National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) - Browse

Flexibility of bearing surfaces and stress on fabrics
No Description Available.
Observations on the method of determining the velocity of airships
To obtain the absolute velocity of an airship by knowing the speed at which two routes are covered, we have only to determine the geographical direction of the routes which we locate from a map, and the angles of routes as given by the compass, after correcting for the variation (the algebraical sum of the local magnetic declination and the deviation).
Simple means for saving fuel on traffic flights
No Description Available.
Abacus for the reduction of English measures to the metric system and vice versa
This report presents a description of the abacus as well as construction details. There is also a detailed description on how to use the abacus.
The Caproni Seaplane
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 drawing of experimental curves
This report presents a discussion of how to determine the location of a line or surface from experimental data. What we desire to know practically is the number of ordinates required to obtain a certain probable precision in drawing a line or surface.
The dynamometer hub for the testing propellers and engines during flight
The need for a device to measure flight resistance, engine and propeller power, and efficiency during flight grew in proportion to the demand for increased flying capacity in military types of aircraft. Here, a dynamometer hub was inserted between the engine and the propeller. Taken as a whole, the tests that were conducted show that though the dynamometer is a sensitive instrument liable to numerous derangements, it is undeniably useful even in its present form, when handled with care and skill. Facilitating, as it does, the possibility of maintaining the fixed position of the engine, the blocking out of the weight effect when the plane is in the sloping position, and the possibility of taking direct measurements of force at the point of transmission, the dynamometer appears to be by far the best solution of the problem of a flying test bench, utilized as a hydraulic balance with the smallest possible measuring stroke and the least tendency to oscillation.
Flexible petrol pipe
No Description Available.
The problem of fuel for aviation engines
No Description Available.
Theory of the ideal windmill
No Description Available.
Calculation of wing spars
The author presents a comparison and combination of the numerical and geometrical determinations of the maximum M, when calculating the maximum bay moment.
Calculation of wing spars
A simplified formula for calculating wing spars is presented.
Calculation of wing spars
The author presents a comparison and combination of the numerical and geometrical determinations of the maximum M, when calculating the maximum bay moment.
The employment of airships for the transport of passengers
It was a conclusion of this detailed study of the practicality of using airships for carrying passengers that, although slow, airships are capable of carrying useful loads over long distances. However, it is noted that there is a certain limit to the advantages of large cubature. Beyond a certain point, the maximum altitude of the airship goes on decreasing, in spite of the fact that the range of action in the horizontal plane and the useful load go on increasing. The possibility of rapid climb is an essential factor of security in aerial navigation in the case of storms, as is velocity. To rise above and run ahead of storms are ways of avoiding them. However, high altitude and high speed are antithetical. This investigation concluded that a maximum velocity of 120 km/h is as far as we ought to go. This figure can only be exceeded by excessive reduction of the altitude of ceiling, range of flight, and useful load. The essential requisites of a public transport service are discussed, as are flight security, regularity of service, competition with other forms of passenger transportation, and the choice between rigid and semi-rigid airships.
High efficiency of seaplanes
A table is presented which includes data for calculating the index of efficiency. The author uses this data to conclude that seaplanes cannot be considered inferior to terrestrial airplanes.
Large German airship stations
No Description Available.
A new method of testing in wind tunnels
Now, in existing wind tunnels, using a horsepower of 100 to 300, the models are generally made to a 1/10 scale and the speed is appreciably lower than the speeds currently attained by airplanes. The Reynolds number realized is thus 15 to 25 times smaller than that reached by airplanes in free flight, while the ratio of speed to the velocity of sound is between a third and three quarters of the true ratio. The necessary increases in either the diameter of the wind tunnel or the velocity of the airstream are too costly. However, the author shows that it is possible to have wind tunnels in which the Reynolds number will be greater than that now obtained by airplanes, and in which the ratio of the velocity to the velocity of sound will also be greater than that realized in practice, by employing a gas other than air, at a pressure and temperature different from those of the surrounding atmosphere. The gas is carbonic acid, a gas having a low coefficient of viscosity, high density, and a low ratio of specific heat. The positive results of using carbonic acid in wind tunnel tests are given.
