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Sep 04, 2017, 09:41 AM
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Additional Methods for Tailless Aircraft Conceptual Design

I thought some of you may be interested in the enclosed paper. I hadn't seen some of the content addressed anywhere else, so I wanted to get it written down. I didn't think that it rose to the level for submission to the professional engineering organizations, but I thought it would still have value for the homebuilder and RC enthusiasts.

Before anyone gets too critical because I didn't include sections on the other numerous issues associated with tailless aircraft, the paper was only intended to provide additional methods for the conceptual designer in certain areas and not as a complete treatise. You still need to take into account all of those other considerations when using these methods. Also, the paper has not been through a rigorous peer review, so if anyone finds issues with the contents please feel free to pass me your comments.


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Sep 04, 2017, 12:20 PM
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That was a good read, thanks! As an author of several papers (but only one in aerodynamics), I see three issues that might come up from peer review:

-The language might need some polishing to make it more scientifically rigorous. I mean, it is really nicely written, just maybe a bit too much like a popular science book.

-The number of references is somewhat lacking

-There is a lot of figures and relatively little discussion of their contents. This may raise concerns about the amout of original, author's work in manuscript that is really new in the field.

Formatting seems familiar to me. Are You aiming for AIAA journal?
Sep 04, 2017, 01:47 PM
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I'll admit it's been a while since I've written anything too technical, so the language comment is probably spot on. However, I did realize that the homebuilt and RC community were probably going to be the only users, so I'd like to keep it as "plain language' as possible. Any help in pointing to sections where I might clean things up a bit would be most welcome.

I could add a bunch of references, but those were the ones I actually used in writing the paper. I guess I've been with the Navy too long, but they pretty much direct us to only use references directly called out in the work. If I listed every reference I have sitting on my hard drive it would be a VERY long list. :-)

Which figures do you think needed more discussion? Except for the new application of the DATCOM methods it really isn't my work, so I hope it didn't come across that way.

I used the AIAA format just because it was readily available and I was familiar with it (though it has been a few years). I really wasn't intending for it to be submitted to AIAA (or any other journals) for two reasons. One, it is kind of dated so it would have little utility for someone with better tools available. Second, (as I said previously) it really isn't my work. Other than discovering that you could use the DATCOM methods in a different manner, most of the work in the paper was done long ago. I really don't want to claim any credit for that.

Thank you for reading it, and the comments.
Sep 05, 2017, 08:39 AM
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Ok, that explains a lot, thanks. My comments were the result of my specific experieces with AIAA Journal. I'd like to help improving the paper, but definitely not before weekend - I have a very busy week .
Sep 10, 2017, 11:01 AM
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Ok, I gave the manuscript another read. Indeed, all essential references are there. As You state in the abstract: "...better tools exist in the major design houses,...". Maybe some comparison with these tools (with appriopriate references) would be useful.

As far as I can see, the math is ok and well explained.

Regarding the language:
-Last paragraph of section II is written a bit like a diary,

Section IV:
"...It would be nice if..." - maybe "it is desirable to..."

and few sentences like:
... While looking at this equation and it’s accompanying data, the author realized that...

but this may be my personal preference.

All in all, a very good job. It would be nice if anyone else might comment on this paper.
Sep 10, 2017, 11:30 AM
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Thank you David. I'll take a look at the verbiage you pointed out and clean it up.

At some point I would like to expand the paper to include higher aspect ratios to support sailplane design, an example or two, and an explanation on the use of additive mean lines for initial airfoil design. I just hadn't gotten there yet. Marc de Piolenc over on the Nurflugel site suggested I should get it published in a Journal. I'm not sure, but maybe the AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference or something. If I did I would probably have to generate some comparisons and examples for that version.

Thanks again,


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