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The effect of aerofoil shape on rubber powered model aircraft

  1. May 9, 2014 #1
    Model aircraft display a wide range of aerofoil shapes, and many of these models fly despite the shape of the cross section of the wing.

    Models with flat wings, cambered wings, thick wings, thin wings - all of these fly succesfully.

    What is the function of aerofoil shape on free flight rubber powered models - between 30 to 60 cm in span? In manned aircraft, the aerofile shape is said to depend on required structural thickness, and stall behaviour, that is, a gentler stall rather than a sharp one where lift suddenly reduces.

    Specifically in model aircraft of the rubber powered free flight variety, it seems more important to make an effort to reduce weight and thickness, however I am not sure what the effect on performance might be, given that these models run with a short burst of ever decreasing power, and should fly a stable flight pattern.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2014 #2
    I'm sorry you are not generating any responses at the moment. Is there any additional information you can share with us? Any new findings?
  4. Jun 27, 2014 #3


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    It's just a trade-off between reducing weight, attaining sufficient structural strength, and getting the best L/D under those constraints.
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