rate or roll
Stability and Control of aircraft
11
th
January 2013
Page 1
Abstract
The main objective of this experiment is to investigate the dimensionless rollingmoment
duetorateofroll derivative L
p
. During the course of study of a straight tapered wing which
was modelled in open circuit wind tunnel at range of air velocity, Experimental value of L
p
was obtained. Theories such as Strip theory, Modified strip Theory and Lifting line theory
will be used to obtain theoretical predictions for both elliptical wing models and straight
tapered wing models, which will provide necessary meaning into comparing the difference or
similarities between experimental and theoretical prediction of L
p
. Higher air velocity led to
greater L
p
value as expected due to need for wing to be greater resistance against the roll.
There is a significant percentage error in the results obtained due to several factors which has
been explained later in the report.
Table of Contents
Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... 1
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 2
Background Theory ................................................................................................................................. 2
Theoretical estimates for L
p
................................................................................................................ 2
Derivation for Theoretical estimate for L
p
of Straighttapered wing .................................................. 4
Apparatus and Instrumentation ............................................................................................................. 7
Experimental Procedure ......................................................................................................................... 7
Results ..................................................................................................................................................... 8
Raw data ............................................................................................................................................. 8
Calculation of Experimental value of L
p
............................................................................................ 10
Calculation of angle of attack of the wings relative to the wind ...................................................... 15
Calculation of Reynolds Number based on mean wing chord .......................................................... 16
Calculating Theoretical values of L
p
.................................................................................................. 17
Discussion.............................................................................................................................................. 20
Errors ..................................................................................................................................................... 21
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 21
References ............................................................................................................................................ 22
Page 2
Introduction
The dimensionless rollingmomentduetorateofroll derivative, L
p
is one of the most
important lateral aerodynamic derivatives. L
p
is equal to the roll rate of the aircraft, p when an
aircraft is rolling. For conventional aircraft the major contribution to L
p
comes from the
wings which provide great resistance to rolling causing such motion to be heavily damped.
The downwardgoing wing has its incidence increased so that the lift on it will also normally
increase. The converse is true for the upwardgoing wing. The net effect is a rolling moment
opposing the motion. The moments acting on the plane balance each other and thus the
aircraft resists any rolling that occurs and remains stable.
Background Theory
Theoretical estimates for Lp
Elliptical wings
Consider the chord wise strip of an elliptical wing of span dy at a distance y from the axis of
rotation shown in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: An elliptical wing
 Simple Strip Theory
When the elliptical wing is rolling at an angular rate p, the element will have an incidence
change given by tan
1
for moderate rate of roll. The lift curve slope of the
profile is a
[1]
Where dC
L
is the change in lift coefficient and d is the change in incidence.
Change in incidence is or can be written as:
[2]
Page 3
Change in lift coefficient is given by:
w
L
S U
dl
dC
2
2
1
[3]
Where dl is the change in lift, is the density of air and S
w
is surface area of the wing.
Now substituting equation [2] and [3] into equation [1] and then rearranging will give
following equation.
dl = y c U py a o .
2
1
[4]
Where
=
s
s
dy cy U p a L
2
2
1
}
=
s
s
dy cy pa U L
2
2
1
[6]
If the liftcurve slope, a
is assumed uniform across the span of an elliptical wing. Then
16
2
2
1
2
p a
s S U
L
C
w
L
= =
[7]
Where
U
s p
p
2
=
Hence, the rolling moment due to rate of roll for an elliptical wing is given by:
Page 4
16
) 2 (
2
1
) / (
2
0
=
c c
=
a
s S U
p L
L
w
p
P
[8]
Expression of L
p
given in equation [8] only works for an elliptical wing configuration for a
two dimensional case.
 Modified Strip Theory
The simple strip theory does not allow for the downwash associated with the trailing vortex.
But the modified strip theory makes the allowance for the downwash by correcting the lift
curve slope for the effects of finite aspect ratio, AR and using the wing angle of attack, a
w
instead of lift curve slope, a
+
=
AR
a
a
L
P
t
1 16
[9]
 Lifting Line Theory
The modification of liftcurve slope, a
used above is strictly based on symmetrical spanwise
loading of the wing. But while rolling, the incremental loading is antisymmetrical. The
resulting expression for the lifting line theory for an untwisted elliptical wing is shown
below:
)
`
+
=
AR
a
a
L
P
t
2
1 16
[10]
This makes the wing effectively acting as two separate wings, each of half the aspect ratio.
Derivation for Theoretical estimate for Lp of Straighttapered wing
Consider the straighttapered wing planform shown in figure 2. The three theories can be
derived based on geometry of wing.
Figure 2: A straight tapered wing
 Simple Strip Theory
Page 5
The dimensionless rolling moment due to ate of roll derivative, L
p
defined by:
[11]
Rearranging equation [11] gives:
()
[12]
Equating [11] and [12] gives:
()
()
()
()
Now, let
()
[13]
Calculating a specific value for x allows the modification of the elliptical wing formulas.
Firstly solving the integral in the denominator of equation [13]
Substituting
)+
)/
)/
.
(
Page 6
[14]
In this experiment, Geometries of wing were measured to be :
Substituting these geometries of wing in equation [14] gives :
[15]
Recalling equation[13].
()
Here, and
=0.0486 m
2
Now x can be calculated by substituting those values mentioned above and [15] into equation [13].
14.30
Recalling the original L
p
equation:
()
Hence by replacing x back into the equation, L
p
estimates using the strip theory for a
straighttapered wing is found which is:
Although the value for x was calculated for the two dimensional case, the value can still
applied to 3D cases. Hence we can adjust the modified strip theory and lifting line theories
for straight tapered wings:
 Modified Strip Theory
Modified strip theory can be adjusted to:

