of this happens 1uic*ly& an# in some aircraft very 1uic*ly in#ee#. 2f the aircraft is properly "eight3balance# "i.e. weight less than Q+F= and cg within the defined fore and aft limits* & this is rea#ily countere# by 1uic*ly easing stic* bac*3pressure to re#uce aoa belo" critical aoa ! "hich imme#iately restores full control ! preventing further ya" "ith ru##er& a#-usting po"er an# rolling the "ings level "ith aileron "hile *eeping the balance ball centre#. Ho"ever& if the sle"& e,acerbate# by the ya"& is allo"e# to #evelop past perhaps a = O movement in aEimuth& then there is a stall9spin situation. Lou sometimes hear about this "hen an una"are pilot allo"s such to #evelop close to the groun# ! often "hen performing a climbing turn after #eparture from an airfiel#+ or in a turn3bac* to the run"ay follo"ing engine failure after ta*e3off+ or "hen in the #escen#ing turn from base leg on to the final approach to lan#ing "here& because of illusory groun# reference cues& there may be a ten#ency to increase the rate of turn by applying a##itional bottom ru##er "hilst maintaining the ban* angle "ith opposite aileron ! 8hol#ing off ban*8 as mentione# in section (.=. :ltralights& "ith their very lo" "ing loa#ing& normally #isplay 1uite benign stall characteristics. 4ut& "hen slo"ly #ecelerate# to stall spee# in straight an# level flight& they may e,hibit 1uite nasty behaviour in an accelerate# stall or "hen a stall is initiate# #uring a turn+ an# such are the usual unintentional stall9spin mo#es. :n#er these circumstances the height lost in the incipient spin ! the initial entry to autorotation ! may be %'' to ='' feet. )hus& an incipient spin con#ition is highly #angerous "hen occurring in the circuit pattern or in any other lo"3 level flight situation. See the flic* roll bo, above an# rea# the sections #ealing "ith 8limiting climbing turns #uring ta*e3off8 an# 8accelerate#

stalls8. )here may be uncertifie# light aircraft "here characteristics& such as turning turtle in a relatively mil# stall9incipient spin situation& are evi#ent. Dowever, a commercially manufactured aircraft with such characteristics should not receive a J#S# Jertificate of +y)e #))roval. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the section belo" Spin recovery confi#ence buil#ing J

Autorotation 6 the full$ lown spin


;ith a#e1uate training& an incipient spin is rea#ily anticipate# an# easy to correct ! provi#e# the aircraft "eight an# balance are "ithin the state# limits. 4ut& if the correction is not #one before the nose has s"ung maybe 6'O or so& it may #evelop into autorotation "here the aircraft is #escen#ing in a stabilise#& usually nose3#o"n& rotation ! rolling an# ya"ing in the same #irection at a constant airspee# at or slightly above ?s% ! a full blo"n spin "ith each >@'O rotation ta*ing only >.= secon#s in a very light aircraft. )he height loss #uring each rotation ! 2'' to ='' feet or more& #epen#ing on the stall spee# an# the steepness of the spin ! plus the consi#erable height loss #uring the pull3out from the recovery #ive& is insignificant at a reasonable height but "ill be critical at lo"er levels. 2n a normal turn the aircraft8s longitu#inal a,is is more or less aligne# along the flight path ! "hich is the periphery of the turn ! the cg moves along the flight path an# the inner "ing is pointing to"ar#s the centre of the turn. 4ut in fully #evelope# autorotation& the aircraft8s longitu#inal a,is points in the general #irection of the vertical a,is of the spin "hile it is #escen#ing. )hus& the aircraft is not turning in the normally accepte# meaning of the "or#+ it is 8spinning8 aroun# that vertical a,is "hile it8s also rolling an# ya"ing about the aircraft8s cg& perhaps also pitching up an# #o"n some"hat. 2n a mo#erately steep spin& the nose is pitche# #o"n perhaps '.@'O& the aoa is 2'.>'O& there is a fair bit of ban* an# the roll motion #ominates. )he spin a,is "ill be on the e,ten#e# longitu#inal a,is& perhaps some"here near one fuselage length for"ar# /more or less0 of the aircraft8s cg ! further for"ar# for a steeper spin. )he cg "ill be follo"ing a helical flight path. 2n a flat spin& the nose is pitche# #o"n perhaps %'.2'O& "ith an aoa aroun# @'.B'O #ue to the high vertical component of the relative airflo". ;ith very high #rag an# little ban*& the angular rotation "in#s up an# ya"

motion #ominates. )he spin a,is "ill be much closer to the aircraft8s nose& perhaps even "ithin the fuselage& an# particularly so if the cg is in an aft position. )he closer the spin a,is is to the cg& the har#er it is to brea* out of the spin. 2f the a,is coinci#e# "ith the cg& brea*3out "oul# be impossible ! unless the aircraft "as e1uippe# "ith a ballistic parachute recovery system. :sually the structural loa#s are only a little above normal #uring the early stages of autorotation+ the latter occurs because& although generally both "ings are stalle#& the inner "ing is al"ays much more #eeply stalle# than the other ! pro#ucing more #rag an# less lift& an# perpetuating the stabilise# ya" an# roll. Cost very light aircraft spin steeply to mo#erately steeply& so spin recovery early in autorotation is usually ! but not al"ays ! straightfor"ar#G close the throttle& ailerons to neutral& halt the ya" /by applying full ru##er opposite to the #irection of ya" apparent through the "in#screen0 an# unstall the "ings /by applying full for"ar# stic* rather than -ust moving it to"ar#s the neutral position0. Control movements must be carefully se1uence# an# positive. )he loa#s #uring the subse1uent pull$out from the #escent may lea# to an accelerate# stall if the aircraft is nearing the surface an# the pilot applies e,treme bac*3pressure. )he height loss -ust #uring the pull3out stage may e,cee# ='' feet& so that the total loss of height #uring spin entry an# recovery coul# easily e,cee# %''' feet. )he problem for a pilot "ho is conscious of the nee# to avoi# stall con#itions "hen in the circuit by al"ays maintaining a safe spee# near the groun#& an# has ha# ample training in stall an# incipient spin recognition an# recovery& occurs "hen a spin is ina#vertently in#uce# at altitu#e. 2f that pilot has never previously encountere# full autorotation then the #isorientation associate# "ith the first e,perience can be frightening. )he pilot may also e,perience a ground rush illusion "here the surface features rapi#ly sprea# out to fill the entire fiel# of vie" an# the groun# appears to rapi#ly rise+ the reaction is to freeEe or to pull bac* on the control column& "hich -ust ensures that the aircraft is hel# in the stalle# con#ition even though there may be ample height available to recover. )he photo at left "as ta*en about %6=6 an# sho"s "hat happene# "hen a stu#ent pilot got himself into a spin& evi#ently retaine# bac*3pressure on the control column an# allo"e# the )iger Coth to spin all the "ay to the groun# from above 2''' feet. )he spin #evelope# into a flat spin& "ith relatively lo" vertical an# horiEontal spee#& enabling the pilot to "al* a"ay "ith minor in-uries. Also the )iger Coth ha# a tough steel tubing fuselage frame& "hich absorbe# much of the impact energy. Lou can see that the

fuselage aft of the engine compartment fire"all seems practically un#amage#. The pilot of any aircraft will not e e'posed to the ris# of an unintentional stallHspin if they always remain situationally aware% maintain an appropriate energy alance% does not indulge in very low$level manoeuvring and% a ove all% flies the aircraft) 2on"t practice stalling elow >555 feet aglN and remem er spins result from a loss of lateral and directional sta ility at the critical aoa% and the only way to get into a spin is to first e'ceed the critical aoa) Also% sufficient forward stic# movement will immediately decrease aoa elow the stall angle and restore full control in any stall or near$stall conditionN ut not in autorotation where opposite rudder and FY++ forward control column movement is necessary ecause J=K the aoa developed will e well past the critical aoa and J4K the control surfaces will not e as effective as usual)

;ntentional spinning
Stall9spin events occurring at a safe altitu#e are insignificant+ they may become nasty acci#ents "hen they occur at lo"er levels. 4ut intentional spins can be fun in an aerobatic aircraft that has been certificated for intentional spinning an#& given sufficient height& 1uite easy to recover from ! provi#e# the cg position is "ithin the for"ar# an# aft limits. )he challenge is in aiming for a precise number of turns& half3turns or 1uarter3 turns an# the e,act #irection the aircraft "ill be hea#ing at recovery. Spin characteristics are very comple, an# vary greatly bet"een aircraft. Fenerally the intentional spin is in#uce# from level flight by closing the throttle& bringing the aircraft to the point of stall in a nose3up attitu#e& hol#ing ailerons in the neutral position then applying full ru##er in the #irection you "ant the aircraft to rotate an#& at the same time& pulling the stic* right bac*. Hol# the neutral aileron& full ru##er an# bac* stic*. )he reason for the e,cessive control movements is to ensure a s"ift an# #efinite entry into autorotation. )he higher the nose is hel# above the horiEon at the point of stall the more violent "ill be the spin entry. Aircraft that ten# to spin "ith the nose pitche# "ell #o"n "ill recover more 1uic*ly than aircraft "here the spin attitu#e is relatively flat. Ho"ever& if allo"e# to continue past t"o or three full turns& then centrifugal forces become "ell establishe# ! "hich ten# to ma*e all parts of the aircraft rotate in the same horiEontal plane. )hen& a nose3#o"n spin may turn into a flat spin& "hich "ill then spee# up rotationally an# brea*3out "ill ta*e longer& or may not be possible because it may be impossible to lo"er the nose. Recovery control forces re1uire# usually increase as the spin "in#s up+ also& after initiating recovery action& the spin may increase a little before the action ta*es effect.

Dngine po"er ! an# its associate# effects ! also ten#s to flatten the spin. )he flatter the spin& the closer the spin a,is is to the cg an# the greater the aoa& maybe B O or moreZ Also& at such angles& the ru##er may be completely blan*ete# by the fuselage9tailplane& ma*ing that control 1uite ineffective. Structural stresses increase as the spin progresses. A flat spin might be in#uce# if& at the point of stall& full opposite aileron is applie# "ith full ru##er. 2f an aircraft stalls "hen inverte#& it may enter an inverted spin if the control column position "as hel# "ell ahea# of neutral at the stall. 2t only happens #uring aerobatic routines ! such as a poorly e,ecute# entry into a half3roll off the top of a loop& or messing up a stall turn. )he recovery from an inverte# spin involves correcting the ya" an# increasing stic* bac*3pressure until rotation ceases& then rolling level "hen spee# has increase# sufficiently+ but the great #anger in an inverte# spin is pilot #isorientation. (ne thing is certain 6 .E/E1% .E/E1 intentionally spin an aircraft that has not een through the complete spin certification processN they may e incapa le of recovery from fully developed autorotation% or the recovery attempt may result in a violent manoeuvre that overloads the airframe) S)in restrictions are not confined to non$aero!atic aircraftA for exam)le, intentional s)ins were )rohi!ited in the Seafire 7 and Sea Gury, very fast naval fighters of the late 14 5s early 1485s, !ecause of the time to recover "if recovery was )ossi!le* and the consequent extreme height loss.

Spin recovery confidence uilding


Aevelope# spin recovery training is not inclu#e# in the RA3Aus 7ilot Certificate syllabus or the Feneral Aviation 7rivate 7ilot Licence syllabus& but stall an# incipient spin a"areness an# recovery are normal parts of the syllabi. A spin is usually classifie# as an aerobatic manoeuvre an#& as all 1A$Aus registered aircraft are prohi ited from such manoeuvres& they shall not be allo"e# to enter an intentional #evelope# spin. Core to the point& no ultralight /an# rather fe" light non3aerobatic aircraft0 has ever been through the complete flight test sche#ule for spin recovery. Ho"ever& gaining some e,perience an# confi#ence in recovery from full autorotation can be rea#ily an# cheaply obtaine# by practicing a half3#oEen spin recoveries "ith an instructor in a t"o3seat gli#er or po"ere# aerobatic FA aircraft. 2t is probably better e,perience in the gli#er& as you are also e,pose# to the fact that every gli#er lan#ing is easily achieve# "ithout using any chemical energy+ on the other han#&

a FA aircraft provi#es more opportunity to also e,plore the basic aerobatic manoeuvres ! rolls& loops an# stall turns. 1ncidently, 35 minutes thermalling in a glider will also demonstrate the a!solute need to coordinate rudder and aileron in every turn % the ailerons on the long slender wings )rovide a large adverse yaw moment. )hese intentional spins shoul# not be ma#e from level flight ! as #escribe# above ! but shoul# be ma#e from those flight situations "here unintentional spins are most li*ely to occur i.e. in climbing an# #escen#ing turns. )hese #efensive flying lessons "ill also e,pose the stu#ent to the fact that it is very easy to invo*e an accelerate# stall #uring the pull3out& after brea*ing out of the spin& if e,cessive control column bac*3pressure is applie# ! "hich is an automatic reaction if the groun# is rising up to smite youZ Spin recovery training in a spin3certifie# aircraft #oes invo*e a recognition of the behaviour of that aircraft type imme#iately prior to an incipient spin event& but these "arning signs "ill vary bet"een aircraft types ! or even aircraft of the same type. 0owever% #nowing how to recover from a stallHspin situation is of no help if it develops at a height that does not provide sufficient height for recovery 6 circuit height% for e'ample) At such heights the aircraft must always e operated at a safe airspeed 9=)D @ /s=: and restricted to gentle manoeuvres) I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is containe# "ithin section 2.6 Correct ta*e3 off& climb& #escent an# lan#ing spee#s J

The "falling leaf"


Auring ;orl# ;ar 2& a very simple manoeuvre calle# the 8falling leaf8 "as #evelope# as an incipient spin training e,ercise. Although simple& the e,ercise re1uires precise timing ! so that spee# remains at an# -ust above stall ! an# a goo# 8feel8 on the controls. 2t involves the initiation of an incipient spin by bringing the aircraft to the point of stall in level flight& then pulling bac* on the control column "hilst applying full ru##er. As the "ing #rops& the control column is move# for"ar# to the neutral position to unstall the "ings& then opposite ru##er is applie# an# hel#& "hich stops the ya" an# the incipient spin. )hen the control column is pulle# bac* again to stall the "ings "hilst the ru##er is hel# in the same position+ thus an opposite3#irection incipient spin is starte#. )hose se1uences are repeate# so that as the aircraft mushes #o"n& in an# out of the stalle# con#ition& it roc*s from si#e to si#e in a series of small arcs& suppose#ly as a falling leaf may #escen#. :nfortunately& the falling leaf seems to have

become classifie# as an aerobatic manoeuvre& thus performing the e,ercise in an ultralight is not allo"e#. Ho"ever& before any falling leaf e,ercise is attempte# the pilot must receive appropriate spin recovery training. )he falling leaf term is also use# to #escribe a series of alternating si#eslips an# again to #escribe the techni1ue of 8"al*ing or pe#alling #o"n8 a stalle# aircraft by pic*ing up a #ropping "ing "ith opposite ru##er an# then leaving the ru##er applie# a little longer than necessary so that the other "ing starts to #rop. 2n the latter techni1ue& "hich is also a goo# #evelopmental e,ercise in smooth air& the aircraft shoul#n8t be allo"e# to #isplay much lateral movement. Hne of 4ob Hoover8s popular airsho" #emonstrations& the 8)ennessee ;altE8& is a graceful falling leaf manoeuvre. Again& this e,ercise shoul# not be attempte# unless the pilot has appropriate spin recovery training ! an# ample height because of the substantial height loss in all falling leaf manoeuvres ! but all these types of control e,ercises #o provide an e'cellent means of familiarising yourself with the feel of your aircraft at low speed and its particular sta ility foi les.

,ic#ing up a dropping wing with rudder


)here is occasionally some #ebate about the merits of using the secon#ary effect of ru##er to pic* up a #ropping "ing "hen flying at or near the stall. )he #ropping "ing has not been arreste# by roll stability because it is partly or fully stalle#. As #emonstrate# in the falling leaf& using only the ru##er to 8pic* up8 the "ing #oes nothing to remove the stall con#ition& an# e,cessive input "ill lea# to the opposite "ing #ropping an# the aircraft enters into an opposite3#irection incipient spin. )his techni1ue of pic*ing up a #ropping "ing "ith opposite ru##er shoul# not be applie# #uring normal stall recovery& unless there is ample height for recovery from an in#uce# spin. )he "ing must be unstalle# by moving the control column for"ar# so that normal aileron control actions can be ta*en an# ru##er use# to chec* any ya". )he aircraft manufacturer8s recommen#ations for stall recovery shoul# be follo"e#. 4ut in their absence& the recommen#e# techni1ue in normal stall recovery is al"ays to unstall the "ings by easing for"ar# on the control column ! "hich is imme#iately effective ! use ru##er to halt any further ya" an# then level the "ings "ith aileron. Ho"ever& "hen in the final stages of lan#ing& an# -ust above the surface in groun# effect /shoul# you "ant the aircraft to touch #o"n in a stalle# con#ition0& gentle application of ru##er using opposite ya" to pic* up a #ropping "ing couple# "ith a slight easing of control column bac*3 pressure may be an alternative to applying po"er for a go3aroun#. 4ut it

#epen#s very much on the particular "ing ! form& "ashout& flap setting& slats an# slots ! on ho" the stall #evelops along the "ing an# on the pilot8s *no"le#ge of the particular aircraft. 2t also #epen#s on ho" cross"in# is being countere#. 2n some aircraft& the use of aileron to pic* up the #roppe# "ing "ill increase in#uce# #rag on the lo"er "ing& an# the conse1uent a#verse ya" may s"ing the aircraft to"ar#s the groun#. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is in section 2.6 \)a*e3off an# lan#ing spee#s\ J

The spiral dive


As e,plaine# above& a spin an# a turn are completely #ifferent beasts. Also& in a spin& the airspee# is relatively lo" an# constant& the vertical spee# is relatively lo" /2'''.=''' fpm0 an# the angular rotation is fast. 2n a #iving turn or 8spiral #ive8& the rotation is slo"er because of the "i#e /but tightening0 turn ra#ius& an# the airspee# an# height loss both increase rapi#ly. 2n the lateral stability section& the possibility of entering a spiral #ive con#ition "as mentione#. 2n a "ell3#evelope# steep spiral #ive ! the 8graveyar# spiral8 ! the lift being generate# by the "ings /an# thus the loa# factor0 to provi#e the centripetal force for the high3spee# #iving turn& is very high an# the turn continues to tighten. )he pilot must be very careful in the recovery from a fully establishe# spiral #ive& or e,cessive structural loa#s "ill occur. See recovery from a spiral #ive.

Things that are handy to #now


S Top rudder refers to the relative position of the ru##er pe#als ! 8top8 being the ru##er pe#al opposite the lo"er "ing. )hus& if the aircraft is ban*e# an# turning to the left& then pressure on the right ru##er pe#al "ill apply top /or outsi#e0 ru##er+ pressure on the left ru##er pe#al "ill apply bottom /or insi#e0 ru##er.

Stuff you don"t need to #now

)he ;right brothers "ere the first to realise that control in each of the three a,es "as necessary for sustaine# balance# flight. )hey a##e# a vertical ru##er to their

#esign an# arrange# simultaneous ru##er #eflection "ith the "ing "arping control /the trailing e#ge of the outer mainplane "as pulle# #o"n by cor#s to increase camber0 thus countering a#verse ya" "hen initiating a turn. Flenn Curtiss "as the first to use ailerons in place of "ing "arping in the hope of beating the ;right patent for three3 a,is control systems. A bitter patent battle laste# for several years.

)he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #iscusses aircraft "eight an# balance.

4ac* to top Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %b. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | I(. ControlJ | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
* (perations at non$controlled airfields * Safety during ta#e$off - landing *

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!eight and alance


Revision 2%a ! page content "as last change# Aecember & 2''(+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool 6 Theory of Flight

Module content

6.% Ca,imum ta*e3off "eight 6.2 4alanceG containing cg position "ithin limits 6.> 4allasting 6.= Calculating cg position an# moment

There are fi'ed limits to the payload an individual aircraft may safely carry) The payload is the total weight of pilot and passenger% fuel% aggage and porta le e<uipmentN i)e) it is the difference etween the empty weight of the aircraft and its gross weight at ta#e$off) The payload must e distri uted so that the aircraft"s alance 6 the position of the aircraft"s centre of gravity 6 is maintained within set longitudinal limits)

L)= Ma'imum ta#e$off weight


2n the RA3Aus conte,t& ma,imum ta*e3off "eight I MT(!J has a number of interpretationsG

)he first is the class regulatory weight enchmar# set by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority for RA3Aus operations an# currently #efine# in Civil Aviation Hr#ers 6 .%'& 6 .>2 an# 6 . . )hose CAHs allo" an in#ivi#ual aircraft to be registere# "ithin one particular CAH

sub3category for operation at or belo" a particular C)H;+ for e,ample @'' *g /@ ' *g floatplane0& == *g /@%= *g t"o3seat floatplane0& = ' *g an# >'' *g.

)he secon# interpretation is the design ma'imum safe operating weight& "hich is the ma,imum gross "eight permitte# by the aircraft #esigner for structural safety reasons. An aircraft "hich& by #esign& is capable of operating an C)H; greater than the regulatory RA3Aus limit may still be able to be registere# "ith RA3Aus& provi#e# the pilot #oes not operate the aircraft above the regulatory limit #efine# by the relevant CAH. )here are such aircraft in the RA3Aus register& but these are re1uire# to carry a coc*pit placar# stating that the C)H; #oes not e,cee# == *g ! or "hatever the regulatory limit might be ! together "ith the removal of e,cess seating an# seatbelts. 2n the type approval process& an aircraft is teste# by national regulatory authorities to see that the #esign C)H; is consi#ere# safe. Subse1uently& the thir# category& a certificated MT(!& is issue# that "ill not be greater than /but may be less than0 the regulatory stan#ar# C)H; an#& a##itionally& may be less than the #esign ma,imum safe operating "eight.

)he situation is further complicate# "hen overseas factory3 built aircraft are importe# into Australia for registration "ith RA3Aus. An e,ample is the Duropean countries "ho certify their aircraft to the Duropean ultralight stan#ar# of = ' *g. 2f importe# into Australia an# registere# "ith RA3Aus& "e have no choice but to limit them to = ' *g C)H;. Ho"ever& if the manufacturer certifies them to another stan#ar# at a greater "eight ! provi#ing that certification is accepte# by a certifying bo#y in a country that is an 2CAH signatory ! then RA3Aus can accept that higher "eight& but only up to our regulatory cut3off point. Australia is an 2CAH signatory an# the Civil Aviation Safety Authority ICASAJ is a certifying bo#y. From a purely safety vie"point& the more important C)H; is the #esigner8s calculate# ma,imum safe operating "eight& "hich may be less than& or greater than& the C)H; allo"e# un#er the relevant CAH.

)he #esign C)H; is relate# to the category of operation an# the flight envelope. 2n the 8normal8 category& applicable to all ultralights& the structure& particularly the "ing& is re1uire# to cope "ith minimum structural loa# factors of V>.(g to .%. g. )hus& the "ings of an ultralight aircraft "ith a certificate# C)H; of == *g "oul# be re1uire# to cater for a minimum #esign loa# of == K >.( N 2'@B *g. 0ote. Since 144M the )u!lished R#$#us )olicy has !een that the regulatory Q+F= !enchmar, for aero)lanes registered !y R#$#us should !e extended to 785 ,g. J#S# have a low )riority certification )ro7ect 'JS 5M951( underway which, if im)lemented, would allow owners of R#$#us aircraft % with a design Q+F= u) to, or greater than, 785 ,g % to a))ly to R#$#us for a variation in the allowed Q+F=. $o matter "hich CAH regulatory limit ultralights are generically permitte# to operate at& no aircraft may fly a ove the 1A$Aus accepted MT(! for that particular aircraft type% which may not e as much as the regulatory limit or the design ma'imum safe operating weight. )he RA3Aus accepte# C)H; is the C)H; "e refer to from this point.

,ayload
4ear in min# that these limits relate to the structural strength of a ne" aircraft ! an# structures lose strength as they age+ maybe more so if they are a very light"eight structure "ith little fail3safe provision. Ho"ever& as aircraft age they also suffer from service weight pic#up. )hey ten# to put on "eight through mo#ifications& a##itional instruments or avionics& larger fuel tan*s& heavier tyres an# accumulation of paint an# #irt+ all of "hich re#uce payloa# capability an# ma*e it rather easy to un"ittingly e,cee# C)H;. 2n the general aviation fiel#& most of the privately3o"ne# recreational tourers are single3engine& fi,e#3un#ercarriage& four3seat aircraft& li*e the 7iper ;arrior or the Cessna %B2. Fenerally these aircraft have a C)H; aroun# %% ' *g ! comprising an empty mass "hich is about U of C)H; an# a fuel capacity about % U of C)H;+ conse1uently& >'U of C)H; /aroun# >= *g0 is available for carriage of the pilot& passengers an# baggage. 2nternational regulations state that "hen calculating payload capability ! the

#ifference bet"een empty mass an# C)H; ! each person on boar# IpobJ is assume# to "eigh BB *g. Cost t"o3seat light an# ultralight aircraft #o not have a high payloa# capability+ conse1uently a full fuel loa# ! "hich "eighs about '.B% *g9litre ! an# -ust an average BB *g pilot an# passenger might constitute& or e,cee#& the ma,imum payloa#. A most important part of pre3flight planning is to estimate the "eight of the payloa#. 2t is also a#visable to re3"eigh the empty aircraft occasionally to re3establish the empty "eight an# the cg position "hen empty.

E'ceeding MT(! has conse<uences that increase e'ponentially with the e'cess weight& re#uce# structural loa# safety factor re#uce# acceleration& higher ta*e3off spee# an# longer ta*e3off #istance re#uce# rate an# angle of climb re#uce# cruising spee# an# range higher stalling spee# an# re#uce# manoeuvrability higher lan#ing spee# an# e,ten#e# lan#ing #istance or maybe the aircraft "on8t even leave the groun# on ta*e3off ! "hich can be a bit e,pensive if you en# up in the barbe# "ire fence at the en# of the strip. 2t is much more #angerous if it #oes get airborne but you trip over the boun#ary fence /see groun# effect0 ! or if you can8t establish a climb rate greater than the vertical velocity of #o"n3 flo"ing air at the en# of the run"ay. ;f MT(! is e'ceeded and the cg location is outside its limits% then very serious longitudinal sta ility pro lems are introduced) I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the follo"ing section 6.2 84alance ! containing cg position "ithin limits8 J

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L)4 Balance 6 containing cg position within limits


Balance refers to the location of the cg along the longitu#inal a,is. Location of the cg across the lateral a,is is important& but the #esign of practically all aircraft is such that the empty "eight is generally symmetrical about the longitu#inal centreline. Ho"ever& the location of the cg along the longitu#inal a,is is both variable an# critical. Conse1uently the cg position must be assesse# by the pilot before every ta*e3off. )he lateral an# longitu#inal position of the cg on any flight "ill vary accor#ing to the "eight in the pilot an# passenger seats& the amount of fuel in the tan*/s0& the placement of any baggage& an# also the "eight an# location of mo#ifications an# a##itional e1uipment. For safe aircraft operation& there must be calculate# limits to the for"ar# /nose3heavy0 an# the aft /tail3heavy0 cg position. )hose limits ! measure# from a #atum point ! are specifie# by the manufacturer or by the amateur #esigner. )he #atum point is an imaginary vertical plane through the fuselage& possibly locate# at the engine fire"all& the "ing lea#ing e#ge or perhaps the bac* of the spinner. 2f the cg is situate# bet"een the fore an# aft limits& the aircraft "ill have positive static longitu#inal stability. Care shoul# be ta*en "hen flying amateur3#esigne# aircraft& as the cg range for that aircraft may not be "ithin practical safe limits& ma*ing the aircraft #angerously unstable in some con#itions. 2n the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule it "as state# that the "ing aero#ynamic centre IacJ is situate# near 2 U CAC. For longitu#inal stability in light aircraft the most for"ar# position of the cg allo"able is about % U CAC an# the most aft position aroun# > U CAC& basically %'U either si#e of the "ing ac+ or perhaps the aircraft neutral point.

Forward cg limit 6 nose$heavy


)he for"ar# cg limit is #etermine# by the elevator8s ability to flare the aircraft at lo" spee# "hen lan#ing in groun# effect+ i.e. the least for"ar# cg position "here full up3elevator "ill obtain sufficient moment arm to rotate to the stall aoa& "ithout re1uiring the pilot to e,ert an e,cessive pull on the control column. +he forward )osition is constrained !ecause the further forward it is, the more download the hori&ontal sta!iliser9elevator is required to )roduce to !alance it. Jonsequently, the tail)lane must fly at a greater negative aoa % thus decreasing total aircraft lift % and the wing must then fly at a greater aoa to counter the loss. +his results in more drag from the wing and the tail)lane and, consequently, reduced )erformance. +he )itching moment characteristics of the wing must also !e considered.

1f a nosewheel undercarriage aircraft is landed in a nose$heavy condition, the )ossi!ility of touching down nosewheel first % wheel!arrowing % is greatly exacer!atedA a slowing aircraft, )ivoting on the nosewheel, is in a grossly unsta!le condition. +he )ossi!ility of an extreme ground loo), with consequent aircraft damage, is high.

Aft cg limit 6 tail$heavy


)he aft limit is #etermine# by the amount of re#uction in the length of the horiEontal stabiliser moment arm ! "hich #ecreases the effectiveness of the moment ! an# the increase in the nose3up pitching moment of the cg9ac couple& because of the cg #istance behin# the ac. 2t is the elevator authority available at lo" spee# that #etermines the aft cg limit. A cg outsi#e the aft limit "ill #ecrease longitu#inal stability& an# the ability to recover from stalls an# spins an# may itself lea# to a departure stall /i.e. a stall shortly after starting to climb out from the airfiel# "ith the engine at ma,imum po"er0 because there is insufficient elevator authority to lo"er the nose. A go3aroun# "ith the cg near the aft limit& "ith flaps e,ten#e#& full po"er& an# nose3up trim applie#& can be particularly #angerous for the un"ary pilot. An aircraft #oes not have to be near C)H; for the fore or aft cg limits to be breache#& as can be seen in the "eight9cg position limitations section. Cg position "ill change as fuel is consume#. Actually& the pilot of a light aircraft can vary the cg position -ust by leaning for"ar# or bac*"ar# in the seatZ )he follo"ing is an e,tract from an RA3Aus inci#ent reportG \+he aircraft, with instructor and student on !oard, was returning to the airfield when a )itch$down occurred. "Tn,nown to them, the elevator control horn assem!ly had failed.* Jontrol stic, and trim in)uts failed to correct the situation, !ut a reduction in )ower did have a correcting influence, though not enough to regain level flight. # satisfactory flight condition was achieved !y the )ilots )ushing their !odies !ac, as far as )ossi!le and hanging their arms rearward. # successful landing at the airfield was accom)lished.\

Mean aerodynamic chord

)he cg location can be e,presse# as a percentage of the mean aerodynamic chord ICACJ& "hich is particularly useful for #esigner9buil#ers. For a rectangular "ing of constant aerofoil section #imensions& CAC is -ust the chor#. For a symmetrically tapere# "ing& it is the average of the root chor# an# the tip chor#. Further information is in 8ascertaining CAC graphically8. )he position of the fore an# aft cg limits is measure# as a percentage of CAC& from the CAC lea#ing e#ge. :sually for a single or t"o3seat aircraft& the most for"ar# position "oul# be aft of % U CAC an# the most aft position "oul# be for"ar# of >'.> U CAC. )hus& the allo"able cg range in a light aircraft shoul#n8t e,cee# 2'U CAC. )he linear #istance bet"een the fore an# aft limits is perhaps % to 2' cm.

