Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

Gillette Wings

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

Gillette Wings

Old 1st Oct 2021, 01:19
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: unknown
Posts: 3
Gillette Wings

Just read about them recently and they were given this term by test pilots referencing the famous razor manufacturer. If you are flying an aircraft with Gillette wings, they are sharp enough to cut you. Why would wings be manufactured that are so sharp. It has to do with supersonic drag as explained here.

bi convex wing - Google Search

You can read some history about them here in the race to break the 'sound barrier'.

Bullet planes, fatal crashes – and the top secret British project to break the sound barrier first | National Geographic

Any further info is welcome.
tcasblue is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2021, 02:30
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,188
The National Geographic link contains misinformation about the M.52/X-1. The following paras are nonsense, though being a UK publication it's expected the fallacious Eric Brown story would prevail,
While propulsion evidently wasn't a problem, stability at that speed was; with Miles ordered to share intel with the American company, some sources insist the Bell X-1 incorporated – at test stage – a baked-in element of the British M.52 design; the moving tailplane, designed to counteract a dangerous aerodynamic consequence of going supersonic. Without it, Yeager's record-breaking speed would have been impossible
Those on the X-1 program fully understood the aerodynamics involved, from the outset the aircraft was designed with a trimable tail plane with attached elevators, primary controls were all mechanical. Had the aircraft been fitted with an all flying tail as on the M.52 the pitching moments of the tailplane would have required powered controls, the X-1 was devoid of any power source, having only batteries to power the recorders and pressurised nitrogen for other services (trim motor, also used to pressurise fuel tanks, operate gear, flaps, and cockpit pressurisation).
Because in 1944 the British government agreed to share the secrets of Miles’ designs and work with the Americans: Brown recalled that Bell’s ‘engineers and designers had, on the insistence of the Ministry, had access to all the drawings, calculations and design data relating to the M.52.’ At the time Bell had already begun work on its own design and was wrestling with many of the same issues as Miles, including all-important pitch (the vertical inclination of the nose) control. Crucially they had not achieved the breakthrough with the all-moving tailplane. But by the time Yeager climbed into the cockpit on 14 October – after Bell's engineers had met with the Miles design team – they had.
The information provided to Dr. Millikan was rudimentary (have a copy), not even a scale drawing, he had to draw one from memory back in his hotel room.
Most of the theories concerning how much the Bell X-1 drew on the insights of the M.52 hinge around this tailplane. According to Rod Kirkby, Bell Aircraft decided to increase the power of the tailplane trimmer after talks with the Miles design team, on the off-chance it might be required. In test flights close to Mach 1 in the X-1 Yeager had found the aircraft's pitch almost impossible to control. Fitting an electric switch that controlled the tailplane incidence – Kirkby calls the addition a 'field fix' – solved the problem.
No field fix was involved of this nature occurred, the only field fix was adjustment of the rate of trim and addition of a more powerful trim motor, but that was a result of flight tests and not advice from Miles. No dialogue ever took place between Miles and Bell.
Just how much the Miles design informed the X-1 is not known – despite much rumour – but there is no doubt that without the all-moving tailplane Yeager wouldn’t have broken the sound barrier, or lived to tell the tale.
What Miles informed the US about is known exactly, the recipient of the information, was Doctor Clark B. Millikan, published a report which he forwarded to the United States Navy, of which I have a copy. The X-1 didn't have an all moving tailplane as on the M.52, it had a trimable tailplane with attached elevator, exactly the same as on your Boeing 737. Millikan thought the M.52 all moving tailplane interesting. He saw no reason for the US to pursue any further interest in the M.52. Sorry to be a wet blanket, but one is rather sick and tired of the fable, promoted in the main by Eric Brown, of how the M.52 benefited the X.1 program.
megan is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2021, 17:53
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: unknown
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply which I found quite interesting. Obviously, I am just reading books including several by Eric Brown. About the X-1, he does say that when it ' ran into compressibility problems in 1947, it was rescued by the fitment of the 'flying tail' ". Of course, I am just taking things at face value.

Your statements about the validity of his claims are the first I have heard. Is there some sort of documented controversy about whether his statement is correct. And if not correct, is it just due to an honest misinterpretation.

Did the Bell X-1 have a trimmable stab(like a 737) prior to the meeting with Miles(versus a fixed horizontal stab).

