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Static longitudinal stability - converting airspeed to lift coefficient

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Static longitudinal stability - converting airspeed to lift coefficient

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Old 23rd Jun 2018, 12:03
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Static longitudinal stability - converting airspeed to lift coefficient

Hello,

as some of you probably remember from my previous threads, I am currently working on my thesis related to flight testing. While describing steps for creating stick-fixed static longitudinal stability characteristics, I have encountered one little issue which I do not understand. Maybe you will be able to help me..

According to Kimberlin's "Flight Testing of Fixed Wing Aircraft", first step is to plot elevator position vs calibrated airspeed for each flight at different CG position. Based on the points you create the curves. Until now all clear. After that there is another step in which you plot elevator position vs lift coefficient CL (which is supposed to be obtained from airspeed).

I know that CL can be calculated from the lift formula (L = (1/2) d v2 s CL). Lift itself must equal the airplane's weight.. but that is true only for straight and level flight. In case of climb or descent, to know the lift we must know the angle of attack. If that is true, I do not know why Kimberlin does not mention it while describing parameters which must be recorded during actual flight test. And apparently flights are conducted in climb, cruise and approach condition. Am I missing something?

Enclosed you can see a pdf containing two screenshots - first one show the first and second step (converting airspeed to CL), the other one describes flight test method.

Thank you!

P.
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steps and ft method.pdf (185.3 KB, 29 views)
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Old 23rd Jun 2018, 22:16
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No, you don't need AoA, you need the climb/descent angle, and weight. The angle is easily calculated from (true) airspeed and rate of climb or descent.

https://www.princeton.edu/~stengel/MAE331Lecture7.pdf

You may be misled by some textbooks that use alpha, rather than the more conventional gamma (or frankly just about any other greek letter!) to describe that angle, and thought it was referring to AoA. You might find it helps taking an hour or two to derive the equations from basic principles, which helps them make a lot more sense. Plenty of good textbooks will lead you by the hand through that - my copy's in the office and I'm at home (it being Saturday evening!) but IIRC Anderson's "Introduction to Flight" does this well and is presently a very popular book in many universities.

G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 23rd Jun 2018 at 22:38.
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 09:26
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Thank you Genghis! I only wonder why they did not mention it among other parameters to record during flight test.. There is airspeed, elevator position, longitudinal control force, fuel consumed (to calculate current weight) but no angle of climb / descent.
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 13:23
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There is no direct readout of climb / descent angle in any aircraft.

There is a direct readout of RoC/RoD (although VSIs aren't all that precise and it's better to derive it from altimeter and stopwatch). There is a readout of IAS, which you need to route through intermediate stages of CAS, EAS, to TAS.

The angle (within the local parcel of air that the aircraft's travelling in) is then determined easily enough from RoC and TAS.

G
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Old 27th Jun 2018, 12:30
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
There is no direct readout of climb / descent angle in any aircraft.


G
The velocity vector or flight path marker symbology in many aircraft shows climb/descent angle.
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Old 27th Jun 2018, 16:40
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Lift itself must equal the airplane's weight.. but that is true only for straight and level flight.
In straight and level flight lift must exceed weight in a conventional aeroplane.
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Old 28th Jun 2018, 21:04
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Originally Posted by Gadget freak View Post
The velocity vector or flight path marker symbology in many aircraft shows climb/descent angle.
(a) I'm not sure I'd trust that for flight mechanics research.

(b) I'm guessing that's based on GPS, which is definitely NBG for flight mechanics work, which you want to be based upon an understanding of what's going on in the parcel of air you're flying in at the time - not earth axes.

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Old 28th Jun 2018, 21:05
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Originally Posted by dook View Post
In straight and level flight lift must exceed weight in a conventional aeroplane.
Errrr ?

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Old 29th Jun 2018, 08:23
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b) I'm guessing that's based on GPS, which is definitely NBG for flight mechanics work, which you want to be based upon an understanding of what's going on in the parcel of air you're flying in at the time - not earth axes.
AHRS/IRS, surely?
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 11:04
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Genghis,

In a conventional (non canard) aeroplane, for longitudinal stability, the tailplane produces a downforce.

This effectively adds to the weight of the aeroplane.

d
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 13:32
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That's a very odd interpretation. Most of us class lift as the total net lift from wings, surfaces and airframe - not just the wing.

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Old 13th Jul 2018, 16:09
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
That's a very odd interpretation. Most of us class lift as the total net lift from wings, surfaces and airframe - not just the wing.

G
I wonder if Dook means that the elevator produces downforce (or upforce) whereas the tailplane produces lift (which is what you are saying, G, in slightly different words).
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Old 13th Jul 2018, 17:30
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Well of course it does, but you still take total lift on the airframe, just as you take total mass, total thrust and total drag for determination of aircraft performance.

An aerofoil's Cl is not the same as the whole aeroplane's Cl. (The reference area mind you can be slightly problematic, but so long as you use the same figure for all calculations, that generally resolves itself.).

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