[17]
 Lifting Line Theory
Lifting line theory can be adjusted to:
Page 7

[18]
Apparatus and Instrumentation
The Straight tapered wing model of moderate aspect ratio is placed in the working section of
open circuit wind tunnel. The model wing is mounted on a freely rotating shaft and is aligned
with the direction of the flow. The wing
swiftly attains a steady rollrate p, since the
applied moment is balanced by the counter
acting aerodynamic moment.
Figure I: Straight tapered wing model
Figure II: Weight pan suspended by a cord
An external rolling moment is applied by adding
weights to a weight pan suspended by a cord
wound around a bobbin connected on the shaft.
The rolling moment is applied by adding weights
of upto 2.5 kg in an increment of 0.5 kg to the
weight pan.
Figure I: Straight tapered wing model
An external rolling moment is applied by adding
weights to a weight pan suspended by a cord
wound around a bobbin connected on the shaft.
The rolling moment is applied by adding weights
of upto 2.5 kg in an increment of 0.5 kg to the
weight pan.
Page 8
Experimental Procedure
1) The Atmospheric Pressure and room temperature of the room (where experiment is
going to be conducted) were noted.
2) The dimensions of the straight tapered wing were measured using measuring tape.
3) The distance travelled by weight pan for five revolutions was measured in order to
estimate the effective radius of bobbin on which the cord was wound.
4) The lever handle was turned in the clockwise direction to rewind the cord and gear
was engaged to make sure cord stayed in place and fully wounded before starting the
motion.
5) The motion was started with tunnel reference pressure of 10 mmH
2
O by disengaging
the gear and releasing weight from the rest.
6) The time displayed for ten revolutions of shaft was noted and time was reset to zero
afterwards.
7) Steps 4 to 6 were repeated for two more tunnel reference pressure of 12 mmH
2
O and
14 mmH
2
O, with series of mass upto 2.5 kg for positive rate of roll and for negative
rate of roll incrementing the mass by 0.5 kg in each case.
Results
Raw data
Atmospheric pressure, P
atm
= 745 mmHg
Atmospheric temperature, T
atm
= 21C
Figure III: Electric timer
Electric timer was used to record time taken for
shaft to complete 10 revolutions. The speed of
rotation is estimated from the frequency of pulse
generated photoelectrically by a beam of light,
which shines through two drilled holes at right
angles to each other and to the axis of rotation,
through a boss on the shaft.
Page 9
Figure 1: Geometry of Straight tapered wing
Wing span = 51.5 cm =0.515 m
Wing tip = 6.4 cm =0.064 m
Wing chord = 12.5 cm =0.125 m
Length before 5 revolution, l
1
= 92 cm =0.92 m
Length after 5 revolution, l
2
=58.5 cm =0.585 m
l= l
1

