New PDF release: A probabilistic approach for examining aircraft concept

By D. N. Mavris, D. A. DeLaurentis

Airplane layout three (2000) seventy nine - a hundred and one

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Many a ship gives out a sigh or a short howl just before it “lets go” in the stall. These sounds are purely a matter of chance, of course, and vary from ship to ship. But it has been se­ riously proposed that airplanes be equipped with some musical in­ strument similar to an aeolian harp, on which the relative wind would play different notes at different air speeds! Even the unskilled ear of the beginning student can easily hear and interpret the sounds of flight. The catch is that the beginner does not pay attention to them.

If a 2 ,500-pound airplane is in steady flight, that is, neither ballooning nor dropping nor looping the loop nor flying a curve, then its wings are developing 2,500 pounds of lift; not 2,499, not 2,501, but exactly 2,500. This idea, properly understood, throws much light on the art of flying. There are two ways of understanding it. Perhaps one should read up on elementary physics— on the laws of motion, on gravita­ tion, on the behavior of falling bodies, on the difference between steady motion and acceleration.

These sounds are purely a matter of chance, of course, and vary from ship to ship. But it has been se­ riously proposed that airplanes be equipped with some musical in­ strument similar to an aeolian harp, on which the relative wind would play different notes at different air speeds! Even the unskilled ear of the beginning student can easily hear and interpret the sounds of flight. The catch is that the beginner does not pay attention to them. In his ground life he judges speed by eye; and in the air he does not think of judging speed by ear any more than he would try to judge it by smell.

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A probabilistic approach for examining aircraft concept feasibility and viability by D. N. Mavris, D. A. DeLaurentis


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