Anatomy of the Aeroplane by Darrol Stinton

By Darrol Stinton

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The higher is A, the lower is DL. An example is that of the changes made by the European Consortium, Airbus Industrie, to its A340-300 airliner, to counter the transatlantic challenge posed by the US Boeing 777-300. 11 shows that the basic European aeroplane is enlarged and re-winged to produce two new variants. The first, the A340-500, is stretched by means of structural ‘plugs’ or inserts, turning it into an ultra long-haul version of the basic A340-300 (designed for 295 passengers). The manufacturer claims that the plugs increase design cruising speed, in spite of modest increases in frontal area and wetted-area of skin.

Fig. 3 Basic aerofoil geometry. The pressure over an aerofoil surface is made up of three components, the last two of which have been combined here. The resultant pressure is approximated to the algebraic sum of: (a) The pressure arising from the displacement of the air around the basic symmetrical section at zero angle of attack — clearly a function of the thickness distribution along the chord. (b) The pressure distribution over a thin plate having the same camber distribution and generating the same lift as the aerofoil in question.

However, there are limits to the approach speed, which is the most important single parameter governing the ability of a pilot to break cloud after an instrument approach and line up on the runway. One manufacturer has said that it is possible to ‘side-step’ a transport aircraft more than 0 100ft laterally at 100k on a 3 glide path, with 100 ft between the cloud base and the ground. As the approach speed rises the distance decreases until at 120k the limit of the 'side-step’ is about 80ft, at 140k about 40ft and only about 20ft at 160k.

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