Shape and strength of seaplane under-structures with special regard to seaworthiness
This report presents experiments and calculations for the purpose of determining the landing gear requirements upon the water. Moving pictures are given which furnish data and also may give both the magnitude and direction of the forces acting. Different classes of seaplanes are examined and proposals for calculation instructions are given.
The 1000 HP traffic airplane of the Zeppelin Works in Staaken
No Description Available.
Competition for safety fuel tanks
No Description Available.
The effect of staggering a biplane
This investigation was carried out by request of the United States Air Service at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wind tunnel in 1918. As the data collected may be of general interest, they are published here by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The lift, drag, and center of pressure travel are determined for a biplane with a stagger varying from +100% to -100%. It is found that the efficiency and the maximum lift increase with positive stagger. With large positive staggers the center of pressure is far forward and has a very slight travel with changes in lift coefficient.
Glossary of terms used in flying boat hull construction
No Description Available.
Lift theory of supporting surfaces : second article
No Description Available.
A new dynamometer brake
The mechanism here described belongs to the class of dynamometer brake in which the motive power is transformed into heat in the brake itself. This mechanism was invented by the writer for the purpose of measuring forces in which the two factors, torque and speed, vary within broad limits, the mechanism itself being of simple construction and of still simpler operation.
Performance of a vane driven-gear pump
Given here are the results of a test conducted in a wind tunnel on the performance of a vane-driven gear pump used to pump gasoline upward into a small tank located within the upper wing from which it flows by gravity to the engine carburetor. Information is given on the efficiency of the pump, the head resistance of the vanes, the performance and characteristics of the unit with and without housing about the vanes, the pump performance when motor driven, and resistance and power characteristics.
Preliminary calculation of cylinder dimensions for aircraft engines
It is extremely important in building aircraft engines to determine the requisite cylinder dimensions as accurately as possible, in order that the weight required for a given power shall not be excessive. This report presents a calculation method that depends on the air requirement of the fuel.
The small diesel engine as an automotive engine
Essential principles for building small diesel engines and also structural details so far as feasibility are presented.
N.A.C.A. recording air speed meter
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.
Aneroid investigations in Germany
No Description Available.
Crippling strength of axially loaded rods
A new empirical formula was developed that holds good for any length and any material of a rod, and agrees well with the results of extensive strength tests. To facilitate calculations, three tables are included, giving the crippling load for solid and hollow sectioned wooden rods of different thickness and length, as well as for steel tubes manufactured according to the standards of Army Air Services Inspection. Further, a graphical method of calculation of the breaking load is derived in which a single curve is employed for determination of the allowable fiber stress. Finally, the theory is discussed of the elastic curve for a rod subject to compression, according to which no deflection occurs, and the apparent contradiction of this conclusion by test results is attributed to the fact that the rods under test are not perfectly straight, or that the wall thickness and the material are not uniform. Under the assumption of an eccentric rod having a slight initial bend according to a sine curve, a simple formula for the deflection is derived, which shows a surprising agreement with test results. From this a further formula is derived for the determination of the allowable load on an eccentric rod. The resulting relations are made clearer by means of a graphical representation of the relation of the moments of the outer and inner forces to the deflection.
Influence of struts and stays on the speed of an airplane
No Description Available.
Langley Field wind tunnel apparatus
The difficulties experienced in properly holding thin tipped or tapered airfoils while testing on an N.P.L. type aerodynamic balance even at low air speeds, and the impossibility of holding even solid metal models at the high speeds attainable at the National Advisory Committee's wind tunnel, necessitated the design of a balance which would hold model airfoils of any thickness and at speeds up to 150 m.p.h. In addition to mechanical strength and rigidity, it was highly desirable that the balance readings should require a minimum amount of correction and mathematical manipulation in order to obtain the lift and drag coefficients and the center of pressure. The balance described herein is similar to one in use at the University of Gottingen, the main difference lying in the addition of a device for reading the center of pressure directly, without the necessity of any correction whatsoever. Details of the design and operation of the device are given.
A petrol-proof flexible tubing at last: an invention of the greatest importance to aviation
No Description Available.
Some remarks concerning soaring flight
The publication of the following details is due to the desire of the editor to have the problems of soaring flight treated on the occasion of the Rhone Soaring Flight Contest.
