Flight Determination of the Static Longitudinal Stability Boundaries of the Bell X-5 Research Airplane with 59 Deg Sweepback
Description: During the flight program on the Bell X-5 airplane with 59 deg sweepback to determine the practical Mach number and normal-force coefficient limits of this configuration, a reduction in static longitudinal stability was encountered in maneuvering flight. A determination of the boundary for reduction of longitudinal stability extending to a Mach number of 0.98 is presented in this paper. A reduction of static longitudinal stability existed for all elevator and all stabilizer-executed maneuvers. The reduction of stability existed for maneuvers executed with elevator near a normal-force coefficient of 0.6 for a Mach number range of about 0.31 to 0.76. Above a Mach number of 0.76 the normal-force coefficient for reduction of stability gradually decreased to a value of 0.2 at a Mach number of 0.98. For stabilizer-executed maneuvers the stability boundary was the same as for elevator maneuvers up to a Mach number of 0.88. Above this Mach number the reduction of stability occurred at slightly higher normal-force coefficients decreasing from about 0.51 at a Mach number of 0.92 to a value of 0.311 at a Mach number of 0.97. The airplane has been flown to a Mach number of 1.04 at a normal-force coefficient of about 0.15 without encountering any reduction of stability. The pilot did not consider the reduction of stability to be dangerous at altitudes above 30,000 feet; however, precise flight was impossible. At angles of attack above that at which the reduction of longitudinal stability occurred, directional instability and aileron control overbalance were encountered.
Date: February 20, 1953
Creator: Finch, Thomas W & Walker, Joseph A
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