by Phil Kennedy, SprintAero.
As published in Sport Flying Magazine, Spring 2014.
A RELEVANT QUESTION to our sport might be: “Is drag of low importance because we fly slowly, or do we fly so
slowly because of the drag issues we ignore?”
In recent days we at SprintAero have been blessed with the support of an engineer who just loves to review
things from a first principles point of view. So when I make bland “statements of fact” you can see the lights go on behind his eyes as he determines how to prove or disprove my comments.
The issue that started this article was the discussion of overall drag
and the part that aspect ratio had to play in it.
My statement was the usual “you need high aspect ratios to be efficient” which immediately got the raised eyebrow treatment. He quickly picked
up his laptop and began creating a spreadsheet using the first principles, then after plugging in the basic dimensions of my Corby (all the while
muttering that bland statements that cover everything in one sweep almost never work) we started to get data.
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