Your thoughts are welcome...
steve at aeroexeriments dot...
September 16, 2006 edition
Your thoughts are welcome, particularly if you are a formally trained aerodynamicist or an aircraft designer or professional test pilot, none of which am I.
One of the most complex and challenging topics addressed by these exploration pages is the question of to what degree flex-wing hang gliders exhibit a "positive coupling between yaw (slip) and roll" or a "negative coupling between yaw (slip) and roll" in various parts of the flight envelope, i.e. at various airspeeds and VG settings, both in the context of the roll torque generated by a sideways component in the relative wind, and in the context of the roll torque generated by a complete yawing motion including the difference in airspeed between the two wingtips. A closely related and equally complex and challenging topic is the question of what are the key aerodynamic effects that make a flex-wing hang glider more spirally unstable when the VG is tight than when the VG is loose. While I've carried out some rather unique experiments to address these questions, there are undoubtedly many other people who can also shed some light on these issues, both based on practical piloting techniques and based on experience gained from trial and error while designing and testing new hang gliders. If your practical flight experience or theoretical understanding supports or conflicts with the conclusions I've presented here, or if you can offer alternative explanations for the experimental observations that I've presented here, I'd be pleased to hear from you.
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