l
2
=0.920.585 m =0.335 m
Table 1: Raw data from experiment
Pressure[mmH
2
O]
Mass[kg] Time in seconds for 10 revolutions
Clockwise Anticlockwise
10
0.5 32.21 31.19
1 15.15 15.03
1.5 9.05 9.17
2 6.38 6.84
2.5 4.94 4.96
3 3.35 3.09
12
0.5 33.11 31.18
1 16.02 16.10
1.5 10.06 10.11
2 7.03 7.12
2.5 6.01 5.99
3 4.35 4.13
14
0.5 34.05 31.84
1 16.38 16.17
1.5 10.93 11.07
2 7.90 7.90
2.5 6.03 6.03
3 5.34 5.33
Tip
Chord
Span
Page 10
Calculation of Experimental value of Lp
From equation [11] ,
Rearranging the equation gives:
Experimental value of L
p
can be obtained by dividing the gradient of linear portion of L
against p graph by
 Calculating air velocity inside the wind tunnel for each Pressure.
Calculation is demonstrated for lowest tunnel reference Pressure10 mmH
2
O.
Where k is tunnel calibration constant which is equals to 1.03.
Following the steps, air velocity for two other tunnel reference pressure is calculated which is
shown in Table 2 below.
Table 2: Tunnel reference pressure and corresponding air velocity
Tunnel reference pressure
[mmH2O]
Tunnel reference Pressure
[Pa]
Air velocity
[m/s]
10 98.1 13.09
12 117.72 14.34
14 137.34 15.48
 Calculating area of wing, S
w
by assuming wing as two trapeziums.
( )
Where in this case
Page 11
( )
Hence
 Calculating rate of roll, p.
Where T is time period and can be obtained by the time taken for wing to complete 10
revolutions divided by 10.
Calculation is demonstrated for 0.5 kg loading which took 32.21 s to revolve 10 times
clockwise at lowest speed.
Following the steps, rate of roll is obtained using corresponding data and shown in
Table 4, Table 5 and Table 6
 Calculating applied rolling moment, L:
Where is mass, and is radius of the bobbin
needs to be calculated using formula
Where is number of revolutions the wing experiences. For the purpose of
measuring the cord length 5 revolutions were observed.
L is the change of the length of the chord before and after the 5 revolutions.
Rearranging the equation gives:
Demonstrating to find L for 0.5kg mass.
Following the steps, applied rolling moment, L is obtained using corresponding data
and shown in Table 4, Table 5 and Table 6
Page 12
Table 4: Results for 10 mmH
2
O
Mass
[kg]
Applied Rolling
Moment, L
[Nm]
Time period, T [s] Roll rate, p [Rad s
1
]
Clockwise Anticlockwise Clockwise Anticlockwise
0 0.00 3.22 3.12 1.95 2.01
0.5 0.05 1.52 1.50 4.15 4.18
1 0.10 0.91 0.92 6.94 6.85
1.5 0.16 0.64 0.68 9.85 9.19
2 0.21 0.49 0.50 12.72 12.67
2.5 0.26 0.34 0.31 18.76 20.33
Table 5: Results for 12 mmH
2
O
Mass
[kg]
Applied Rolling
Moment, L
[Nm]
Time period, T [s] Roll rate, p [Rad s
1
]
Clockwise Anticlockwise Clockwise Anticlockwise
0 0.00 3.31 3.12 1.90 2.02
0.5 0.05 1.60 1.61 3.92 3.90
1 0.10 1.01 1.01 6.25 6.21
1.5 0.16 0.70 0.71 8.94 8.82
2 0.21 0.60 0.60 10.45 10.49
2.5 0.26 0.44 0.41 14.44 15.21
Table 6: Results for 14 mmH
2
O
Mass
[kg]
Applied Rolling
Moment, L
[Nm]
Time period, T [s] Roll rate, p [Rad s
1
]
Clockwise Anticlockwise Clockwise Anticlockwise
0 0.00 3.41 3.18 1.85 1.97
0.5 0.05 1.64 1.62 3.84 3.89
1 0.10 1.09 1.11 5.75 5.68
1.5 0.16 0.79 0.79 7.95 7.95
2 0.21 0.60 0.60 10.42 10.42
2.5 0.26 0.53 0.53 11.77 11.79
Page 13
Figur2: Graph of Applied rolling moment against roll rate for U
=13.09m/s
Figure 3: Graph of Applied rolling moment against roll rate for U
=14.34m/s
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.16
0.21
0.26
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.16
0.21
0.26
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
30.00 20.00 10.00 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00
L
/
N
m
Roll Rate (p)/rad s
1
APPLIED ROLLING MOMENT AGAINST ROLL
RATE FOR U
=13.09m/s
ANTICLOCKWISE MOMENT
CLOCKWISE MOMENT
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.16
0.21
0.26
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.16
0.21
0.26
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00
L
/
N
m
Roll Rate (p)/rad s
1
