This report provides a description of the Benz 300 H.P. aircraft engine containing 12 cylinders placed at a 60° angle. It includes a detailed description of the development of the constructional points, particularly the cylinders, pistons, and connecting rods, as well as the engine fitting, lubrication, oil pumps, bearings, oil tank, fuel pump, carburetors, and cooling system. There are seven pages of illustrative figures at the end of the report.
A new instrument is described which is capable of simultaneously recording the position of the three controls of an airplane. The records are taken photographically on a standard N.A.C.A. film drum and the instrument can be quickly installed in any airplane.
A description is given of a tilting manometer designed to meet the requirements of a manometer for use in the wind tunnel at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. This gauge was designed to meet the requirements of a manometer in use in connection with a static pressure plate to indicate the wind speed in the tunnel. The requirements are noted. The sensitivity of the gauge must be made inversely proportional to the pressure to be measured. The gauge must be accurately and quickly set for any desired pressure. When set at the desired pressure, the extent of variation between the existing and the desired pressures may be readily estimated. In fact, this manometer is quick to adjust, is easy to read, always has the meniscus in the same position, and accurately indicates a large range of air speeds on what is a comparatively compact instrument.
A new type of air speed meter is described which was designed by the technical staff of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The instrument consists essentially of a tight metal diaphragm of high natural period which is acted upon by the pressure difference of a pitot-static head. The resulting deflection of this diaphragm is recorded optically on a moving film.
It is argued that there should be an agreement as to what conventions to use in determining absolute coefficients used in aeronautics and in how to plot those coefficients. Of particular importance are the absolute coefficients of lift and drag. The author argues for the use of the German method over the kind in common use in the United States and England, and for the Continental over the usual American and British method of graphically representing the characteristics of an airfoil. The author notes that, on the whole, it appears that the use of natural absolute coefficients in a polar diagram is the logical method for presentation of airfoil characteristics, and that serious consideration should be given to the advisability of adopting this method in all countries, in order to advance uniformity and accuracy in the science of aeronautics.
Issues and techniques relative to the adaptation of aircraft engines to high altitude flight are discussed. Covered here are the limits of engine output, modifications and characteristics of high altitude engines, the influence of air density on the proportions of fuel mixtures, methods of varying the proportions of fuel mixtures, the automatic prevention of fuel waste, and the design and application of air pressure regulators to high altitude flying. Summary: 1. Limits of engine output. 2. High altitude engines. 3. Influence of air density on proportions of mixture. 4. Methods of varying proportions of mixture. 5. Automatic prevention of fuel waste. 6. Design and application of air pressure regulators to high altitude flying.
The technical staff of the NACA at Langley Field, has made a series of free flight tests with a JN4h airplane in order to find the best place for an instrument for measuring the angle of attack. A "neutral zone" was found where the air remains either at rest relative to the undisturbed air beyond the influence of the airplane, or is set in motion parallel to the motion of the airplane. This zone is about midway between the two wings and slightly in front of, or at the vertical plane through the leading edges of the wings but the exact position as well as the outlines of the zone varies considerably as the conditions of flight change.
A model of the F-5-L seaplane was made, verified, and tested at 40 miles an hour in the 8' x 8' tunnel for lift and drag, also for pitching, yawing and rolling moments. Subsequently, the yawing moment test was repeated with a modified fin. The results are reported without VL scale correction.
It is possible to give a propeller such a shape that, under given conditions, viz., a definite speed of revolution and flying speed, the bending stresses in the blades will assume quite an insignificant magnitude.
For the calculation of the parasite resistance of an airplane, a knowledge of the resistance of the individual structural and accessory parts is necessary. The most reliable basis for this is given by tests with actual airplane parts at airspeeds which occur in practice. The data given here relate to the landing gear of a Siemanms-Schuckert DI airplane; the landing gear of a 'Luftfahrzeug-Gesellschaft' airplane (type Roland Dlla); landing gear of a 'Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen' G airplane; a machine gun, and the exhaust manifold of a 269 HP engine.
