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Food for Thought

Food for Thought Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XXIII No 267 MAY 1951 undesirable phenomena that manifested themselves could be made. It seems to have been only possible to attack each problem as it MONG a list of 'preprints', available to those interested, in cropped up by step by step, almost rule-of-thumb, methods. To quote a recent issue of the S.A.E. JOURNAL we noticed the title of the authors again, "As improvements are made the Machs disappear one which seemed likely to be of interest to our readers and from one part of the aeroplane and appear in another part"—a truth we therefore wrote to the SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS for a which is only too clearly confirmed as the story of the various copy. On receiving it our view was confirmed and we then asked the instabilities and roughnesses that developed is unfolded. SOCIETY to be kind enough to let us have the original illustrations— photostats only being attached to the preprint—so that we might reproduce them, since without them the paper would be com­ paratively speaking meaningless. We duly received these and are Welcome Frankness now able to publish in this issue the complete paper entitled 'Flight In writing thus strongly, we wish to make it absolutely clear that Characteristics at High Mach Numbers'. no thought of criticism of the MCDONNELL AIRCRAFT CORPORATION So far as we are aware, nothing of precisely the same character or its design staff is intended. Nothing is further from our minds. has previously appeared in print and we are sure that our readers We have no doubt whatever that all other designers are finding will agree that it is exceptionally interesting—and indeed highly themselves in the same predicament and the tale of losses of expert significant. The volume of results of research work and theoretical test pilots when trying out these modern aeroplanes is the saddest investigations conducted into the various aspects of compressible possible evidence of the critical stage we have reached in the design flow, shock waves and all the concomitant phenomena which have of aeroplanes to fly at Mach numbers approaching unity. Far indeed been issued must by now be enormous. We tremble, indeed, to think are we from criticizing the Company concerned. On the contrary, to what almost stratospheric altitudes they would reach if they we applaud their courage and public-spiritedness in releasing for the could be precariously balanced one on top of another. A very large benefit of other workers in the same field so frank and complete an number must be piled up just on the shelves of the editorial sanctum exposé of the troubles they encountered and the progress they made of AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING and we understand that there are in all in overcoming them. Daunting indeed must the frustrating experi­ probability far more that remain carefully guarded in locked cup­ ences they met at times have seemed to be. Such a frank laying of boards because it is not deemed wise to circulate them, except on their cards on the table is rare indeed—though, as we have remarked a restricted scale, for 'security' reasons. At any rate, our efforts to on occasion before, less so in America than in England, where there obtain for publication an article surveying the most up-to-date is much greater reluctance to be frank and open about indeterminate knowledge on the design of wings for high-speed flight has, on this experiments; which is a pity as, so frequently, far more is to be ground, so far met with no success. learned from them than from the undramatic record of progress and achievement that is all too-frequently handed out for approbation. We would like to think that experience with this one aeroplane has led to a general increase of knowledge that can be, and is being, used in earlier stages of the development of a later type. Unfor­ And Yet tunately, no very great promise of this is held out in the authors' Our first reaction to the article, which has been intensified at every conclusions at the end of their paper; which somewhat pessimistically fresh reading, was one of—let us not mince words—complete seem to imply that the same process will have to be gone through dismay that all the intensive and widespread effort to which we have when the flight-testing stage of the new aeroplane arrives. It would just referred should have apparently produced so little guidance of be interesting if any general lessons that can be learnt from these direct practical use to the designer of a modern high-speed aero­ experiments were revealed. plane. The impression that surely stands out after a study of this record of development at the flight-testing stage is one of frustra­ tion. As MESSRS OUTMAN and GRAFF themselves in their Introduc­ An Ingenious Mechanism tion write, "The many months of intensive design effort on the part of engineers and shop personnel have set the stage for an all-out We thank the INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for per­ development, modification and flight test programme which fre­ mitting us to reproduce the paper on the ingenious Brabazon power- quently taxes their ingenuity and energy to a far greater degree than plant. This, delivered at a meeting in London last month, had been did the initial design work." Depressing as these words are we cannot previously read before a meeting of the INSTITUTE in Bristol on but feel that they are justified by the experiences detailed in the paper. January 11, 1950. As a matter of history, we had invited a contribu­ The most disturbing feature seems to us to be the lack of basic tion on this subjct to AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING some two years ago. knowledge from which a planned approach to the cure of the various We are, therefore, more than glad to welcome its appearance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Emerald Publishing

Food for Thought

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology , Volume 23 (5): 1 – May 1, 1951

