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Barnaby Wainfan

Barnaby Wainfan
Barnaby Wainfan is a principal aerodynamics engineer for Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Design organization. A private pilot with single engine and glider ratings, Barnaby has been involved in the design of unconventional airplanes including canards, joined wings, flying wings and some too strange to fall into any known category.

Design Process: Braced Wings

As we saw last month, the designer has two fundamental choices of wing structural architecture: cantilever or externally braced. In a cantilever layout all of the loads on the wing are borne by structure inside the airfoil contour of the wing itself. Braced wings use additional structural elements that are external to the wing contour […]

Design Process: Wing Structure

Last month we started our discussion of wing design with a look at the vertical placement of the wing on the fuselage (high versus low). We now turn our attention to the structure of the wing. In flight, the wing generates the lift that holds the airplane’s weight up. It also generates additional lift above […]

Design Process: Wing Design

At this point in the design process, we have gotten the airplane sized, balanced, and after six months of consideration gotten the landing gear right. It’s now time to move on to fleshing out details of the configuration. We already have a preliminary layout of the airplane, so we can now start designing the wing […]

Design Process: Landing Gear, Part 6

Last month, I ran out of space before getting to the end of our discussion of landing gear. This month, we conclude the series with a look at the effects of static ground attitude and the fore-and-aft positioning of taildragger main gear. Tricycle Ground Attitude When the airplane is supported by the landing gear, its […]

Design Process: Landing Gear, Part 5

For the past few editions of Wind Tunnel, we’ve been exploring the factors that drive the configuration and placement of landing gear. Last month we took a look at the factors affecting the directional stability and lateral stability of the airplane when it is rolling on the ground. This month we switch axes to look […]

Design Process: Landing Gear, Part 4

Last month we looked at how the static stability of the airplane when it is sitting at rest on its landing gear affects the position of the landing gear legs. Once the airplane is in motion, there are additional considerations that come into play. We will now turn our attention to how dynamic effects dictate […]

Design Process: Landing Gear, Part 3

Last month we took a look at the basic characteristics of the two most common landing gear configurations: tricycle and taildragger. We will now turn our attention to some critical factors in the proper integration of the gear into the overall airplane configuration. The configuration of the landing gear and its placement affect the static, […]

Design Process: Landing Gear, Part 2

As we started to discuss last month, the landing gear is a major component of the airplane that affects the design in significant ways. Delaying the layout and design of the gear until late in the design process will inevitably lead to problems. Accordingly, the designer should address the major factors associated with landing gear […]

Design Process: Landing Gear

It’s time to turn our attention to a major component of the airplane—the landing gear.

Wind Tunnel

Design process-CG limits and tail size, part 2.

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Wind Tunnel

Simple aerodynamic improvements with tape.