Tests have been made in the atmospheric wind tunnel of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to determine the effects of pitching oscillations upon the lift of an airfoil. It has been found that the lift of an airfoil, while pitching, is usually less than that which would exist at the same angle of attack in the stationary condition, although exceptions may occur when the lift is small or if the angle of attack is being rapidly reduced. It is also shown that the behavior of a pitching airfoil may be qualitatively explained on the basis of accepted aerodynamic theory.
The authors argue that the center of gravity has a preponderating influence on the longitudinal stability of an airplane in flight, but that manufacturers, although aware of this influence, are still content to apply empirical rules to the balancing of their airplanes instead of conducting wind tunnel tests. The author examines the following points: 1) longitudinal stability, in flight, of a glider with coinciding centers; 2) the influence exercised on the stability of flight by the position of the axis of thrust with respect to the center of gravity and the whole of the glider; 3) the stability on the ground before taking off, and the influence of the position of the landing gear. 4) the influence of the elements of the glider on the balance, the possibility of sometimes correcting defective balance, and the valuable information given on this point by wind tunnel tests; 5) and a brief examination of the equilibrium of power in horizontal flight, where the conditions of stability peculiar to this kind of flight are added to previously existing conditions of the stability of the glider, and interfere in fixing the safety limits of certain evolutions.
The aim was to bring attention to what might be the cause of some aircraft accidents for which there was no satisfactory explanation. The author notes that in testing aircraft accidents at the Bureau of Standards, it happened frequently that the engine performance became erratic when the temperature of the air entering the carburetor was between 0 C and 20 C. Investigation revealed the trouble to have been caused by the formation and collection of snow somewhere between the entrance to the carburetor and the manifold, probably at the throttle. Proof scarcely less convincing was obtained during engine tests. The results of such engine tests are described. Granting that the loss of power and the sudden increases in power were caused by the condensation of moisture from the air and the subsequent formation of snow, two solutions proved effective. The removal of the moisture or an increase in temperature cured the problem.
The question of the influence of a supercharged engine on airplane performance is treated here in a first approximation, but one that gives an exact idea of the advantage of supercharging. Considered here is an airplane that climbs first with an ordinary engine, not supercharged, and afterwards climbs with a supercharged engine. The aim is to find the difference of the ceilings reached in the two cases. In the case of our figure, the ceiling from 25,000 feet is increased to 37,000 feet, the supercharging maintaining the power only up to 20,000 feet. This makes, in comparison with an engine without supercharging, an increase of about 50 percent.
Discussed here are the principles and operation of aircraft engine superchargers used to maintain and increase engine power as aircraft encounter decreases in the density of air as altitude rises. Details are given on the design and operation of the centrifugal compressors. A method is given for calculating the amount of power needed to drive a compressor. The effects of the use of a compressor on fuel system operation and design are discussed. Several specific superchargers that were in operation are described.
War airplanes require not only high speed and the ability to climb rapidly, but also the ability to transverse sharp curves quickly. Here, an attempt is made to give a simple method of calculating horizontal curvilinear flight. A method for determining the area of the aileron and rubber surfaces are also indicated. The discussion given here applies primarily to single and two-seater airplanes, although it can be extended to larger airplanes.
The design and construction of an altitude chamber, in which both pressure and temperature can be varied independently, was carried out by the NACA at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory for the purpose of studying the effects of temperature and pressure on aeronautical research instruments. Temperatures from +20c to -50c are obtained by the expansion of CO2from standard containers. The chamber can be used for the calibration of research instruments under altitude conditions simulating those up to 45,000 feet. Results obtained with this chamber have a direct application in the design and calibration of instruments used in free flight research.
Described here is an automatic control that has been used in several forms in wind tunnels at the Washington Navy Yard. The form now in use with the 8-foot tunnel at the Navy Yard is considered here. Details of the design and operation of the automatic control system are given. Leads from a Pitot tube are joined to an inverted cup manometer located above a rheostat. When the sliding weight of this instrument is set to a given notch, say for 40 m.p.h, the beam tip vibrates between two electric contacts that feed the little motor. Thus, when the wind is too strong or too weak, the motor automatically throws the rheostat slide forward and backward. If it failed to function well, the operator would notice the effect on his meniscus, and would operate the hand control by merely pressing the switch.
