Register to reply

Type of Wood for Model Airfoil Construction

by waealu
Tags: airfoil, construction, model, type, wood
Share this thread:
Aug7-09, 12:34 AM
P: 37
I am constructing a few model airfoils for some low speed wind tunnel tests. I will be using wooden ribs covered in Mylar. I was just wondering what kind of wood is best for this situation: balsa, basswood, or a different kind of wood.

Thank you
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on
'Office life' of bacteria may be their weak spot
Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought
Philips introduces BlueTouch, PulseRelief control for pain relief
Aug7-09, 12:56 AM
PF Gold
Danger's Avatar
P: 8,964
If weight isn't an issue, it would probably be cheapest, and just as effective, to use low-grade plywood or fibreboard.
Aug7-09, 01:58 AM
Cyrus's Avatar
P: 4,777
Why are you covering it in mylar?

Aug7-09, 05:54 AM
P: 2,055
Type of Wood for Model Airfoil Construction

I'd say balsa is probably the best as its the lightest and stiffest and its easy to work with. If cost is an issue go with what danger said.

Depending on the accuracy needed, you may want to consider a high density modelling foam. Its much much cheaper than wood, a lot faster to work with if you are going to be makign more than 1 aerofoil. Drawbacks are that, you really need a hot wire cutter to get the best out of it and that the surface will be rougher than a wood+mylar equivilant (although you can get it pretty damn smooth with a bit of work).
Sep26-09, 06:15 AM
P: 27
Balsa is close to Spruce on the lightness scale.Spruce wins if you need stiffness as well.That`s why violin bellies are made of it.Size would affect the choice. Less need for bracing.If you need tennis court sizes the "Spruce Goose " model would suit your needs.That would be some wind tunnel!

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Clark Y-14 Airfoil Mechanical Engineering 2
Determining the static and kinetic coefficients on an incline of wood on wood! Introductory Physics Homework 1
Airfoil pressure Engineering, Comp Sci, & Technology Homework 5
Need help with an airfoil name Mechanical Engineering 1
Which type of wood... Introductory Physics Homework 1