1925-01-01

THE EVOLUTION OF THE MODERN RACING AIRPLANE 250067

A racing airplane seems to possess a special quality that sets it distinctly apart from the conventional type of airplane; but, unless a person has at least dabbled in its design, he cannot realize the enormous amount of time, effort and ingenuity that has been expended by the designers who have made these super-speed airplanes possible. Therefore, an outline is given of the procedure adopted in designing and producing a specific model of racing airplane, as well as an outline of the yearly progress made in development.
The first procedure is to allocate the work to the various members of the engineering organization. Finally, a type of design is chosen after a series of engineering conferences, and the design section studies the detail design of the component parts. A wing section that is adapted to the design already chosen is developed, and an accurate weight estimate is made of each unit part of the complete airplane. Knowing the weights, the wing and the tail areas are calculated and a new layout is made preparatory to determining the sizes of the various members. When these sizes become known, a fairly definite idea has been obtained as to the over-all dimensions of the airplane. A model, one-twelfth the size of the desired airplane, is constructed from special drawings; it is used for experimental purposes in the wind tunnel, and has a three-fold purpose. First, it gives the designer a true picture of the completed airplane; second, it affords a means of ascertaining by wind-tunnel experiments the maximum speed of the airplane; and third, the controllability and the stability of the racing machine can also be determined by the wind-tunnel-model test. The final design of the airplane and its component parts can then be completed.
Dividing the airplane's component parts into groups, the author discusses present practice in its relation to each group under the headings of wings, tail surfaces, landing gear, fuselage, powerplant and control system.

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