!eightHcg position limitations


)o #emonstrate ho" the "eight an# balance limits for a particular aircraft may vary accor#ing to the planne# flight operation& 2 have selecte# a four3 seat aircraft that is certificate# for operation in three certification categories ! normal& utility an# acrobatic. )he follo"ing #ata is e,tracte# from the aircraft flight manual. )he ma,imum ta*e3off "eight /in poun#s0 for operations in each category areG normal 2>> lb& utility 2%>B lb an# acrobatic %6=' lb. )he fore an# aft cg limits are measure# in inches from the #atum point an# also sho"n as a percentage of CAC. )he ma,imum number of persons on boar# I7H4J allo"e# for each con#ition is sho"n. Ma') weight JpoundsK 2>> %6@' 2%>B Fwd limit JinchesK 6(.%6 6>.'B 6 .=B

Category

Z MAC 2B %(. 22.

Aft limit JinchesK %'>. ( %'>. ( %'%.BB

Z MAC >@ >@ >>

,(B

$ormal $ormal :tility

= 2 >

:tility Acrobatic

%6@' %6='

6>.'B 6>.'B

%(. %(.

%'%.BB 6B. (

>> 2@

2 2

)he table #ata is summarise# belo" in graphical form& #epicting the "eight9cg envelope. )he vertical a,is #epicts "eight in poun#s an# the horiEontal a,is the stations in inches from the #atum. )he section outline# in blue is for normal operations "ith a V>.(g limit loa# factor& the green outline is for utility operations /training& spinning0 "ith V=.=g limit an# the re# area is for acrobatic category operations "ith a V@.'g limit. )o #etermine the fore an# aft cg limits& first ascertain the "eight position on the vertical scale an# rea# across "ithin the appropriate category. For e,ample& "ith "eight 22'' lb in the normal category& the for"ar# cg limit is at 6@ inches from the #atum an# the aft is at %'>. ( inches.

$ote the very restricte# cg an# C)H; range for aerobatics ! =. % inches /%%. cm0 or B. U CAC ! an# the re1uirement for the for"ar# limit to start at %(. U CAC& the most for"ar# position. Hn the other han#& "hen the aircraft is at ma,imum normal category "eight the cg range is only .>6 inches /%>. cm0 ! but no" the cg range is re1uire# to be at the other en# of the scale& bet"een 2BU an# >@U CAC. )he only occasion "hen the aircraft balance can be any"here in the specifie# range of %(. . >@U CAC /%'. % inches or 2B cm0 is "hen the aircraft is operating in the normal category at a "eight less than 2''' lb. )he area slice# off the top left corner is fairly representative of most "eight9cg limitation envelopes for me#ium to higher3performance light aircraft. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is containe#

"ithin section %%.@ Causes of ta*e3off acci#ents J 4ac* to top

Ascertaining mean aerodynamic chord graphically


For a rectangular "ing of constant aerofoil #imensions an# constant chor#& CAC is -ust the chor#. For a symmetrically tapere# "ing it is the average of the root chor# an# the tip chor#. )he #iagram belo" is a representation of the graphical metho# for calculating CAC position on such a "ing. )he metho# "or*s -ust as "ell for more comple, "ing plan forms. 0ote that for aerodynamic calculations the aircraft wing includes the area within or a!ove the fuselage and the root chord is always on the fuselage centreline. +he )osition of the wing aerodynamic centre is mar,ed with the red asteris,.

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L)> Ballasting
Sometimes an aircraft& "ith a tan#em pilot9passenger seating configuration li*e the 4reeEy& "ill re1uire a specifie#9calculate# ballast "eight to be strappe# in an unoccupie# passenger seat& unless the passenger seat is locate# at the cg position. )here are also pusher engine #esigns that are entirely #epen#ent upon sufficient minimum pilot "eight to put them in balance range& so a light"eight pilot may have to sit on a ballast bag. ;ith tan#em t"o3 seaters there "ill be both a minimum an# ma,imum pilot "eight for cg range& but that in turn coul# be influence# by rear seat "eight to *eep "ithin C)H;. 2n some cases& the rear seat also has a moment arm an# can affect the front seat arm& #epen#ing upon rear seat "eight. Regulations re1uire that any ballast& baggage or other cargo that is sto"e# on a passenger seat must not "eigh more than BB *g+ the "eight shoul# be evenly #istribute# an# positione# so that neither the cargo nor its restraints can interfere "ith the operation of the aircraft controls. 2n a##ition& if fitte# "ith removable #ual controls& the control column at the passenger seat shoul# be remove#. 2t is a#visable that the coc*pits of t"o3seaters ! particularly tan#ems ! but any aircraft that is #epen#ent upon the presence of a minimum an# ma,imum pilot "eight& shoul# be clearly placar#e# "ith the minimum9ma,imum seat "eights sho"n in the flight manual. )he nee# for ballasting is not confine# to ultralights. )he cg position of the four3seat 4eech Sun#o"ner is outsi#e the for"ar# limit "hen the only occupants are t"o above3average "eight people in the front seats& an# in such con#itions the aircraft has a ten#ency to "heelbarro" on lan#ing. Flying an unbalance# ultralight ! i.e. in a tail3heavy or a nose3 heavy con#ition ! even though the cg is not outsi#e the limits& increases pilot fatigue because of the nee# to maintain a constant heavy pressure on the control column if no trim #evice& or a limite# #evice& is fitte#.

L)A Calculating cg position and moment


Ynloaded aircraft
)he longitu#inal position of the cg an# its moment about a #atum point are rea#ily calculate#. A measuring tape& heavy3#uty

bathroom scales& plumb bob an# a chal* line are nee#e#. )he follo"ing is the proce#ure for an empty light nose"heel aircraft. Chal* a straight line on a level surface that is at least the length of the fuselage& then chal* another line perpen#icular to that. Roll the aircraft along the longitu#inal line until the a,les of both main "heels are #irectly over the cross line. Chal* another short cross line to mar* the nose"heel a,le position. Car* a position on the longitu#inal line that is #irectly belo" the front or bac* en# of the spinner thus provi#ing a #atum point. Ceasure the longitu#inal #istance /the nose"heel moment arm0 from the #atum to the nose"heel a,le line an# the #istance /the main"heel moment arm0 from the #atum to the main "heels a,le line. 7lace the scales un#er the nose"heel& bloc* up the main"heels so that the aircraft remains level an# note the "eight. )hen place the scales un#er one of the main"heels an# bloc* up the other main plus the nose"heel. $ote that "eight. Repeat for the other main"heel. A## the "eight on the nose"heel to arrive at the aircraft empty "eight /or perhaps its "eight "ith full fuel0. Cultiply the nose"heel "eight by its arm to get the nose"heel moment an# the a##e# main"heel "eights by the a,le arm to get the main"heel moment. A## the t"o together to arrive at the total empty aircraft moment. )he cg location from the #atum e1uals the empty aircraft moment #ivi#e# by the total aircraft "eight. For e,ampleG $ose"heel "eight N (' *g an# arm N '. m )hus nose"heel moment N =' Cain"heel "eight N 2K%@' *g an# arm N 2. m )hus main"heels moment N ('' Dmpty aircraft "eight N ('V%@'V%@' N ='' *g Dmpty aircraft moment about the #atum N =' V ('' N (=' Cg location "hen empty N (='9='' N 2.% m from the #atum

+oaded aircraft
)he cg location "ith pilot9passenger aboar# can be calculate# if a point about 2' cm for"ar# of the seat bac* /being the appro,imate centre of mass position of a seate# occupant0 is mar*e# on the longitu#inal chal* line+ the #istance from the #atum point to that point is the front seat/s0 moment arm. )he front seat/s0 moment is the occupant/s0 "eight multiplie# by the arm& an# the ne" cg location is the empty aircraft moment plus the front seat moment #ivi#e# by the empty aircraft "eight plus occupant "eight.

For e,ampleG Si#e3by3si#e front seats arm N 2.> m Hccupants "eight N % ' *g )hus front seats moment N >= Dmpty aircraft "eight N ='' *g Dmpty aircraft moment N (=' )otal aircraft "eight N ' *g )otal aircraft moment N %%= cg location N %>= 9 ' N 2.'( m from the #atum Similar calculations can be ma#e to inclu#e fuel "eight an# baggage "eight. Aircraft or *it manufacturers shoul# provi#e #ata #efining a #atum point together "ith the associate# arms for the pilot9passenger seats& fuel tan*s an# baggage compartments& plus the fore an# aft cg limits e,presse# as a #istance from the #atum point. ;ith such information the pilot can calculate the loa#e# cg position using the measure# "eights of occupants& fuel an# baggage. )he aircraft manufacturer shoul# provi#e a loa#ing chart to facilitate calculations. )he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #iscusses "eight3shift control.

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| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | I6. ;eight & balanceJ | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
| Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s | Safety #uring ta*e3off & lan#ing |

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!eight$shift control and powered "chutes


Revision 2 ! page content "as last change# Aecember 6& 2''(+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool 6 Theory of Flight

Module content

%'.% 8)ri*es8 %'.2 7o"ere# parachutes

=5)= "Tri#es"
Francis Rogallo& an American aeronautical engineer& e,perimente# in #elta3shape fle,ible "ings& "hich culminate# in a pro-ect to evaluate his Rogallo para"ing concept for suitability as a recovery vehicle for the Femini spacecraft. )he 7aragli#er Research ?ehicle pro-ect "as finally #roppe# in favour of parachute recovery& but the technology ac1uire# helpe# *ic*3start the hang3 gli#er in#ustry. )he technology has since #evelope# to "eight3shift controlle#& po"ere#3aircraft& commonly calle# 8fle,"ings8 or 8microlights8 or 8tri#es8. )he fle,ible& s"ept3"ing #esign provi#es high lift& a high L9A& a small pitching moment an# sub#ue# stall characteristics. )he "ing is aero#ynamically balance# in pitch& because a #o"nloa# is applie# at the rear of the "ing by a refle'ed aerofoil "the trailing edge is !ent u) % reverse cam!ered* an#9or the outer "ing sections are "ashe#3out. Longitu#inal stability is #erive# from the

reverse# cp movement ! as aoa increases& the cp moves bac*"ar#& "hich pitches the nose #o"n. )he s"ept3bac* lea#ing e#ge provi#es goo# lateral stability& although the #irectional an# lateral stability of such "ings is also #epen#ent on aoa& being most stable at lo" spee#s. )he aircraft bo#y ! consisting of the pilot9passenger po#& pusher engine mounting an# a tricycle un#ercarriage "from which comes the term 'tri,e'* ! is suspen#e# from a pitch3an#3roll -oint attache# to the "ing structure. )his hang3point is usually for"ar# of 2 U CAC. )here is no tailplane an# there are no control surfaces li*e ailerons& ru##ers or elevators. 7itch an# roll are controlle# entirely by shifting the "hole tri*e bo#y either to the si#es or fore an# aft& via pilot pressure on the control frame ! "hich is fi,e# relative to the "ing. )his action effectively shifts the cg in relation to the "ing aero#ynamic centre& hence 8"eight3shift8. )he only other flight control is the throttle. As there is no rotation about the normal a,is& "eight3shift aircraft are sometimes referre# to as 8t"o3a,is8 aircraft. A tri*e is limite# in manoeuvrability+ pitch angles of = O an# ban* angles of @'O are the recommen#e# ma,imums+ other"ise the usual physics apply for turning& climbing an# #escen#ing. For more information on the rather comple, aero#ynamics of the fle,"ing& chec* out the Aerial 7ursuits tri*es page& particularly the section on ho" a microlight turns.

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=5)4 ,owered parachutes


/Cy than*s to 4ill Fargano of `uantum 7arachutes for e#iting the follo"ing te,t.0 A po"ere# parachute "ing is a ram3air parachute& an# has a cambere# upper surface an# a flatter un#er surface& forme# from a lo"3porosity material such as rip3stop nylon. )he t"o surfaces are separate# by a series of ribs that create 8cells8& typically open to the airflo" at the lea#ing e#ge an# "ith internal cross3ports interconnecting the airflo". )he principle employe# is that the stagnation pressure ! #ynamic plus static ! "ithin the cells is greater than the e,ternal pressure& so the "ing forms& an# maintains& an aerofoil shape in flight ! so long as the stagnation

pressure hol#s. Hnce establishe#& the higher stagnation pressure is insi#e the mouth opening an# there is airflo" into the cells& then bac* out over both the upper an# lo"er surfaces. )he better #esigns have smoother flo". About ('.6'U of the total system #rag is contribute# by the "ing. 7o"ere# parachutes I77CJ have a lo" L9A ! aroun# > or =. )he "ing is #esigne# to form an anhe#ral arc un#er loa#. )hus& a 77C usually has a fairly lo" effective aspect ratio /aroun# =0& but the arc a##s to stability because the lift vector at most cell positions "ill have a lateral component. )hey normally operate at only one aoa an# airspee# ! aroun# 2 .>' *nots& although the aoa of some "ings can be change# by shifting "eight fore or aft& an# maintaining that pilot9passenger position ! much the same as altering the trim state of a three3a,is light aircraft by the pilot leaning for"ar# or bac*. All para"ings are capable of stalling /the cells lose their pressure an# collapse0 if ba#ly mishan#le#& or if flo"n in turbulence greater than 8lo"8. )he engine& pilot an# passenger are usually accommo#ate# /si#e3 by3si#e or tan#em0 in a tricycle un#ercarriage vehicle ! similar to the tri*e ! an# normally "ith the parachute lines being le# into four attachment points ! t"o for"ar# for the lea#ing e#ge lines an# t"o aft for the trailing e#ge lines. )he cg is lo" on the vehicle& the thrust line is above it an# the line of #rag is very high. Although it is a t"o3part system& the t"o parts act as a "hole provi#e# the state of trim is maintaine#. 2f po"er is increase# above cruise po"er& the thrust "ill initially push the vehicle for"ar# of the "ing ! increasing pitch ! an# the 77C "ill climb at the #esigne# spee#. Rate of climb is #epen#ent on throttle opening an# all3up "eight. Similarly& if po"er is #ecrease#& the pitch "ill #ecrease an# the 77C "ill #escen#. 2n normal cruise& climb an# #escent& the "ing automatically a#-usts to the aoa. )urning is accomplishe# by increasing #rag on one si#e of the "ing ! by pushing foot pe#als or pulling steering toggles ! "hich in turn pull #o"n on bra*e lines attache# to the "ing trailing e#ge. )he #eflection increases #rag on that si#e an# the aircraft ya"s an# turns. )he greater the #eflection& the steeper the turn ! an# the greater the height loss& unless po"er is increase#. 4ra*ing both "ings simultaneously "ill slo" the 77C an# increase rate of sin*+ e,cessive bra*ing may stall the "ing. Ho"ever& the ne"er generation of shape# "ings are significantly more efficient than the ol#er stan#ar# rectangular "ings an# can be flo"n using only "eight3shift. For pitch an# roll& the 77C relies on a natural pen#ulum stability

provi#e# by the long vertical separation bet"een the aero#ynamic centre an# the cg+ the "ing acts as the suspension point for the pen#ulum. Any turbulence "ill ten# to move the "ing further than the vehicle& because of the vehicle8s higher inertia& an# the pen#ulum effect 1uic*ly restores the normal state after the perturbation ! although the normal state is probably a gentle oscillation. A gust from the front has the effect of moving the "ing bac*& in relation to the vehicle. )his "ill temporarily increase aoa an# thus lift& because ?M is maintaine#& an# the aircraft "ill rise a little until the vehicle s"ings bac* un#er the "ing an# aoa is returne# to normal. A gust from the rear has the effect of moving the "ing for"ar#& an# #ecreasing aoa an# thus lift. )he aircraft "ill sin* a little& until the vehicle s"ings for"ar# an# aoa is returne# to normal. 7en#ulum stability is #ynamic& so there "ill be a fe" oscillations of rising9sin*ing after such #isturbances. Fusts "ith a vertical component "ill affect aoa an# "ing3loa#ing as "ith three3 a,is aircraft. 2n a##ition to atmospheric #isturbances& transient changes in attitu#e& aoa an# airspee# can be in#uce# by fast throttle changes& ra#ical control inputs an# fast "eight shifting. )he "ing "ill usually ! #epen#ing on tor1ue at varying rpm settings ! turn into the relative airflo" an# ta*e the vehicle "ith it. )his can be a problem in the ta*e3off or lan#ing roll if not con#ucte# #irectly into "in#& or if con#ucte# in turbulent con#itions. )he ne,t mo#ule in this Flight )heory Fui#e #iscusses ta*e3off consi#erations.

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| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | I%'. ;eight3shift controlJ | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

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% | Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s | Safety #uring ta*e3off & lan#ing | %

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Ta#e$off considerations
Revision ='a ! page content "as last change# Aecember %(& 2''(+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

%%.% )he ta*e3 off se1uence %%.2 Factors affecting safe ta*e3off performance %%.> Dngine effects an# aero#ynamic phenomena %%.= Calculating #ensity altitu#e

%%. Dffect of "in# %%.@ )a*e3off proce#ure %%.B )a*ing off to"ar#s rising terrain %%.( Limiting climbing turns #uring ta*e3 off

The ta#e$off se<uence in a light aircraft is the most critical of all normal flight procedures) All the engine"s availa le performance must e employed during the acceleration and initial clim 6 leaving no power in reserve 6 and there is no potential energy of e'cess height or e'cess momentum availa le) Thus% during ta#e$off% the pilot"s options are e'tremely limited) ,rior to ta#e$off% it is essential to chec# aircraft% airfield and atmospheric conditions to determine if ta#e$off can e underta#en safely and how it should e conducted)

==)= The ta#e$off se<uence

)he full ta*e3off se1uence starts at pre3flight planning an# conclu#es "henG the aircraft is establishe# in the climb configuration at an appropriate threshol# height at the best rate of climb airspee# or a suitable enroute climb airspee# "ith the recommen#e# po"er setting. )he pre3flight planning& "eather an# airfiel# chec*& aircraft inspection& fuel 1uantity an# 1uality chec*& engine "arm3up an# chec*& ta,iing chec*s& pre3ta*e3off chec*s an# ra#io proce#ures are all part of the full pre3flight proce#ure an# of goo# airmanship+ an# must be con#ucte# for every ta*e3off ! even if you -ust contemplate #oing a 1uic* "eather chec* flight. )a*e3off proce#ures an# techni1ues vary accor#ing to aircraft typeG tailwheel configuration % tractor or )usher engineA nosewheel configuration % tractor or )usherA fla) equi))edA canard configurationA delta$wingedA )owered )arachuteA or weight$shift aircraft. Some proce#ures shoul# be specifie# in the pilot8s operating han#boo* for that aircraft. 2n this mo#ule& "e "ill loo* at the common factors to be consi#ere# in the e,ecution of the ta*e3off for the normally configure#& three3a,is& nose"heel an# tail"heel aircraft. )here are #iffering ta*e3off proce#ures or techni1ues& or combinations thereof& applicable to particular airfiel# con#itionsG normal ta*e3off short fiel# ta*e3off soft fiel# ta*e3off. )he ta*e3off se1uence is varie# accor#ing to prevailing con#itions& but it usually has three partsG

the initial groun# roll& "here the essentially lan#borne machine is accelerate# to a lift3off spee# selecte# accor#ing to the airfiel# con#itions. Aero#ynamic #rag an# rolling friction retar# acceleration lift3off follo"e# by a short transition perio# "here the aircraft is accelerate# by *eeping in#uce# #rag

to a reasonable level& possibly in groun# effect /i.e. "hile hel# -ust above the surface0& until either a minimum ta*e3off safety spee# /?toss0 or the selecte# CAS for best rate of climb /?y0& or the best angle of climb /?,0& is reache#

the climb3out& trac*ing the run"ay hea#ing& to a safe threshold height "here the pilot8s options are less restricte#& possibly >''.%''' feet above groun# level IaglJ& an# "here airspee# can be increase# to an appropriate enroute climb spee#. Regulations forbi# turns a"ay from the e,ten#e# run"ay line until the aircraft is '' feet agl. Ho"ever& at many smaller airfiel#s& local custom may prescribe a climb3out path that provi#es greater safety in an engine failure event.

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==)4 Factors affecting safe ta#e$off performance


Apart from the pilot8s con#ition an# capability& ta*e3off performance is limite# by the follo"ing constraints& all of "hich shoul# be carefully assesse# "ithin pre ta*e3off proce#ure to establish "hether a safe ta*e3off is viable. %. Aircraft weight and alance. )he critical nature of aircraft "eight an# balance at ta*e3off has been highlighte# in the 8;eight an# balance8 mo#ule& an# shoul# be revie"e#. 2. Standard ta#e$off distance 9T(2:. )HA shoul# al"ays be e,presse# as the total #istance re1uire# to accelerate from a stan#ing start& an# clear an imaginary screen ' feet /% .2 m0 high. )he ground roll is that first part of the )HA "here the aircraft8s "eight is partly

or fully supporte# by the un#ercarriage+ sometimes people incorrectly refer to the groun# roll as the )HA& ignoring the fact that the #istance covere# from the lift3off point to climb to ' feet may be longer than the groun# roll. 2t is *no"n for an un#er po"ere# aircraft to be able to lift3off but then be unable to climb out of groun# effect. )HA is officially e,presse# as the ta#e$off distance re<uired I)HARJ to clear the ' feet screen.)hese stan#ar#s re1uire that the operating con#itions associate# "ith a particular )HAR "ill be specifie# in approve# aircraft ta*e3off performance charts. )hese con#itions are pressure altitu#e& temperature& run"ay slope an# surface& an# "in# velocity. CAH %'%.2(& an air"orthiness certification re1uirement for commercially supplie# amateur3built *it ultralights& states in part /at paragraph >.@0G \)he ta*e3off #istance shall be establishe# Iby the manufacturerJ an# shall be the #istance re1uire# to reach a screen height of ' feet from a stan#ing start& c appropriate to a short #ry grass surface c I)heJ aeroplane Ishoul# reachJ the screen height at a ta#e$off safety speed Iauthor8s emphasisJ not less than %.2 ?s% c )a*e3off charts c shall sche#ule #istances establishe# in accor#ance "ith the provisions of this paragraph& factore# by %.% .\ CAH 6 . has much the same "or#ing but specifies %.> ?s% as the ta*e3off safety spee# an# FAR 7art 2> is similar. 8Short #ry grass8 means grass less than %'' mm long. :nless the manufacturer8s ta*e3off performance figures are publishe# as an approved performance chart "ithin the aircraft8s flight manual or comparable #ocument& then such figures shoul# be treate# as unverifie# sales claims. 2n the absence of

any specifie# con#itions in an unapprove# performance chart& assume that sea level 2SA& nil "in# an# smooth& #ry run"ay are the basis for the publishe# #ata. 2f the manufacturer8s performance charts only provi#e #ata for the aircraft at ma,imum ta*e3 off "eight then& for an ultralight aircraft& a re#uction of %'U in )HAR for each ' *g the aircraft8s "eight belo" C)H; is probably a reasonable estimate. Stopping distance re<uired. )he #istance re1uire# to reach flight spee#& an# then bring the aircraft to a halt& shoul# be *no"n. 2t may be necessary to aban#on the ta*e3off soon after lift3off& #ue to #oubtful engine performance or other event ! this is particularly important in short fiel# or 8hot an# high8 ta*e3offs. 2f ta*e3off an# lan#ing #istance /over a ' feet screen0 charts are available then the total #istance nee#e# to ta*e3off& aban#on ta*e3off at ' feet& lan# an# bring the aircraft to a halt is the sum of the charte# ta*e3off an# lan#ing #istances re1uire#. Airframe condition. An airframe in a battere# or #irty con#ition& or "hich sports unnecessary or non3stan#ar# accoutrements& "ill increase #rag an# retar# acceleration& lengthen )HAR& an# re#uce climb performance. Engine age% condition and operating temperatures. An engine that is incapable of pro#ucing its rate# po"er "ill re#uce acceleration& lengthen )HAR an# re#uce climb performance. )he engine manufacturer8s instructions regar#ing "arm3up proce#ures shoul# be follo"e#& to ensure appropriate temperatures an# pressures are establishe# before the engine is sub-ect to the stresses of ta*e3off po"er+ other"ise the potential for an 8engine failure after ta*e3off8 is greatly increase#. ,ropeller condition and pitch. Chippe# lea#ing e#ges or score# bla#es& apart from being #angerous #ue to the possibility of #elamination or fracture& "ill a#versely affect thrust output. 4la#e pitch at a coarse setting ! a cruise setting ! "ill re#uce acceleration an#

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climb performance. B. Tyre pressure. :n#er3inflate# tyres increase the rolling friction& #ecrease the acceleration an# a## perhaps %'U to the groun# roll. (. Airfield dimensions and slope. )he usable length of run"ays or strips must be *no"n& as "ell as the #egree of slope. )a*ing off upslope "ill re#uce acceleration an# lengthen the groun# roll because thrust must also overcome a force e1ual to the aircraft "eight K the sine of the angle of slope& in a##ition to the #rag an# rolling friction. )he groun# roll "ill increase by about % U for each 2U of upslope. Run"ay slope can be measure# by ta*ing an altimeter rea#ing at each en#& #ivi#ing the elevation #ifference by the run"ay length /in feet0 an# multiplying by %'' to get the appro,imate slope percentage. 6. Airfield surface and surrounds . A short #ry grass or rough gravel surface might a## %'U to the groun# roll compare# to that for a smooth& seale# surface. ;et or long grass might a## 'U to the groun# roll. A soft or "aterlogge# surface might #ouble the groun# roll. Surface "ater an#9or "et grass can lea# to a1uaplaning an# loss of #irectional control+ the effect of frost is similar. )he height of obstructions an# local terrain must be *no"n. %'. Airfield density altitude. )he #ensity altitu#e is a critical factor that is often not correctly assesse#& an# has a ma-or effect on engine output& propeller performance an# lift generate#. )hus it affects acceleration& )HAR an# climb performance to such an e,tent that on 8hot an# high8 airstrips an aircraft may be incapa le of safe ta#e$off and clim $out . Re3 rea# section >.= 8High #ensity altitu#e8. 11. !ind velocity and tur ulence. After "eight an# balance plus #ensity altitu#e& the ma-or consi#erations in ta*e3off performance for a properly maintaine# aircraft are then "in# strength& #irection& gra#ient& #o"nflo"& gust intensity& surface turbulence an# the potential for "in# shear events. 7lease rea# 8Surface gusts or lo" level "in# shear8 in the 8;in# shear an# turbulence8 mo#ule.

)he #iagram to the left in#icates possible cumulative effects of some ta*e3off con#itions on )HAR. 4ut as e,plaine# in section %%.@& the ta*e3off #istance re1uire# can be much greater. )he pilot in comman# of an aircraft must assess all the foregoing factors an# con#itions to ascertain the cumulative total #istance re1uire# for ta*e3off an# obstacle clearance& an# then -u#ge if the ta*e3off can be con#ucte# safely. )he gol#en rule is \;f you have A.T dou ts% don"t fly\. The most favoura le conditions for optimum ta#e$off performance at MT(! areG a pilot "ho follo"s the rules an# the recommen#e# proce#ures an aircraft in very goo# con#ition an# fitte# "ith a 8climb8 or variable pitch propeller a surface that is #ry& smooth an# level ! or "ith a slight #o"nslope a lo" #ensity altitu#e+ i.e. lo" elevation an# lo" temperature a smooth& full hea#"in# of reasonable an# constant velocity sufficient separation is maintaine# to avoi# aircraft "a*e turbulence. Lou shoul# not only be concerne# that the ta*e3off is con#ucte# safely& it shoul# also be accurately controlle# ! beginning "ith ta,iing ! so that alignments& hea#ings& attitu#e an# airspee#s ! the 'num!ers' ! are properly maintaine# throughout. )he ta*e3off shoul# ta*e a#vantage of the aircraft8s an# engine8s ma,imum rate of climb capability to reach the threshol# height ! an# it shoul# loo* "ell e,ecute# to an informe# observer stan#ing behin# the aircraft8s ta*e3off point. 2n a##ition& you must have pre3establishe# plans to safely cope "ith partial or total po"er loss& occurring at any stage of the

ta*e3off se1uence. See 8Dngine failure after ta*e3off8 an# 8)he turn bac*& possible or impossible ! or -ust un"iseT8. )here are "eb versions of t"o CASA A#visory Circulars on this siteG F)erations at non$controlled airfields an# Safety during ta,e$off and landing. 4oth these #ocuments shoul# be rea# in con-unction "ith this mo#ule. I)he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the follo"3on section %%.> 8Dngine effects an# aero#ynamic phenomena8.J

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==)> Engine effects and aerodynamic phenomena


)here are some engine effects& plus aero#ynamic an# inertia phenomena& "hich "ill be noticeable at ta*e3off. Ho"ever& both their e,istence an# the e,tent of their effect are #epen#ent on the configuration of the aircraft. )ail"heel aircraft are particularly sub-ect to these phenomena& "hich can cause #ifficulties to any pilot "ho is ine,perience# in the slo"3spee# han#ling of such aircraft. :ltralight aircraft also ten# to have a much higher po"er3to3"eight ratio than their general aviation counterparts. For e,ample& at C)H;& the t"o3seat %%' hp Cessna % 2 an# 7iper )omaha"* both "eigh %@B' lb an# have a po"er loa#ing of % lb9hp+ "hereas a t"o3seat amateur built aircraft acceptance category ultralight e1uippe# "ith an (' hp engine "ill have a po"er loa#ing of %2. lb9hp& an# only %' lb9hp if fitte# "ith a %'' hp engine. A single3seat CAH 6 .%' ultralight fitte# "ith -ust a @' hp engine "ill have a po"er loa#ing of %% lb9hp. The lower the power loading% or the higher the power$to$weight ratio% the greater and faster the reaction will e to the engine effects.

