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Old Dec 23, 2012, 09:36 PM
agnotology
kcaldwel's Avatar
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Question
Flying wing with split drag surface on tower for pitch control?

I remember seeing a photo of a flying wing with a streamlined tower behind the cockpit that had a split drag surface at the top. The drag of the split surface was used for pitch control. Not a great idea, but I think it flew.

I can't remember where I saw the photo, and can't track it down in the Virtual Aircraft Museum. I thought it was British, but I could well be wrong.

Does anyone else have any idea if that existed? A link to a photo would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 03:44 AM
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cool, closest to it that i have read about is using a "stopsign" for stabilizing translational speed in monocopters.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 06:05 AM
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I haven't put much thought into this, but I suspect this arrangement would have "interesting" implications for pitch stability (particularly in the case of a flying wing... and by "interesting" I mean "heinous"). Probably worth simulating before investing too much in a working model. Sounds like something the British would try.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 06:08 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
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Trying to visualize it, something like a 'T' tail flying wing ?

Had a search through the Google Images of 'flying wings', 'experimental flying wings' etc, didn't see anything that seemed to match the description.

Was it actually built or a proposal ?, anything else that you can remember ?
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 06:16 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
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I found this site for someone to look through -

History of Flying Wings

It list various countries on the left.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Kevin,

I went through a couple of books on aircraft history and unconventional aircraft and did not find anything.

Tom
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 08:23 AM
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I did build and fly a conventional design (F3A pattern) with a split rudder. I do have photos for anyone who actually cares .

Operating it caused pitch up- which needed elevator mix to cancel .
anyway pitch or yaw conrol accomplished by drag intead of deflected plates works - as expected, it is not as effective .
On a flying wing tho with the split surfaces on a pylon you could get more leverage than usingthe reflexed surfaces commonly used on the flying wings
At low airspeeds these designs are proven to be deadly if power stops on takeoff -
pitch control is simply inadequate at takeoff . The wing will either stall and pitch over or yaw and snap etc..
The Dyke Delta did do this -
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 12:19 PM
agnotology
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Thanks for looking!

I have a pretty clear mental image of a silverish airplane on a runway, with sort of a streamlined pole behind the cockpit I think, maybe 2m high, with a split clamshell drag thing on top. I think it was a fairly small 1 person airplane.

I used to sit in the library and go through Jane's and every other airplane book for fun, so who knows when or if I actually saw it. Sort of stuck in the old brain though.

I've done lots of internet searches, but haven't come up with anything. I've been through all the British stuff on the Virtual Museum and half the US, and all my books, but nothing there either. I keep getting side tracked by other interesting airplanes!

I love this British fighter design, that supposedly flew very well:

Merry Christmas all!

Kevin

Edit: Thanks for the great flying wing site Eflightray. Nice history there. Haven't found it yet though!
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 03:14 PM
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It's not the full size one you're talking about but this would be a great spot for someone to post a scan of the little balsa glider image used in the old Solarbo balsa ads in Aeromodeller.

For those that never saw it we're talking about a flat, no dihedral flying wing that has a fin extending forward over the top of the wing and a small square drag flap glued on it.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
It's not the full size one you're talking about but this would be a great spot for someone to post a scan of the little balsa glider image used in the old Solarbo balsa ads in Aeromodeller.

For those that never saw it we're talking about a flat, no dihedral flying wing that has a fin extending forward over the top of the wing and a small square drag flap glued on it.
Yeh living proof that one can make even a odd idea work-
very short airplanes (flying wings ) are interesting -and certainly have their own quirks -
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 12:51 PM
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The only way I can think for this thing to work would be for it to be opened slightly when in level flight. Closing it would drop the nose, opening it more pull the nose up.
Why add such a cumbersome thing to a flying wing, when elevons work quite well?
And drag rudders aren't that difficult to implement, without add anything externally.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky Paul View Post
The only way I can think for this thing to work would be for it to be opened slightly when in level flight. Closing it would drop the nose, opening it more pull the nose up.
Why add such a cumbersome thing to a flying wing, when elevons work quite well?
And drag rudders aren't that difficult to implement, without add anything externally.
The idea sucks - but it will work
crackpot ideas are all too common with " flyin mashines".
flying wings fit into that catagory-
they work but the idea of extremely short moment arms for control purposes really ain't great.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 10:57 PM
Electric Coolhunter
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I remember seeing that same picture of an odd flying wing with a drag device up on a post above the wing.......might have been on one of those newsreel movies about odd aircraft.

Could be made to work,but it would be a significant step backwards in good aircraft design...
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 12:42 AM
agnotology
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Nice to know someone else remembers seeing it! Thanks.

It is hard to imagine why anyone thought it was a good idea, but I'd love to track it down.

Kevin
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:55 AM
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Found it!....did some random searching on old odd aircraft newsreels and it turned up....: I knew I had seen it in a newsreel.

Was a French thing from Paris....figures...

Starts showing it around the 48 second mark on the video.

Sparky Paul appears to be right...I never see any pitch surfaces move except for the thing on the mast and it appears to be around half open for what little cruise flight is shown. It opens the most for rotation at takeoff and as it flares to land.

Controlling pitch like that is kind of like using a chainsaw to open a can of food....you can do it, but why would you really want to?...

Some of the other "flying" things on here are always good for a smile..... Heck, the flying wing was the only thing in the newsreel that actually flew!

Aeronautical Oddities Part 2 of 2 (6 min 40 sec)
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