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Presentation to the MacDonald College

 

The applicability of the concept depends on what has to be lifted, how far and fast, how safely and I must add on who is to pay for the development.

 

The first question deals probably with the most severe limitation of the wing only airplane concept. It offers very small internal volume to carry things. This drawback would manifest itself be it a sailplane or a flying wing replica of the 747.

 

The requirements of speed brings the profusion of design problems. The laws of aerodynamics impose different demands on shapes suitable for low sub-to hypersonic flight.

 

Finally, the safety of flight is strongly related to the quality of flight. We don't want any high performing Bronco's. Therefore, the inherent stability and easy control must be a feature of the design.

 

As we know, stability and manoeuvrability are mutually antagonistic features, yet all flying machines must pocess an acceptable compromise to the pilot.

 

The birds are not bothered by these human deficiencies. They are able to instinctively and instantly reconfigure to cope with the disturbance. Our own creations have to be stable enough to relieve the pilot of the need for instant and continuous reactions.

 

Currently, the requirement for inherent stability is being relieved for some airplanes thanks to the artificial stability provided by active controls. This is made possible by the developments in electronics and computers bringing us one step closer to birds flight.

 

This development permits the Northrop B-2 stealth bomber to be a real flying wing. Yet not so long ago, Northrop's similar flying wing bomber XB-49 was rejected by the pentagon for not being a steady enough bombing platform. So much for generalities

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