The helical slipstream


)he propeller bla#es pro#uce a rotating slipstream tube "ith a #iameter e1ual to that of the propeller #isc an# a helical effect that

increases as for"ar# spee# increases. 2f the propeller rotates cloc*"ise& "hen vie"e# from behin# the aircraft& the slipstream tube "ill also rotate cloc*"ise. ;here the engine is mounte# in the nose /as "ith the <abiru0& then the slipstream "ill rotate cloc*"ise aroun# the fuselage+ anything mounte# belo" the fuselage "ill e,perience increase# pressure on the right si#e /from the slipstream stri*ing it at an angle0 an# anything mounte# above the fuselage "ill e,perience higher pressure on the left si#e. )he significant surfaces mounte# above the fuselage are the fin an# ru##er& an# the increase# pressure on their left3han# si#e "ill ten# to push the tail to the right+ i.e. in nil "in# con#itions& the aircraft "ill "ant to s"erve to the left ! particularly in the early stages of the ta*e3off run "hen the slipstream counts for practically all the airflo" aroun# the fin an# ru##er. )he s"ing #irection "oul# be reverse# for aircraft "ith the propeller rotating anti3cloc*"ise. Full application of compensating ru##er may be re1uire# at the start of the groun# roll. )he helical effect lessens as the aircraft accelerates /because the angle at "hich the slipstream meets the vertical surfaces lessens an# also the ru##er becomes increasingly effective0& so ru##er pressure shoul# be #ecrease# as the ta*e3off roll progresses. Sli)stream effect is not so a))arent in the landing ground roll !ecause normally the throttle is closed. Ho"ever& if the engine is mounte# above the fuselage& the rotating slipstream tube "ill be higher relative to the fin an# ru##er& an# the s"ing effect may be lessene# or reverse#+ aircraft "ith a pusher engine mounting are sub-ect to the same effect. 4efore you fly any aircraft it is a#visable to #etermine "hich "ay the aircraft "ill s"ing& an# ho" to control the s"ing. )he helical slipstream "ill also meet the horiEontal stabiliser at an angle but the resulting effect is #ifficult to #etermine or #istinguish. ;hen a tail"heel aircraft has all "heels on the groun#& as in the early part of the ta*e3off groun# roll& the slipstream may be #eflecte# by the airfiel# surface so that the effect on the fin an# ru##er may vary bet"een the tail3#o"n an# tail3up positions.

,ropeller tor<ue effect


)he reaction tor1ue of a propeller rotating un#er po"er attempts to rotate the aircraft about the propeller shaft. Hf course& it is prevente# by the resistance of the "ings an# un#ercarriage. Ho"ever& at the beginning of the ta*e3off run& the tor1ue may be sufficient to increase the friction on one tyre an# thus cause the aircraft to pull to"ar#s that si#e. )he effect is there in the early

stages of ta*e3off but may not be apparent as such& because it reinforces the s"ing ten#ency initiate# by the helical slipstream. "+he )ro)eller torque on some very high$)owered, )iston$engined fighter aircraft has !een such that at full )ower the aircraft tended to ho) sideways down the runway. 1n such aircraft, the engine was not o)ened u) to full clim! )ower until air!orne, unless it was carrying a very heavy armament load.*

Gyroscopic precession effect


Any applie# tor1ue& "hich ten#s to alter the #irection of the a,is of a spinning gyroscope& causes the #irection of the a,is to move slo"ly /precess0 6'O to the applie# force an# in the #irection of rotation. A fast3rotating propeller #isc acts as a gyroscope an# the precession effect may be noticeable as a slight vertical nose movement "hen a level turn is initiate# in flight. 2t is particularly apparent "hen the tail of a tail"heel aircraft is raise# #uring ta*e3 off. 2t may cause a fast3acting s"ing to the left for a cloc*"ise3 rotating propeller. )he pilot must anticipate this action by applying compensating ru##er as the tail is lifte#. )he same might apply "hen the tail is lo"ere# #uring the lan#ing run& "ith a s"ing in the opposite #irection+ but that is unli*ely& as normally the engine "oul# be i#ling. Lou can rea# a little about gyroscopic effect in this magaEine article+ the effect is also utilise# in some a#vance# aerobatic manoeuvres. Fyroscopic precession effect is #epen#ent on the rate of change in pitch or ya"& an# the rotational spee# an# the moment of inertia of the propeller. For more information see matching engine an# propeller.

,$factor
73factor& or asymmetric disc effect or asymmetric lade effect& occurs "hen the thrust line is not aligne# "ith the flight path+ i.e. "hen flying "ith a high angle of attac*. As the propeller #isc is then incline# to the relative airflo"& a #o"n3going propeller bla#e has a greater component of for"ar# velocity than an up3going bla#e+ thus& the #o"n3going bla#e generates slightly more thrust than the up3going bla#e. For a cloc*"ise rotation& more thrust is then generate# on the right3han# si#e of the #isc& "hich again reinforces the slipstream& tor1ue an# gyroscopic3in#uce# ten#encies for such aircraft to s"ing left #uring ta*e3off. 73factor is #epen#ent on thrust an# is proportional to for"ar# spee#& so it is not a significant factor in the initial part of the groun#

roll for a tail"heel aircraft& even though the a,is of the airscre" #isc is incline# to the horiEontal+ it "ill become increasingly apparent as the groun# roll progresses& if the aircraft8s tail3#o"n attitu#e is maintaine#. 73factor may also become apparent as higher velocities are reache# ! -ust before an# after lift3off ! if a high aoa is employe# at those stages. 73factor may cause the aircraft to ya" "hen flying level using high po"er at high angles of attac*. 73factor has little or no effect on a tail"heel aircraft #uring the lan#ing groun# roll because& normally& "hen the throttle is close# no thrust is pro#uce# ! there is only propeller #rag. Ho"ever& shoul# the throttle be opene# su##enly #uring the groun# roll "hile the tail"heel is on the groun#& there may be a prompt 73factor reaction.

;nertial effect of centre of gravity position


2f the aircraft8s cg is behin# the main "heels& as it must be in a tail"heel un#ercarriage aircraft& then any groun# s"erve ! initiate# by the helical slipstream& gyroscopic effect& tor1ue& cross"in#& "in# gust& #eflating tyre or rough groun# ! "ill be reinforce# by the inertia of the aircraft& applie# through the cg position& an# ten# to pivot aroun# the main "heels. ;hen the cg of the loa#e# aircraft is in front of the main "heels ! i.e. a nose"heel un#ercarriage ! the aircraft8s inertia "ill lea# to self3 correction of the s"ing& provi#e# there is no e,cessive "eight on the nose"heel. )he cg inertial effect is usually much more li*ely to cause real #ifficulties "hen a tail"heel aircraft is slo"ing /i.e. on lan#ing0 rather than "hen accelerating. )here are circumstances "here the cg inertial effect also applies to nose"heel aircraft+ see 8"heelbarro"ing8. 2t is very important in such aircraft to i#entify any #eparture from the planne# hea#ing at a very early stage of the 8swing8& an# ta*e prompt& corrective action ! but not to the e,tent of over3correcting. )he pilot must recognise the s"ing& stop it& correct the hea#ing an# then halt the correction. Hver3correction is e,acerbate# by a har#& smooth run"ay surface. A groundloop is a s"ing that has been accentuate# by the inertia effect into a very rapi# %('O movement& "hich often causes "ingtip an# un#ercarriage #amage& an# occurs at spee#s bet"een an# 2 *nots. At lo" spee#s an#9or in light "in#s& the inertia effect is stronger than any "eathercoc*ing action. +here are occasions when it is necessary for a )ilot to induce a groundloo), usually when nearing the !oundary fence at s)eed

after a !adly 7udged landing. +he groundloo) is induced !y a))lying full rudder together with full !ra,e on the same side. )he s"ing effect is e,acerbate# if a tail"heel aircraft is 8short3 couple#8 ! i.e. the moment arm bet"een the tail"heel an# the main "heels /or the fin an# the cg0 is short& an# thus the tail"heel friction moment is less than it might be. Such aircraft s"ing very rapi#ly. )he inertia effect re1uires that ta,iing techni1ues for tail"heel aircraft #iffer from those for nose"heel aircraft. A turn& initiate# by ru##er or bra*e in a nose"heel aircraft& "ill stop as soon as the pilot removes ru##er or bra*e pressure& because the inertia effect is al"ays trying to straighten up the groun# path /"in# con#itions permitting0. Ho"ever& "ith a tail"heel aircraft& once a turn is initiate# the inertia effect "ill *eep the turn going ! an# possibly tightening ! until the pilot ta*es #efinite action by using opposite ru##er or bra*e to halt the turn.

Ground effect
2n the 8Aerofoils an# "ings8 mo#ule "e sa" that in#uce# #rag "as a conse1uence of lift generation& an# the associate# "ingtip vortices increase the momentum imparte# to the #o"n"ash. ;hen an aircraft is flying very close to the airfiel# surface #uring ta*e3off an# lan#ing& the formation of the vortices is partly impe#e# by the pro,imity of the groun#& so in#uce# #rag is less than normal. )he phenomenon is ground effect& an# implies faster acceleration on ta*e3off /"hich can be very useful0 an# slo"er #eceleration on lan#ing /"hich generally is not useful0.2t can only occur "hen the lo"er surfaces of the "ings are much less than one full "ingspan from the surface. )he closer the airborne aircraft is to the surface& the greater the re#uction in in#uce# #rag. A light aircraft that maintains height "ith the "ing un#er3surface about one31uarter "ing span above the groun#& might e,perience a >'.='U re#uction+ at lo" spee#s& this "oul# amount to a % .2'U re#uction in total #rag. A 'U re#uction in in#uce# #rag might be achieve# if the "ing height is e1uivalent to one3tenth of "ing span "hich may be possible in a lo"3"ing aircraft an# if the pilot has a very stea#y han#. 2n#uce# #rag is normally a much greater force than the "heel9tyre rolling friction on a smooth& #ry surface. 2f flying in groun# effect an# utilising ma,imum available po"er& then "hen a #isturbance causes the aircraft to lift further a"ay from the groun#& the in#uce# #rag "ill be restore# imme#iately "ith a conse1uent #ecrease in

airspee#& #ecrease in lift an# substantial sin* to"ar#s the groun#. Similarly& if maintaining a constant lo" velocity in groun# effect /i.e. not accelerating& "hich is poor energy management practice but can rea#ily occur in an un#erpo"ere# or over"eight aircraft& or "hen attempting ta*e3off in high #ensity altitu#e con#itions0 the aircraft may not brea* out of the groun# effect because as the control column is pulle# bac*& the in#uce# #rag increases& velocity slo"s& lift #ecreases an# the aircraft sin*s bac* into groun# effect. 2f the aircraft cannot be accelerate# it may en# up tripping over the boun#ary fence& unless the throttle is close# an# the aircraft lan#e#. I)he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section >.= 8High #ensity altitu#e8J

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==)A Calculating density altitude


)he calculation of #ensity altitu#e is fully e,plaine# in section >.=. Ho"ever& "e "ill run through an e,ample for an airstrip ! 8Hlly8s Folly8 ! locate# at an elevation of 2''' feet. :n#er 2SA con#itions& the stan#ar# temperature an# pressure at that height is %% OC an# 6=2 h7a respectively. ;e "ill #o #ensity altitu#e calculations for a col# "inter morning in a high pressure system& an# a hot summer afternoon in a lo" pressure trough. Remember that each % OC variation from 2SA is roughly e1uivalent to %2' feet variation in #ensity altitu#e. JaK Cold winter morning& temperature is ' OC an# by setting %'%>.2 on the altimeter pressure setting scale "e rea# off the pressure altitu#e as %@'' feet. /;e remember& of course& to then reset the scale to local or area `$H0. )he temperature of ' OC is %% OC less than 2SA& so the #ensity altitu#e variation #ue to temperature variation isG .%% K %2' N .%>2' feet. So& #ensity altitu#e N pressure altitu#e d temperature variation N %@'' .%>2' N 2(' feet )hus& the aircraft shoul# perform "ell at ta*e3off ! close to its rate# sea3level capability.

J K 0ot summer afternoon& temperature is > OC an# by setting %'%>.2 on the altimeter pressure setting scale "e rea# off the pressure altitu#e as 2='' feet. )he temperature of > OC is 2= OC greater than 2SA so the #ensity altitu#e variation #ue to temperature variation is V2= K %2' N V2((' feet. So& #ensity altitu#e N 2='' V 2((' N 2(' feet )hus& the aircraft "ill perform poorly at ta*e3off ! probably at less than B'U of its rate# sea3level capability. )he follo"ing is an e,tract from an RA3Aus inci#ent reportG K1 was attem)ting to ta,e$off in a )addoc, a))roximately 1 5 metres in length. 2ue to the hot "38 6J* conditions the aircraft did not get enough lift which resulted in the main wheels catching the to) wire of the !oundary fence. +he aircraft was slowed and struc, the ground in a nose$down )osition. +he wire sna))ed allowing the aircraft to !ounce a))roximately 25 feet in the air. 1 cut the )ower and landed the aircraft to the left to miss another fence. +his caused the left wingti) to stri,e the ground !efore coming to a sto). 1 wal,ed away from the accident.K )he aircraft manufacturer provi#e# the follo"ing informationG K... the ta,e$off distance to safely clear a 18 metre o!stacle is 213 metres in 1S# sea level conditions.K

1ule of Thum Q=
2n the absence of manufacturer3supplie# #ata the effect of #ensity altitu#e on )HAR /for a #ry& smooth an# level surface0 can be estimate#G [;n nil wind conditions% for each =555 feet that the pressure altitude e'ceeds sea level add =5Z to T(21% then for each =5 PC that the airfield temperature e'ceeds 5 PC add a further =5Z)[ e.g. in the 8Hlly8s Folly8 hot #ay situation& the aircraft manufacturer8s stan#ar# sea level )HAR is 2 ' m.

7ressure altitu#e is 2='' feetG 2 ' K %.2= N >%' m. )emperature is > OCG >%' K %.> N =%6 m )HA. )hen a## a further %'U margin for ran#om events N =@' m estimate# )HAR. )his is for a #ry& smooth an# level surface+ if the surface is long grass "ith a 2U upslope then you might have to a## another 'U to )HAR& ma*ing it nearly three times the manufacturer8s stan#ar# #istanceZ 1emem er that all the factors mentioned a ove relating to surface% slope% pressure% temperature% airframe and engine condition are cumulative% and the runway length is finite)

1ule of Thum Q4
2n the absence of manufacturer3supplie# #ata& the effect of #ensity altitu#e on ma,imum rate of climb can be estimate#G Let8s say our aircraft8s manufacturer states the ?y rate of climb at sea level in stan#ar# 2SA con#itions is %''' feet per minute. Ho"ever& manufacturers8 stan#ar# sea level rates of climb are usually base# on an aircraft in factory ne" con#ition& flo"n by a very accurate pilot in the most benign atmospheric con#itions. )he manufacturer8s stan#ar# shoul# be #o"ngra#e# by a factor that represents an a#-ustment for general engine& propeller& airframe an# other con#itions ! say % U ! thus the practical rate of clim at sea level in stan#ar# 2SA con#itions shoul# be regar#e# as ( ' feet per minute at ?y. [The practical rate of clim at /y should e reduced y =5Z for each =555 feet of density altitude)[ e.g. At a #ensity altitu#e of ''' feet& there is a 'U re#uction in the ma,imum rate of climb to =2 fpm.

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==)D Effect of wind


;in# #irection& strength an# variability are usually assesse# by observing the airfiel# "in#soc*s ! these in#icate the #irection an# variability& an# provi#e some i#ea of the surface spee#. 2n#ication of "in# spee# "ill vary "ith the type of "in#soc*. )he 4ureau of Ceteorology area forecast shoul# provi#e an in#ication of the overlying gra#ient "in#.

Ta#e$off into windV


)here are several reasons "hy an aircraft& operating from reasonably flat terrain& shoul# normally ta*e3off #irectly into "in# ! or as close to that as possible "hen operating from #efine# run"ays or strips. 2f an into3"in# ta*e3off coinci#es "ith an upslope run"ay& then a little calculation shoul# be #one to ascertain "hether a #o"nslope tail"in# ta*e3off is preferable. Lou may fin# some 8one3"ay8 airstrips "here a combination of airfiel# slope an# rising terrain at the high en# man#ates ta*e3off in one #irection only& no matter "hat the "in# #irection. 2f you inten# operating into such strips& chec* the aircraft insurance policy carefully& because cover may be voi#e#.

)he groun# /rolling0 spee# for ta*e3off is lo"er. )he airspee# #uring the groun# roll e1uals the groun# spee# plus9minus the hea#"in#9tail"in# component. )hus& if the aircraft is rolling at >' *nots into a %' *not hea#"in#& the airspee# N >'V%' N =' *nots. 2f rolling at >' *nots "ith a %' *not follo"ing "in#& the airspee# N >' .%' N 2' *nots. 2t is easier to *eep straight because of the aircraft8s increase# #irectional stability& #ue to the higher airspee#. )he ta*e3off groun# roll is shorter. )he into3"in# climb3out "ill be steeper an# provi#e better obstacle clearance. /4ut the rate of climb ! i.e. time to height ! is not #epen#ent on "in# #irection.0 )he vertical "in# profile is such that the "in# velocity changes encountere# #uring the climb are li*ely to be an increase in hea#"in# spee#& thus provi#ing a momentary increase in lift shoul# any vertical shear be encountere#. 2f the engine shoul# fail after ta*e3off& the aircraft

can rea#ily lan# into "in# thus re#ucing impact force& because the groun# spee# is re#uce# 1uite significantly at light aircraft spee#s. Ho"ever& there are other factors involve#+ see 87ractice goo# energy management in the ta*e3offZ8. 2t is safer to conform to an accepte# traffic pattern& "hich is al"ays base# on ta*e3off into "in#& or as near as run"ay #irection allo"s.

Estimating the crosswind component of the wind velocity


;hen operating from #efine# airstrips or run"ays& the chances of the "in# #irection correspon#ing e,actly "ith the strip alignment are lo"+ thus& most ta*e3offs have an element of cross"in#. Also& local gusts an# e##ies usually alter the "in# strength an# #irection #uring ta*e3off. )a*ing off "ith a significant cross"in# component ma*es it more #ifficult to *eep aligne# "ith the selecte# path ! because the aircraft "ill try to "eathercoc* into the cross"in# ! an# increases the possibility of one "ing lifting #uring the groun# roll. Lateral forces may stress the un#ercarriage. All aircraft shoul# have a #emonstrate# velocity limit for the 6'O cross"in# component in both ta*e3off an# lan#ing. For a very light aircraft& the #emonstrate# cross"in# component limit may be %'.%2 *nots& eyond which there is insufficient rudder authority to counter any adverse movement. 1f the crosswind limit is not ,nown, you can assume that it is less than 28I of Nso. "G#R ?art 23.233 requires that all aircraft have safe handling characteristics with a direct crosswind com)onent not less than 5.2 Nso.* )here are also various techni1ues to be learne# for positioning the ailerons& elevators an# ru##er ! #epen#ing on aircraft configuration& "in# strength an# "in# #irection ! "hile ta,iing an# #uring the groun# roll. ;hile ta,iing& the aircraft "ill al"ays ten# to "eathercoc* into "in# an# there are techni1ues for ta*ing a#vantage of that "hen turning in breeEy con#itions. 4e a"are that& #ue to the high cg an# narro" "heel trac*& all light aircraft are fairly unstable "hen turning "hile ta,iing. )urns ma#e at spee#s much above "al*ing pace may result in a "ingtip groun# stri*e.

Easy calculation to determine the crosswind component Having #etermine# ta*e3off #irection an# estimate# the "in# velocityG %. Dstimate the "in# angle+ i.e. if you inten# ta*ing off to"ar#s the north an# the "in# is coming from the north3east or north3"est& then the "in# angle is about = O. 2. )he cross"in# component is the "in#spee# multiplie# by the sine of the "in# angle. Ho"ever& a reasonable appro,imation of the cross"in# component is ma#e if you multiply the "in# angle by %. an# apply the result as a percentage /to ma,imum %''U0 of the "in# spee#. e.g. ;in# spee# % *nots& "in# angle = OG Cross"in# component N = K %. N @B. U of % N %' *nots 2f the angle "as >'O the cross"in# component "oul# be about B *nots. >. 2f the "in# angle is @'O or more& consi#er the full "in# spee# as the cross"in# component+ i.e. "in# spee# % *nots& "in# angle @'O& then cross"in# component N % *nots.

Estimating the headwind or tailwind component


2n some cross"in# ta*e3offs& you may nee# to estimate the hea#"in# or tail"in# component of the "in# velocity. )he hea#"in# or tail"in# component of a cross"in# is not the "in# velocity minus the cross"in# component ! the s1uare of the hea#"in# or tail"in# component e1uals the s1uare of "in# velocity minus the s1uare of the cross"in# component. Easy calculation to determine the headwind or tailwind component Having #etermine# ta*e3off #irection an# estimate# the "in# velocityG

%. Dstimate the "in# angle+ i.e. if you inten# ta*ing off to"ar#s the north an# the "in# is coming from the north3east or north3"est& then the "in# angle is = O. 2. )he hea#"in# component is the "in#spee# multiplie# by the cosine of the "in# angle. Ho"ever& a reasonable appro,imation of the cross"in# component is ma#e if you #e#uct the "in# angle from %% an# apply the result as a percentage /to ma,imum %''U0 of the "in# spee#. e.g. ;in# spee# % *nots& "in# angle = OG Hea#"in# component N %% .= N B'U of % N %' *nots >. 2f the "in# angle is >'O or less& consi#er the full "in# spee# as the hea#"in# component+ i.e. "in# spee# % *nots& "in# angle 2 O& then hea#"in# component N % *nots. 2f the "in# angle e,cee#s 6'O from your inten#e# ta*e3 off #irection then& of course& there is a tail"in# component. 2n "hich case& use the acute angle that the "in# subten#s "ith your ta*e3off #irection+ e.g. if the "in# is from the south3east or south3"est "hen ta*ing off to"ar#s the north the acute angle is = O an# the same calculation as above is ma#e to #etermine the tail"in# component.

Easy calculation to determine the headwind or tailwind effect on ground roll distance 2f you *no" the nil "in# ta*e3off groun# roll for a particular aircraft& you can estimate the ta*e3off groun# roll for various hea#"in# components& "ith the same airfiel# surface con#itions. )he ta*e3off groun# roll N the nil "in# groun# roll K /Ilift3 off spee# ."in# spee#J 9lift3off spee#0M For e,ample& if an aircraft has a groun# roll of %'' m

before reaching the normal lift3off spee# of =' *nots& "hat "oul# be the ta*e3off groun# roll into a hea#"in# of *notsT )he ta*e3off groun# roll N %'' K /I=' . J 9 ='0M N %'' K '.(B M N %'' K '.B@ N B@ m. ;hat "oul# it be "ith a tail"in# of *notsT

)he ta*e3off groun# roll N %'' K /I=' V J 9 ='0 M N %'' K %.%2 M N %'' K %.2@ N %2@ m. As you can see& there is a significant #ifference / ' m0 in groun# roll even in light "in#s. 2f the "in# spee# components involve# "ere %' *nots& the groun# roll "oul# be @ m into a hea#"in# an# % @ m "ith a tail"in#.

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==)E Ta#e$off procedure


2n a normal ta*e3off the aim is to arrive at the safe threshol# height& as 1uic*ly as possible& "hile maintaining optimum flight safety margins /inclu#ing traffic separation0 an# "ithout un#ue stress on the un#ercarriage.

.ormal ta#e$off 6 nosewheel three$a'is aircraft


Let8s imagine a nose"heel un#ercarriage aircraft /having line# up in the chosen #irection an# ensure# that the nose"heel has traile# in the fore an# aft position0 -ust starting its ta*e3off run& "ith the throttle being smoothly a#vance# to ma,imum po"er. )he airframe "ill be in a level attitu#e an#& if the "ings have a =O angle of inci#ence& the angle of attac* "ill also be =O. )he aircraft8s total "eight is supporte# on the main "heels an# the nose"heel. )he ru##er "ill be hel# #eflecte# in a position to counter the initial slipstream an# tor1ue effects& "ith applie# ru##er pressure re#ucing as acceleration progresses.

Ground roll. As the groun# roll accelerates ! because thrust is greater than the rolling friction plus total #rag ! the airflo" velocity increases an# enough lift an# control effectiveness is generate# to enable application of a little bac* pressure on the control column& thereby raising the nose"heel from the surface an# increasing the aoa to @ or BO. )he reasons for getting the nose"heel off the groun# earlier than really necessary an# hol#ing it there areG the support of the aircraft "eight is then share# bet"een the main "heels an# the "ings rolling friction& being proportional to "eight on the "heels& is re#uce# the nose"heel strut is the "ea*est part of the un#ercarriage an# more susceptible to #amage from a rough surface the ri#e is smoother on the main "heels only raising the nose re#uces the possibility of stone or grass #amage to the propeller. Also& if on a smooth run"ay an# you try to hol# the nose"heel on the groun#& by increasing for"ar# pressure on the stic* as the spee# buil#s& you run the ris* of wheel arrowing. )his is "here the "ings are generating sufficient lift /particularly if ta*e3off flap is set or you are con#ucting a 8touch an# go8 lan#ing an# ta*e3off0 so that the "eight on the main "heels is re#uce# /or they even lift3off0 an# an abnormal part of the aircraft8s "eight is ri#ing& an# pivoting& on the nose"heel. :n#er these con#itions& the moment arm bet"een the nose"heel an# the ru##er is very long an# the moment applie# by the ru##er& "hich is the most effective control at these spee#s& is then much greater than normal. Any application of ru##er "ill ma*e the aircraft pivot about the nose"heel rather than the main "heels. )he aircraft8s cg is no" behin# the pivot point an# the cg inertial effect "ill ma*e the aircraft behave li*e a tail#ragger& but the possibility of a groun#loop is greater an# the conse1uences more #rastic. Hn a slippery surface& the aircraft may sli#e si#e"ays. ;heelbarro"ing is a #efinite no3no on ta*e3off or on lan#ingZ As groun# spee# buil#s& so #oes airspee# an# lift. 2f you allo" the aoa to increase beyon# @.BO& a flight velocity "ill be prematurely reache# an# the aircraft "ill lift itself off at an airspee# slightly above stall spee#. 2n this con#ition& any slight turbulence or mishan#ling "ill cause a loss in lift an#

the aircraft "ill settle bac* again& or maybe -ust one "ing #rops an# it hops about on one "heel. Hbviously not a ti#y #eparture+ you& not the aircraft& must be in comman# of the ta*e3off ! an# you must maintain alignment "ith some selecte# reference point throughout the ta*e3off. 1otation. :nless the aircraft manual& or flight school proce#ures for stu#ents specify other"ise& the usual techni1ue is to hol# the aircraft at @.BO aoa until airspee# buil#s up to a lift3off spee# I?lofJ % .2'U above ?s%& then apply further bac* pressure to rotate the airframe aroun# the main "heels to an aoa of aroun# %2O& an# the aircraft "ill lift off smoothly an# commence to climb a"ay. Anticipate that 73factor effect "ill cause the aircraft to turn. Ao not "ait so long that the aircraft flies itself off+ you &not the aircraft& shoul# be in comman#. )he increase in in#uce# #rag& "hich is greater than the removal of the rolling friction& "ill slo" the acceleration rate. So& as the initial climb progresses& ease the stic* for"ar# until ?y is reache# /at an aoa aroun# (O0 an# maintain ma,imum rate of climb at that spee# until the planne# threshol# height is reache#. For some aircraft it may be a#visable to use ?toss rather than ?y until a safe height is reache#. 2n gusty "in# con#itions& it may be pru#ent to #elay rotation until airspee# is perhaps %'U higher than normal. Clim $out. Ao not hol# the aircraft #o"n to buil# up spee# beyon# ?y an# then pull up steeply ! it #isplays poor airmanship an# is e,tremely #angerous. Airspee# in a 8Eoom8 climb "ill #rop off very 1uic*ly& possibly faster than the pilot can pitch the nose #o"n& "hich may lea# to an irrecoverable departure stall. )a*e3off proce#ure may vary a little if the aircraft is fitte# "ith flaps that can be set to a position that provi#es increase# lift "ithout a significant increase in #rag. )here are other factors involve# ! see 87ractice goo# energy management in the ta*e3offZ8. :nless state# other"ise in the 7ilot8s Hperating Han#boo* or engine notes& maintain full throttle until the inten#e# operating altitu#e is reache#. )he climb spee# maintaine# "oul# normally be ?y but if a fi,e#3pitch cruise or climb propeller is fitte# then an airspee# higher than ?y may be more effective. An 8enroute climb8 airspee# might be the optimum choice to re#uce sector time an# maintain engine temperatures "ithin the specifie# boun#s.

2t may be of interest to figure the pitch angle /the angle that the fuselage reference line subten#s "ith the horiEontal0 #uring the climb3out. 2f the aoa is (O an# the angle of inci#ence is =O then the fuselage reference line "ill be incline# at an angle of =O above the aircraft8s flight path. 2f the aircraft8s practical rate of climb at sea level in stan#ar# 2SA con#itions is ( ' feet per minute an# ?y N @ *nots /or @ '' feet per minute0 then the angle of climb /the flight path0 is incline# about (O to the horiEontal& so a##ing the fuselage reference line inclination of =O& the pitch angle in the climb "ill be %2O. Fne event, guaranteed to s)oil your day, is the )ilot's seat sliding !ac, when the aircraft is rotated and accelerating after lift$off. 1f your aircraft is fitted with ad7usta!le seats that slide on rails ma,e dou!ly sure that your seat is loc,ed in a comforta!le )osition !efore ta,e$ off. #lso ensure the )assenger's seat is loc,edA she9he may gra! at the controls if they find themselves sliding !ac, % that will certainly ruin your dayV 2nci#entally& "hen initially settling in to the coc*pit& ma*e sure that you can comfortably /i.e. "ithout straightening your leg0 apply F:LL left an# right ru##er. 2f you cannot a#-ust the seat or ru##er pe#als to achieve this& #o not fly that aircraft& because you "ill not have the full ru##er authority provi#e# by the #esigner. Also there is a #anger that& shoul# the aircraft come to a su##en halt "ith your *nee -oint loc*e# "hile applying full ru##er& impact forces may #amage the *nee an# hip -oint+ so& you must be able to apply full ru##er "ith the *nee still bent.