APPLIED ROLLING MOMENT AGAINST ROLL
RATE FOR U
=14.34m/s
ANTICLOCKWISE MOMENT
CLOCKWISE MOMENT
Page 14
Figure 4: Graph of Applied rolling moment against roll rate for U
=15.48m/s
Table7 : Obtained experimental L
p
values for each air velocity according to roll direction
Air
velocity
[m s
1
]
Gradient of linear portion of
L against p graph
1/2U
Sw(2s)
2
Experimental L
p
Clockwise Anticlockwise Clockwise Anticlockwise
13.09 0.01930 0.02228
0.09955 0.19387 0.22381
14.34 0.02529 0.02353
0.10906 0.23190 0.21576
15.48 0.02623 0.02676
0.11773 0.22280 0.22731
Note that L
p
value is a negative quantity since it is acting in the opposite direction to actual
roll.
Now Standard Deviation can be used to refine the results obtained for experimental value of
L
p
( )
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.16
0.21
0.26
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.16
0.21
0.26
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
15.00 10.00 5.00 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00
L
/
N
m
Roll Rate (p)/rad s
1
APPLIED ROLLING MOMENT AGAINST ROLL RATE
FOR U
=15.48m/s
ANTICLOCKWISE MOMENT
CLOCKWISE MOMENT
Page 15
Table 9:Standard deviation method outlined
x
x
(x)
2
( )
0.19387
0.219241667
0.025371667 0.000644
0.000152 0.01235
0.2319 0.012658333 0.000160
0.2228 0.003558333 0.000013
0.22381 0.004568333 0.000021
0.21576 0.003481667 0.000012
0.22731 0.008068333 0.000065
Experimental value of L
p
= 0.193870.01235 which should lie between 0.20622 and 
0.18152.
Calculation of angle of attack of the wings relative to the wind
Angle of attack,
)
Where y is the distance from the axis Ox of rotation = 0.2575 m
p is rate of roll at stall which can be found using the value of p where the graph diverges from
a straight line in Figure 2 to Figure 4 and diversion of linear trend on those graphs signify
stalling.
U
)
Table 10: Obtained angle of attack of wing tips
Air
velocity
[ms
1
]
Roll rate, p [Rad s
1
]
Angle of attack at stall,
AoA[degree]
Clockwise Anticlockwise Clockwise Anticlockwise
13.09 9.85 9.19 11.00 10.25
14.34 6.25 8.82 6.40 9.00
15.48 7.95 7.95 7.53 7.53
Page 16
Calculation of Reynolds Number based on mean wing chord
The Reynolds number based on the mean chord for each air velocity can be obtained by
equation:
Where =1.18kg/m
3
,
Mean chord needs to be obtained using the formula:
Hence, For the slowest speed of 13.09 m/s.
Following the steps, Reynolds numbers are obtained for each tunnel reference pressure and
tabulated in Table 11.
Table 11: Reynolds number and L/ U
for each air velocity which is used to plot graph in Figure 5
U
[ ms
1
]
Reynolds
Number
Applied Rolling
Moment, L [Nm]
L/U
Roll rate, p [Rad s
1
]
Clockwise Anticlockwise
13.09 80085.12 0.00 0.000 1.95 2.01
0.05 0.004 4.15 4.18
0.10 0.008 6.94 6.85
0.16 0.012 9.85 9.19
0.21 0.016 12.72 12.67
0.26 0.020 18.76 20.33
14.34 87732.64 0.00 0.000 1.90 2.02
0.05 0.003 3.92 3.90
0.10 0.007 6.25 6.21
0.16 0.011 8.94 8.82
0.21 0.015 10.45 10.49
0.26 0.018 14.44 15.21
Page 17
15.48 94707.2 0.00 0.000 1.85 1.97
0.05 0.003 3.84 3.89
0.10 0.006 5.75 5.68
0.16 0.010 7.95 7.95
0.21 0.014 10.42 10.42
0.26 0.017 11.77 11.79
Figure 5: Graph of L/U
against roll rate for each air velocity and roll direction
Calculating Theoretical values of Lp
Theoretical values of L
p
are obtained using the theories deduced in Background and Theory
section, in order to compare our Experimental values with.
For Elliptical planform,
 Strip Theory
()
()
The strip theory is to be applied for two values of a
, 5.7 rad
1
and 2 rad
1
:
For a
= 5.7 rad
1
0.000
0.005
0.010
0.015
0.020
0.025
30.00 20.00 10.00 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00
L
/
U
Roll Rate (p)/rad s
1
L/U
against Roll rate for each air velocity
Re=80085.10
Clockwise
Re=80085.10
Anticlockwise
Re=87732.64
Clockwise
Re=87732.64
Anticlockwise
Re=94707.2
Clockwise
Re=94707.2
Anticlockwise
Page 18
For a
= 2 rad
1
 Modified Strip Theory

