Design Process: Ailerons

Last month we looked at roll control schemes for airplanes where high lift or other requirements do not leave enough room on the wing’s...

Flaperons, Spoilers and Drooping Ailerons

There are some situations where there isn’t enough room on the wing’s trailing edge to split the functions cleanly between an inboard flap and...
rv-14 aileron

Design Process: Roll Control

The primary function of the wing is to generate lift, but it must also incorporate control surfaces to control the airplane in roll.

Design Process: Slots and Slats

Opening a properly shaped slot between the lower and upper surface of the wing near the leading edge can greatly increase the angle of...

Design Process: Droops and VGs

In general, there are two ways to increase the maximum lift of a wing. The first, as we have been discussing the past couple...

Design Process: Flap Types

Last month we took a look at the trade-offs the designer should consider when defining the flap system for the airplane. The choice comes...

Design Process: Flaps

Flaps change the geometry of the wing to allow the pilot to change the aerodynamic characteristics of the airplane to match the needs of...

Laminar- vs. Turbulent-Flow Airfoils

Airfoils break down into two general classes based on the behavior of the boundary layer.

Design Process: Airfoils

Once the size and planform of the wing have been determined, it’s time to choose (or design) the airfoil.

Design Process: Stall and Roll Damping

Last time we took a look at the effect of twisting the wing. Wing twist is used to adjust both the spanwise distribution of...

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Metal Magic: Installing Nutplates

Every screw needs a place to go, and for many metal airplanes, that's into...

Kit Stuff


Why we need regulated voltage in our aircraft and how zener diodes, resistors, transistors and semiconductors help us get there.