.ormal ta#e$off 6 tailwheel three$a'is aircraft


)ail"heel aircraft are sub-ect to all the effects mentione# in section %%.>& an# have a fairly pre#ictable mo#e of behaviour at groun# spee#s bet"een an# 2 *nots. )hey "ill "ant to s"ing an# gyrate& an# these movements must be anticipate# an# promptly correcte# by the pilot. Ground roll. At the start of the groun# roll /again having

line# up in the chosen #irection an# ensure# that the tail"heel has traile# in the fore an# aft position0 the fuselage of a 8tail#ragger8 is naturally pitche# up at an angle of maybe %'.%2O. Combine# "ith the angle of inci#ence this means that the aoa at the start of the roll "ill be close to the stall aoa of about % O+ some aircraft "ith a high angle of inci#ence may be past the stall aoa. As the throttle is being smoothly an# fully opene# at the start of the groun# roll& slipstream an# tor1ue effects "ill be at their greatest. Conse1uently& normal proce#ure is to start the groun# roll "ith compensating ru##er applie#& an# "ith the elevators hel# in the fully up position to put pressure on the tail "heel. )he friction of the tail"heel "ill assist in taming the initial convolutions& particularly if the tail"heel is steerable. Ho"ever& the high aoa implies conse1uent high #rag an# slo" acceleration. )he tail"heel is the "ea*est part of the un#ercarriage& so there is a nee# to relieve the loa#s on it as early as possible& particularly if the airfiel# surface is rough. )hus the re1uirement is to get the tailplane up reasonably soon so that& firstly& aoa is re#uce# to @ or BO an# thus the aircraft is able to pic* up her s*irts an# run. Secon#ly& the lo"er the groun# spee# at "hich the aircraft8s tail is raise#& the gentler "ill be the s"ing from the ensuing gyroscopic effect. )hir#ly& the sooner a near3level /i.e. slightly tail3#o"n0 attitu#e is achieve#& the sooner the buil#ing 73factor effect is negate#. Ho"ever& remember that gyroscopic effect is also #epen#ent on the rate of change of attitu#e in pitch& so ease the stic* for"ar# rather than a pushing 1uic*ly. )hen& as lift3off spee# is reache#& rotation an# climb3out procee#s as for a nose"heel aircraft.

Short$field ta#e$off
2n a short3fiel# ta*e3off the aim is to accelerate as fast as possible& be airborne "ell before the boun#ary& clear obstacles near the boun#ary "hile climbing at the ma,imum angle of climb& an# to maintain reasonable safety margins. )hus "e are not so concerne# "ith protecting the un#ercarriage. )he proce#ure is to maintain a more or less level minimum #rag attitu#e ! i.e. =. O aoa /"ith a nose"heel hel# -ust above the bumps0 throughout the groun# roll until ?, is reache# ! rotate #irectly to a %2O aoa an# climb a"ay at ?,

until obstacles are cleare#& then re#uce aoa to continue the climb at ?y or a higher spee#. )he groun# roll is longer but the acceleration is greater& because rolling friction is normally less than in#uce# #rag at a lo" aoa. Lou reach ?, in a shorter #istance an# the )HAR is less. )he aircraft is sub-ect to all the engine effects but an abnormal 73factor turning ten#ency shoul# be anticipate# after the lift3off rotation. As in normal ta*e3off& the proce#ure may vary a little if the aircraft is fitte# "ith flaps that can be set to a position that provi#es increase# lift "ithout a significant increase in #rag. )he recommen#e# flap setting for a short3fiel# ta*e3off may vary from that for other ta*e3off con#itions& because the flap position that facilitates minimum groun# roll may #ecrease climb performance. )here are some suggestions that flaps shoul# not be lo"ere# to the ta*e3off position until the aircraft is nearing lift3off spee# /so the initial acceleration is faster0& but the slight a#vantage provi#e# by this can be #ramatically offset by ina#vertently lo"ering the flaps past the ta*e3off position. 2t is better to set the flaps "hen #oing the pre3ta*e3off chec*s& "hen there is time to #ouble3chec* the selecte# position. )here may be a suggestion that an aircraft e1uippe# "ith bra*es is run up to full po"er at the start of ta*e3off "hile hol#ing on the bra*es& but generally it is better to smoothly run up to full po"er "hile the aircraft is rolling. )here is less chance of stone #amage to the propeller& an# it is easier to prevent a s"ing #eveloping. S"ings an# s"ing correction re#uce the acceleration& an# it is better to allo" time at the beginning of the groun# roll to get the aircraft firmly un#er control. Hbviously a ta*e3off into "in# is highly #esirable& unless run"ay slope an# rising terrain #ictate other"ise& an# the groun# roll shoul# be starte# as close to the boun#ary fence as reasonably possible. )he proce#ure #escribe# above is for a har#& #ry surface or for short #ry grass. 2f the surface is soft or the grass is long an# "et& then the rolling friction may e,cee# the in#uce# #rag at me#ium aoa or the slippery surface may ma*e #irectional control #ifficult. 2n such cases it may be better to get the "heels off early an# fly in groun# effect until ?, is attaine#& as in the soft fiel# techni1ue. 2f there are any #oubts about the ta*e3off con#itions& then stay on the groun#. 2 suggest you rea# the article '+ree's a crowd' in Glight Safety #ustralia September3Hctober 2''2

issue.

Soft field ta#e$off


Soft fiel# proce#ures may be applicable to mu##y& "aterlogge# or long9"et grass surfaces. )he prime aim in a soft fiel# ta*e3off is to re#uce the e,tremely long groun# roll& an# become airborne "ith less than a#e1uate initial airspee# safety margin "hile utilising groun# effect for fast acceleration. )he follo"ing proce#ure shoul# not be use# in turbulent or gusty con#itions& as the possibility of a stall after lift3off is increase#. 2n very soft con#itions the usual techni1ue is al"ays to *eep rolling+ i.e. #o not ta,i to the ta*e3off position an# then stop to #o the ta*e3off chec*s ! they shoul# be complete# beforehan#. ;hen line# up& open the throttle fully an# smoothly "hile hol#ing the control column bac*. :sing a ma,imum lift flap setting is usually highly recommen#e#. As the elevators become effective& the nose of a nose"heel aircraft "ill rise. ;ith a tail#ragger& the elevator pressure shoul# be rela,e# sufficiently so that the tail"heel is hel# off the surface but the aircraft remains firmly in a tail3#o"n attitu#e. As groun# spee# buil#s& start rela,ing the bac* pressure an# the aircraft "ill lift itself /or more li*ely lurch an# stagger0 from the surface at its minimum unstic* spee# I?muJ an# at an aoa very close to the stalling aoa ! so& it is vulnerable to turbulence an# mishan#ling. Also& 73factor an# slipstream effect may come into play at this time& so it is important to *eep the "ings level "ith aileron an# stop any turn "ith opposite ru##er to negate any cross3controlle# s*i#. )he pilot must then smoothly re#uce aoa to .@O an# hol# the aircraft -ust above the surface in groun# effect& so that it accelerates at the ma,imum possible rate. Fyroscopic effect may be significant #uring the pitch #o"n to the smaller aoa& "hich must be anticipate# "ith ru##er. )he aircraft is rotate# after ?y "or Nx if there are o!structions* is attaine# to brea* it out of groun# effect& hel# for a fe" moments to ensure it "ill accelerate& an# then climb3out is commence#. At the initial rotation. the aircraft "ill slo" as in#uce# #rag increases substantially an# rapi#ly+ firstly because of the restoration of the normal in#uce# #rag as it pulls out of groun# effect& an# secon#ly because of the increase# aoa. )he aircraft is li*ely to sin* bac* to the surface if rotation occurs before sufficient spee# is built.

)he )HAR for a soft fiel# ta*e3off "ill be consi#erably longer than that for a normal ta*e3off. 2t is most un"ise to attempt ta*e3off from an airfiel# that is both short an# soft. )he follo"ing is an e,tract from an RA3Aus inci#ent reportG +he )ilot intended to conduct a trial instructional flight from a grass stri) in excess of 285 metres in length. 2ue to recent rain the stri) was soft and several solo ta,e$offs had !een carried out, each clearing the fence at the end of the stri) !y 28:35 m. #fter some test runs with the )assenger on !oard the )ilot's 'gut feeling' was to a!andon the exercise !ut he elected to ta,e$off using a short field technique. +he aircraft accelerated until the nosewheel lifted off the ground and then slowed, with the nosewheel sin,ing !ac, onto the ground. Because he still had what he !elieved to !e sufficient s)eed in hand the )ilot tried to ma,e it over the fence % and didn't. +he damage to occu)ants was minor !ut the aircraft was a write$off. +he )ilot identified the cause of the accident as lac, of ex)erience in o)erations from wet fields. 1n his words the aircraft was '!asically stuc, to the field'

Coping with significant crosswind


Auring the initial stages of the groun# roll in any type of ta*e3off "ith a significant cross"in# component& the aircraft "ill ten# to "eathercoc* into "in# an# pivot aroun# the main "heels. )here are lateral stresses on all "heels in contact "ith the groun# #uring the roll. +he lateral control of the aircraft is then very much de)endent on adequate tyre contact with the surface, so if the surface is sli))ery a crosswind ta,e$off may not !e advisa!le. As the aircraft accelerates& the relative "in# velocity /combining the ambient "in# velocity& the aircraft8s o"n for"ar# spee# an# the slipstream velocity0 over the tailplane surfaces "ill have an increasing hea#"in# component an# a /relatively0 #ecreasing cross"in# component. )hus& it is normal to start the groun# roll "ith a large ru##er #eflection to counter "eathercoc*ing& an# #ecrease the #eflection as spee# buil#s. 2t is usually a#visable to also raise the into3"in# aileron to prevent the into3"in# "ing from rising& particularly if gust3

in#uce#+ the incline# lift vector& because of the rising "ing& "ill ten# to turn the aircraft a"ay from the "in#. 4e a"are that if the into3"in# aileron is raise# "hile you are countering the "eathercoc*ing "ith ru##er& then you must be operating cross3controlle#& "hich "ill cause the aircraft to si#eslip into "in# if you shoul# get airborne in that con#ition. )he aileron #eflection is #ecrease# as spee# buil#s& but in strong cross"in#s it may be a#visable to lo"er the into3"in# "ing so that the aircraft is rolling -ust on the into3"in# main "heel. )he lift vector is then incline# from the vertical an# has a lateral component that counteracts the effect of the cross"in#+ the aircraft line of roll is *ept straight by the friction of that into3"in# "heel. 2f the angle is correctly -u#ge#& there shoul# be no stress on the "heel. As the aircraft is being lifte# off& return the ailerons to neutral an# level the "ings. )o provi#e an a##itional safety margin& hol# the aircraft on the groun# for a higher3than3normal lift3off spee#. 2f con#itions are gusty& a## 'U of the "in# gust spee# in e,cess of the mean "in# spee#+ e.g. if "in# spee# is %' *nots gusting to 2' *nots& a## *nots to the lift3off airspee#. 2f the aircraft #oes become prematurely airborne for any reason then& rather than let the "heels bump #o"n again& hol# the aircraft off the groun#& accelerate in groun# effect an# use the soft fiel# ta*e3off techni1ue. After becoming airborne& the aircraft "ill #rift a"ay from the hea#ing& so to mar* a ti#y an# controlle# #eparture& gently turn the aircraft onto a ne" hea#ing to compensate for the #rift an# the 8trac* ma#e goo#8 "ill follo" the e,ten#e# line of the groun# roll ! at least until the aircraft reaches '' feet agl& at "hich height regulations allo" a turn in the circuit #irection. 2t can be that the cross"in# either amplifies or re#uces the slipstream an# other effects. 2t may be "ise to consi#er ta*ing off in a #irection that ta*es a#vantage of that counter3 effect even if it means ta*ing off "ith a tail"in# component. Also& there is no rule that says you must al"ays ta*e3off aligne# "ith the centre of the run"ay or strip+ if cross"in# con#itions "arrant it& plan your groun# roll at an angle across the strip ! e#ge to e#ge.

Traffic separation and wa#e tur ulence


Ao not commence the ta*e3off roll shoul# until any prece#ing aircraft using the same run"ay has crosse# the up"in# en# or commence# a turn& or if the run"ay is longer than %('' m the aircraft is airborne an# at least %('' m ahea#. Ho"ever& if both aircraft "eigh less than 2''' *g& it is o*ay to start rolling "hen the prece#ing aircraft is airborne an# at least @'' m ahea#. )he run"ay may be entere# follo"ing an aircraft lan#ing but the roll shoul# not be starte# until that aircraft has turne# off. )he turbulence from the "ingtip vortices of aircraft at high angles of attac* is particularly strong an# a function of aircraft "eight. For aircraft ta*ing off& a high aoa is initiate# at the start of rotation an# continues through climb3out. )he "a*e vortices sin* an# #rift "ith the "in#& an# may ta*e several minutes to #issipate. )hus& light aircraft must practise caution "hen #eparting behin# a significantly heavier aircraft& as the turbulence "ill rea#ily roll the aircraft on to its bac* or "orse. ;hen follo"ing a very large aircraft note the run"ay position "here the aircraft rotate#& "ait perhaps t"o minutes for the "a*e to #issipate a little& aim to be airborne "ell before the note# run"ay position an#& "here there is any cross"in# component& maintain a line along the up"in# si#e of the run"ay. For a little more information see Aircraft "a*e vortices in the 8Cicroscale meteorology an# atmospheric haEar#s8 mo#ule.

Causes of ta#e$off accidents


Hne or more of the follo"ing factors commonly cause ta*e3 off acci#entsG e,cee#ing "eight an# balance limitations failure to set elevator trim at the correct position for the airframe configuration over3controlling #uring the groun# run an# at lift3off premature lift3off climbing too steeply after lift3off failure to calculate the )HAR to clear all obstacles9terrain an# particularly neglecting the effects of high #ensity altitu#e failure to observe po"er lines failure to aban#on ta*e3off early enough

"hen it is apparent that airfiel# surface con#itions preclu#e a safe #eparture using an e,cessive ban* angle in a climbing turn running into the "a*e vortices from a heavier& previously #eparting aircraft.

Engine failure after ta#e$off 9EFAT(:


7ilots shoul# al"ays be prepare# for the possibility that the engine "ill lose partial or total po"er #uring the ta*e3off an# climb out+ or& for that matter& at any other time #uring flight. ;hen such an event occurs& the car#inal rule is to fly the aircraft& "hich initially implies 1uic*ly getting the nose #o"n into the right attitu#e for an appropriate airspee#& either ?bg or ?mp #epen#ing on circumstances. Some say the secon# an# thir# e#icts shoul# also be 8fly the aircraft8 an# 8fly the aircraft8. / Dowever, if a )artial )ower loss is accom)anied !y extreme vi!ration or massive sha,ing of the aircraft then it is 7ust as im)ortant to get the engine com)letely shut down. 0 For further information see 8Force# Lan#ing 7roce#ures8 in the 'Jo)ing with 3mergencies @uide' an# 8Dngine failure after ta*e3off8 in the '2ecreasing your ex)osure to ris,' series. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is in the Coping "ith Dmergencies Fui#e an# #eals "ith \)urn3 bac* follo"ing engine failure on ta*e3off\ J

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==)7 ,recautions when ta#ing off towards rising terrain


)a*e3offs shoul# al"ays be planne# so that they #o not cause nuisance to others. 4ut it is also pru#ent to avoi# ta*ing off in a

#irection that ta*es you close to structures& trees& masts an# po"erlines unless you are sure that the aircraft "ill clear them by "hatever safety margin you consi#er acceptable "ithin the e,isting atmospheric con#itions. A ta*e3off to"ar# rising terrain is not something that shoul# be un#erta*en "ithout a thorough chec* of all con#itions& even if such a ta*e3off has previously being un#erta*en at a particular location "ithout inci#ent. Aensity altitu#e& "in# an# other con#itions may be such that another ta*e3off "ill result in a 8controlle# flight into terrain8 inci#ent.

Ascertaining terrain height


)he height of the terrain above the airfiel# ! or more particularly the angle of climb nee#e# to safely clear it ! has to be ascertaine# by "hatever means available& to confirm that the aircraft8s rate of climb "ill more than outmatch both the increasing terrain height an# the effect of air #o"nflo" from the slope. # sim)le way to 7udge the angle of clim! needed is to extend your arm fully with the fingers !ent so that your extended line of sight, including the !ottom edge of your little finger, is hori&ontal. +he width of each finger is around 26 and the width of the )alm is around 156. For an e,ample& "e "ill have another loo* at the 8Hlly8s Folly8 airstrip on that hot summer afternoon. Here there is one grass strip& %''' feet in length an# oriente# north9south. $orth"ar#& an# starting near the en# of the strip& the terrain has a % in %' slope rising to"ar# an e,tensive crescent ri#ge "ith an elevation %''' feet above the airstrip. :sing the %3in3@' rule "e can calculate that a % in %' slope e1uates "ith an angle of slope of @O.

Ascertaining angle of clim needed


;e establishe# our aircraft8s practical rate of climb at sea level in stan#ar# 2SA con#itions as ( ' feet per minute an# ?y N @ *nots or @ '' feet per minute. "Fne ,not is near enough to 155 ft9min so to convert ,nots into feet )er minute 7ust multi)ly !y 155*. )hen using the %3in3@' rule "e can estimate our aircraft8s sea level angle of climb in nil "in# con#itions& thusG ( '9@ '' K @' N (O. Also note that the ratio of vertical spee# to for"ar# spee# is about %G(. 4ut "e are not operating in sea level 2SA con#itions an# ?y is only an in#icate# airspee#& not a true airspee#. )AS is close to %. U

greater than 2AS for each %''' feet of #ensity altitu#e& so at our #ensity altitu#e of 2(' feet )AS is /%. K .2(0 U N (U greater N @ K %.'( N B' *nots or B''' ft9min. Also& our practical rate of climb "ill be re#uce# by %'U per %''' feet #ensity altitu#e /N 2.(U0 to ='' ft9min an# the ratio of vertical spee# to for"ar# spee# has been re#uce# to %G%(. :sing the %3in3@' rule the angle of climb in nil "in# con#itions& is thenG =''9B''' K @' N >.=O. Comparing the climb slope "ith the terrain slope of @O "e can see that it is impossible to outclimb the terrain& in fact the impact point "ill not be very far from the en# of the strip. 4ut "hat "oul# be the climb angle if "e chose to climb at ?,& "hich shoul# provi#e a ratio of vertical spee# to for"ar# spee# %'. % U better than ?y. 2f ?,& then provi#e# a ratio of %G% . & the climb angle using %3in3@' "oul# be nearly =O& "hich "oul# e,ten# the impact point a little further up the slope.

Effect of wind on angle of clim


A reasonably stea#y horiEontal hea#"in# ma*es some #ifference to the angle of climb. Let8s say that hea#"in# is % *nots& "hich "oul# have the effect of re#ucing the aircraft8s ?y groun# spee# by % '' ft9min to @'' ft9min& so the angle of climb "oul# be =''9 @'' K @' N =.>O. Ho"ever "in#s that cross over slopes are not horiEontal+ they may have a substantial vertical component. So the gain& because of the re#uction in for"ar# groun# spee#& may be more than offset by a re#uction in vertical spee#. 2n fact& the #o"nflo" rate of sin* can easily e,cee# the aircraft8s rate of climb& in "hich case a 8controlle# flight into terrain8 is inevitable. Re3rea# lee si#e #o"nflo" in the meteorology section. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section %.B Conserving aircraft energy J

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==)F +imiting clim ing turns during ta#e$off


2n section 2.( "e #iscusse# the accelerate# stall& fin#ing that the airspee# at "hich an aircraft "ill stall #epen#s on the "ing loa#ing an#& as a conse1uence of provi#ing the centripetal force for the

turn& "ing loa#ing increases as angle of ban* increases. )he table in section 2.( sho"s that "ing loa#ing increases slo"ly up to a ban* angle of >'O ! "here it is % U greater than normal ! after "hich it increases rather rapi#ly ! "here it is =%U greater at a = O ban* angle. ;e then conclu#e# that turns involving ban* angles e,cee#ing 2'.2 O shoul# not be ma#e at lo" levels ! inclu#ing ta*e3off an# lan#ing. )he "ing loa#ing increase in the turn is provi#e# by an increase in CC& "hich is brought about by an increase in aoa. ;e also *no" that the lift coefficient increases in #irect relationship to increase in angle of attac*. $o" "hat "ill happen if "e are climbing at ?, an# #eci#e to 1uic*ly turn a"ay from rising terrain or an approaching aircraft& using a = O ban* angle& "hile still climbingT ;e *no" from the table that to maintain a = O level or climbing turn& "ing loa#ing an# thus aoa& must increase by =%U an# that the aoa at ?, is probably aroun# %2O& so that a =%U increase "ill ta*e the aoa to %BO an# the aircraft "ill stall. Full po"er stalls in a balance# climbing turn ten# to result in the outer "ing stalling first& because of the higher aoa of the outer "ing. )here "ill be a fairly fast "ing an# nose #rop ")articularly so if the )ro)eller torque effect is such that it reinforces the roll away from the original direction of turn and the aircraft is a high wing configuration* an# is li*ely to result in a stall9spin situation ! "hich any pilot lac*ing spin recovery e,perience may fin# #ifficult to #eal "ith. 2f the climbing turn is being ma#e "ith e,cessive bottom ru##er then the lo"er "ing might stall first& "ith the conse1uent roll into the turn flic*ing the aircraft over. Recovery from a stall in a climbing turn is much the same as any other stall ! ease the control column for"ar# to about the neutral position& stop any ya"& level the "ings an# *eep the po"er on. Dven a >'O ban*e# climbing turn at ?, "ill pro#uce an aoa of %=O& very close to the stall aoa& an# provi#e no margin for even minor turbulence or slight mishan#ling. )he margin you shoul# al"ays have in han# to cope "ith such events is > or =O. )his in#icates that "hen climbing at ?,& turns shoul# not be contemplate#. Dven "hen climbing at the ?y aoa /aroun# (O0& until a safe height has been gaine#& turns shoul# be limite# to about 2'O to allo" an a##itional margin shoul# "in# shear be encountere# in the climb3 out ! an# the nose lo"ere# a little for the turn.

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Further reading
)he online version of CASA8s magaEine 2light Safety (ustralia contains articles relating to ta*e3off that are recommen#e# rea#ing. Loo* un#er 8)a*e3off an# lan#ing8 in the 8Further online rea#ing8 page. The ne't module in this Flight Theory Guide discusses landing an aircraft together with the associated circuit and approach to landing)

Things that are handy to #now


S )he #escription taildragger is use# as a generic term applie# to all tail"heel aircraft. Ho"ever& this is not strictly correct+ a true tail#ragger is an aircraft e1uippe# "ith a tail s*i# rather than a tail"heel. Aeroplanes so e1uippe# are usually not fitte# "ith main "heel bra*es an# they are #esigne# for operation from grass airfiel#s "here all ta*e3offs an# lan#ings can be ma#e into "in#. Such aircraft have little resistance to s"inging if operate# from a seale#& smooth surface. S Cany tail"heel aircraft "ill have a steera le tailwheel& "hich improves the aircraft performance #uring cross"in# operations an# ma*es groun# han#ling easier in "in#y con#itions& particularly if not e1uippe# "ith #ifferential bra*ing. )he steerable tail"heel is usually lin*e# to ru##er movement an# the ru##er pe#als in some "ay. 4ut the tail"heel aircraft may have a #isconnect feature that allo"s the tail"heel to fully castor& thereby improving manoeuvring "hen par*ing. )he steering mechanism may automatically #isconnect "hen "eight is off the tail"heel& in "hich case a spring or other #evice returns the tail "heel to a lo"3#rag fore an# aft alignment. A nose"heel aircraft may be similarly e1uippe# "ith a steera le nosewheel.

Stuff you don"t need to #now


S Hne of the most successful fighter aircraft of the %6%=.%( "ar "as the Sop"ith Camel& fitte# "ith a %>' hp rotary engine. )he li1ui#3coole# engines of the #ay "ere very heavy an# the rotary "as #esigne# to utilise air cooling of the cylin#ers& thus pro#ucing a lighter engine for fighter aircraft. )he engine rotate# aroun# the cran*shaft& "hich "as fi,e# to the airframe. )he propeller "as bolte# to the cran*case so that the engine an#

propeller rotate# as a unit an#& because of the fly"heel effect& ran very smoothly at normal cruise settings aroun# %2''.%>'' rpm. Ho"ever& as can be imagine#& the tor1ue an# gyroscopic effects "ere e,treme an# such that the aircraft turne# very sluggishly to the left but "as lightning fast in a turn to the right. 2f a 6'O turn to the left "as re1uire# it "as faster to initiate a 2B'O turn to the right. 2n a left turn the aircraft "ante# to climb& "hile in a right turn the gyroscopic effect pushe# the nose #o"n. )he aircraft "as very unstable& hence very manoeuvrable.

4ac* to top Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils an# "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | I%%. )a*e3off consi#erationsJ | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
* (perations at non$controlled airfields * Safety during ta#e$off - landing *

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Circuit% approach and landing


Revision >6 ! page content "as last change# February %6& 2''6. 7age e#ite# by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au <anuary 2(& 2''6.

Groundschool 6 Theory of Flight

Module content

%2.% )he lan#ing se1uence %2.2 Factors affecting safe lan#ing performance %2.> )he stan#ar# circuit pattern %2.= $on3stan#ar# circuits %2. Final approach slope an# #uration

%2.@ Flare& touch#o"n an# groun# roll %2.B Foing aroun# %2.( Short fiel# techni1ues Signals that are essential to *no"

The primary aim in the landing se<uence is to perform the operation safely) The secondary aim is to touch down 6 usually 6 with minimum vertical speed and minimum horiGontal ground speed% while maintaining controlla ility 6 particularly in gusty wind conditions) The touchdown should e made without e'cessive side forces affecting the undercarriage) A not$so$important o Uective is to touch down close to a pre$selected position) ,ilots usually find% of all normal flight procedures% the techni<ues for landing an aircraft in varying conditions are the most difficult to fully master% ecause of the greatly enhanced effects of air

movement when close to the surface% and the fine Uudgements and control movements involved)

=4)= The landing se<uence


2n this mo#ule "e "ill loo* at the common factors to be consi#ere# in lan#ing a normally configure#& three3a,is& fi,e#3un#ercarriage& nose"heel or tail"heel aircraft& "hich may or may not be flap3 e1uippe#. Aircraft #esigne# "ith full 8short ta*e3off an# lan#ing8 IS)HLJ capability "ill use slightly #ifferent techni1ues in some parts of the approach an# lan#ing. )here are #iffering lan#ing proce#ures or techni1ues& or combinations thereof& applicable to airfiel# #imensions an# surface con#itionsG normal lan#ing short3fiel# lan#ing soft3fiel# lan#ing. The asic landing se<uence is varie#& accor#ing to prevailing con#itions /an# there is a varying #egree of alignment correction to allo" for the cross"in# component of the "in# velocity0& but it usually has four partsG

8oining the circuit pattern of the airfiel#& #uring "hich the aircraft is #ecelerate# from cruise spee# to circuit spee#& the airfiel# is visually chec*e# for serviceability an# obstructions& surface "in# #irection ascertaine# from observation of the "in#soc*/s0& the "hereabouts of other traffic is establishe#& the lan#ing #irection an# approach is planne# an# the pre3 lan#ing coc*pit chec*s are carrie# out in a logical se1uence. The approach to the lan#ing& #uring "hich the aircraft is #ecelerate# from circuit spee# to the reference in#icate# approach spee# I?refJ& configure# for lan#ing& then finally stabilise# at a constant spee# an# rate of #escent "ith "ings level an# aligne# ! so that the flight path trace# over the groun#& #uring the final approach& is on the same line as the inten#e# groun# roll3out path. )he stabilise# approach shoul# be establishe# before the aircraft is at a height >''.='' feet above the run"ay9airstrip. Hnce establishe#& only slight movements of

the flight an# engine controls shoul# be necessary to maintain the approach. )he flight path passes over an imaginary ' feet high screen& place# at a short #istance before the airstrip threshol#. A transition perio#& "here both the rate of #escent an# the for"ar# spee# are slo"e# #uring a 8roun#3out8 prior to touch#o"n. The touchdown an# subse1uent groun# roll& after "hich the aircraft is turne# off the lan#ing area at an appropriate ta,iing spee#. )he lan#ing is complete "hen the aircraft is securely par*e#& the engine is off an# any passenger is safely #isembar*e#.

The most favoura le conditions for optimum lan#ing performance at ma,imum "eight areG a pilot "ho e,ercises soun# -u#gement& an# follo"s the rules an# recommen#e# proce#ures a surface of ample length& "hih is #ry an# level& or "ith a slight upslope a lo" #ensity altitu#e+ i.e. lo" elevation an# lo" temperature

a smooth& full hea#"in# of reasonable an# constant velocity.

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=4)4 Factors affecting safe landing performance


Apart from the pilot8s con#ition an# capability& lan#ing performance is limite# by the follo"ing constraints& all of "hich shoul# be carefully assesse# ! both "ithin the pre3lan#ing proce#ure an# at the flight planning stage ! to establish "hether a safe lan#ing is viable. Fenerally most of the engine effects an# other constraints affecting ta*e3off performance& covere# in section %%.>& have no significant effect on lan#ing performance ! e,cept& "ith both tail"heel an# nose"heel aircraft& the inertial effect of the cg position. Ho"ever& "hen a lan#ing attempt is aborte#& then any of those constraints may be present #uring the initial go3aroun#.

2emonstrated landing distance. Lan#ing #istance is the total #istance re1uire# to clear an imaginary screen& ' feet /or % metres0 high& place# before the airstrip threshol#+ then touch #o"n an# bring the aircraft to a halt "ith normal bra*ing ! in nil "in# con#itions. 2t shoul# be borne in min# that the manufacturer8s 8#emonstrate#8 lan#ing #istance has been achieve# by a very e,perience# test pilot in very favourable con#itions& #uring the type certification tests. )he lan#ing #istance re1uire# by the average recreational pilot may be consi#erably greater. Airfield dimensions and slope. )he usable length of run"ays or strips must be ascertaine#& as "ell as the #egree of slope ! both "ith an# across the #irection of lan#ing. Lan#ing #o"nslope "ill re#uce #eceleration an# lengthen the groun# roll. Slope across the lan#ing path ma*es the touch#o"n an# subse1uent groun# roll more #ifficult to control. At a 8one3"ay8 airstrip a combination of airfiel# slope an# rising terrain at the high en# necessitates lan#ing upslope& no matter "hat the "in# #irection. Airfield surface and surrounds. A short& #ry grass or rough gravel surface might #ecrease the groun# roll by %'U compare# to that for a smooth& seale# surface. ;et or long grass might #ecrease the groun# roll by >'U. Ho"ever& there is a possibility that a "et surface can in#uce a1uaplaning& "hich a#versely affects bra*ing an#9or can result in a groun#loop /"here the aircraft su##enly s"ings through %('O or more "ith probable un#ercarriage an# propeller #amage0. Frosty grass provi#es little friction& so be "ary in early morning sha#o"e# terrain. Long grass can catch a "ingtip& resulting in a groun#loop. A soft or "aterlogge# surface might greatly #ecrease the groun#roll& but increase the possibility of the aircraft tipping over #uring the groun#roll& or might prevent ta*e3off if such is attempte# #uring the lan#ing groun#roll. )he location an# height of constructe# obstructions& trees an# local topography must be assesse#. Airfield density altitude. )his is a critical factor that is often not correctly assesse#. High #ensity

altitu#e has a ma-or effect on the approach spee# /i.e. the true airspee# is significantly greater than the in#icate# airspee#0& an# thus the groun# spee# at "hich the aircraft touches #o"n an# the length of the subse1uent groun# roll. High #ensity altitu#e also affects the aircraft8s climb3out performance if the lan#ing is aborte#. Re3rea# the section on high #ensity altitu#e. !ind velocity and tur ulence. ;in# strength& #irection& #o"nflo"& gust intensity& surface turbulence an# the potential for "in# shear events are normally the ma-or consi#erations in lan#ing performance. Rea# the micrometeorology turbulence mo#ule& but particularly the section on 8lee "in# #o"nflo" an# e##ies8.

