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Sailplane glide performance and control using fixed and articulating winglets
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An experimental study was conducted to investigate the effects of controllable articulating winglets on glide performance and yawing moments of high performance sailplanes. Testing was conducted in the Texas A&M University 7xlO foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel using a full-scale model of the outboard 5.6 feet of a 15 meter class high performance sailplane wing. Different wing tip configurations could be easily mounted to the wing model. A winglet was designed in which the cant and toe angles as well as a rudder on the winglet could be adjusted to a range of positions. Cant angles used in the investigation consisted of 5, 25, and 40 degrees measured from the vertical axis. Toe-out angles ranged from 0 to 22.5 degrees. A rudder on the winglet was used to study the effects of changing the camber of the winglet airfoil on wing performance and wing yawing moments. Rudder deflections consisted of -10, 0, and 10 degrees. Test results for a fixed geometry winglet and a standard wing tip are presented to show the general behavior of winglets on sallplane wings, and the effects of boundary- layer turbulators on the winglets are also presented. By tripping the laminar boundary-layer to turbulent before laminar separation occurs, the wing performance was increased at low Reynolds numbers. The effects on the lift and drag, yawing moment, pitching moment, and wing root bending moment of the model are presented. Oil flows were used on the wing model with the fixed geometry winglet and the standard wing tip to visualize flow directions and areas of boundary layer transition. A cant angle of 25 degrees and a toe-out angle of 2.5 degrees provided an optimal increase in wing performance for the cant and toe angles tested. Maximum performance was obtained when the winglet rudder remained in the neutral position of zero degrees. By varying the cant, toe, and rudder angles from their optimized positions, wing performance decreases. Although the winglet rudder proved to be more effective in increasing the yawing moment compared to varying the cant and toe angles, the amount of increased yawing moment was insignificant when compared to that produced by the vertical tail. A rudder on the winglet was determined to be ineffective for providing additional yaw control.
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Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Colling, James David (1995). Sailplane glide performance and control using fixed and articulating winglets. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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