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Plus a Change

Plus a Change Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XXVII No 319 SEPTEMBER 1955 Basic Ignorance The outstanding impression one gets from MR NONWEILER'S T the outset of his article on high-lift aids in this issue M R survey only confirms the feeling of bewilderment to which we have NONWEILER recalls that so long ago as 1937 we expressed already confessed. It does seem as if not every variety of aid can be bewilderment at the number and variety of such devices the right solution, or at any rate the only one even for the particular which then existed. He goes on gently to suggest that the progress of circumstances of each case. We have long tried to stifle the thought years can only have added to our embarrassment; as it assuredly has. that there must be a considerable degree of what amounts almost Indeed, it was because of the ever-growing complexity of what we to guesswork. This seems to derive support from the noticeably usually think of as 'slottery and flappery' in the modern aeroplane tentative nature of the conclusions as to causes and effects that are that we conceived the idea of an article dealing with the subject and all that the author is able to reach. One cannot avoid the belief that eventually wrote to M R NONWEILER to invite him to prepare it for us. these things are to a surprising extent still a matter of fashion or individual choice, or even idiosyncrasy and habit on the part of this A Suitable Time or that designer. It is difficult to be sure of any unquestionably We always like to open our September issue with a specially com­ logical foundation for the adoption, and location, of any particular missioned article of considerable length on a subject of some topi­ form of high-lift aid. cality, and we could think of no matter which would be more appropriate than this to the occasion of the S.B.A.C. Display; since Still Current it is during that week each year that one has an opportunity of study­ The historical aspect bears this out since we find in use today ing these strange contraptions in all their multitudinous forms both devices, originally suggested long ago, which cannot strictly be either on the ground and in the air—truly an awesome sight. It is, of course, recommended or discarded on the strength of any genuine scientific as M R GATES pointed out in his 1937 article, basically the penalty of evidence based on adequate research. The particular forms of flap increased efficiency that the reduction in drag and other develop­ mentioned by M R NONWEILER are, we believe, exactly the same as ments has forced the invention of high-lift devices to aid the pilot those listed by M R GATES; still in some instances known by the names at take-off and landing. Compared with 1927, for instance, the wing of their inventors. In most cases there appears to be no record of loading had by 1937 about doubled while the general level of power any systematic series of experiments carried out with the deliberate loading had increased by between 25 and 50 per cent. We suppose intention of evaluating the design and its effect in a variety of that the improvement in the same features in the intervening conditions. eighteen years has been at least of the same order; so it is perhaps The truth is, we think, that the whole subject of applied aerody­ easy to understand why the need for high-lift aids has increased namics has become so vast that it has got out of hand and theory rather than diminished. has been outstripped. Consequently, practice is based to a large extent on inspired guessing and empirical methods of trial and error. A Helpful Development Programmes of systematic scientific research seem always to be lagging behind the designer's needs and insufficiently wide in scope. There is only one direction in which development has been to What the explanation of this is—and, more importantly, the cure— the advantage of the pilot—he is no longer asked to take-off his we do not know. It must, we suppose, be due largely to the acute aeroplane from, or land it on, grass but is at least provided with shortage of scientists. It can hardly now be due to lack of research concrete runways of almost limitless length; as it sometimes seems equipment and certainly not a failure to realize the position on the when it is necessary to remove whole hamlets, or even villages, to part of the governing bodies of research. The result, at any rate, make room for extensions. From this point of view, 'the hedges in seems to be to give the advantage to the most imaginative type of Britain' have not, as M R GATES pointed out in 1937 they then had, designer with the ability to guess right—which is perhaps no bad 'remained where they are'—except of course in the event of a thing. fortunately rare emergency landing out in the country. S.B.A.C . DISPLAY • SEPTEMBE R 5—11 • STAN D NO. 112 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Emerald Publishing

Plus a Change

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology , Volume 27 (9): 1 – Sep 1, 1955

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-2667
DOI
10.1108/eb032597
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XXVII No 319 SEPTEMBER 1955 Basic Ignorance The outstanding impression one gets from MR NONWEILER'S T the outset of his article on high-lift aids in this issue M R survey only confirms the feeling of bewilderment to which we have NONWEILER recalls that so long ago as 1937 we expressed already confessed. It does seem as if not every variety of aid can be bewilderment at the number and variety of such devices the right solution, or at any rate the only one even for the particular which then existed. He goes on gently to suggest that the progress of circumstances of each case. We have long tried to stifle the thought years can only have added to our embarrassment; as it assuredly has. that there must be a considerable degree of what amounts almost Indeed, it was because of the ever-growing complexity of what we to guesswork. This seems to derive support from the noticeably usually think of as 'slottery and flappery' in the modern aeroplane tentative nature of the conclusions as to causes and effects that are that we conceived the idea of an article dealing with the subject and all that the author is able to reach. One cannot avoid the belief that eventually wrote to M R NONWEILER to invite him to prepare it for us. these things are to a surprising extent still a matter of fashion or individual choice, or even idiosyncrasy and habit on the part of this A Suitable Time or that designer. It is difficult to be sure of any unquestionably We always like to open our September issue with a specially com­ logical foundation for the adoption, and location, of any particular missioned article of considerable length on a subject of some topi­ form of high-lift aid. cality, and we could think of no matter which would be more appropriate than this to the occasion of the S.B.A.C. Display; since Still Current it is during that week each year that one has an opportunity of study­ The historical aspect bears this out since we find in use today ing these strange contraptions in all their multitudinous forms both devices, originally suggested long ago, which cannot strictly be either on the ground and in the air—truly an awesome sight. It is, of course, recommended or discarded on the strength of any genuine scientific as M R GATES pointed out in his 1937 article, basically the penalty of evidence based on adequate research. The particular forms of flap increased efficiency that the reduction in drag and other develop­ mentioned by M R NONWEILER are, we believe, exactly the same as ments has forced the invention of high-lift devices to aid the pilot those listed by M R GATES; still in some instances known by the names at take-off and landing. Compared with 1927, for instance, the wing of their inventors. In most cases there appears to be no record of loading had by 1937 about doubled while the general level of power any systematic series of experiments carried out with the deliberate loading had increased by between 25 and 50 per cent. We suppose intention of evaluating the design and its effect in a variety of that the improvement in the same features in the intervening conditions. eighteen years has been at least of the same order; so it is perhaps The truth is, we think, that the whole subject of applied aerody­ easy to understand why the need for high-lift aids has increased namics has become so vast that it has got out of hand and theory rather than diminished. has been outstripped. Consequently, practice is based to a large extent on inspired guessing and empirical methods of trial and error. A Helpful Development Programmes of systematic scientific research seem always to be lagging behind the designer's needs and insufficiently wide in scope. There is only one direction in which development has been to What the explanation of this is—and, more importantly, the cure— the advantage of the pilot—he is no longer asked to take-off his we do not know. It must, we suppose, be due largely to the acute aeroplane from, or land it on, grass but is at least provided with shortage of scientists. It can hardly now be due to lack of research concrete runways of almost limitless length; as it sometimes seems equipment and certainly not a failure to realize the position on the when it is necessary to remove whole hamlets, or even villages, to part of the governing bodies of research. The result, at any rate, make room for extensions. From this point of view, 'the hedges in seems to be to give the advantage to the most imaginative type of Britain' have not, as M R GATES pointed out in 1937 they then had, designer with the ability to guess right—which is perhaps no bad 'remained where they are'—except of course in the event of a thing. fortunately rare emergency landing out in the country. S.B.A.C . DISPLAY • SEPTEMBE R 5—11 • STAN D NO. 112

Journal

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 1955

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