Tou should also read the CASA Advisory Circular "Safety during ta#e$off and landing") This is an a ridged we version for ultralight aviation) )he pilot3in3comman# of an aircraft must assess all the foregoing factors an# con#itions to ascertain the total #istance re1uire# for obstacle clearance an# lan#ing& -u#ge if the lan#ing can be safely con#ucte# an# ascertain a safe go3aroun# route if the lan#ing shoul# nee# to be aborte#. All the foregoing assumes that the height of the cloud ase allo"s sufficient visibility an# appropriate terrain an# obstruction clearance "ithin the circuit. )he problem for the less cautious pilot ! if the airfiel# con#itions are foun# to be unsuitable ! is that an eventual lan#ing is man#atory an#& if flight planning is poor& there may be no acceptable alternative airfiel# "ithin range. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section %2.B belo" 8Foing aroun#8 J

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=4)> The standard circuit pattern


For at least the past @ years& a stan#ar# proce#ure has been a#opte# for any piston3engine light aircraft approaching to lan# at a non3 controlle# public airfiel#. )his proce#ure is calle# the standard circuit

)attern an# is a#opte# by convention rather than lai# #o"n by regulation. Follo"ing the pattern re1uires that an aircraft shoul# trac* over at least three legs of a rectangular course aligne# "ith the run"ay or lan#ing strip that is most into3"in#. )urns& once establishe# "ithin the circuit& "ill all be in the same #irection& usually to the left unless terrain or groun# habitation #ictate other"ise. )he #o"n"in# leg "ill be flo"n at mo#erate spee# /a#-uste# to avoi# overta*ing prece#ing aircraft0 an# at a constant height ! normally %''' feet above the airfiel# level is recommen#e#& but some primarily ultralight airfiel#s may have a lo"er stan#ar# circuit height. An#& of course& the aircraft must be operating in visual meteorological con#itions I?CCJ ! clear of clou# an# in sight of the groun# at all times& if at or belo" %''' feet agl. Chec* the visual meteorological con#itions for aircraft operating un#er the visual flight rules.

Consistency
)he height of the circuit is particularly important for ultralight pilots. :ltralight engines are not reno"ne# for their reliability an# the circuit height shoul# be sufficient that& follo"ing po"er loss& an aircraft flying a reasonably tight circuit has every chance of gli#ing to a safe lan#ing area on the airfiel#. 7ilots shoul# a#opt their o"n personal circuit proce#ures& to be use# "herever possible+ the principle being that consistency improves performance. Ao not automatically apply the proce#ure utilise# at a training airfiel# "hen operating else"here. )he s*ills involve# can only be assimilate# by repeate# practice at many airfiel#s ! not by rea#ing boo*s or "eb pages. Consistency is the #ey. Dvery circuit an# lan#ing shoul# be performe# to the best of the pilot8s ability+ such consistency ma*es the occasional #ifficult lan#ing easy. )he #iagram belo" "ada)ted from the Sydney Basin Nisual ?ilot @uide, courtesy of the #ustralian Jivil #viation Safety #uthority's #viation Safety ?romotion )rogram* #emonstrates the full routine for a piston3engine aircraft inboun# for lan#ing at a public airfiel#.

The routine
=. )he first stage is an overflight at a height not less than % '' feet agl ")refera!ly with Cocal P0D set, !ut if this is not o!taina!le, use #rea P0D* to #etermine the airfiel# serviceability& the surface "in# #irection& the run"ay9strip being use# by other traffic an# confirmation of the circuit #irection+ or if no other traffic& to select the strip to be use#. ;hile in the circuit& *eep monitoring the relative position an# the movements of other traffic at all times. $ote that the 8 circuit area8 is ta*en to cover the area "ithin a ra#ius of three nautical miles from the 8airfiel# reference point8. Assume that the latter is the run"ay intersection. 2f the airfiel# is unfamiliar& the overflight also provi#es the opportunity to e,amine the circuit area for safe escape routes from each run"ay follo"ing a late go3aroun#. Also chec* the area for suitable force# lan#ing sites an# associate# haEar#s shoul# the engine fail #uring a go3aroun# or after ta*e3off. See the Coping "ith Dmergencies Fui#e. 4. )he secon# stage is to manoeuvre so that a let3#o"n from % '' feet is commence# on the 8#ea#8 si#e of the active run"ay& trac*ing close an# parallel to that run"ay. )his is the upwind or into$wind leg. )he first an# secon# stages provi#e the opportunity to carefully chec* the airfiel# area an# boun#aries for haEar#s ! animals& po"er lines an#

other "ires& #itches& obstructions& an# to ascertain the "hereabouts of other traffic in& or -oining& the circuit an# to be seen by them. )he official term for this latter proce#ure is 8unalerted see and avoid8. All manoeuvring shoul# be #one so that the airfiel# activities al"ays remain in sight+ i.e. #on8t turn a"ay for a short time an# then follo" "ith a reverse# turn onto #o"n"in#. >. ;hen circuit height is reache# an# the up"in# en# of the run"ay has been passe#& choose an appropriate position to turn onto the crosswind leg so that there "ill be no conflict "ith traffic on the cross"in# an# #o"n"in# legs& an# to achieve optimum traffic spacing. Lou are no" entering the traffic si#e of the circuit. ;atch for aircraft -oining the circuit on cross"in# an# for aircraft ta*ing off+ ensure that you provi#e a#e1uate clearance. Caintain circuit height an#& allo"ing for #rift& trac* at 6'O to the run"ay. A. )urn 6'O onto the downwind leg at an appropriate #istance past the run"ay /after chec*ing for aircraft -oining the circuit on the #o"n"in# leg0& chec* the cross"in# #rift against selecte# lan#mar*s an# a#-ust hea#ing to trac* parallel to the run"ay& perform the appropriate #o"n"in# coc*pit chec*s& an# hol# altitu#e an# appropriate traffic spacing. Set po"er an# trim the aircraft to maintain an airspee# that allo"s time to plan the lan#ing "ithout unnecessarily #elaying other traffic ! probably aroun# %.B K ?so. $ote that although "e call these legs 'u)wind'& 'crosswind' an# 'downwind'& they are only nominally name# so& because the surface "in# is unli*ely to be e,actly aligne# "ith the 8into3"in#8 run"ay or a single airstrip& an# the "in# at circuit height might vary consi#erably from that at the surface. D. 7lanning timeZ 7ic* an inten#e# touchdown target on the airstrip. )his shoul# be far enough into the strip so that an un#ershoot on approach "ill still allo" normal roun#out an# touch#o"n on the run"ay& or an overshoot on approach "ill still allo" ample run"ay to bring the aircraft to a halt. For all ultralights an# most light aircraft& the latter re1uirement is probably inconse1uential for most run"ays at public aero#romes. A touch#o"n target maybe ='' feet from the threshol# is about the norm+ never target the beginning of the run"ay or strip for touch#o"n. $o" choose another point& say 2'' feet bac* from the touch#o"n target to"ar#s the threshol#+ this is the aiming point. Hf course& it may be #ifficult to i#entify such positions at a featureless airstrip+ also& the figures "ill vary accor#ing to the aircraft8s #rag characteristics in the lan#ing configuration. =e are )resuming here that we are o)erating at the average recreational aviation airfield where the stri) length may !e 2555:3555

feet. 1t can !e a little em!arrassing for the light aircraft )ilot who touches down 55 feet )ast the threshold of a M555 feet runway and then has to taxi a ,ilometre to the first exit. #t a licensed aerodrome, the runway centre$lines are 155 feet '35 m( long with a 155 feet ga) in !etween, and the ')iano ,eys' which normally mar, the threshold are also 155 feet long. +here should also !e touchdown mar,s at 855 feet '185 m(, 1555 feet '355 m( and 1855 feet ' 85 m(. E. At an appropriate #istance past the aiming point& turn 6'O onto the ase leg& an# hol# airspee# but re#uce po"er so that a #escent is starte# #uring the turn. Lo"er the first stage of flap if so e1uippe#. Re#uce airspee# /but not less than %. K ?so0& an# trim. )he time spent flying base leg is most important& as it provi#es the opportunity toG set up the aircraft in the approach attitu#e+ establish a po"er an# flap setting /an# trim0 for the re1uire# rate of #escent+ chec* for conflicting traffic both airborne an# on the groun# an# particularly any traffic on a straight3in approach or very "i#e circuit+ assess the cross"in# component along the lan#ing path+ #eci#e the touch#o"n techni1ue appropriate for the con#itions+ an# revie" the pre3lan#ing chec*s. Hol# an accurate hea#ing on base to carefully monitor #rift& comparing the "in# velocity at that height "ith the surface "in# in#icate# by the "in#soc*/s0. A significant #ifference bet"een the t"o in#icates "in# shear "ill be encountere# #uring the final approach ! this may ero#e the safety margin bet"een the approach spee# an# ?so& or cause other #ifficulties. $ever be tempte# to fly a semi3circular base "ith a short final approach ! it is very poor airmanship an# negates all the safety chec* features of the s1uare base leg. 1t may !e that )receding traffic conditions )reclude a turn onto !ase at the o)timum )osition % in which case you must reduce s)eed and9or extend the downwind leg further downwindA maintain altitudeA and delay the start of descent, and some actions, until the aircraft is well into the !ase leg or even esta!lished on final a))roach. 7. Start a 6'O #escen#ing turn onto the final approach so that& on completion of the turn& the aircraft is line# up "ith the e,ten#e# notional centre/line0 of the lan#ing strip. Auring the turn& be a"are of the reversal height phenomena an# confine e,ternal scanning to the inten#e# flight path an# to the chec* for conflicting aerial traffic. 2f satisfie# "ith the initial approach& then lo"er full flap /if the "in# spee# is fairly high& then partial flap may suffice0& a#-ust airspee# to the recommen#e# final approach spee# I?refJ an# re3trim. Fnce sta!ilised in the final a))roach, control the airs)eed and the rate

of descent with small movements of flight controls and throttle. +he )ower setting should !e such that it allows small )ower reductions, or )ower increases, in order to maintain the a))roach )ath. +his can't !e done if the a))roach is set u) with the engine at idle )ower. 1n addition, the thrust res)onse is not that effective from an idle setting and, for many aircraft, an a))roach at idle )ower will entail a high sin, rate, which may !e difficult to manage. #lso, an idle )ower a))roach tends to over$cool the engine and may )romote car!urettor icing, !oth of which may result in high )ower not !eing availa!le when needed % such as in a go$around. F. Continue trac*ing #o"n 8final8& "hilst correcting for the cross"in# component& an# "atching the position an# apparent movement^ of the aiming point relative to the "in#screen. )hen at ' feet or so& substantially re#uce the rate of #escent& re#uce thrust to Eero& touch#o"n an# roll3out until it is safe to turn off the lan#ing strip. 2f so e1uippe#& an# in a nose"heel aircraft& bra*es may be applie# to slo" the aircraft #uring the latter part of the roll3out ! but only if the aircraft is moving in a straight line on a firm surface an# the elevators are raise# to *eep e,cess "eight off the nose"heel. 2n a tail"heel aircraft& be very "ary of any bra*e application #uring the roll3out. )he bra*ing systems in ultralight aircraft are generally only provi#e# for light use in groun# manoeuvring. U 1f the aiming )oint a))ears to !e moving u) the windscreen you are undershooting "too low* and will touch down !efore the target. 1f the aiming )oint a))ears to !e moving down the screen you are overshooting "too high* and will touchdown )ast the target. 1f it a))ears to !e motionless in the screen the a))roach slo)e is good and touchdown will !e close to the target. +he foregoing )resumes that all of the runway is visi!le through the windscreen during the final a))roach. Dowever, there are some aircraft where the forward visi!ility over the nose is inadequate at a))roach s)eeds and s)ecial techniques, such as side$sli))ing, may !e required.

/ariations on Uoining the circuit


)he previous #iscussion outline# the full circuit pattern that shoul# be a#opte# "hen inboun# to an unfamiliar airfiel#. Ho"ever& "hen inboun# to a familiar airfiel# of "hich you are a"are of the current run"ay in use an# its serviceability& it may not be necessary to overfly the airfiel#& an# the circuit may be -oine# any"here on the green path+ i.e. on the up"in#& cross"in# or #o"n"in# leg. Ao"n"in# -oins are normally ma#e at a = O angle from outsi#e the pattern. Lou shoul# not -oin the stan#ar# circuit on base or final ! the re# sha#e# path in the #iagram. ;hen -oining cross"in# or #o"n"in#& you shoul# alrea#y be

at the circuit height. $ote that only the pattern of the stan#ar# circuit is fi,e#. 2ts #imensions+ e.g. the length of the #o"n"in# leg or its #istance from the run"ay& are variable. 2t is goo# practice to fly a nice& tight circuit. )his also allo"s a force# lan#ing to be accomplishe# safely on the airfiel# if po"er is lost. Ho"ever& for operational reasons& not all aircraft "ill fly a stan#ar# pattern or even base their circuit on the same run"ay. )he turning ra#ius of regular passenger transport IR7)J aircraft is too large to con#uct the normal circuit pattern& so they perform either a 8circling approach8 or a 8straight3in approach8+ the latter being much safer for R7) aircraft. Agricultural aircraft reloa#ing at a public airfiel# ten# to use a run"ay an# circuit pattern "hich best suits the -ob con#itions.

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=4)A .on$standard circuits


Special proce#ures for -oining on final apply at C)AF/R0 aero#romes only& "here the carriage an# use of ?HF ra#io& confirme# to be functioning on the C)AF& is man#atory for all aircraft ! inclu#ing ultralights ! operating "ithin the vicinity. Aircraft -oining for a straight3in approach must be establishe# on the straight3in approach hea#ing by five nautical miles from the airfiel# an# broa#cast that fact+ in a##ition& the aircraft8s lan#ing lights an# anti3collision lights must be s"itche# on. )he straight3in approach option is available to any aircraft operating at a C)AF/R0 aero#rome& but shoul# only be utilise# by aircraft "hose approach spee# is much higher than the norm+ e.g. R7) aircraft. An aircraft on a straight3in approach must give "ay to aircraft alrea#y reporte# establishe# on base or final approach. )he straight3in approach is often ma#e on the longest run"ay& not necessarily the into3"in# run"ay. Refer to the proce#ures section of the ?HF ra#iocommunications gui#e for the stan#ar# broa#casts on the C)AF.

(perational need and the pattern flown


)he follo"ing e,tract from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority A#visory Circular AC 6%322'/'0 conclu#es that 3Safety

rules permitting4 the pilots of each type of aircraft will want to fly the circuit pattern most suited to the aircraft and the type of operation5 &ilots ha$e to gi$e and ta*e rele$ant information and e%ercise tolerance and consideration if $aried circuit flight paths and e%perience le$els are to )e accommodated safely53 E'tract from the draft CASA Advisory Circular AC L=$445J5K regarding operations at non$controlled aerodromes. The principal factors or elements relating to operations in /MC are& a. )he type of operation ! agricultural& pilot training& air transport b. )ype of aircraft c. ;in# spee# an# #irection #. $umber of run"ays e. Hbstructions an# topography in the vicinity of the aero#rome f. 4uilt3up areas an# local noise sensitivity g. $umber of aircraft h. Hther activities ! parachuting& gli#er flying& flight training i. ;hether all aircraft are ra#io3e1uippe# an# pro,imity of controlle# airspace an# lo"3level operations -. $on3communicating traffic an# non3compliant traffic. There can e varied operational needs and manoeuvres conducted at a non$controlled aerodrome& a. S*ille# pilots "ill often "ant to ma*e smaller circuits than pilots un#er training or "ith lo" recency b. Larger air transport aircraft are e,pensive to run& an# minutes save# ma*e straight3in approaches an attractive proposition c. Helicopters are not restricte# to normal circuit patterns an# generally operate to stay clear of fi,e#3"ing circuit patterns #. 7ilots #oing actual or practice instrument approaches "ill often ma*e straight3in or abbreviate# approaches to a lan#ing or to a misse# approach point on an instrument run"ay& or "ill elect to -oin the circuit from overhea# a navigation

e.

f. g. h.

i.

ai# via the most convenient turn to the run"ay in use Agricultural pilots con#ucting local #eliveries may prefer to #o a contra or a lo"3level circuit& or ma*e straight3in approaches on a cross run"ay /e,pect any legitimate manoeuvre that "ill spee# up #elivery rates0 7arachuting an# gli#er tug aircraft may ma*e steep #escents into the circuit area :ltralight pilots generally prefer to ma*e lo"& small circuits& an# to overfly terrain "ith potential for a safe force# lan#ing Fli#ers re1uire "inching or to"ing& often use parallel run"ays an#9or contra circuits& an# are committe# to lan# from the time they enter the circuit )rainee pilots re1uire relatively large circuits& #on8t have reserve capacity to cope "ith unusual manoeuvres by other aircraft & an# can easily be force# to aban#on their preferre# flight path by other aircraft& inclu#ing those on normal manoeuvres.

The complete CASA draft advisory circular L=$ 445 J5K is essential reading and has een provided on this site as "(perations at non$ controlled airfields)

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=4)D Final approach slope and duration


Large aircraft on the final approach to the run"ay normally #escen# along a #ocumente# path "hich is incline# at about >O to the horiEontal an# aligne# "ith the run"ay. All 2nstrument Lan#ing Systems I2LSJ are base# on this >O /or U0 approach slope+ the term glideslope is usually accepte# to refer to the approach slope

in such systems. Cost of the secon#ary aero#romes in Australia are e1uippe# "ith the groun# ai# ?isual Approach Slope 2n#icator systems I?AS2J& or something similar+ these #ay an# night optical in#icator systems also utilise the >O gli#eslope. )hus for larger aircraft& the approach techni1ue is to intercept the gli#eslope some #istance from the run"ay threshol# an# to maintain a consistent airspee# an# rate of #escent throughout the straight3in approach. )he rate of #escent necessary to maintain the gli#eslope is controlle# by slight po"er changes an# #epen#s on the effect of "in#+ i.e. the groun# spee#. )he rule of thumb for the re1uire# rate of #escent in feet per minute along a >O slope is the groun# spee# in *nots multiplie# by . +his is 7ust another a))lication of the 1$in$M5 rule. Fne ,not ; 155 feet )er minute, so if the ground s)eed is 125 ,nots "12 555 ft9min* the rate of descent required to maintain the slo)e is 12 555 E 39M5 ; M55 ft9min. 1f a 25 ,not wind reduces the ground s)eed to 155 ,nots, the rate of descent required reduces to 855 ft9min. Caintenance of the gli#eslope an# #irection /the trac* over the groun# shoul# follo" the e,ten#e# run"ay line0 are the critical nee#s in a precision approach. )hus it is also necessary to assess the cross"in# component of the "in# velocity an# ma*e the necessary hea#ing a#-ustment to compensate for #rift.

+ight aircraft approach slope and speed


For light aircraft approaching at a groun# spee# of& say ' *nots& the >O slope is not really practical as the rate of #escent re1uire# "oul# be only 2 ' ft9min. )his e,ten#s the time spent on final "hich& in turn& ten#s to bac* up the traffic in the circuit. Also& maintenance of a #ocumente# approach slope is not a critical nee# in an approach that is not instrument& F7S or groun# ai# oriente#. Fli#eslope management for light aircraft entails a bit of mental arithmetic to eitherG calculate the rate of #escent re1uire# plus monitor the ?S2 ! if fitte#& or if more comfortable "ith a particular rate of #escent& calculate the groun# #istance necessary bet"een aiming point an# final approach point /see belo"0. Light aircraft generally use a steeper approach slope ! maybe aroun# @O "hich& at ' *nots groun# spee#& "oul#

re1uire a rate of #escent of '' ft9min. +he rule of thum! for the rate of descent to maintain a M6 slo)e is the ground s)eed in ,nots multi)lied !y 15 equals the rate of descent in feet )er minute. )he manufacturer8s recommen#e# final approach spee# I?refJ chosen for light aircraft in normal approaches is usually not less than %.> K ?so& possibly %. K ?so for lo" spee# aircraft. "+he slower the aircraft, the greater the effect of atmos)heric tur!ulence.* )he planne# rate of #escent is usually establishe# by pilots as one they are comfortable "ith& at the final approach spee#. Airspee# an# the rate of #escent& at a particular flap setting& are controlle# by small a#-ustments in attitu#e an# po"er. Si#eslipping a##s another #imension to the approach angle. Lou shoul# revie" 8forces in a #escent8 an# the 8lift9#rag ratio8. For a normal approach it is important to hol# ! an# trim the aircraft into ! the recommen#e# approach spee# "ithout a##ing any e,tra 8safety factor8+ the safest approach an# lan#ing "ill be achieve# at that recommen#e# airspee#. An allo"ance for "in# gusts shoul# be a##e# if necessary& or 2.> *nots may be a##e# in significant cross"in# con#itions /see belo"0. )he #uration of the final approach then #epen#s on the height from "hich 8finals8 are commence# an# the planne# rate of #escent. 2n a normal approach& the final approach is usually starte# at about =''. '' feet agl "ith a chosen rate of #escent aroun# =''. '' feet per minute+ thus the time on final shoul# be about one minute. )he over3the3groun# #istance covere# #uring final approach #epen#s on the #uration& the approach airspee# an# "in# velocity. )a*ing a lo" momentum ultralight approach as an e,ample& if the turn onto final is complete# at '' feet agl& the rate of #escent is '' ft9min& the approach spee# is ' *nots an# the hea#"in# velocity is %' *nots& then the groun# spee# is =' *nots /=''' ft9min0& the #uration is one minute an# the final approach must start about =''' feet from the aiming point. )he lo"er the groun# spee# /as "ith a stronger hea#"in#0& the lesser the groun# #istance must be bet"een start of final an# the aiming point& other"ise you en# up con#ucting a lo" 8#rag it in8 approach. )his is not goo# energy management&as it is both lo" an# slo" ! an# totally reliant on engine po"er to *eep you out of trouble. 2t is probably

un"ise to use full flap "hen confronte# "ith high "in# spee# on the approach because& un#er the con#itions -ust #escribe#& you "ill be flying the bac* of the po"er curve "ith significant po"er re1uire# to balance the increase# flap #rag+ it is better to choose a flap setting that provi#es a higher CC "ithout a substantial increase in C2.

Final approach point


Having chosen the rate of #escent& the height at "hich the final approach "ill commence an# estimate# the "in# velocity& then sometime #uring the #o"n"in# leg the pilot must #etermine the groun# position that mar*s the final approach point ! the point "here the turn from base onto final "ill be complete. )he position at "hich the prece#ing 6'O #escen#ing turn ! from #o"n"in# onto base ! shoul# be commence# is #etermine# by that final approach point an# the "in# velocity. 7resuming that the "in# #irection at circuit height is roughly aligne# "ith the lan#ing #irection& then the higher the "in# spee#& the earlier the turn onto base must be starte#.

Allowing for crosswind


;hen the aircraft is flying the up"in#& #o"n"in# or base legs& the allo"ance for #rift ! in or#er to maintain a ti#y rectangular trac* aroun# the circuit ! is al"ays accomplishe# by assessing the necessary "in# correction angle or crab angle an# a#-usting the aircraft8s hea#ing so that the aircraft 8crabs8 along the re1uire# groun# line. )he crab metho# is also use# on final approach& particularly in larger aircraft& to a#-ust for the cross"in# component. Ru##er& rather than aileron& is use# to ma*e small a#-ustments to the aircraft hea#ing. )he crab metho# is the most comfortable for passengers. Ho"ever& the for"ar# slip metho# is probably easier to manage in some light aircraft if the cross"in# component becomes significant on final approach. )he main thing in han#ling cross"in# is to ensure that the aircraft is not moving si#e"ays at touch#o"n+ i.e. the longitu#inal a,is is aligne# "ith the #irection of for"ar# movement an# that #irection shoul# preferably be aligne# "ith the run"ay or strip. Si#e"ays movement at touch#o"n stresses the un#ercarriage an# may prompt a violent s"ing.

2n an ultralight& if the cross"in# component is becoming a bit e,treme you can al"ays re#uce it a bit by lan#ing #iagonally /i.e. e#ge to e#ge0 across a /"i#e0 run"ay or strip. )he cross"in# component an# its relativity to aircraft spee# "ill vary as the aircraft #escen#s #ue to the #ecreasing "in# gra#ient an# the re#uctions in aircraft spee#. 7articular care shoul# be ta*en "hen lan#ing upslope& as the "in# spee# might #rop off very rapi#ly near the surface& #ue to the blan*ing effect of the terrain.

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=4)E Flare% touchdown and ground roll


Auring the final approach& the aircraft shoul# be #escen#ing to"ar#s the aiming point. Caybe a fe" secon#s before it "ill fly into that point& the aircraft is 8flared8 so that the aircraft8s attitu#e is smoothly change# ! from the nose3#o"n attitu#e of the approach to a nose3high attitu#e for lan#ing. Auring this 8roun#3out8 transition perio#& po"er is smoothly re#uce# to i#le& or near i#le& an# the aircraft8s vertical spee# is re#uce# from maybe =''. '' ft9min to practically Eero. At the same time& its for"ar# spee# is also re#uce# from the approach spee# to about %.% K ?so& plus any "in# gust allo"ance. 4ecause the aircraft is turning in the vertical plane& "ing loa#ing "ill increase #uring the flare so stall spee# #uring that perio# "ill be slightly above ?so. 2f the flare elevator pressure is e,cessive& the aircraft "ill 8balloon8+ i.e. the nose "ill point s*y"ar# an# airspee# "ill #rop off very rapi#ly in a /very0 short climb unless imme#iate corrective action is ta*en. At the en# of the flare manoeuvre& the aircraft shoul# be flying level -ust above the surface an# #ecelerating as it approaches the touch#o"n target. An aircraft close to the surface "ill be in groun# effect an# the #ecrease# in#uce# #rag "ill mean that the rate of #eceleration slo"s+ i.e. the aircraft "ill ten# to 8 float8+ the higher the groun# spee#& the longer the float #uration& an# the greater the chance of encountering some #ifficulty #ue to "in# gusts& lulls or shifts. 2f you approach "ith a tail"in#& the aircraft "ill seem to float forever. )he #rag from fully e,ten#e# flaps "ill increase #eceleration an# re#uce float. )he #uration of the float "ill be minimise# by an approach at the correct airspee# plus a firm& smooth roun#3out an# po"er re#uction.

)he touchdown airspeed chosen by the pilot #epen#s on "in# con#itions& an# there are t"o touch#o"n options. )he usual techni1ue is for the pilot to ease the main "heels onto the surface "hile finally closing the throttle& touching #o"n lightly "hile the aircraft is in a some"hat nose3high attitu#e but still above ?so ! a 8 wheeler8 lan#ing. )his techni1ue is al"ays use# in unfavourable "in# con#itions. Sometimes& rather than the pilot flying the aircraft onto the surface& the aircraft might be hel# in that attitu#e -ust above the surface until airspee# #ecays an# the aircraft lan#s itself. At touch#o"n ! in a tail#ragger only ! some for"ar# pressure may be applie# to the control column until the spee# #ecays belo" ?so& pegging the aircraft #o"n "ith the re#uce# aoa so that it cannot lift off again& "hile airframe #rag an# "heel friction are slo"ing the aircraft. A nose"heel aircraft shoul# never be allo"e# to touch #o"n nose"heel first& or the nose an# main "heels together& as "heelbarro"ing may result. )he nose"heel shoul# be hel# off the surface #uring the roll out until the aircraft slo"s& an# then gently lo"ere#& rather than letting it #rop #o"n of its o"n accor#. 5eep the aircraft aligne# "ith ru##er. )he alternative techni1ue is to "hold$off" the touch#o"n by gra#ually increasing control column bac* pressure& an# hol#ing the "heels a fe" centimetres above the surface as the airspee# #ecays. Recalling the formulaG Lift N CC K Q?M K S& you can see that in this techni1ue the pilot is preventing the aircraft from touching #o"n&an# hol#ing lift constant by increasing CC as ?M re#uces. ;hen close to the stalling aoa an# the airspee# is near ?so& the pilot stops increasing bac* pressure an# the aircraft sin*s& alighting smoothly in a nose3high attitu#e. )his techni1ue is particularly suitable for tail"heel aircraft ! but only in favourable "in# con#itions. )he ob-ect is to touch #o"n simultaneously on the main "heels an# tail"heel+ i.e. a 8three3point8 lan#ing& "ithout the aircraft sin*ing very far. ;hen using this techni1ue in a nose"heel aircraft you must not allo" the nose"heel to thump #o"n "hen the main "heels touch.

2f the cra techni<ue is use# to compensate for cross"in#& then the

aircraft8s fore an# aft a,is must be finally aligne# "ith the #irection of movement by *ic*ing the ru##er -ust before touch#o"n occurs+ goo# timing is necessary. After touch#o"n maintain run"ay alignment "ith ru##er. A refinement& re1uiring a very fine touch on the controls& is to crab until very close to the run"ay then gently lo"er the into3"in# "ing so that the main lan#ing gear on that si#e contacts the run"ay& then using ru##er& pivot on that "heel to align "ith the run"ay centre3line. Similarly& if the forward slip method is use#& then touch#o"n is ma#e on the into3"in# main "heel before the airspee# #ecays belo" ?so. )he "eight shoul# be *ept on that "heel until the aircraft slo"s at "hich stage the other "heel "ill contact the surface. 2f a nose"heel is interconnecte# to the ru##er pe#als for groun# steering ! an# it remains connecte# even if the "eight is off the nose"heel strut ! then the nose"heel "ill be #eflecte# in flight by the use of ru##er. )ouch#o"n of a #eflecte# nose"heel must be avoi#e# so the ru##er must be in the neutral position before the nose"heel is lo"ere# to the surface. 2uring roll$out in cross"in# con#itions& the into3"in# aileron is raise# to prevent that "ing from lifting ! if gust3effecte# ! an# #irection is controlle# "ith ru##er. 2n a tail#ragger& the pilot must be prepare# to counter the inertial effect of the centre of gravity position. :nless there is a goo# reason for #oing so ! a touch3an#3go lan#ing& for e,ample ! flaps shoul# not be raise# until the aircraft has re#uce# to ta,iing spee# or turne# off the lan#ing strip. 2f there is some #istance to ta,i& then before turning off& it is safe practice to move to the si#e of the run"ay from "hich you "ill turn& to leave room for another aircraft ! -ust in case.

