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Designer's Notebook

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....

Wind Tunnel

Contrary to popular belief, the frontal area of an airplane is not the most important determinant of drag.

Wind Tunnel

Spring systems.

Stressing Structure

V-n Diagram.

Wind Tunnel

The author explains how the characteristics of an airplane affect pilot ability to complete tasks, response factors, stability and damping of the airframe to changes in angle of attack, basic stability, trim, control forces, and control power. He also addresses the controversy behind the design of airplanes, their characteristics and the resultant suitability for various types of flying;

Wind Tunnel

This month well look at another complex interaction between aerodynamics and aircraft structures that can cause structures to fail: fabric flutter.

Design Process: Planform Effects on Span Loading and Drag

Last month we started our discussion of wing planforms with a look at the various planform shapes in use. We now turn our attention...

Avoiding the Traps of Bad Engineering and Construction

There's a large body of knowledge of good engineering practice for aircraft. Most of this knowledge was gained the hard way, and it should not be ignored lightly.

Stressing Structure

Tubes, struts, and column buckling.

Wind Tunnel

Gyroplanes, part 5.

In Case You Missed it

Wind Tunnel

Multiple engines complicate design, because not only must the airplane be able to maintain flight on one engine, but also the pilot must be able to control it. Lateral/directional stability issues are key;

Wheel Pant Suspenders

The challenge with this wheel pant was where to mount it, and how.

Light Stuff

Earlier this year, columnist Dave Martin had the opportunity to fly Flight Designs CTSW (short wing) factory-built Light Sport Aircraft. This month, he flies the company's new CTLS (Light Sport model), and he details the differences between the two.

Rear Cockpit

Youthful ignorant that I was, it took a few years for me to realize...