Aspect ratio, AR of tested wing needs to be calculated using formula:
()
()
5.457
Now, Modified strip theory is to be applied for two values of a
, 5.7 rad
1
and 2 rad
1
For a
= 5.7 rad
1
For a
= 2 rad
1
 Lifting line theory

Lifting line theory is to be applied for two values of a
, 5.7 rad
1
and 2 rad
1
For a
= 5.7 rad
1
,

For a
= 2 rad
1
,

For straight tapered planform
 Strip Theory
Page 19
For a
= 5.7 rad
1
For a
= 2 rad
1
 Modified Strip Theory

For a
= 5.7 rad
1
For a
= 2 rad
1
 Lifting Line Theory

For a
= 5.7 rad
1
,

For a
= 2 rad
1
,

All theoretical values of L
p
for elliptical wing model and straight tapered wing model are
tabulated in Table 12 and Table 13 respectively.
Table 12: Theoretical L
p
values for elliptical wing model
a
[rad
1
] Strip Theory Modified Strip Theory Lifting Line Theory
Page 20
5.7 0.35625 0.26736 0.21397
2 0.39270 0.28738 0.22660
Table 13: Theoretical L
p
values for straight tapered wing model
a
[rad
1
] Strip Theory Modified Strip Theory Lifting Line Theory
5.7 0.39860 0.29914 0.23940
2 0.43938 0.32154 0.25354
Discussion
Comparing the graphs from Figure 2 Figure 4 , as the velocity of air is increased inside the
tunnel , the relationship between the roll rate and the applied rolling moment becomes more
linear i.e. stall occurs at a higher applied rolling moment. This suggests that the effect of roll
damping has lessened. Also, Higher air velocity led to greater L
p
value as expected due to
need for wing to be greater resistance against the roll.
In addition, for all three tunnel reference pressures , the corresponding graphs from Figure 2
Figure 4 were fairly symmetrical which means that the magnitude of the values for clockwise
roll rate and anticlockwise roll rate were fairly similar. However, In each graph, the trend for
the clockwise roll direction is more linear than anticlockwise roll direction which indicates
that the roll damping is losing its effect quicker for anticlockwise roll. For the lower speed,
the wing is closer to the stall angle which means fluctuations in drag across the wing is
affecting the roll rate.
From Table 12 and Table 13 , it can be observed that different theories had significant
differences in L
p
values. In order to assess the accuracy of the experimental results against the
theoretical values, the percentage error between the theoretical values and the average
experimental value have been tabulated in Table 14 and Table 15. The average experimental
value of L
p =
0.19387
Table 14: Percentage error for elliptical wing
a
[rad
1
] Strip Theory Modified Strip Theory Lifting Line Theory
5.7 45.58% 27.49% 9.39%
2 50.63% 32.54% 14.44%
Table 15: Percentage error for straight tapered wing
a
[rad
1
] Strip Theory Modified Strip Theory Lifting Line Theory
Page 21
5.7 51.36% 35.19% 19.02%
2 55.88% 39.71% 23.53%
From Table 14 and Table 15, it can be observed that the results of all theories for elliptical
wing models are closer to the experimental values than the results of all theories for the
straighttapered wing. The lifting line theory result for elliptical wing is closer to the
experimental value than the lifting line theory results for the straight tapered wing and
explains that the lift distribution of experimentally used straighttapered wing is similar to
that of considered elliptical wings .
