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Basic Aircraft Design - Explained Simply, With Pictures


keptin
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25 minutes ago, ToastyOats said:

It'd be really nice if there was a 1.4.5 Update. Or maybe an addition of wing-shapes for Hypersonic craft explanations.

I just reread this.   Up until the the bit about drag, the basics of centre of mass, centre of lift and thrust torque still stand.    The drag stuff is now wildly incorrect.

The stock aero model does not care about wing shape,   Hypersonic wing vs subsonic wing can be the same shape.  Just get your centre of mass / centre of lift right  and avoid the part attachment mistakes that cause abnormally high drag.    

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  • 5 months later...

Hi /r/KerbalSpaceProgram, glad to see players still get use out of this guide! I've considered updating it for sometime. I have may some time coming up--post some suggestions for updates or additional content.

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13 hours ago, keptin said:

Hi /r/KerbalSpaceProgram, glad to see players still get use out of this guide! I've considered updating it for sometime. I have may some time coming up--post some suggestions for updates or additional content.

Nice to see your comeback to KSP after long hiatus. Quite a lot of this guide is still valid even for KSP 1.6.x and probably would be for several next updates. Sure, there some obsolete things, like drag bug being fixed and some new bugs introduced with KSP updating on new unity game engine (wheels autostruting can be issue in some cases) etc. Also, would be nice to see some new tips with more knowledge gained and new stuff become available in KSP itself.

Regardless, welcome back to forums.

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On 9/3/2019 at 10:13 AM, CrudeTree said:

You could add how to land. I always have to just attach parachutes to my airplane cuz I cant risk landing on a runway.

Any stretch of the planet can be counted as a runway. You just have to be madlad enough.

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  • 3 months later...

Just stumbled across this page.  I like most of the info but the parts about the tail horizontal stabilizer being a lifting surface isn't quite right.

A stable conventional aircraft with the horizontal stabilizer in the back (not a canard), with the center of lift behind the center of mass, will have a wing that creates a nose-down pitching moment in addition to "upward" lift.  That means that the tail of a stable conventional aircraft is actually pulling the tail DOWN, not creating lift in the same direction of the wing's lift.  The diagrams and explanations in the original post have the tail's job backwards, essentially.  That's one more reason why a canard aircraft can be more efficient than a conventional tail aircraft, because with a canard both the wing and canard are creating lift while with the conventional design the tail surface is working opposite to the wing's lift in order to counteract the nose-down pitching moment of the wing.  This is true of essentially all conventionally designed "stable" aircraft, in most cases meaning ones with the center of lift (and center of pressure) behind the center of mass (center of gravity).

I'm not sure if this is only a problem with this explanation, or if kerbal is also backwards on how this works...

Here is a guide that shows some more details:  https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/aeronautics-and-astronautics/16-01-unified-engineering-i-ii-iii-iv-fall-2005-spring-2006/systems-labs-06/spl8.pdf

 

Edited by flensr
added reference to MIT paper on aerodynamics
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