A little off topic but interesting nonetheless.
tcasblue is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2021, 20:19
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,188
The aircraft remained unchanged throughout its life, other than the mods I mentioned above. I'm afraid because of the stature of Eric Brown as a test pilot in Britain his word has been taken by all and sundry as gospel, only one thing wrong, he's barking up a tree. A pilot for the M.52 had never been chosen, Eric because of his position in the industry assumed it was going to be him, thus he had his claim to fame of having his name for ever written in the history books as the first to crack the Mach one was wrest from his grasp. The M.52 would only have been able to make the speed in a dive, not in level flight as had the X-1.

The thread here was the impetus for me to delve into the subject further and obtain the hand written report.made by Doc. Millikan, it took some time to get the story right, I believed the Eric Brown story to begin with, but a read of his M.52 book is so full of easily proven nonsense it makes you wonder if he was senile when writing, I'm more of the opinion that he was just being spiteful at the fact the US got there first. Whatever you do, don't buy his M.52 book, its nothing but rubbish from one cover to the other.

Miles M.52 and the X-1 - again!
megan is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2021, 18:45
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: unknown
Posts: 3
Thanks for the info. Perhaps the book does have some good flying stories.
tcasblue is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2021, 02:37
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 749
It appears that Miles Aircraft wanted to test their supersonic razor wings on a subsonic aircraft first. So they decided to use another Miles built aircraft. This was a regular general aviation aircraft called the Miles Falcon which had 130 hp engine and had its high lift wing which replaced by a wooden razor wing and a single piece horizontal stab.

An original Falcon is shown here:
Miles M.3A Falcon, G-AEEG (museumofberkshireaviation.co.uk)

The modified Falcon is shown here:
Miles Gillette Falcon L9705 (Print #9903761). Photographic Prints (prints-online.com)
punkalouver is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2021, 04:57
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 749
megan

Some interesting info about the X-1 in this long interview

punkalouver is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2021, 02:26
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 749
It is interesting looking into this. One might think Yeager first flew the X-1 but here is an interesting story about its history......

Jack Woolams Archives - This Day in Aviation
punkalouver is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2021, 02:40
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,188
Yeager wasn't even the prime pilot at the start, he was to fly chase, Bob Hoover was the original designated pilot, I'm assuming because of his rocket experience with the Me 163, although he only made glide flights. An indiscretion of giving an impromptu low level air display in a P-80 meant the plum job was taken away from Bob and given to Chuck. The ever humble Bob would have been a far better candidate than the ever egotistical Chuck to have worn the cloak of fame, a crying shame.
megan is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2021, 00:02
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,188
Watched the video you posted above punka, pure comedy, Chuck doesn't let the facts spoil a good story.

He never flew the NF-104 forty times as he states, he crashed it on his forth flight, the real story of his involvement in the program is told by the project test pilot in this link, read all the chapters. Not a glowing testament as to Chucks abilities.

NF104 | Birth of a Spaceplane

Neil Armstrong has a completely different story to Chuck about getting bogged in the the T-33 on the lake, who is one to believe, Neil or Chuck? Chuck might like to explain how it was that an air force truck with towing equipment was waiting near by.

I'll send you a PM with the story.
megan is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 23:54
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 749
megan

I'm sure you know the story but for those who don't, there was another pilot who lost the opportunity to be first. This article also has some interesting technical info and a couple of flying experiences.

Slick Deserves His Due - AVweb
punkalouver is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 05:11
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,188
Should you have an interest in the X-1 story the best book available is "Into The Unknown" by Louis Rotundo, the transfer of the aircraft from Bell to the USAAC is a complicated one and is forthcoming in telling the Goodlin $150,000 story is myth as being a reason for the transfer.Re the PM, Yeager is quite specific in the video above that he made 40 flights in the NF-104, the fact is he didn't, only making 3 flights, the because he lost control at apogee and ejected. Listening to him in the video one gets the impression he was running the NF-104 program, in fact he had absolutely nothing to do with it, other than making an attempt, as an interloper, on the altitude record so as to carve another notch. The altitude record made by the assigned test pilot was never ratified, presumably because another couldn't take a bow where the greatest test pilot that ever lived failed. The NF-104 link will give the whole story. 10,000' was added to the altitude that Yeager did actually reach, I guess so he could do a Maxwell Smart.
megan is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 15:10
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 749
Thanks,

I'll get the book after finishing the NF-104 link.

Here is a podcast that I listened to the other day. Chuck admits that he is outspoken and has some interesting things to say about the design of the Hawker Hunter.

Podcast: The Chuck Yeager Interview (aerosociety.com)

https://boscombedownraes.org/2018/02...space-library/

Last edited by punkalouver; 25th Nov 2021 at 16:56.
punkalouver is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.