Soft field techni<ue


2f the airfiel# is soft then the techni1ue is to minimise the "eight on the main "heels at touch#o"n& gra#ually transferring the "eight from "ings to main "heels as the aircraft slo"s. )he approach is normal& using full flap if available& an# the aircraft is flare# as normal for a reasonably nose3high attitu#e ! but a little po"er is applie# -ust before touch#o"n& as you feel for the surface. 4e prepare# for the aircraft nose to pull #o"n har# as the "heels sin* ! the same nose3#o"n pitch "ill happen if touching #o"n in long grass& particularly if it is "et. Remove the po"er smoothly& #o not touch the bra*es /a loc*e# "heel "ill not ri#e over any obstruction0& hol# the control column "ell bac* an# *eep the aircraft moving until you attain firm groun#.

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=4)7 Going around


A go3aroun# is a #ecision to abort the lan#ing an# climb straight ahea# /perhaps to re-oin the circuit on the cross"in# leg0& an# involves a transition perio# bet"een the #escent phase an# subse1uent climb. A go3aroun# #ecision might be ta*en at any time #uring the final approach& the flare& or sometimes even after initial surface contact. 2f the #ecision is ma#e late& then the transition perio# might be a critical time for the pilot because of the lo" energy status of the aircraft an# its lo"3spee# flight characteristics. For lo"er3po"ere# aircraft& the go3aroun# techni1ue re1uires a full& smooth application of full3throttle po"er to arrest the #escent /follo"e# by carby heat control to col# air an#& if fitte# "ith variable pitch propeller& ensuring pitch is set to ma,imum rpm0& then maintain level flight "hile buil#ing *inetic energy or perhaps even tra#e some height for faster acceleration. Hnly commence the climb3out "hen ?,& ?y or an interme#iate climb spee# is attaine#. 2f the aircraft is lo" "hen the go3aroun# #ecision is ma#e an# po"er is applie#& then continuing to #escen# so that the aircraft can be accelerate# in groun# effect "ill provi#e some a##itional airspee# shoul# that be consi#ere# safe an# #esirable. +here may !e occasions when a cooled "or iced$u)* engine fails to res)ond to the throttle !eing o)ened in a go$around following a throttled$!ac, glide a))roach or a )ractice forced landing a))roach. "+he same lac, of res)onse may occur if the throttle is o)ened too ra)idly.* Jonsequently, the )ilot should !e careful not to raise the nose !efore, or at the same time as, o)ening the throttle !ecause % if the engine doesn't res)ond, there will !e no increase in thrust to !alance the su!stantially increased dragA sin, rate will increase and the wings will a))roach the critical aoa. @enerally, the aircraft will )itch u) with full a))lication of )ower and it should not !e necessary to a))ly very much control column !ac, )ressure, !ut raise the nose #G+3R the engine has res)onded )ro)erly. 2f the aircraft is e1uippe# "ith flaps& then the flap retraction proce#ure for a go3aroun# shoul# be specifie# in the pilot8s operating han#boo*. Fenerally& to avoi# #angerous sin*& flaps shoul# be raise# slo"ly in stages ! an# only "hen a positive climb rate is establishe#& an# obstacles are cleare# ! then finally cleane# up "hen a safe height is reache#. Some aircraft "ill not climb at full throttle "ith full flap #eflection /this particularly #epen#s on gross "eight& cg position an# #ensity altitu#e but perhaps is further complicate# by rising terrain0 in "hich case it is necessary to re#uce to an interme#iate flap setting #uring the transitional stage of the go3aroun#& "hile applying -ust sufficient

control column bac* pressure to negate the sin*. 2f climbing "ith approach flaps e,ten#e#& the aircraft8s attitu#e in pitch may #iffer substantially from the normal climb attitu#e. 2f a go3aroun# #ecision is ma#e "hen the aircraft is on the groun# "ith full flaps e,ten#e#& then set ta*e3off flap before applying full throttle. 2f the aircraft has a retractable un#ercarriage /an# unless the pilot8s operating han#boo* states other"ise0& then #o not to raise the gear until the climb is "ell establishe# an# other more vital proce#ures can be complete# ! "ithout #istraction from the primary tas* of maintaining aircraft attitu#e an# airspee#. )here is al"ays the possibility of the aircraft sin*ing to the surface if it is lo" "hen flaps are first raise#& or mista*enly sto"ing all flap instea# of raising the un#ercarriage. 7ilots must be able to select an# a#-ust flap positions& trim positions an# un#ercarriage control "ithout loo*ing aroun# the coc*pit. At a public airfiel#& regulations re1uire the aircraft to maintain run"ay hea#ing until '' feet agl. Ho"ever& there may be a local convention that suggests aircraft trac* a climb3out path that follo"s safer terrain& in case of engine failure. Aensity altitu#e "ill severely #eplete an aircraft8s go3aroun# performance. 2f high #ensity altitu#e is combine# "ith high gross "eight an# a short or uphill strip& then a go3aroun# may be impossible. )he reasons for a go3aroun# from base or final approach might beG a perceive# traffic conflict+ the lan#ing area foule#+ an unstabilise# approach or one that re1uires too many ma-or changes in throttle setting+ an e,cessive sin* rate on final& "hich may be evi#ence of #o"nflo" turbulence+ or the approach is -ust too fast& too high or lo"& or "ay off the lan#ing line& or -ust confuse#.

Fo3aroun#s at or after touch#o"n are usually prompte# by multiple bounces arising from a high rate of sin* at first contact. Any time you have to pour on po"er to regain control of the aircraft& it is probably man#atory to then go aroun# ! provi#e# there is sufficient remaining run"ay& there is a safe climb3out path ahea# an# the aircraft is not

s"inging. Cany airstrips use# by ultralights are -ust that ! a strip line# by trees& scrub or soft san#. So& if the aircraft has s"ung a"ay from the strip alignment& a go3aroun# un#er those con#itions may be unsafe. 2t may be preferable for you to ma*e an early #ecision on the type of acci#ent you may have by closing the throttle& establishing a reasonable aircraft attitu#e& hol#ing tight an# preparing for some relatively minor aircraft #amage. 2t is better to hit the obstacles "hen groun#borne rather than airborne. See 8Dngine failure after ta*e3off8. Here is an e,tract from an RA3Aus inci#ent reportG +he )ilot re)orted that ... Kaircraft touched down in slow wheeler landing, !ounced in semi$stall condition and yawed through 45 degrees. Gull )ower a))lied, )ower lines were 1 5 metres away and line of 85 foot trees were 1H5 metres "away*. #ircraft clim!ed at maximum angle of clim! !ut neared the stall as trees got closer. 2ownwind com)onent and high humidity didn't hel) the situation. #ircraft cleared the line of trees !ut then stalled and cli))ed a tree !ehind the first row of trees.K 2n the prece#ing report you might perhaps substitute 8high #ensity altitu#e8 for 8high humi#ity8. )he go aroun# #ecision must be e,ecute# positively as early as possible ! #on8t be in#ecisive an# #on8t start a half3hearte# go3aroun# attempt. Here is another e,tract from an RA3Aus inci#ent reportG \+he )ilot was )racticing short landings and low )ower a))roaches. >ust !efore the )oint of flare he decided to go around and a))lied )ower. #fter the aircraft had !egun to gain altitude he decided to land ahead on the remaining runway. #gain unha))y with the situation at the )oint of flare he decided to go around and rea))lied )ower. #t this )oint the left wing dro))ed and the aircraft slewed off the centreline and struc, a sa)ling growing off to the side of the runway. +he )ilot was not in7ured !ut the aircraft suffered ma7or damage.\

Elevator trim stall


At each stage of the approach& the aircraft shoul# be properly re3trimme# to maintain the #esire# airspee# at the current cg position an# selecte# flap configuration. )he elevator trim tabs e,ert 1uite a large control force at flight spee#s. ;ith full flap #eflection on the approach& some

aircraft may nee# 1uite an amount of nose3up trim+ un#er these con#itions& the application of full po"er follo"ing a go3 aroun# #ecision may in#uce a very strong nose3up movement ! e,acerbate# by the elevator trim setting ! an# this attitu#e change must be anticipate# by the pilot. 2f the pilot is slo" in applying for"ar# stic* pressure an# a#-usting the elevator trim& the pitch3up may result in a highly #angerous 8elevator trim8 stall. A similar situation may occur "hen con#ucting touch3an#3go lan#ings. Hn the other han#& if a lot of nose3#o"n trim has been applie# #uring the approach to lan#ing& that also may cause #ifficulties on a subse1uent go3aroun# or touch3an#3go if the pilot neglects to re3trim to the appropriate ta*e3off setting. Rea# 8Running out of run"ay8 in the <uly.August 2''2 issue of 'Glight Safety #ustralia'. A go3aroun# un#erta*en "hen the aircraft is lo" in energy has a much greater ris* profile than a normal run"ay ta*e3 off& an# thus must be con#ucte# "ith consi#erable care. ;ith the engine pro#ucing high po"er an# the aircraft8s attitu#e changing& the engine effects ! propeller tor1ue& gyroscopic precession an# 73factor ! "ill also be evi#ent in a go3aroun#. )hese effects must be anticipate# an# compensate# for. Any turns con#ucte# at a lo" energy level must be gentle an# coor#inate#. See 8Loss of control in lo" level turns8 an# rea# this RA3Aus acci#ent investigation report. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the follo"ing section %2.( 8Short fiel# techni1ues8 J

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=4)F Short field techni<ues


7lanning for a short fiel# lan#ing is starte# "ith the airfiel# chec* in the flight planning stage. )his is "here the airfiel# #imensions& slope& surface con#itions& obstructions an# haEar#s plus forecast meteorological con#itions& are ascertaine#. )he ne,t step is to calculate the aircraft8s ta*e3off #istance un#er those con#itions ! presuming a #esire to leave the airfiel# eventually. 2f the calculations sho" ample margin for ta*e3off& then lan#ing ! for a flap3e1uippe# aircraft ! shoul# be H5& as it usually /but not

al"ays0 re1uires a shorter #istance for lan#ing. 2t is best to #o the complete lan#ing #istance calculation& factor in all the *no"n con#itions ! but assume nil "in# ! then multiply that calculate# #istance by %. to allo" room for error. 2f the result is greater than the #istance available& then a lan#ing at that fiel# is unsafe. 2f the #istance available is greater than %. times but less than perhaps t"ice the calculate# #istance& then the approach an# lan#ing shoul# be planne# using short fiel# lan#ing techni1ues. )he problem "ith airfiel#s consi#ere# short for ultralight aircraft is that they are often poorly engineere#& single& private strips an# generally surroun#e# by obstructions. Some are built on rising groun#& so that the lan#ing can only be #one uphill no matter "hat the "in# velocity. Hnce committe# into the final approach& the feasibility of going3aroun# is very #oubtful. 2o not plan to land at an airfield that is oth short and one$ way 6 it is venturing into the realm of gam ling% not flyingN and is most unli#ely to e accepta le to the aircraft insurer) The following is an e'tract from an 1A$Aus incident report& \+he aircraft was !eing landed on a one$way stri) with a tail wind. =hen it !ecame a))arent that the aircraft was not going to touch down in time, )ower was a))lied in an attem)t to go around. +he aircraft could not clim! enough to clear some o!stacles in its )ath so was turned to avoid them and, after clearing a shed, it struc, a tree and came to rest. +he )ilot, who descri!ed himself as 'very, very luc,y', was not in7ured even though the seat !elt was torn from its mounting in the im)act.\ 2t is not -ust the physical length of an airstrip that must be consi#ere#G un#er high #ensity altitu#e con#itions& many 8normal8 airfiel#s become 8short8 an# those same high #ensity altitu#e con#itions may preclu#e a go3aroun#.

!ire haGards
Short airstrips seem to have an affinity for po"er cables to be strung across the run"ay en#s ! though 2 am a"are of one private airstrip "here the po"er supply to the house is strung across the mi##le of the run"ay& supporte# at each si#e by t"o poles. 1emem er% it is the wire the pilot didn"t #now was there 6 or #new was there ut didn"t see 6 that all too often rings an aircraft to grief) The following is an e'tract from an 1A$Aus

incident report& \+he )ilot de)arted his airstri) for one owned !y a friend a!out eleven nautical miles away. #))roaching from the west and a!out 1.8 nm from the threshold he !egan a gentle descent, )assed over a set of )ower lines, then flew over a second set of lines, reducing his s)eed to 88 ,nots to set the aircraft u) for landing. #t this )oint he noticed the owner of the airstri) standing a!out halfway along the stri). +he )ilot, 7udging his a))roach to !e FO, was contem)lating whether he might need a slight a))lication of )ower to flare on the u)hill threshold when the aircraft struc, a third set of )ower lines. +he lines caught the )ro)eller, exhaust and undercarriage, causing the aircraft to decelerate and stri,e the ground in a vertical attitude !efore coming to rest inverted. +he )ilot suffered minor !ruising to the head and the aircraft was su!stantially damaged. +he )ilot involved su))lied a list of ')oints to )onder'. 1. De had driven to the airstri) and ins)ected it from the ground three wee,s )reviously. 2. De had )reviously landed on the airstri) from the east. 3. Fn the day !efore the accident he had overflown from the west in a different aircraft and then landed from the west. . +he western end of the airstri) is in a localised low area and the )oles carrying the )ower line were !oth o!scured, one !y a house and the other !y trees.\ All of this in#icates that pilots shoul# be e,tremely "ary of marginal airstrips an# never carry a passenger into such situations. 7erhaps many shoul# be avoi#e#& as they allo" little margin to cope "ith micro3meteorological events that cannot be forecast ! such as gusty cross"in#s or lee #o"nflo"s ! an# "here a lan#ing is really -ust a #emonstration of pure brava#o& perhaps "ith a #ash of stupi#ity.

Techni<ue
Fetting into a short fiel# re1uires accurate energy management /i.e height an# spee#0 firm& smooth controlling& an# a properly calibrate# AS2. Lou "ill have to choose a touch#o"n point that is closer to the threshol# than normal& commence the flare a fraction later than normal an# ensure the approach airspee# is slo"er than normal so thatG /a0 the approach angle is steeper than normal ! particularly once clear of obstacles+ an# /b0 float is minimise# by the aircraft being place# firmly on the surface soon after roun#3out. )he steeper approach allo"s for obstacle clearance "hile still

achieving the earlier touch#o"n& an# also it *eeps a little more potential energy of height in han#. 2f at any time you are not happy "ith the approach& then initiate an early go3aroun# using the correct go3aroun# techni1ue. 4e #ecisive ! #on8t "ait to see if you can recover the situation. Also& if you have ma#e t"o misse# approaches& then perhaps it8s time to go else"here. Here is another e,tract from an RA3Aus inci#ent reportG \+he )ilot had made two downhill into$wind a))roaches to a short slo)ing stri) !ut was unha))y with the s)eed of the aircraft and decided to a))roach downwind9u)hill. #s the aircraft touched down a!out 85 m along the stri) he decided to go around and a))lied full )ower. +he aircraft cleared a fence at the to) end of the stri) !ut then dro))ed a wing and landed heavily, colla)sing the nosewheel and damaging the right main wheel. +he )ilot was not in7ured.\

Choosing a ug$out point and "escape" route


Short fiel# lan#ings re1uire a little more preparation& starting "ith a slo"er initial overfly at % '' feet agl an# turn onto the up"in# leg. Auring this perio#& fin# something that "ill clearly mar* a point about half"ay along the selecte# lan#ing path. )his "ill be the go3 aroun# point+ i.e. if the aircraft has not touche# #o"n "hen it reaches this point& follo"ing the flare& then a go3aroun# "ill be #ecisively initiate#. Lou shoul# be a"are that an airstrip that is much smaller than those you are use# to may promptG /a0 the ten#ency to scale #o"n the circuit+ an# /b0 the illusion that you are too lo" on final approach. See 8Run"ay illusions8 in the Carch. April 2''' issue of 8Glight Safety #ustralia8. Lou must plan an escape route for the go3aroun# from that bug3out point& an# #etermine "hether the aircraft "ill have the climb performance to clear any obstacles an# high terrain on that route. 4e a"are that terrain slope #iscerne# from % '' feet agl is li*ely to be un#er3estimate#. Also ta*e into account that atmospheric con#itions near the surface may not be "hat you e,pect. 2f you have any #oubts ! #o not attempt a lan#ing. Lou shoul# plan not to touch #o"n at the first pass& but to initiate a go3aroun# before the flare an# above obstruction height. )his gives an opportunity to e,plore the final approach "ithout any commitment to lan#. )he lo" pass also provi#es a chance for a closer loo* for obstacles at the run"ay en#s& a chec* of the surface con#ition an# cross3slope& an# to run off any "il#life.

+anding routine
=. Follo" the normal routine on the #o"n"in# leg& e,cept fly it a little slo"er& lo"er partial flap an# re#uce to normal approach spee# before commencing the #escen#ing turn onto base. )his "ill provi#e more time to hol# hea#ing on base so as to carefully chec* for "in# shear& "hich may further ero#e the safety margin bet"een the re#uce# approach spee# an# ?so. 2f shear is in#icate#& a #ecision must be ma#e "hether to continue or to aban#on the lan#ing attempt. Hn base& re#uce airspee#& lo"er full flap an# *eep the aiming point in sight. Auring the #escen#ing turn onto final& use a touch more po"er to balance the increase in in#uce# #rag an# maintain the lo"er airspee#. Remember& #uring the approach& it is essential to re3trim the aircraft at the re1uire# airspee# after each flap an# po"er change. 4. As early as possible after being establishe# on final approach& re#uce airspee# to the short fiel# approach spee# recommen#e# in the Flight Canual. 2f that #oesn8t e,ist& use an airspee# that is at least %.2 K ?so an# a lo" po"er setting ! you "ill ten# to control airspee# "ith elevator an# #escent "ith po"er. )he lo"er the po"er setting& the greater the sin* rate. Remember& you "ill be flying the bac* of the po"er curve an# the po"er setting use# shoul# be enough that there is ample reserve for a go3aroun# if nee#e#. ;atch for apparent movement of the aiming point in the "in#screen& an# a#-ust po"er or airspee# to hol# that point motionless. Also "atch the top of the highest obstacle along the approach path. 2f the vertical #istance in the "in#screen bet"een the top of the obstacle an# the aiming point is "i#ening& you shoul# clear the obstacle+ if it is narro"ing you may not clear it. Start re#ucing the po"er "hen clear of obstacles. # suita!ly ex)erienced )ilot in a non$fla) equi))ed aircraft can stee)en the a))roach !y sidesli))ing, !ut not with an inex)erienced )assenger as the manoeuvre can !e a little frightening. >. )he slo"er approach spee# means there is nee# to accurately maintain airspee# "ithin 2 or > *nots "ithout continuous reference to the AS2& hence the nee# to accurately a#-ust trim. "#ll the foregoing )resumes that the #S1 accuracy, or variance from the stated Nso, has !een cali!rated*.

Auring the roun#3out& there "ill be a nee# to apply a slightly greater bac* pressure on the control column. )his results in a conse1uent increase in "ing loa#ing an# a further re#uce# margin bet"een the accelerate# stall spee# an# the airspee#& plus a greater ten#ency to balloon. Also& the possibility of an elevator trim stall follo"ing the application of full po"er& if a go3aroun# is initiate#& is more li*ely. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is section (.= 8Control in a turn8 J

4ac* to top

Further reading
)he online version of CASA8s magaEine 82light Safety (ustralia8 contains articles relating to lan#ing that are recommen#e# rea#ing. Loo* un#er 8)a*e3off an# lan#ing8 in the 8Further online rea#ing8 page.

Signals that are essential to #now


;hen ra#io communication cannot be establishe# by airfiel# control& there are five internationally recognise# light signals that may be use# to a#vise air an# groun# traffic at that airfiel#. A han#3hel# signalling lamp is use# to #irect the signal at an in#ivi#ual aircraft. )he signals are a stea#y or a flashing green+ a stea#y or a flashing re#+ an# a flashing "hite light+ as belo"G +ight signals 2irected at aircraft on the ground Steady green ! authorise# to ta*e3off if the pilot is satisfie# that no collision ris* e,ists 2irected at aircraft in flight Authorise# to lan# if the pilot is satisfie# that no collision ris* e,ists

Flashing green ! authorise# to ta,i if the pilot is satisfie# that no collision ris* e,ists

Return for lan#ing

Steady red ! stop

Five "ay to other aircraft Continue circling Ao not lan# Airfiel# unsafe

Flashing red ! ta,i clear of lan#ing area in use Flashing white ! return to starting point on airfiel#

Before landing% it is essential to chec# the ground signal s<uare usually located adUacent to the white primary windsoc#) The displayed ground signals denote the airfield operational state) Aero#rome is unserviceable& #o not lan#. A cross or crosses #isplaye# on a manoeuvring area #enote unfitness for use. Hperations are confine# to har# surface run"ays& aprons an# ta,i"ays only

Fli#ing operations are in progress /an# gli#ers have priority right of "ay0

!ind direction indicators or windsoc#s ;in# #irection& variability an# strength is usually assesse# by observing the airfiel# "in#soc*s ! these in#icate the #irection an# variability& an# may provi#e some i#ea of the "in# spee# a fe" metres above the surface. 2n#ication of "in# spee# "ill vary "ith the type of "in#soc*. CASR 7art %>6& a Canual of Stan#ar#s for Australian license# aero#romes& re1uires one stan#ar# "hite "in#soc* as the primary "in# #irection in#icator locate# near the signal area& plus a##itional stan#ar# "in#soc*s /yello" in colour0 place# near run"ay threshol#s. )he stan#ar# cone #imensions are >.@ m I%2 feetJ long& tapering in #iameter from 6'' mm I>@ inchesJ at the opening to 2 ' mm I%' inchesJ at the e,it. )he stan#ar# light fabric soc* in#icates a spee# of % *nots or greater "hen it becomes horiEontal in #ry con#itions& an# about B.( *nots "hen #rooping at = O. A "in# spee# above 2.> *nots is usually sufficient to provi#e a #irection in#ication. Some "in#soc*s may be colour3ban#e# /re#9"hite or orange9"hite0 for higher visibility. $ot all operators of aircraft lan#ing areas comply "ith CASR 7art %>6& so a variety of "in# #irection in#icators e,ist. )hey may be ma#e from heavier materials+ e.g. canvas& in lengths from %. m to B m. )heir positioning an# con#ition range from useless to goo#. ;in# spee# in#ications may vary consi#erably from those of the stan#ar#.

The ne't module in this Flight Theory Guide discusses flight at e'cessive speed.

Groundschool 6 Flight Theory Guide modules

| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller performance | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | I%2. Circuit & lan#ingJ | %>. Flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

Supplementary documents
| Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s | Safety #uring ta*e3off & lan#ing |

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Safety& flight at e'cessive speed


Revision %>a ! page content "as last change# February 2'& 2''6+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

%>.% Airframe strength an# elasticity %>.2 Aero#ynamic reactions to flight at e,cessive spee# %>.> ?ne ! the stan#ar# limiting airspee# %>.= Recovery from flight at e,cessive spee# %>. Recovery from a spiral #ive %>.@ $otesG compressibility of airflo" an# Cach number

The following notes apply chiefly to three$a'is powered aircraft that have een tested and received type approval certification from a national regulatory authority) (wner$ designed and uilt aircraft do not go through the certification processN the uilder would generally Uust rely on static load tests to prove the structure% and no flight testing program would e underta#en y a professional test pilot to determine the safe flight envelope and to identify deficiencies) 0owever% the principles apply even if there is no properly esta lished flight envelope data) The theme common to all pro lems encountered when moving at very high speed is that there is no warning% and no time to do anything a out itV The term "e'cessive speed" is entirely relative) ;n a low$momentum aircraft it might e 75 #nots) ;n an aircraft that cruises at =55 #nots% e'cessive speed

might e =A5 #nots) The only safe procedure is not to push the high$speed end of the envelope at any height) There is a companion document "Don't fly real fast" in the guide 'Decreasing your e%posure to ris* which includes and e'pands some of the following material and should e read)

=>)= Airframe strength and elasticity


Aircraft structures are #esigne# to have a#e1uate strength an# stiffness& "hile still being as light as possible. )o receive type approval certification& the #esign of a general aviation or ultralight aircraft must conform "ith certain stan#ar#s ! among "hich are the in3flight structural loa# minimums ! for the category in "hich the aircraft may be operate#. 2n FAR 7art 2>& the recognise# "orl# stan#ar# for light aircraft certification& the minimum load factors that an aircraft at ma,imum ta*e3off "eight IC)H;J must be #esigne# to "ithstan# areG V>.(g to .%. g /or .%.6g0 for the normal operational category /"hich "oul# inclu#e most factory3built recreational aircraft0+ V=.=g to .%.(g /or .2.2g0 for the utility category /"hich inclu#es most FA& an# perhaps some RA& training aircraft0+ an# V@.'g to .>.'g for the acrobatic /i.e. aerobatic0 category. For more information see 8Limiting loa#s an# ultimate loa#s8. )here is an increasing ris* of failure "hen e,cee#ing the minimum loa# factors& an# each instance of e,cessive loa#ing "ill compoun# the failure ris*. ;e use loa# factors in terms of g for convenience& but "hat "e are also consi#ering is total aero#ynamic loa#ing ! remember that #ynamic pressure increases "ith the s1uare of the velocity+ i.e. #ynamic pressure N Q?M. ,otes. 1. Tncertificated minimum ultralight aircraft, even with their low wing loading of )erha)s 12 ,g9m<, can !e overstressed readily 7ust !y flying at maximum level s)eed and increasing g in a )ull$u) ")ositive g* or a )ush$over "negative g*. 2. Qany non$ultralight aircraft are ty)e certificated in !oth normal and utility category, and some are certificated in those )lus the acro!atic category. 1n this case, the Q+F= and cg limits are not fixed values, !ut vary according to the flight o)erating

category. See the ta!le in weight9cg )osition limitations.

Elasticity
All aircraft structures e,hibit some #egree of elasticity+ that is& they #eflect a little& changing shape ! fle,ing& ben#ing an# t"isting ! un#er applie# aero#ynamic loa#s. )hose structural #istortions also contribute to a change in the aero#ynamic forces& so the #istortions an# forces are mutually #epen#ent. )his is particularly so "ith the "ings& tailplane an# control surfaces. Ho"ever& structures usually spring bac* to the normal position "hen the loa# is remove#. )his aeroelasticity may lea# to some problems at high spee#& but re#ucing elasticity means increasing rigi#ity& "hich perhaps involves an un"arrante# increase in structural "eight. So& aircraft structural engineering must be a compromise bet"een rigi#ity an# elasticity. See the notes on 8stress an# strain8 in the 8Builders guide to aircraft materials8.

!eight and alance


)here are fi,e# limits to the payloa# an in#ivi#ual aircraft may carry safely. )he payloa# must be #istribute# so that the aircraft8s balance ! the position of the aircraft8s centre of gravity ! is maintaine# "ithin calculate# limits. 2n a##ition& there is a ma,imum safe operating "eight permitte# by the aircraft #esigner. Ho"ever& for many recreational aircraft& the C)H; "ill be limite# by national legislation& "hich has nothing to #o "ith aeronautical engineering. )he aircraft8s "eight an# balance very much affect control an# stability at high spee#s. D,cess "eight re#uces the #esigne# structural loa# limits& "hile cg positions outsi#e the #esignate# fore an# aft limits may enhance unfavourable reactions to aero#ynamic loa#s& affect stability& re#uce controllability& or #elay /or prevent0 recovery from unusual or high3spee# situations. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the follo"ing section Aero#ynamic reactions to flight at e,cessive spee# J

=>)4 Aerodynamic reactions to flight at

e'cessive speed
Flutter
;ing structures are a*in to a 8tuning for*8 e,ten#ing from the fuselage. ;hen a tuning for* is tappe#& the for* vibrates at a particular fre1uency+ the stiffer the structure& the higher its natural fre1uency. )he natural fre1uency of a "ing or tailplane structure may apply another limiting airspee# to flight operations& relate# to interaction bet"een aero#ynamic an# inertial loa#s ! 8flutter8. Consi#er a flag fluttering in a light breeEe. ;hen the airflo" aroun# a "ing or control surface is #isturbe# /by aero#ynamic reactions& turbulence or pilot inputs0 the structure8s elastic reactions may combine as an oscillation or vibration of the structure ! possibly felt in the controls as a lo"3fre1uency buEE ! that "ill 1uic*ly #amp itself out at normal cruise spee#s. At some higher spee# ! the critical flutter speed& "here the oscillations are in phase "ith the natural fre1uency of the structure ! the oscillations "ill not #amp out but "ill resonate an# rapi#ly increase in amplitu#e. "?ushing a child on a swing is an exam)le of )hase relationshi)s and am)lification.* )his con#ition is flutter an#& unless airspee# is very 1uic*ly re#uce#& the increasing #ynamic loa#s "ill cause control surface /or other0 separation "ithin a very fe" secon#s. )he follo"ing is an e,tract from an article by ;illiam 7. Ro##en "hich appears in the CcFra"3Hill 2ictionary of Science and +echnology+ it provi#es a succinct #escription of flutterG \Flutter /aeronautics0 ! An aeroelastic self3e,cite# vibration "ith a sustaine# or #ivergent amplitu#e& "hich occurs "hen a structure is place# in a flo" of sufficiently high velocity. Flutter is an instability that can be e,tremely violent. At lo" spee#s& in the presence of an airstream& the vibration mo#es of an aircraft are stable+ that is& if the aircraft is #isturbe#& the ensuing motion "ill be #ampe#. At higher spee#s& the effect of the airstream is to couple t"o or more vibration mo#es such that the vi rating structure will e'tract energy from the airstream Iauthor8s emphasisJ. )he couple# vibration mo#es "ill remain stable as long as the e,tracte# energy is #issipate# by the internal #amping or friction of the structure. Ho"ever a critical spee# is reache# "hen the e,tracte# energy e1uals the amount of energy

that the structure is capable of #issipating& an# a neutrally stable vibration "ill persist. )his is calle# the flutter spee#. At a higher spee#& the vibration amplitu#e "ill #iverge& an# a structural failure "ill result.\ )orsional stiffness has a role in the onset of flutter #evelopment. 7rovi#ing high torsional stiffness in an airframe structure ! particularly a high aspect ratio& sailplane3type "ing ! may incur "eight penalties that are unacceptable for those aircraft "hose C)H; is limite# by national legislation& rather than normal #esign parameters. Cass inertia is also involve# in flutter #evelopment. Conse1uently& control surfaces ! ailerons& elevators& ru##er ! must be mass3 balance# /i.e. the centre of gravity of the control surface as close as possible to the hinge line0 to limit the mass moment of inertia. 2t may be acceptable for the control surface to be over3balance#+ i.e. its cg is slightly for"ar# of the hinge line. Cass3balancing of the control surfaces shoul# prevent flutter of the surface& but the possibility of& for e,ample& "ing fle,ing9t"isting flutter may still e,ist. Even if mass$ alanced% a critical flutter airspeed Jor something a#in to itK may occur well elow /ne if any of the following conditions e'ist& wear in control surface hingesN lac# of tension or slop in actuating rodsHca lesHcran#sHtor<ue tu esN water or ice inside control surfaces or a sor ed within a foam coreN mud outsideN faulty trim ta sN additional surface coatings applied after alancingN or other system anomalies that alter structural reactions) So& flutter is a vibrational instability that /if the structure is not sufficiently stiff0 may be relate# to both the aero#ynamic pressure an# the true airspee#. Flutter problems an# their solutions are very comple,+ analysis is further complicate# by the e,istence of many flutter mo#es. )his is an e,tract from an RA3Aus acci#ent investigation reportG K"=itnesses* o!served the aircraft in a stee) dive at what a))eared to !e full )ower. +he )ort wing a))eared to detach from the aircraft ... +he wing that tore away from the fuselage had the attach )oints

intact !ut had )ulled the mountings out of the to) of the coc,)it. +his action would have released the door, which landed close to the wing. +he wings were intact !ut the ailerons were detached. +here was no delamination of the fi!reglass structure. +he ailerons were not mass !alanced. +he ")rototy)e* aircraft was a conventional design !eing a high wing, mono)lane of com)osite construction. =hile the fuselage was a )roven design the )ilot 9!uilder had designed his own wing including the aerofoil section. +he wor,manshi) was excellent and there is no evidence of any lac, of structural integrity. +he eyewitnesses re)orted seeing a sort of 'shimmying' from the aircraft. 1t is !elieved that this shimmying was aileron flutter which led to the detaching of !oth ailerons. +his same flutter condition would account for the massive forces required to detach the wing from the aircraft in the manner that occurred. Glutter could have !een triggered !y the wing aerofoil design com!ined with the manoeuvre the )ilot was conducting or from the aileron control design ... +he aircraft suffered a massive inflight structural failure almost certainly caused !y severe aileron flutter and the aircraft s)eed in the dive. #ny flutter would have !een exacer!ated !y the lac, of mass !alancing.K

!ing divergence
;ing #ivergence refers to a state "here ! at very lo" angles of attac* an# high spee# /"hen the nose3#o"n pitching moment is alrea#y very high0 ! pressure centres #evelop& "hich push the front portion of the "ing #o"n"ar# an# the rear portion up"ar#. )his aero#ynamic t"isting action on the "ing structure ! "hile the rest of the aircraft is follo"ing the flight path ! further #ecreases the aoa an# compoun#s the problem. )he action finally e,cee#s the capability of the "ing9strut structure to resist the torsional stress& an# causes the "ing to separate from the airframe with no warning) )his coul# be in#uce# if a #o"n#raft is encountere# at high spee#.