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-2667
DOI
10.1108/eb032027
Publisher site
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Abstract

Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XXIII No 267 MAY 1951 undesirable phenomena that manifested themselves could be made. It seems to have been only possible to attack each problem as it MONG a list of 'preprints', available to those interested, in cropped up by step by step, almost rule-of-thumb, methods. To quote a recent issue of the S.A.E. JOURNAL we noticed the title of the authors again, "As improvements are made the Machs disappear one which seemed likely to be of interest to our readers and from one part of the aeroplane and appear in another part"—a truth we therefore wrote to the SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS for a which is only too clearly confirmed as the story of the various copy. On receiving it our view was confirmed and we then asked the instabilities and roughnesses that developed is unfolded. SOCIETY to be kind enough to let us have the original illustrations— photostats only being attached to the preprint—so that we might reproduce them, since without them the paper would be com­ paratively speaking meaningless. We duly received these and are Welcome Frankness now able to publish in this issue the complete paper entitled 'Flight In writing thus strongly, we wish to make it absolutely clear that Characteristics at High Mach Numbers'. no thought of criticism of the MCDONNELL AIRCRAFT CORPORATION So far as we are aware, nothing of precisely the same character or its design staff is intended. Nothing is further from our minds. has previously appeared in print and we are sure that our readers We have no doubt whatever that all other designers are finding will agree that it is exceptionally interesting—and indeed highly themselves in the same predicament and the tale of losses of expert significant. The volume of results of research work and theoretical test pilots when trying out these modern aeroplanes is the saddest investigations conducted into the various aspects of compressible possible evidence of the critical stage we have reached in the design flow, shock waves and all the concomitant phenomena which have of aeroplanes to fly at Mach numbers approaching unity. Far indeed been issued must by now be enormous. We tremble, indeed, to think are we from criticizing the Company concerned. On the contrary, to what almost stratospheric altitudes they would reach if they we applaud their courage and public-spiritedness in releasing for the could be precariously balanced one on top of another. A very large benefit of other workers in the same field so frank and complete an number must be piled up just on the shelves of the editorial sanctum exposé of the troubles they encountered and the progress they made of AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING and we understand that there are in all in overcoming them. Daunting indeed must the frustrating experi­ probability far more that remain carefully guarded in locked cup­ ences they met at times have seemed to be. Such a frank laying of boards because it is not deemed wise to circulate them, except on their cards on the table is rare indeed—though, as we have remarked a restricted scale, for 'security' reasons. At any rate, our efforts to on occasion before, less so in America than in England, where there obtain for publication an article surveying the most up-to-date is much greater reluctance to be frank and open about indeterminate knowledge on the design of wings for high-speed flight has, on this experiments; which is a pity as, so frequently, far more is to be ground, so far met with no success. learned from them than from the undramatic record of progress and achievement that is all too-frequently handed out for approbation. We would like to think that experience with this one aeroplane has led to a general increase of knowledge that can be, and is being, used in earlier stages of the development of a later type. Unfor­ And Yet tunately, no very great promise of this is held out in the authors' Our first reaction to the article, which has been intensified at every conclusions at the end of their paper; which somewhat pessimistically fresh reading, was one of—let us not mince words—complete seem to imply that the same process will have to be gone through dismay that all the intensive and widespread effort to which we have when the flight-testing stage of the new aeroplane arrives. It would just referred should have apparently produced so little guidance of be interesting if any general lessons that can be learnt from these direct practical use to the designer of a modern high-speed aero­ experiments were revealed. plane. The impression that surely stands out after a study of this record of development at the flight-testing stage is one of frustra­ tion. As MESSRS OUTMAN and GRAFF themselves in their Introduc­ An Ingenious Mechanism tion write, "The many months of intensive design effort on the part of engineers and shop personnel have set the stage for an all-out We thank the INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for per­ development, modification and flight test programme which fre­ mitting us to reproduce the paper on the ingenious Brabazon power- quently taxes their ingenuity and energy to a far greater degree than plant. This, delivered at a meeting in London last month, had been did the initial design work." Depressing as these words are we cannot previously read before a meeting of the INSTITUTE in Bristol on but feel that they are justified by the experiences detailed in the paper. January 11, 1950. As a matter of history, we had invited a contribu­ The most disturbing feature seems to us to be the lack of basic tion on this subjct to AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING some two years ago. knowledge from which a planned approach to the cure of the various We are, therefore, more than glad to welcome its appearance.

Journal

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: May 1, 1951

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