Tin soldering of aluminum and its alloys
A method is presented for soldering aluminum to other metals. The method adopted consists of a galvanic application to the surface of the light-metal parts to be soldered, of a layer of another metal, which, without reacting electrolytically on the aluminum, adheres strongly to the surface to which it is applied, and is, on the other hand, adapted to receive the soft solder. The metal found to meet the criteria best was iron.
Aeronautic instruction in Germany
This report contains a list of the courses relating to aeronautics announced in Germany, both in the technical high schools and in the universities.
The choice of wing sections for airplanes
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.
The danger of stalled flight and an analysis of the factors which govern it
A definition of "stalled fight" is presented as well as a detailed discussion on the how and why it occurs. Some suggestions are made to prevent its occurrence such as carrying an air speed instrument in the airplane.
Establishment of aviation schools
No Description Available.
Experiments wit slotted wings
No Description Available.
Extracts from the Belgian regulations for government assistance to air transport companies
No Description Available.
An investigation on the effect of raked wing tips
This investigation was carried out by request of the United States Air Service in the wind tunnel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The results are here published by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics as it is thought that they may be of general interest. Wings of the R.A.F. 6 section are tested with various angles of rake, and it is found that although rake has very little effect, a positive or negative rake of 30 degrees is the best.
Traffic airships with special reference to economy
The first part of this report details the efficiency and economy of airship travel, while the second part presents methods of economic efficiency with regards to construction, cost of upkeep and operation, and the establishment of airship lines.
Vortices and the related principles of hydrodynamics
Here, conceptions concerning vortices are illustrated by the simplest possible examples. Mathematical formulas and similar means of presentation, which, for the most part, do not help the understanding of persons not versed therein, have been avoided as much as possible. Instead, the author has endeavored to demonstrate the phenomena by means of simple geometrical and mechanical illustrations. For the sake of clarity, the author chiefly considers currents in one plane only, a situation that can be readily represented by diagrams. Some of the peculiarities of vortices in three dimensional flow are briefly discussed.
Effects of varying the relative vertical position of wing and fuselage
The object of this series of experiments was to determine the influence of the relative vertical position of wing and fuselage on the efficiency of the wing.
Ground influence on airfoils
The question of ground influence on airplanes has recently attracted some attention in view of the claims made by certain designers that the landing speed of their airplanes is much decreased by an increase in lift coefficient due to the proximity of the ground in landing. The results of wind tunnel tests indicate that ground effect is not entirely beneficial. It decreases the landing speed and cushions the landing shock somewhat. However, it does so at the expense of an increased length of preliminary skimming over the ground. By decreasing the drag and increasing the lift, it lengthens the distance necessary for the airplane to travel before losing enough speed to land. On the other hand, its influence is helpful in taking off, especially in the case of flying boats with their low-lying wings. In the conventional tractor airplane, the height of the wings above the ground is determined largely by propeller clearance. However, a small low-speed airplane like the Pischoff and large low-speed commercial aircraft with engines between wings can utilize ground influence to good advantage.
A mechanical device for illustrating airplane stability
An instrument is described which will illustrate completely in a qualitative sense the longitudinal stability characteristics of an airplane. The instrument is primarily of use for the lecture room, but it is hoped that ultimately it will be possible to obtain quantitative results from it.
Mutual influence of wings and propeller
No Description Available.
Aerial navigation : on the problem of guiding aircraft in a fog or by night when there is no visibility
The use of magnetic fields and wire to navigate aircraft in conditions of poor visibility is presented. This field may be considered to be derived from a double lemniscate, considered in the particular case where the origin is a double point formed from the magnetic field of the slack wire, from the field produced by the return currents and from the field due to the currents induced in the conducting mass. These fields are dephased in two ways, one in the direction of the wire, the other in a direction perpendicular to it.
Air forces, moments and damping on model of fleet airship Shenandoah
To furnish data for the design of the fleet airship Shenandoah, a model was made and tested in the 8 by 8 foot wind tunnel for wind forces, moments, and damping, under conditions described in this report. The results are given for air of standard density. P=0.00237 slugs per cubic foot with vl/v correction, and with but a brief discussion of the aerodynamic design features of the airship.