The Caproni Company recently built a seaplane of unusual design. The main supporting surfaces consisted of three triplanes in tandem, the lower wings being attached to the hull, which was described as providing accommodation for a hundred passengers. On one of the first flights, the seaplane fell into a lake, nose down, and was destroyed. The authors wish to show that this failure could have been predicted. The failure could have been predicted by applying some fundamental principles of aeronautics, especially those relating to longitudinal stability, the lack of which caused the loss of the seaplane.
The experiments described here show that the cracking at sharp bends, observed in the insulation of internal combustion engine high tension ignition wires after service, is due to a chemical attack upon the rubber by the ozone produced by the electric discharge that takes place at the surface of the cable. This cracking does not occur if the insulating material is not under tension, or if the cable is surrounded by some medium other than air. But it does occur even if the insulation is not subjected to electric stress, provided that the atmosphere near the cable contains ozone. The extent of this cracking varies greatly with the insulating material used. The cracking can be materially reduced by using braided cable and by avoiding sharp bends.
The data obtained on the NACA M-12 airfoil, tested at twenty atmosphere density in the NACA variable density wind tunnel, have been extended by additional tests at one and at twenty atmospheres under improved conditions. The results of these tests are given. Considerable scale effect was found.
The favorable speed of an airship is chiefly determined by the condition of the consumption of the least amount of fuel per unit of traveled distance, although other conditions come into play. The resulting rules depend on the character of the wind and on the variability of the efficiency of the engine propeller units. This investigation resulted in the following rules. 1) Always keep the absolute course and steer at such an angle with reference to it as to neutralize the side wind. 2) In a strong contrary wind, take a speed one and one half times the velocity of the wind. 3) As a general rule, take the velocity of the wind and the velocity of the course component of the wind. Add them together if the wind has a contrary component, but subtract them from each other if the wind has a favorable component.
The subject of the choice of an airfoil section is by no means a closed one, and despite the impossibility of making a single rule serve, it is quite practicable to deduce in a strictly rational manner a series of rules and formulas which are capable of being of the greatest use if we but confine ourselves to the consideration of one element of performance at a time. There are seven such elements of performance which are here taken up in turn. The seven are of different relative importance in different types of airplanes. The seven elements are: maximum speed regardless of minimum; maximum speed for given minimum; maximum speed range ratio; maximum rate of climb; maximum absolute ceiling; maximum distance non-stop; and maximum duration non-stop.
Comprehensive tests were made to compare the performance of the F-5-L Boat Seaplane fitted with direct drive and Liberty engines. Details are given on the test conditions. The conclusions of the comparison tests follow. 1) An F-5-L with geared engines takes off in approximately 90 percent of the time required for the same airplane with standard direct drive engines. An F-5-L with geared engines climbs in 20 minutes to an altitude approximately 20 percent greater than that obtained with the standard direct drive on the same airplane. 3) There is a large difference between the climbs of the two airplanes of the same type. This difference will always be more pronounced when the climb is normally slow. In the case of the F-5-L airplanes under construction, it is of the order of a 10 percent difference in altitude on a 20 minute climb. 4) The maximum speed of an F-5-L with geared engines is about 3.5 percent greater than the maximum speed of the same airplane with standard direct drive engines (at the same engine r.p.m.). 5) The fuel consumption is probably less effected by the type of drive than by inherent differences in the performance of different airplanes.
Thin metal diaphragms form a satisfactory means for comparing maximum pressures in internal combustion engines. The diaphragm is clamped between two metal washers in a spark plug shell and its thickness is chosen such that, when subjected to explosion pressure, the exposed portion will be sheared from the rim in a short time.
This note has been prepared for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. It deals with the model rules relating to aeronautical problems, and shows how the characteristics of one airplane can be determined from those of another airplane of different weight or size, and of similar type. If certain rules for the ratios of the dimensions, the weights and the horsepower are followed, a small low-powered airplane can be used for obtaining information as to performance, stability, controllability and maneuverability of a larger prototype, and contrariwise.