Control reversal
As airspee# increases& control surfaces become increasingly more effective. )hey reach a limiting airspee# "here the aero#ynamic force generate# by the ailerons& for e,ample& may be sufficient to t"ist the "ing itself. At best& this results in control nullification+ at

"orst& it results in control reversal. For e,ample& if the pilot initiates a roll to the left& the #o"ngoing right aileron "ill t"ist the right "ing& re#ucing its aoa an# resulting in loss of lift an# a roll to the right& probably "ith asymmetric structural loa#s. All of "hich "oul# ma*e life #ifficult "hen attempting to roll the "ings level #uring recovery from a high3spee# #ive. 6any of the uncertified minimum ultralights4 and perhaps some of the certificated aircraft4 ha$e low torsional wing rigidity5 This will not only ma*e the ailerons increasingly ineffecti$e with speed (and prone to flutter 4 )ut will also place $ery low limits on #ne and g loads5 #ne may )e so low that it can )e achie$ed readily in a shallow descent at 789 power5

Effect of wing washout


;ings incorporating geometric "ashout have a significantly lo"er aoa to"ar#s the "ing tips. At high spee# "hen the "ing is flying at lo" aoa& there are high aero#ynamic loa#s over the "ings. Ho"ever& the outer sections coul# "ell be flying at a negative aoa an# the reverse# loa# in that area "ill ben# the "ingtips #o"n& possibly lea#ing to outer spar fracture. See the acci#ent technical report belo".

/ertical gust shear and gust loads


)he effective aoa of an aircraft encountering an atmospheric gust "ith a significant vertical component /up#rafts& thermals& #o"n#rafts& microbursts& macrobursts an# lee "aves0 "ill be increase# momentarily if the air movement is up"ar# relative to the aircraft8s flight path& or #ecrease# momentarily if the air movement is #o"n"ar#. )hus& an up#raft "ill increase CC an# lift& increasing the aero#ynamic loa#ing an# lea# to an up"ar#s acceleration of the aircraft. )he magnitu#e of the acceleration is #etermine# largely by the change in aoa& the aircraft spee# /the higher the spee#& the greater is the g loa#0& the #esign "ing loa#ing an# the aspect ratio. )he lo"er the #esign "ing loa#ing an#9or the higher the aspect ratio& the greater is the change in loa# factor for a given increase in aoa an# the easier it is to overstress the "ings at high spee#. )he effects of shear an# gust loa#s are e,pan#e# in the section on "in# shear an# turbulence.

(ther effects
2t is not -ust the prece#ing items that may be a problem at high

spee#. )he ma,imum spee# may be limite# by the ability of the fuselage to "ithstan# the ben#ing moments cause# by the loa#s on the tailplane necessary to counter the "ing8s substantial nose3 #o"n pitching moment at very lo" aoa& or the aoa changes #ue to vertical gust shear& or the e,treme loa#s cause# by a high spee# pull3up. Applying ru##er in a high spee# pull3up applies t"isting loa#s to the rear fuselage. Dven a very small bir# can cause severe #amage in a high3spee# bir#3stri*e. ;hen nearing the Eero3lift angle of attac* in a high3spee# #escent& many cambere# "ings su##enly e,perience a strong nose3#o"n pitching moment an# the aircraft "ill 8tuc* un#er8 rapi#ly+ this "ill certainly ma*e the pilot "ish she9he "as some"here else. )he symmetrical aerofoil "ings often use# in aerobatic aircraft #on8t have this problem. Also& the possibility of a runa"ay propeller in a high3spee# #ive is al"ays there for those aircraft "ith a constant3 spee# propeller governor or perhaps an in3flight a#-ustable system. )he follo"ing is a con#ense# version of an Australian )ransport Safety 4ureau )echnical Analysis Hccurrence Report. $oteG the Coroner8s fin#ings in relation to the fatal acci#ent near Atherton #oes not support any vie" that the acci#ent "as cause# by pilot mishan#ling+ rather& the Coroner8s \preference is to"ar#s port si#e "ing tip separation as a conse1uence of the un3air"orthy state of the aircraft ...\ K#n #ir!orne 3dge microlight aircraft im)acted terrain during a 2558 flight to #therton, in Gar 0orth Pueensland. +he )ilot, the sole occu)ant of the aircraft, was fatally in7ured. 1n 255M a similar #ir!orne 3dge aircraft im)acted terrain at Jessnoc,, 0ew South =ales, also fatally in7uring the )ilot, the sole occu)ant of the aircraft. 1n !oth instances, R#$#us initiated safety investigations to determine contri!uting factors to these accidents. 2uring the course of these investigations, similarities in the structural failures of !oth aircraft were o!served. 1n addition, a third accident involving an #ir!orne aircraft registered with D@G# with similar structural failure was identified. +his accident had occurred in 144M in Dexham, 0S=. 1n order to determine )ossi!le connections !etween all three accidents, #+SB was as,ed to conduct technical examination and analysis on recovered )arts from the #therton and Jessnoc, accidents, to assist the R#$#us investigation. 1nformation regarding the 144M accident was ta,en from coronial findings.

1n all three accidents, the failure of the main wings)ars had occurred near the wingti). Pualitative analysis of the structural design and loading of the )art during this safety investigation and the examination of the coronial findings from the Dexham accident, revealed that all main wingspars had failed under negati$e : loading. Such loading was li,ely if the aircraft entered or encountered flight conditions outside the manufacturerWs s)ecified flight envelo)e. 3xamination of material characteristics of the failed wings)ars did not show evidence of material deficiencies that could have contri!uted to these accidents. +he manufacturerWs o)erating hand!oo, )rohi!ited all aero!atic manoeuvres including whi)stalls, stalled s)iral descents and negative @ manoeuvres. +he manual s)ecified that the nose of the aircraft should not !e )itched u) or down more than 8 degrees, that the front su))ort tu!e of the microlight and the )ilotWs chest limit the fore and aft movement of the control !ar, and that the aircraft should not exceed a !an, angle of M5 degrees. Review of )hotogra)hs of the #ir!orne 3dge, indicate that the wing ado)ts a degree of twist while in flight. +wist will effect the load distri!ution !y shifting some of the lift from the ti)s in!oard "i.e. more lift is generated in the middle of the wing*. @iven the structural restraint of the ti) struts and !attens located at the ti) of the trailing edge of the wing, the aerofoil at the wing ti) must ad7ust and try to align with the relative airflow. +his results in a smaller amount of lift generated near the wing ti)s due to a reduced angle of attac, to the relative airflow.K /Hr an aoa re#uce# belo" the Eero lift aoa& i.e. reverse# lift ... <40 I)he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the section belo" 8Stan#ar# airspee# limitations8J

=>)> /ne 6 the standard limiting airspeed


2f an aircraft is operate# "ithin its specifie# flight envelope& observing the limiting accelerations an# control movements& an# maintaining airspee# commensurate "ith atmospheric con#itions& then the only possibilities of in3flight structural failure relate toG

improper mo#ification& repair or repainting of the structure e,cessive free play in control surface hinges& actuating ro#s or cables cumulative strain& or minor #amages& in ageing aircraft failure to comply "ith the re1uirements of air"orthiness notices an# #irectives poor care an# maintenance of the airframe.

Flight at airspee#s outsi#e the envelope /or at inappropriate spee#s in turbulent con#itions& or "hen applying inappropriate control loa#s at high spee#0 is high ris* an# can lea# to airframe failure. ?ne is the 2AS& specifie# by the #esigner& "hich shoul# never be intentionally e,cee#e# in a #escent or other manoeuvre /in smooth air0. For a normal category aircraft& ?# /the 8#esign #iving spee#80 is re1uire# to be not less than %.= times the #esign cruise spee#. )o receive certification& it must be #emonstrate#& possibly by analytical metho#s& that at that spee#& the propeller& engine& engine mount& an# airframe "ill be free from overspee#ing& severe vibration& buffeting& control reversal& flutter an# #ivergence+ plus any other flight loa# structural characteristic or limitation associate# "ith ben#ing& t"isting an# aeroelasticity that "ill severely affect stability& control or structural integrity. )o provi#e some safety margin& ?ne is then set at 6'U of the lo"er of ?# or ?#f. /df is a #iving spee# that has been #emonstrate# "ithout problem in test flights an# "hich must be lo"er than& or e1ual to& ?#. ?ne is often limite# by the critical flutter spee#. Cany ultralights "oul# not achieve the flight envelope e,tent specifie# in FAR 7art 2>+ for e,ample& ?# may be no"here near %.= times the #esign cruise spee#& so the flight safety margin is lo"er. ?ne for light aircraft is al"ays specifie# as an in#icate# airspee# an# mar*e# as such on the AS2 /the re# line0. For most ultralight aircraft& only one ?ne is specifie# in the 7ilot8s Hperating Han#boo* or aircraft flight manual an# that value is probably conservative an# applicable for operations belo" %' ''' feet amsl. Ho"ever& some ultralight aircraft have a capability for achieving consi#erable altitu#e an# the #esigners have felt it "ise to limit ma,imum spee# to a particular true air spee#. See Aoes ?ne stay the same no matter ho" high you flyT.

/ne as a ma'imum airspeed applies only for smooth atmospheric conditions and for gentle control movements+ even vertical gusts associate# "ith mil# turbulence or relatively small control movements "ill lea# to some nasty surprises& if operating close to& but belo"& ?ne. At such high spee#& the controls are very effective. Ho"ever& there is a high possibility for over3control to apply e,treme loa#s to the structures+ some aircraft control systems #on8t provi#e an a#e1uate fee#bac* of the loa# being e,erte#& i.e. a high loa# can be applie# "ith a relatively lo" stic* force. See 82 li*e flying my aircraft fast. 2f 2 stay belo" ?ne& 2 "on[t have to "orry about structural failure& rightT8 Be aware& deli erately e'ceeding /ne is the realm of the test pilot 6 who always wears a parachuteV I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the follo"ing section Recovery from flight at e,cessive spee# J

=>)A 1ecovery from flight at e'cessive speed


Fenerally& e,cessive spee# can only buil# up in a #ive& although -ust a shallo" #ive can buil# spee# ! an# rate of #escent ! 1uite 1uic*ly. )he table belo" is a calculation of the rate of #escent after a fe" secon#s at #ive angles of %'O& >'O an# = O for a mo#erately slippery light aircraft. 2ive angle Airspeed J#notsK 1ate of descent JfpmK %'O >'O = O %'' % ' %(' %B'' B '' %2 ''

Recovery from an ina#vertent venture into the realm of flight near& or even beyon#& ?ne is 1uite straight3for"ar#& but re1uires pilot

thought an# restraint in initiating recovery proce#ures& particularly so if the aircraft is turning "hilst #iving. Consi#erable height loss "ill occur #uring recovery& so the restraint is re1uire# "hen terra firma is rapi#ly e,pan#ing in the "in#screen. %. Halt the buil#up in airspee# by closing the throttle. 2. :nloa# the "ings to some e,tent by moving the control column to the neutral position or -ust aft of it. 5eep the slip ball an# the ailerons centre# ! the t"isting action of e,cess ru##er at very high airspee# may strain the tailplane an# rear fuselage. >. Fently roll off any ban* "hile using coor#inate# ru##er+ this "ill ensure the total lift vector is roughly vertically aligne#. Caintain the control column position at neutral or slightly aft to avoi# any asymmetric loa#ing arising from simultaneous application of aileron an# elevator at high spee#. 4. ;hen the "ings are level& start easing bac* on the control column until you are pulling the ma,imum loa# factor for the aircraft G V>.(g or V=.=g& perhaps less for some ultralights. Ao not pull bac* so harshly that the aircraft enters a high3spee# stall. Hol# the applie# loa#ing near the ma,imum until the aircraft8s nose nears the horiEon& then level off. )he aircraft "ill have sufficient momentum to reach this position before opening the throttle. 2f you have ample height at the commencement of recovery& then there is no nee# to pull such high g ! particularly if the atmosphere is bumpy "hen gust loa#s& a##e# to the high manoeuvring g& may prove e,cessive. 2n aircraft not certifie# for aerobatics& it is best to "ait until airspee# is less than ?a before pulling g ! if circumstances )ermit. A problem "ith this proce#ure is that most light aircraft #o not have an accelerometer Ig3meterJ fitte#& so it is #ifficult to -u#ge the g being pulle#. Ho"ever& if properly e,ecute# @'O steep turns are practise#& then some i#ea of the 2g loa# on your o"n physiology can be gaine#. At the higher en# of

acceleration the average fit person "ill probably start feeling the symptoms of greyout by =g. I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence is the follo"ing section Recovery from a spiral #ive J

=>)D 1ecovery from a spiral dive


2n a "ell3#evelope# spiral #ive& the lift being generate# by the "ings /an# thus the aero#ynamic loa#ing0 to provi#e the centripetal force for the high3spee# #iving turn& is very high& an# practically all of it is #irecte# in"ar#. )he aircraft is at the e,tremes of its flight envelope& "ith very high aero#ynamic loa#ing an# very high spee# "ell past ?a. )he pilot must be very careful in the recovery from such a #ive& or #amaging structural loa#s "ill be impose#. 2f rear"ar# stic* force is applie# to pull the nose up "hile the aircraft is turning& the result "ill be a tightening of the turn an# further lo"ering of the nose& thus #ramatically increasing the applie# loa#ing or possibly prompting a very punishing high3 spee# stall. )he recommen#e# proce#ure isG Re#uce po"er. Carefully centralise controlsG the for"ar# movement of the control column "ill partially unloa# the "ings. Smoothly level the "ings "ith aileron "hile the ru##er an# elevators are hel# in the neutral position. As the "ings become level "ith the aircraft still #iving at high spee#& much of the lift that "as provi#ing the centripetal force "ill no" be #irecte# vertically /relative to the horiEon0+ an# if up elevator is applie#& the aircraft may start a high g pitch3up ! even into a half loop. )hus to prevent this& the pilot must hol# the elevators in the neutral position "hile rolling level or even applying further FHR;ARA stic* pressure ! before applying aileron ! to re#uce aoa+ but not belo" the Eero3lift aoa& i.e. the loa# factor must remain positive. At high spee#& the stic* force re1uire# "ill be high& but the position of the elevator trim shoul# not be altere#. Also it is

probably not "ise to apply t"o controls simultaneously at very high spee#s because of the conse1uent asymmetric airframe loa#ing.

The theme common to all pro lems encountered when moving at very high speed is that there is no warning and no time to do anything a out itV The only safe procedure is not to push the high$ speed end of the envelope at any height& ma#e gentle% smooth control movements and avoid asymmetric flight loads) I )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence #escribes 8Ris* management8 J

=>)E .otes& compressi ility of airflow and Mach num er


)hese notes have little value for the recreational aviator& but are inclu#e# for interest.

D,cept for a slight DAS correction to 2AS9CAS& an# the possible propeller effects& the compressibility9elasticity of airflo" /i.e. the #ensity change resulting from pressure #isturbances0 #oes not have any significant airframe aero#ynamic effects for aircraft operating at velocities belo" about 2 ' *nots )AS. 7ressure #isturbances& or "aves& propagate through the atmosphere in all #irections& at the spee# of soun#. Cach %.' is the notation for the spee# of soun#. For aero#ynamic purposes airflo" spee#s are classifie# "ithin five rangesG Hypersonic flo" ! airflo"s greater than Cach .' Supersonic flo" ! airflo"s bet"een Cach %. an#

Cach .' )ransonic flo" ! airflo"s bet"een Cach '.( an# Cach %. Subsonic flo" ! airflo"s bet"een Cach '.> an# Cach '.( 2ncompressible flo" ! airflo"s belo" Cach '.> )he term 8incompressible flo"8 #oesn8t mean that air is incompressible+ it -ust in#icates that at flo" spee#s belo" Cach '.> />'U of the spee# of soun# or about 2'' *nots )AS0& local #ensity variations "ithin the flo" ! #ue to compressibility ! are insignificant+ so aero#ynamicists can assume constant #ensity "ithin the flo". At subsonic velocities& significant #ensity changes may occur in the airflo" aroun# "ings& "hich "ill pro#uce flo" separation an# a turbulent "a*e ! wave drag. )he associate# #rag coefficient buil#s rapi#ly at airspee#s above Cach '.B then re#uces as Cach %.' is e,cee#e#. )he spee# of soun# in the atmosphere varies "ith air temperature. )he Cach number is the measure of an aircraft8s )AS in relation to the ambient spee# of soun#. For e,ample& Cach '.@ in#icates that the aircraft8s true airspee# is @'U of the spee# of soun#. )he spee# of soun# is proportional to the s1uare root of the absolute temperature. 2n the 2SA& Cach %.' at sea level N @@> *nots& an# temperature at sea level N % OC I2(( 5J. )hus& if the temperature N e>@ OC /2>B 50 then the ambient Cach %.' N @@> K ]2>B9]2(( N @'% *nots. )hus& Cach '.@' at % OC "oul# be >6( *nots )AS& "hile Cach '.@' at e>@ OC "oul# #ecrease to >@' *nots )AS. 4elo" the tropopause ! the spee# of soun# #ecreases as altitu#e increases. A machmeter is an instrument that measures an# compares the spee# of the aircraft an# the spee# of soun#& using the outsi#e air temperature. 2t a#-usts for actual air #ensity but is still sub-ect to the same position errors as the AS2. )he machmeter is usually incorporate# "ithin an AS2+ the numeric Cach appears in a small "in#o" "ithin the AS2 #ial. Lou may see references to #esign #iving spee# presente# as 8?#9C#8 "hich in#icates the spee#

may be e,presse# as 2AS or Cach number. Hther reference airspee#s are presente# in similar fashion. For interest& the follo"ing table is the ma,imum permissable spee#9altitu#e for a late %6='s9early %6 's piston3engine# naval fighter ! the Seafire =BG Altitude feet Sea level . %' ''' %' ''' . % ''' % ''' . 2' ''' 2' ''' . 2 ''' 2 ''' . >' ''' >' ''' . > ''' > ''' V Ma') ;AS #nots = =%' >B >=' >'' 2B' 2=' Mach no) '.B( '.B( '.B( '.B( '.B( '.B( '.B( Appro') TAS ' =6 =( =B2 = 6 ==( =>2

Subsonic -et transport aircraft are #esigne# to cruise close to their ma,imum allo"able spee# ! ?mo9Cmo. ?mo is the limiting in#icate# airspee# an# Cmo is the limiting Cach number. Cmo is probably bet"een Cach '.(' an# Cach '.( . 2n normal operations the limiting airspee# is ?mo& up to a change3over pressure altitu#e /perhaps aroun# 2 ''' feet0. Above this altitu#e Cmo becomes the limiting spee# value because of compressibility problem restraints. ?mo coul# be sho"n as a fi,e# re# line on the AS2 /or 8Cach9Airspee# 2n#icator80 but& because the spee# of soun# #ecreases as altitu#e increases& Cmo can8t be represente# by a fi,e# mar*ing on the in#icator. So& a moving re#3an#3 "hite stripe# pointer& the 8barber pole8& sho"s the limiting ?mo9Cmo varying "ith altitu#e. 2t sho"s the 2AS correspon#ing to the lo"er of ?mo or Cmo for the current altitu#e. For further e,planation rea# this 4oeing flight operations revie" #ocument.

The ne't module in this Flight Theory Guide discusses loss of control in low level turns.

Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | I%>. SafetyG flight at e,cessive spee#J | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

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| Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s | Safety #uring ta*e3off & lan#ing |

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=A) Safety rief& loss of control in low level turns


Revision ! page content "as last change# February 2(& 2''6+ conse1uent to e#iting by RA3Aus member Aave Far#iner """.re#lettuce.com.au

Groundschool Theory of Flight

Module content

%=.% A"areness of angle of attac* increase in a turn %=.2 Loss of control in an uncoor#inate# level turn %=.> Loss of control in an uncoor#inate# #escen#ing turn %=.= Loss of control in a lo" level climbing turn %=. Stan#ar# recovery proce#ure for all stall types %=.@ Succumbing to illusory groun# reference cues %=.B Dffects of "in# shear

+oss of control in low$level manoeuvring is a maUor cause of serious accidents) This ma#es it vital that the reasons for loss of control in those situations e understood) Some studies indicate that F5L5Z of stallHspin accidents involve turning either in the circuit or in other low$level Ji)e) elow =D55 feet aglK flight 6 even when Uust sight$seeing) ,ro'imity to the ground appears to sometimes lure pilots into fatal reactions% though low$power descending turns seem to e more fre<uently involved than level or high$power clim ing turns) Some of the follo"ing partly repeats material in earlier mo#ules of this flight theory gui#e. All of the te,t is applicable to three3a,is controlle# aircraft& but some parts may not be generally applicable to "eight3shift controlle# tri*es. ,reliminary refresher notes

S )he airspee# at "hich an aircraft stalls #epen#s in part on the "ing loa#ing ! the ratio of lift force generate# to aircraft all3up mass e,presse# in units of 8g8. 2f a "ing reaches the critical angle of attac* un#er an aero#ynamic loa# higher than %g& the stalling spee# "ill be higher than the normal %g stall spee# for that particular mass an# "ing configuration& an# the effects of that accelerate# stall are usually more pronounce# than a %g stall. An accelerate# stall is not a 8high3 spee#8 stall ! the latter is one form of accelerate# stall. S Yncoordinated or cross$controlled flightG applying pressure to the ru##er in one #irection "ith opposite aileron applie# is cross3controlling. )his is& normally a rather sloppy "ay to fly but also a con#ition that can lea# to an uncomman#e# roll if you ina#vertently e,cee# the critical angle of attac* ! particularly in uncoor#inate# climbing or lo"er spee# #escen#ing turns& such as in the approach to lan#ing. )hat being sai#& a planne# an# properly e,ecute# cross3controlle# si#eslip #uring final approach 2S a normal an# safe flight manoeuvre. S Hnce establishe# in a coor#inate# level turn& the lo"er inner "ing has a slightly lesser airspee# an# thus less lift than the outer "ing& "hich pro#uces a ten#ency for the outer "ing to rise an# the ban* angle to increase. )his re1uires the pilot to apply a slight opposite pressure to the control column "hich is *no"n as 8holding1off )an*8. )his is 1uite normal an# the pilot may not notice #oing so because it is -ust part of maintaining the chosen ban* angle throughout the turn. 2n a climbing turn& the outer "ing has a slightly greater effective aoa than the inner "ing an# thus a##itional lift. Combine# "ith its faster spee#& this reinforces the ten#ency for the ban* angle to increase an# the nee# to hol#3off ban*. S Ho"ever& in a #escen#ing turn& the steeper path of the inner "ing means that it "ill have a larger effective aoa than the outer ! "hich may compensate& or over compensate& for the faster velocity of the outer "ing. 2n or#er then to maintain the re1uire# ban* angle& it may be necessary to apply a slight in"ar# pressure to the control column+ i.e. in a coor#inate# #escen#ing turn& the an# may e "held on". S Shoul# an aircraft be stalle# ina#vertently in a coor#inate# turn& both "ings usually #isplay the same progressive stall pattern ! thus there shoul# be no pronounce# "ing #rop. S ;hen flying at spee#s belo" %.> times ?s& the aileron moments are much less effective than at cruise spee#s an# larger aileron #eflections are nee#e# to ban* the aircraft. )here is al"ays a ten#ency to be more forceful than necessary& thus overban*ing the aircraft at a critical stage. )he same applies to ru##er effectiveness& so more coor#inating ru##er is re1uire# at slo" spee#s. S 2n the follo"ing te,t& 8top9bottom ru##er8 refers to the relative position of the ru##er pe#als "hen turning+ 8top8 being the ru##er pe#al opposite the lo"er "ing. )hus& if the aircraft is ban*e# an# turning to the left& then pressure on the right ru##er pe#al "ill apply top /or outsi#e0 ru##er or pressure on the left ru##er pe#al "ill apply bottom /or insi#e0 ru##er. An e,cess of bottom ru##er pro#uces a s*i##ing turn. )oo much top ru##er pro#uces a slipping turn or may even halt the turn& thus pro#ucing a full si#eslip. 2n a coor#inate# turn& there is -ust sufficient bottom ru##er applie# to *eep the slip ball centre#.

=A)= Awareness of angle of attac# increase in a turn

As a conse1uence of provi#ing the centripetal force for a sustaine# turn& the lift force /i.e. "ing loa#ing0 must be increase# as angle of ban* increases+ rather slo"ly up to a ban* angle of >'O ! "here it is % U greater than normal level flight loa#ing ! after "hich it increases rapi#ly& being =%U greater at a = O ban* angle. At this angle& the loa# on the airframe is %.=%g. )he right3han# column in the follo"ing table sho"s the increase in stall spee#& "hich is proportional to the s1uare root of the "ing loa#ing. Lou can see that the percentage increase in stall spee# is about half the increase in lift force.