In table 10, the angle of attack at stall decreases as the air velocity is increased for
anticlockwise roll direction while in the case clockwise roll direction, the result shows
anomalous behaviour. The proportionality between angle of attack and air velocity is
expected to be indirect since a higher velocity equates to a greater amount of energy which
can be used to overcome stall.
For straight tapered wings, the lifting line theory was the closest match to the experimental
value of L
p
. This is because it is based on the same planform as the wing model used in the
experiment. Oout of all Theoretical values of L
p
only 0.21397 barely matches the
experimental value of L
p
which was found to lie in between 0.20622 and 0.18152.
Errors
There were many factors that would have affected the results. The main source of error in this
experiment is human error as most of the results deducted are mainly based on recording time
for the shaft to complete ten revolutions. The persons ability of disengaging the gear and
releasing the weight at the same time might have affected time. The person might have
delayed in releasing the weight while the gear had been disengaged already. Another cause
that would have affected the time to complete 10 revolutions is motion of the shaft. In reality
there was presence of some lateral movement whereas in the calculations steady rotations
were assumed. The way to eliminate error is improving use of timing mechanism by using
accurate light gates rather than small beam light pulses.
Also fluctuation in readings of tunnel reference pressure could have contributed towards the
error. It had to be made sure the test was carried out in one constant reading of tunnel
reference pressure by resetting back often. Another way to improve the experimental results
and to reduce the percentage error crept in the calculations is to repeat the measurements and
obtain the values for each tunnel reference pressure and roll direction.
Conclusion
Overall it could be said that the experiment was reasonably successful. The experimental
results were fairly accurate as they confirmed closely to the theoretical values predicted by
Page 22
most of the theories. However, there were minor discrepancies in the results due to errors in
time recording for shaft to revolve 10 times. If this experiment is to be conducted again, the
sources of human errors could be eliminated by making obvious improvements. This would
have given a small percentage error and a better approximation of L
p
value.
References
Bandu, N.P.(2004) Performance, Stability, Dynamics, And Control of Airplanes. 2nd
edition. Virginia: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
DEN 303, Rolling moment due to rate of roll Laboratory Experiment handout. Queen
Mary University of London, 20121013.
DEN 303, Stability and control of aircraft Supplementary notes. Queen Mary
University of London, 20122013.
Dole, C.E., Lewis, J.E (2000). Flight Theory and Aerodynamics: A practical guide for
operational safety. 2nd ed. Canada: John Wiley & Sons. p268271
Phillips, W.F (2004). Mechanics of Flight. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p489493
Swatton, P.J (2011). Principles of Flight for Pilots. West Sussex: Wiley & Sons.
P161162.
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