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Designer's Notebook

Design Process: Cantilever Wings

Last month we began our discussion of the structural layout of the wing with a look at externally braced wings. We now turn our...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

Design Process: Landing Gear

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

In Case You Missed it

Firewall Forward: Engine Instruments

How to sort through the maze of instrumentation choices.

Flight Testing

Organize your test program beforehand, and you not only maximize your use of time, but also understand your airplane far better than someone who is just running the hours off the clock.

Kit Stuff

Drawing on experience; by cartoonist Robrucha.

Using Level Accelerations to Determine Climb Performance

A faster way to gather data over a wide range of conditions.