Aircraft performance by Maido Saarlas

By Maido Saarlas

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2). An item of considerable practical interest is the minimum point of the total drag curve, as it gives the minimum drag and the maximum lift/drag ratio and later serves to identify useful performance points. To find this point on the drag curve, any one of the drag expressions given above, say Eq. 26) Substituting Eq. 26 back into the drag equation Eq. 27) which states that the minimum drag occurs when the parasite and induced drags are equal and it is independent of altitude. From the drag coefficient, Eq.

The problem must now be further subdivided into two categories because there are basically two types of powerplants used in aircraft: • Power producing—reciprocating engines and turbine engines driv- ing a propeller • Thrust producing—turbojets, ramjets, etc. Power Producing The need for such a division becomes apparent if one considers Eq. 13. 14) where BHP is the total brake horsepower produced by the engines and ␩p is the propeller efficiency. Since the reciprocating and the turboprop engines are power-producing devices, the performance is described by the product of the engine shaft horsepower and the efficiency of the propeller.

Although these minimum expressions will not be used immediately, they are useful for determining the general shape of the power required curve and are essential later for establishing other performance parameters. Returning now to the basic problem at hand: Finding the maximum velocity (a solution to Eq. 7. The powerrequired curves are given for several altitudes at constant weight or nW. Power-available curves for engines as a function of altitude and RPM are supplied by the manufacturer as BHP (brake horsepower) in graphical form (see Appendix D).

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