Ban# angle Cosine %'O % O 2'O >'O ='O = O 'O =O @'O '.6( '.6@ '.6= '.(B '.BB '.B% '.@= '. 6 '. '

g load /s multiplier Jlift increaseK JincreaseK %.'2 IV2UJ %.'= IV=UJ %.'@ IV@UJ %.% IV% UJ %.>' IV>'UJ %.=% IV=%UJ %. @ IV @UJ %.B' IVB'UJ 2.'' IV%''UJ %.'% IV%UJ %.'2 IV2UJ %.'> IV>UJ %.'B IVBUJ %.%= IV%=UJ %.%6 IV%6UJ %.2 IV2 UJ %.> IV>'UJ %.=% IV=%UJ

)he lift force increase in the constant spee# turn is provi#e# by an increase in the lift coefficient ICCJ& "hich in itself is brought about by increasing aoa. Hbviously& increasing CC implies an increase in #rag an# loss of height& or change in the rate of climb9#escent& unless po"er is increase#. A rule of thum for light aircraft with normally cam ered wings is that each =P aoa change 6 starting from 4P and continuing to a out =AP 6 appro'imates to a 5)= CL change% and each 5)= CL increaseHdecrease at a constant airspeed represents a wing loading change of roughly FZ) So& from the table above& a >'O ban* angle in a sustaine# turn a##s 2O to the basic aoa for the airspee#& a = O ban* angle a##s

O an# a @'O angle a##s %2O. )he basic aoa for normal #escen#ing an# climbing spee#s in the circuit are probably aroun# @.(O an# @. %'O respectively. Anything more than a moderate >5P an#ed turn decreases the safety margin etween the effective aoa of some sections of the wing and the critical aoa) ;ing loa#ing must also change "ith the payloa# carrie#& as #oes the stall spee# an# the performance spee#s. 2f an ultralight aircraft is normally flo"n "ith -ust the pilot on boar#& the aoa associate# "ith a particular calibrate# airspee# is significantly less than "hen flying at the same airspee# "ith a heavy passenger an# perhaps a full fuel loa#. For e,ample& suppose the aircraft is normally flo"n "ith only the pilot on boar# an# an all3up "eight of ='' *g. 4ut "hen flo"n "ith a heavy passenger an# full fuel& then all3up "eight increases to =' *g. )hen the "ing loa#ing increases by > U& thus CC an# the aoa for any particular CAS "ill be greater than the pilot is accustome# to ! maybe 2O or >O at lo" airspee#s ! an# much less at high airspee#s. / )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence follo"s belo" an# #escribes loss of control in an uncoor#inate# level turn 0

=A)4 +oss of control in an uncoordinated level turn


2f an aircraft is being hel# in a level turn at a particular ban* angle "ith constant po"er& an# e,cess bottom ru##er is applie# an# hel#& the aircraft "ill rotate about the normal a,is /ya"0 in the #irection of ru##er #eflection. Airspee# over the outer "ing increases slightly "hile that over the inner "ing #ecreases& thereby pro#ucing a lift #ifferential+ thus there "ill be a secon#ary roll effect that increases the ban* angle. At the same time& the ya" increases fuselage #rag an# #ecreases airspee# ! an# thus lift ! an# the nose #rops a little. )his is an uncoordinated s#idding turn& "hich often happens "hen the pilot tries to 8hurry8 the turn "ith bottom ru##er instea# of increasing ban*. ;e have a situation "here the aircraft is overban*ing "ith the nose ya"ing in"ar# an# #o"n"ar#. 2f the pilot reacts by applying an# hol#ing opposite aileron to restore the re1uire# ban* angle ! i.e. hol#ing off ban* ! then #ue to the #o"n"ar# #eflection of the inner aileron& the outer >'U or so of the lo"er "ing is flying at a much higher aoa than the correspon#ing section of the higher "ing. "1f equi))ed with fla)erons, the whole lower wing would !e flying at a higher aoa.* )he lo"er "ing "ill also be pro#ucing more aileron #rag& so the in"ar# an# #o"n"ar# ya" "ill increase an# there "ill be a

ten#ency for the pilot to raise the nose by increasing control column bac* pressure. )his increases aoa overall& "hile at the same time spee# "ill continue to #ecrease because of the increase# fuselage #rag& unless po"er is increase#. The pilot is now "pushing the flight envelope") Any conse<uent tightening of ac# pressure on the control column to raise the nose (or any inad$ertent )ac* pressure applied when4 for instance4 loo*ing at something of interest )elow you; loo*ing o$er your shoulder; )eing distracted )y fiddling with something in the coc*pit; using the radio; or e$en any encountered atmospheric tur)ulence4 wa*e tur)ulence or gust shear may ta#e the aoa of the inner wing past the critical angle) The aircraft loses its lateral sta ility Ji)e) positive roll dampingK and it is most li#ely that the lower wing will drop in an uncommanded roll% and thus ecome increasingly more deeply stalled than the upgoing wing 6 which may not e stalled or Uust partly stalled) 2f that initial roll is not promptly recognise# as a stall or partial stall an# it is allo"e# to continue ! or perhaps it is incorrectly countere# "ith opposite aileron "ithout first unstalling the "ing/s0 by easing for"ar# on the control column ! then the increasing aoa of the lo"er "ing #eepens the stall an# causes greatly increase# asymmetric #rag. A##itional ya"ing forces in the same #irection as the lo"er "ing come into play& the nose3#o"n pitching moment increases an# the nose #rops further. )his is the incipient spin con#ition "here autorotation is about to commence& "hich "ill happen 1uic*ly an# in some aircraft very 1uic*ly in#ee#. )he result is the stall9spin fatality you hear about "hen an un"ary pilot allo"s such to #evelop "ithout sufficient height to recover+ an# of course you say 'Dow sad it is for the family' ! "hile thin*ing ! '!ut 1'm too wary to get caught !y such a sim)le mista,eV <ut you don't *now how many times you ha$e come within a hair's )readth of eternity without )eing aware of it5 2f the cg is aft of the rear"ar# limit& the amount of elevator #eflection nee#e# to bring the aircraft to the critical aoa is re#uce#+ i.e. -ust a relatively small rear"ar# movement of the control column may rotate the aircraft to the critical aoa. ;f MT(! e'ceeds the design limit andHor the cg is aft of the rearward limit then recovery from the initial stall may e impossi le) )he rules to avoi# such situations areG S always maintain a safe speed near the ground consistent "ith the ban* angle employe# S continually envisage the wing aoa+ i.e. ho" it8s flying

S #eep the slip all centred+ i.e. never apply an e,cess of bottom ru##er in an attempt to tighten any turn if height is belo" the safe recovery height />''' feet agl perhaps0 for a fully #evelope# spin.

0eight loss in a stallHspin incident


)he height lost #uring a normal stall an# recovery inci#ent in a very light aircraft is probably bet"een ' an# 2 ' feet #epen#ing on the aircraft type& the aircraft attitu#e at stall an# the pilot8s a"areness. Loss of height in a stall9spin event is very much greater ! perhaps %''.>'' feet #uring the incipient stage& 2''.='' feet to stop the autorotation an# >''. '' feet #uring the recoveryG a total of @''. %2'' feet. )his is "hy lo" level stall9spin events are so #ea#ly. / )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence follo"s belo" an# #escribes loss of control in an uncoor#inate# #escen#ing turn 0

=A)> +oss of control in an uncoordinated descending turn


)he precursors to a stall9spin event in a lo"3po"er #escen#ing turn are the same as those for such an event in a level turnG if an e,cess of bottom ru##er is applie#& the aircraft "ill be s*i##ing. :nless some other factor is #ominant& "henever an aircraft is slipping or s*i##ing in a turn& the "ing on the si#e to "hich the ru##er is #eflecte# "ill usually stall before the other& resulting in a conse1uent instantaneous roll in that #irection. At #escent spee#s& the aircraft is usually flying at a higher CC an# thus higher aoa& than "hen on the #o"n"in# leg /for e,ample0 ! so there is a re#uction in available aoa margin before allo"ing for the a##itional aoa re1uire# for the turn. )he #escen#ing turn from base leg onto the final approach to lan#ing is the most obvious place for a pilot to attempt to hurry a turn "ith ru##er& because of the nee# to align "ith the run"ay. A tail"in# component on base leg in a cross"in# lan#ing "ill increase the ten#ency to hurry the turn "ith ru##er& as may other cross"in# situations. 2f s*i##ing& the e,cess bottom ru##er is ya"ing the nose #o"n an# the ten#ency is to use elevator to *eep it up& "hich is going to bring the aoa to"ar#s critical. Also& because of illusory groun# reference cues& there may be a ten#ency to increase the rate of turn by applying a##itional bottom ru##er "hilst maintaining the ban* angle "ith opposite aileron ! \hol#ing

off ban*\+ an# you shoul# never hold$off an# in a descending turn. 2f control column bac* pressure is purposely or ina#vertently applie#& the aircraft may enter a cross3controlle# stall "here it is going to snap further into the ban* an# enter an incipient spin. Apart from the turn from base to final& such stalls might occur on final "hen avoi#ing a bir# stri*e+ or attempting a late correction to an out3of3line cross"in# approach+ or any time "hen you try to hurry a turn "ith bottom ru##er. Stalls on the final approach ! cause# by failing to increase po"er "hen raising the nose to stretch the approach or re#uce a high sin* rate ! "ill be e,acerbate# if the aircraft is also slipping. 7robably the most #angerous lo"3level #escen#ing turn is the turn3bac* follo"ing engine failure after ta*e3off+ see 8)he turn3bac*+ possible or impossible ! or -ust un"iseT 8. 2f flying cross3controlle# "hen ban*e# "ith an e,cess of top ru##er ! as in the si#eslip manoeuvre& or a slipping rather than s*i##ing turn ! then if the aircraft stalls& the roll "ill probably be in the #irection of the upper "ing+ i.e. to"ar#s an upright position& "hich is not 1uite so alarming an# provi#es a little more time to react. / )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence follo"s belo" an# #escribes loss of control in a lo" level climbing turn 0

=A)A +oss of control in a low$level clim ing turn


As "e sa" above& the increase# lift force in the turn is provi#e# by an increase in aoa. $o" "hat "ill happen if you are climbing at ?, /the spee# for ma,imum climb angle0 using ma,imum po"er an# #eci#e /because of rising terrain or other obstruction& an approaching aircraft& or -ust natural e,uberance0 to ma*e a 1uic* >'O left turn using a = O ban* angle& "hile still maintaining the climbT

Coordinated clim ing turnG if you #o not *eep a close eye on the AS2 an# the airspee# has #ecaye# -ust a little& the general aoa at ?, coul# be aroun# %2O. )o initiate a = O ban* turn& "ing loa#ing an# thus aoa must increase by =%U& "hich "ill ta*e the aoa to %BO+ i.e. past the critical stall aoa of % O or %@O. Such full3po"er stalls in a coor#inate# climbing turn ten# to result in the outer "ing stalling first ! because in a climbing turn& the outer "ing has a slightly higher aoa than the inner ! "ith a fairly fast outer "ing an# nose #rop. )he

roll to"ar#s the outsi#e of the turn "oul# initially level the "ings& but the increasing aoa of the #o"n3going "ing continues to accelerate the loss of lift an# increases the #rag on that "ing. )his is a particularly rapi# action if the propeller tor1ue effect is such that it also reinforces the roll a"ay from the original #irection of turn. 73factor may also cause the aircraft to ya" "hen flying "ith high po"er at high angles of attac*. Such stalls are li*ely to result in a stall9spin event if corrective action is not ta*en as soon as the initial loss of roll stability ! the uncomman#e# roll& or -ust a "ing roc*ing "arning ! is apparent.

Cross$controlled clim ing turnG if the turn is s*i##ing+ i.e. "ith e,cessive bottom ru##er applie#& then the lo"er "ing may stall first "ith the conse1uent roll into the turn ! because only one "ing is stalle#. )his may be sufficiently pronounce# to flic* the aircraft onto its bac*. )he propeller slipstream from a tractor engine "ill also be slightly asymmetric& as it supplies more #ynamic pressure an# thus lift to one "ing "hile re#ucing the effective aoa. ;e "ill #iscuss cross3 controlle# climbing turns further "hen "e loo* at illusory groun# reference cues.

Dven a >'O ban*e# climbing turn at a ?, "ill pro#uce an aoa of %=O. )his is very close to the critical aoa an# provi#es no margin for even minor turbulence& slight mishan#ling or inattention. Hf course& climb performance "ill be #egra#e# unless e,tra po"er is available& "hich is unli*ely because full po"er is normally use# for the climb until a safe height is reache#. )he aoa margin& "hich you shoul# al"ays have in han# to cope "ith such li*ely events& is > or =O. )his in#icates that& when clim ing at /'% turns should not e contemplated. ;hen climbing at ?y ! the best rate of climb airspee# "ith aoa aroun# (O ! until a safe height has been gaine# turns shoul# be limite# to rate % /%('O in aEimuth per minute& re1uiring about % O ban*0 to ensure an a##itional margin if "in#9gust shear is encountere# in the climb3out. ;hen entering a turn #uring a full3po"er climb& the aircraft must slo" because of the increase# #rag at the higher aoa "ith no e,cess po"er available to counter it& so the aircraft8s pitch attitu#e must be re#uce# sufficiently to maintain safe airspee#.

Although ultralights& "ith their lo" "ing loa#ing& normally #isplay 1uite benign stall characteristics "hen slo"ly #ecelerate# to stall spee# in straight an# level flight& they "ill e,hibit 1uite #ifferent behaviour "hen a stall is initiate# #uring an uncoor#inate# turn+ an# such is the usual unintentional stall situation. :n#er these circumstances& the height lost #uring the incipient spin plus recovery ! i.e. before #eveloping autorotation ! may be 2'' to ='' feet or more. )hus& a "ing3#ropping stall event is highly #angerous "hen occurring in the circuit pattern or in any other lo"3level flight situation. / )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence follo"s belo" an# #escribes a Stan#ar# recovery proce#ure for all stall types 0

=A)D Standard recovery procedure for all stall types


Hne stan#ar# recovery proce#ure is generally applicable to all stall events or attitu#e upsets in a three3a,is aircraft& "hether or not overban*e# an#9or overpitche# ! i.e. nose high9lo" ! though this recovery proce#ure is not applicable to a #evelope# spin& "hether erect or inverte#. Stall recovery has three #istinct stagesG unstall the "ings to regain control of the aircraft+ a#-ust the attitu#e an# airspee# an# reconfigure the aircraft+ then regain altitu#e. 2f the aircraft is properly balance# /i.e. cg is "ithin the limits for that all3up "eight0& any cross$controlled stall con#ition is rea#ily countere#G %. `uic*ly ease stic* bac*3pressure to re#uce aoa of the most stalle# "ing belo" critical /"hile centralising ailerons0 ! "hich imme#iately restores full control. Gor any aircraft ty)e, the amount of elevator deflection required to unstall the most stalled wing de)ends on many varia!les and may range from 7ust an easing of !ac, )ressure to a firm !ut smooth )ush towards the neutral )osition. #ll aircraft have their own handling idiosyncrasies and )ilots must

!e aware of them. +he nose should !e )ositioned sufficiently !elow the hori&ontal to achieve safe flying s)eed while still well clear of the terrain. 1t's a matter of !alancing height loss and )roximity to terrain against a quic, return to a safe flight s)eed. 1f the forward stic, movement is !oth excessive and a!ru)t, the result could !e an aoa movement !elow the &ero$lift aoa in which case there will !e a reversed lift force on the wings that hinders recovery. +his may !e )articularly a))arent with tri,es. +he negative g due to the !unt could adversely affect some engines at a critical time. 1n instances of extreme over!an,ing ")ast M56 or inverted* % where although the u)set may !e the result of a cross$ controlled stall or )erha)s wa,e tur!ulence % the inverted or near$ inverted wing will not !e stalled !ut the aircraft will !e in an inverted descent. +he forward control column movement is needed to reduce the angle of descent. Dowever, there may !e the )ossi!ility of an inverted stall if the control column is )ushed into its extreme forward )osition. "arning= ne$er pull <(.> on the control column as the initial response to a percei$ed stall or an o$er)an*ed nose1low attitude5 2. 2ncrease po"er smoothly& possibly up to ma,imum. )he slipstream "ill also increase ru##er an# elevator authority& an# aircraft stability& through its effect on the fin an# horiEontal stabiliser. )hough if the aircraft is near the "ings3vertical position ! or is inverte# ! the throttle must be close#. 2n the recovery from a stall in a climbing turn& full po"er shoul#

be maintaine# unless the nose is pitche# too far #o"n. >. Centre the slip ball "ith ru##er. =. Roll the "ings level "ith ailerons so that all the lift force "ill be #irecte# a"ay from the groun#& an# use coor#inate# ru##er. 2f inverte#& choose the roll #irection that provi#es 1uic*er return to "ings level an#& of course& the right "ay up. . A## po"er as necessary& hol# attitu#e until spee# has built up to ?y /perhaps ?, if there are terrain problems0 then ease into a climb to a safe altitu#e "here you can assess "hat "ent "rong. $ever attempt to continue a lan#ing approach after such an event+ go aroun#& an# allo" plenty of time to assess the environment before re3 approaching. Hf course& if the pilot ! seeing the groun# rising up to smite them ! #oesn8t wait for the airspeed to uild to a safe speed before again applying control column bac* pressure& there "ill be a high ris* of a secon#ary stall ! "hich may be very haEar#ous& #epen#ing on the loss of height from the first stall. A #ocument title# 8Aon8t stall an# spin in from a turn8 e,pan#s the material presente# on this page an# is available in the 8Aecreasing your e,posure to ris*8 gui#e. / )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence follo"s belo" an# #escribes succumbing to illusory groun# reference cues 0

=A)E Succum ing to illusory ground reference cues


2t is thought that some groun# reference optical illusions may be a

contributory factor in loss of control situations near the groun#. Such illusions can cause no problem in the circuit if the pilot confines e,ternal scanning to the inten#e# flight path an# chec*s for conflicting aerial traffic& "hile maintaining the appropriate instrument scan an# a minimum safe flying spee#. )he latter is %. times ?s& or perhaps as lo" as %.> times ?s in the later part of a stabilise# final approach provi#e# 2'O ban* angle is never e,cee#e#. Fi,ing the circuit pattern on particular groun# reference points& rather than the lan#ing strip /for e,ample \turn #o"n"in# aroun# the big tree\0& may contribute to illusory groun# reference cues.

!ind drift illusions


;hen "in# spee# is reasonably high relative to aircraft spee#& then the aircraft8s #rift "ith reference to the groun# is very apparent to the pilot operating at lo"er levels& an# particularly at short& #ifficult airstrips. )he #iagram above represents the groun# trac* of an aircraft con#ucting a level B2'O coor#inate# turn "ith constant spee# an# constant ban* angle& such that in the secon# >@'O turn& the aircraft "oul# be encountering its o"n "a*e from the first >@'O turn ! assuming that the "a*e #i#n8t sin* belo" the flight path. )he movement of the air mass in "hich the aircraft is borne is to"ar# the "est /"ith an easterly "in#0 an# the turn is cloc*"ise "hen vie"e# from above. ;hen in the region above the re# line& groun# spee#s "ill be lo"er+ "hen belo" the re# line& groun# spee#s "ill be higher. )he separation of the trac*s for each >@'O is e,aggerate# for clarity. ;hen entering the south3"est 1ua#rant of the first >@'O& the groun# spee# is initially high but re#ucing. )he #rift a"ay from a central groun# reference "oul# provi#e the illusion of s*i##ing out of the turn. 7assing through the north3"est 1ua#rant& the s*i##ing illusion "ill #isappear as groun# spee# reaches the minimum. Froun# spee# starts to increase through the north3east 1ua#rant. Ho"ever& the increasing #rift to"ar#s the reference point provi#es a very noticeable illusion of a slip into the turn. )his reaches a ma,imum as the aircraft enters the south3east 1ua#rant& "here it abates as groun# spee# increases. So& in a >@'O coor#inate# level "ith constant spee# an# constant ban*& the aircraft /an# its "a*e0 #rifts #o"n"in# relative to the groun# at the "in# spee# rate. )he coc*pit instruments "ill of course sho" a constant airspee#& ban* angle an# a centre# slip

ball. Ho"ever the reference cues seen by a pilot loo*ing at the groun# #uring a lo"3level turn in#icate increasing an# #ecreasing airspee#s& alternating "ith #ecreasing an# increasing slip.

The downwind turn


An una"are pilot may get into a #ifficult situation in the lo"3level circuit "hen an aircraft is turning 6'O from cross"in# to #o"n"in# /as in the )rogress through the S3 quadrant of the diagram a!ove0& "hen #rift cues create an illusion of slipping into the turn. At the same time& the increasing groun# spee# might suggest increasing airspee#. )he reaction of an un"ary pilot is to increase bottom ru##er pressure. )his "ill increase the ban* angle an# lo"er the nose. )he pilot8s reaction may "ell be to apply opposite aileron to re#uce the ban*& "hile increasing control column bac* pressure to bring the nose up an# possibly re#ucing po"er to re#uce airspee#. )hus the aircraft is cross3controlle# an# flying at an aoa "ith little margin in reserve. )his is couple# "ith #ecreasing airspee#& re#ucing lift an# the aircraft sin*ing "ith a conse1uent increase in effective aoa. :n#er such circumstances& there is a li*elihoo# of the aircraft stalling an# snapping over. )he #o"n"in# turn illusion seems to have more potential for error if the aircraft is climbing in a #o"n"in# turn.
.ote& sometimes you may rea# material "hich purports that an aircraft loses airspee# an# might stall "hen turning from cross"in# to #o"n"in# because the aircraft is changing #irection relative to the "in# #irection& "hich of course is nonsense. Ho"ever& airspee# must #ecrease in the turn if po"er is not increase# to counter the e,tra in#uce# #rag. Although an aircraft can only stall if the critical angle of attac* is reache#& a combination of aircraft inertia an# a "in# shear or turbulence event encountere# in the turn coul# result in a stall /particularly if it is still climbing0 or& more li*ely& a height loss. 2f turning very close to the groun# to follo" a particular groun# path /close to trees "hen stoc* mustering for e,ample0 the increasing #rift into the turn must be allo"e# for.

,ivotal height and reversal height

7ivotal height or pivotal altitu#e is a term use# by proponents of groun# reference manoeuvres such as 8eights on )ylons8. 2t is one particular height above groun# at "hich& from the pilot8s sight line& the e,ten#e# lateral a,is of an aircraft #oing a >@'O level turn /in nil "in# con#itions0 "oul# appear to be fi,e# to one groun# point& an# the aircraft8s "ingtip thus pivoting on that point. 2magine an inverte# cone "ith its ape, sitting on the groun# reference point an# an aircraft flying aroun# the periphery of its inverte# base "hile maintaining a constant airspee#. )he vertical #istance from the reference point to the centre point of the inverte# base is the pivotal height& an# the #istance from the e#ge to that centre point is the turn ra#ius. )he ban* angle is forme# bet"een the outer "all of the cone an# the ra#ius line. )he pivotal height in nil "in# con#itions is rea#ily calculate# by s1uaring the )AS in *nots an# #ivi#ing by %%.>. So any aircraft circling at a spee# of (' *nots "oul# have a pivotal height I(' K (' 9 %%.>J aroun# ' feet& no matter "hat the ban* angle. 2n other than still air con#itions the pivotal height varies "ith the groun# spee#. 2f the "in# "as northerly an# the aircraft "as turning anticloc*"ise /vie"e# from above0& then groun# spee# "oul# be lo"er on the eastern si#e of the turn an# higher on the "estern si#e. ;hen in the northern 1ua#rant the aircraft "oul# be #rifting to"ar#s the centre point& "hile in the southern 1ua#rant it "oul# #rift a"ay. Arift "oul# not be noticeable in the eastern an# "estern 1ua#rants but change# groun# spee#s "oul#. At B' *nots groun# spee#& the pivotal height is re#uce# to = ' feet& at 6' *nots it is about B ' feet. "+hus an exercise requiring a continuous 3M56 !alanced turn at constant s)eed around a ground reference )oint, whilst holding )ivotal height, involves continually changing the height a!ove ground so that the line of )ivot around each )oint is held constantly % rather than maintaining a constant distance from the ')ylon'. +he !an, angle must also !e changed constantly as the wind drifts the aircraft towards or away from the )ivot )oint. 1t is not an easy exercise to do well, and requires an a!ility to manoeuvre accurately whilst including the ground reference )oint in the normal scan )attern. Tsually two ground reference )oints, a!out five seconds a)art, are included for a figure eight )attern %

otherwise ,nown as 'eights on )ylons'.* $o" imagine t"o cones ! the upper one is the inverte# cone "ith the aircraft flying aroun# the e#ge of its inverte# base an# belo" that is a secon# cone "ith its base on the groun# an# its ape, connecting "ith the ape, of the upper cone. )he vertical #istance from the groun# through the cone intersection to the centre point of the inverte# base is the aircraft height. So "hen an aircraft is turning at pivotal height in nil "in# con#itions& the "ingtip appears to be fi,e# to a single point in the lan#scape. 4ut "hen at any height other than the pivotal height& the "ing tip "ill appear to move across the lan#scape. ;hen an aircraft is turning at a height greater than the pivotal height& "hich is the normal situation in flight& the "ingtip appears to move bac*"ar#s over the lan#scape ! path A in the #iagram. Ho"ever& "hen an aircraft is turning at a height less than the pivotal height /thus close to the groun#0& the "ingtip appears to move for"ar# over the lan#scape ! path 4 in the #iagram. )hus& "hen a turning an# #escen#ing aircraft #escen#s belo" pivotal height there is an apparent reversal of the "ingtip movement from bac*"ar# to for"ar#& "hich is the reason pivotal height is sometimes terme# reversal height. )here is some thought that the reversal illusion may cause problems to una"are pilots #uring the final turn on approach to lan#ing& because the turn may "ell pass through reversal height ! at ' *nots groun# spee#& the reversal height is about 2'' feet& at @' *nots it is about >'' feet an# at B' *nots it is about = ' feet. 2f the aircraft is in a ban*e# turn belo" reversal height& an# if the pilot loo*s #o"n over the "ingtip& she9he may get the impression that the aircraft is not turning an# may then a## a##itional bottom ru##er so that the "ingtip then appears to move bac*"ar#s in the turn ! the normal movement. )his "ill cause a ya" an# the aircraft8s nose "ill sli#e #o"n. )he aircraft may then appear to be nose3lo"& an# the pilot8s reaction is to increase bac* pressure on the control column. Lo" spee#& e,cessive bottom ru##er an# an increasing control column bac* pressure are the prere1uisites for the aircraft to stall an# roll to"ar# the lo"er "ing ! an incipient spin entry. All pilots shoul# be a"are of this illusion an# that "in# #rift "ill e,acerbate it ! the turn to final approach is probably the most important groun# reference manoeuvre that recreational pilots regularly perform.

/ )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence follo"s belo" an# #escribes the effects of "in# shear 0

=A)7 Effects of wind shear


Shear sources
Air flo" in the atmospheric boun#ary layer is normally turbulent to some #egree but such turbulence #oes not significantly alter the aircraft[s flight path. 4ear in min# that "hat is a minor variation in flight path at a reasonable altitu#e may be haEar#ous "hen operating at slo"er spee#s very close to the groun# in ta*e3off& lan#ing& 8go3aroun#8 or perhaps cattle mustering operations. )he velocity of near3surface "in#s is changing constantly+ fluctuations in #irection of 2'O or so an# in spee# aroun# 2 U either si#e of the mean occur every minute. 2n an unstable boun#ary layer& the rising air in thermals is accompanie# by #o"n3currents from the top of the layer& "here the "in# velocity appro,imates the gra#ient "in# ! i.e. the #irection is bac*e# by 2'.>'O from the "in# at the surface& an# the spee# is greater. )he #escen#ing air retains most of these characteristics "hen it arrives at the surface thus the gust "ill bac* an# increase in spee#. D,cept for the vorte, turbulence from the "a*e of larger aircraft ! "hich is e,tremely haEar#ous to ultralight aircraft at lo" levels because of its horiEontal rotational properties ! practically all turbulence haEar#ous to flight is a result of wind shear& a su##en Xvariation in wind along the flight )ath of a )attern, intensity and duration, that dis)laces the aircraft a!ru)tly from its intended )ath and sufficiently that su!stantial control action is needed.Y )he shear is the rate of change of wind speed and direction & an# its effect on flight can range from inconse1uential to e,tremely haEar#ous. /ertical shear is the change in the /roughly0 horiEontal "in# velocity "ith height+ i.e. as the aircraft is climbing or #escen#ing. 0oriGontal shear is the change in horiEontal "in# velocity /i.e. spee# an#9or #irection ! gusts an# lulls0 "ith #istance flo"n. Ypdraught% downdraught or vertical gust shear is the change in vertical air motion "ith horiEontal #istance.

;in# shear can #erive from many sources ! orographic& frictional& air mass instability& convective #o"nbursts& "ave #isturbance an# thermalic+ for a full #escription see microscale meteorology an# atmospheric haEar#s. )he closer to the surface that the shear occurs& the more haEar#ous it is for aircraft& particularly for lo"3 momentum aircraft. For an aircraft ta*ing off or lan#ing& the shear may be large enough an# rapi# enough to e,cee# the airspee# safety margin an# the aircraft[s capability to accelerate or climb. )hermals as such contribute relatively minor amounts of haEar#ous turbulence in temperate climates& but can pro#uce very severe turbulence "hen flying in the supera#iabatic con#itions common to inlan# Australia.

Changes in aoa and lift


2magine an aircraft flying straight an# level that su##enly encounters an area of substantial atmospheric #o"nflo". Aue to its inertia /"hich is a function of mass0& the aircraft "ill momentarily maintain its velocity an# flight path relative to the Darth. Auring that time the 8effective airstream8 aroun# the "ings "ill no longer be aligne# "ith the flight path but "ill have ac1uire# a vertical component. )he effective aoa& an# conse1uently CC& "ill re#uce. )His pro#uces a momentary re#uction in "ing loa#ing& the airframe "ill e,perience a negative acceleration an# the pilot "ill be restraine# by the harness "hile the seat #rops a"ay from her9him. Follo"ing initial entry into the #o"nflo"& the inertial effects are overcome an# the aircraft "ill restore itself to its trimme# angle of attac*. Flight "ill continue normally& e,cept that the ne" flight path "ill incorporate a rate of #escent relative to the Darth an# e1uivalent to the atmospheric #o"nflo"+ i.e. #rift no" inclu#es a vertical component ! sin*ing air. ;hen the aircraft flies out of the #o"nflo" it "ill again momentarily maintain its flight path relative to the Darth. Auring that time& the effective airflo" aroun# the "ings "ill no longer be #irectly aligne# "ith the flight path but "ill have ac1uire# a vertical component opposite to that at entry. )he aoa& an# conse1uently CC& "ill increase. )his pro#uces a momentary increase in "ing loa#ing& the airframe "ill e,perience a positive g loa# an# the pilot "ill feel the seat pushing up before the aircraft is finally re3establishe# in level flight. A reverse# se1uence is applicable "hen encountering upflo"+ thus encountering changes in vertical flow causes momentary changes in aoa and wing loading& "ith some variation in the vertical profile of the flight path.

2f an aircraft is flying straight an# level an# su##enly encounters a hea#3on increase in "in# spee#& then #ue to its inertia the aircraft "ill momentarily maintain its velocity /an# flight path0 relative to the Darth. )hus there "ill be a momentary increase in air velocity over the "ings "ith subse1uent increase in lift. )he aircraft "ill rise until the inertial effects are overcome& then the aircraft restores itself to straight an# level flight at an altitu#e a little higher than previously. Similarly& if the aircraft encounters a hea#3on #ecrease in "in# spee#& then lift "ill momentarily #ecrease an# the aircraft "ill sin* until the inertial effects are overcome. )hus encountering changes in horiGontal flow causes momentary changes in lift with conse<uent variation in the vertical profile of the flight path. )he foregoing is -ust illustrative& because "in# shear events are al"ays a combination of spee# variations an# three3#imensional variations in #irection. /arious scenarios have een outlined a ove where the aircraft could e flying with little margin etween effective and critical aoaN it is on occasions li#e these that Murphy"s +aw springs into action) !hat can and will go wrong at those worst possi le times is an encounter with wind shear that suddenly increases the effective aoa of the wing and instantly switches on a stallHspin event) A more #etaile# #ocument about coping "ith "in# shear an# turbulence8 is available in the 8Aecreasing your e,posure to ris*8 gui#e. / )he ne,t section in the airmanship and safety se1uence #eals "ith flight at e,cessive spee# 0

Groundschool Flight Theory Guide modules


| Flight theory contents | %. 4asic forces | %a. Canoeuvring forces | 2. Airspee# & air properties | | >. Altitu#e & altimeters | =. Aerofoils & "ings | . Dngine & propeller | @. )ailplane surfaces | | B. Stability | (. Control | 6. ;eight & balance | %'. ;eight shift control | %%. )a*e3off consi#erations | | %2. Circuit & lan#ing | %>. SafetyG flight at e,cessive spee# | %=. SafetyG control loss in turns |

There are also two supplementary documents which should be read:


| Hperations at non3controlle# airfiel#s | Safety #uring ta*e3off & lan#ing |

This concludes the final module in the Flight Theory Guide which I hope you have found useful. If you have corrections or suggestions for improvement or e pansion please contact the author. I have written other Guides which should be useful and informative. These are:
* Aviation Meteorology Guide * Flight ,lanning - .avigation Guide * /0F 1adiocommunication Guide * * Coping with Emergencies * +earning to Fly Guide * Builders Guide to Safe Aircraft Materials * 2ecreasing your e'posure to ris# *

Copyright 3 455D455L 8ohn Brandon Jcontact informationK