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Aerospace Calculating WWI aircraft flight performance

  1. May 22, 2010 #1
    I'm interested in calculating the flight performance of World War One aircraft.

    The aerofoils can give me the coefficient of lift, we have the engine horsepower and the maximum level speeds. Wingloading can generate the stall speeds.

    How do I calculate the minimum horse power required for level flight? It seems as though I need an overall aircraft drag figure, so how do I calculate this?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2010 #2
    You're going to need to run CFD or obtain experimental data on the drag polar for that I'm afraid.
  4. May 22, 2010 #3
    Thanks Cyrus,
    now what's CFD please?

  5. May 22, 2010 #4
    It stands for computational fluid dynamics. You create a model of your problem in a CAD program, and then wrap a mesh around it. The CFD solver then finds the forces and moments. This is by no means a trivial, or cheap, proposition. I think your best bet is to look for this data in old NACA reports.
  6. May 23, 2010 #5
    Thanks again Cyrus.

    I think the pointer towards old NACA reports looks like the better option. To be honest, I hadn't realised that such reports were available, so now the search begins...

    Scott Eberhardt did some work on this subject which intrigued me, and released a PDF titled

    AIAA Paper 2005-119
    43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
    10-13 January, 2005, Reno, Nevada

    This was fascinating, but lacked the background details to do something useful with it.
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