Originally published September 1992
Well, it looks like this will be my last regular contribution to the chapter newsletter. At the end of this month, I'll be taking an early out from the Air Force and going on to bigger and better things.
Before I go, though, I just have to tell you about Oshkosh. There were plenty of great things to see, but the best for me were the forums. I don't have time to describe them all, so I'll just hit a couple that really impressed me. The best were the NASA forums. That was where I was introduced to the current natural laminar flow airfoils that NASA has developed. The one that is relevant to us is the NLF(1)-0414F. This airfoil has laminar flow over 70% of the upper and lower surfaces plus a maximum Cl of 2.7 with a 20% of chord split flap. The Cd of the airfoil is in the .0026-.0030 range, which is incredibly small. That means that a 100 square foot wing would only have a flat plate drag equivalent of .26-.30 square feet. This airfoil also doesn't change its lift when it goes from laminar to turbulent, meaning that if you fly through a rain shower, you just slow down without any large changes in trim. There is also a high speed version of this airfoil that was modified to work up around .7 Mach, although I don't think any of us will be needing that real soon. Mr. Jeffrey Viken of NASA/Langley presented the forum and is coauthor of the report that describes this airfoil. For more information, you'll want to see the NASA Technical Memoranda on these airfoils. They are NASA TM-85788 for the NLF(1)-0414F and NASA TM-87602 for the high speed airfoil.
The other thing I have to tell you about is a magazine called CONTACT! that I came across in the fly market. It is an excellent magazine if you want to know how people are building their airplanes. It isn't very large and is only published 6 times a year, but if you want more than just pretty pictures this is the magazine to get. You can ask Brian Martinez about it at the next meeting, since I showed him all the back issues that I brought from Oshkosh. By the way, there is no advertisement in this magazine, so he doesn't have to answer to anyone but his readers. If you are interested, a subscription is $18/year and the address is:
2900 East Weymouth
Tucson, AZ 85716
That is about it for me. I hope I'll be able to get back for some Chapter 1000 meetings and events in the future. See you all then.
Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 2 March 1997