The tests described in this paper afford a direct comparison of the efficiency and smoothness of flow obtained with propeller fan and multiblade centrifugal fan drives in the same wind tunnel. The propeller fan was found to be superior to the centrifugal fan in that the efficiency was about twice as great, and the flow much smoother.
Three groups of airfoils have been tested in the variable density wind tunnel. The first group contains three airfoils. The second group is a systematic series of twenty-seven airfoils. The third group consists of several frequently used wing sections.
Methods are here given for ascertaining the value of n in Euler's simplified formula, P = n (EI/l(sup 2)), for the compressive strength of tapered airplane struts, by estimating from curves and by calculation.
This compilation of the outstanding characteristics of the available aircraft engines of the world was prepared as a compact ready reference for desk use. It does not pretend to be anything but a skeleton outline of the characteristics of engines reported in the technical press as being in either the experimental, development, or production stage.
Since aircraft design is tending toward all-metal construction, the strong heat-treatable light aluminum alloy, duralumin (a generic name for a class of heat-treatable alloys containing Cu, Mg, Mn, and Si), is finding increasing application. Doubt has been expressed concerning the reliability and permanence of these materials. Information is given on the effect of corrosion on the tensile properties of 14-gauge sheet duralumin, heat treated by quenching in hot water after being heated for 15 minutes in a fused nitrate bath at 500 to 510 C. Intercrystalline corrosion and practical aspects of intercrystalline embrittlement are discussed with respect to duralumin.
The permanence, with respect to corrosion, of light aluminum alloy sheets of the duralumin type, that is, heat-treatable alloys containing Cu, Mg, Mn, and Si is discussed. Alloys of this type are subject to surface corrosion and corrosion of the interior by intercrystalline paths. Results are given of accelerated corrosion tests, tensile tests, the effect on corrosion of various alloying elements and heat treatments, electrical resistance measurements, and X-ray examinations.
As a result of testing, it was determined that control of the rate of quenching and the avoidance of accelerated aging by heating are the only means of modifying duralumin itself so as to minimize the intercrystalline form of corrosive attack. It is so simple a means that it should be adopted even though it may not completely prevent, but only reduce, this form of corrosive attack. By so doing, the need for protection of the surface is less urgent.
Although the corrosion resistance of sheet duralumin can be greatly improved by suitable heat treatment, protection of the surface is still necessary if long life under varied service conditions is to be insured. The coatings used for this purpose may be grouped into three classes: the varnish type of coating, the oxide type produced by a chemical treatment of the surface, and metallic coatings, of which aluminum appears to be the most promising. Since the necessary weather exposure tests are not complete, some of the conclusions regarding the value of various surface coatings are necessarily tentative.
In a series of weather exposure tests of sheet duralumin, upon which accelerated corrosion tests in the laboratory by the wet-and-dry corrosion method in a sodium chloride solution has already been carried out, a close parallelism between the results of the two kinds of tests was found to exist. The exposure tests showed that the lack of permanence of sheet duralumin is largely, if not entirely, due to corrosion. A corrosion attack of an intercrystalline nature is very largely responsible for the degree of embrittlement produced. The rate of embrittlement was greatly accelerated by a marine atmosphere and by the tropical climate. Variations in corrosion and embrittlement are noted in relation to heat treatment, cold working, and types of protective coatings.
The effect of corrosion on the tensile properties of duralumin while stressed is shown in graphical form. According to the test results, duralumin sheet, coated with aluminum, maintains its initial properties unimpaired for corrosion periods as long as 60 days with an applied tensile stress as high as 20,000 lb/sq.in., which is approximately one-half the stress corresponding to the yield point as defined here. In these tests, that material which had been heat-treated by being quenched in cold water, though far inferior to similar material having the aluminum coating, was superior to the sheet material which was heat treated by being quenched in hot water. These results are in excellent agreement with the results of previous laboratory and exposure tests.
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