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com

Disclaimer

Hosting of the this spreadsheet on a website is only authorized with the permission of the author/designer. Email:

suterc@msn.com

Data out is only as accurate as data in. This is not a thousand dollar program that takes into effectall of the complexities of flight in

determining the results. The use of these predictive values work well enough to build and fly a better model airplane. It has proven to

be quite accurate and is better than guessing. However, further flight testing and trimming is required. Before you change a

manufacturers recommendation please consult someone who has flown the model. Please don't hesitate to email for questions,

concerns or suggestions. The author is not responsible for the loss of your model.

General Information

- All that's required is a weight scale and ruler.

- The only measurements required are in "Inches" and "Ounces".

- Fill in ALL the yellow rectangles.

- If you see a Red triangle in the upper right of a rectangle, hover your mouse over it to read the instruction.

What does it do?

This spreadsheet will calculate wing and tiplet areas, aspect ratios, taper ratios and required twist for flying wings. It'll calculate the

percent Mean Aerodynamic Chord and Neutral Point to help determine a center of balance location for a first test flight.

The information does not take into effect, spanwise flows, etc. However, this is a very good starting point for a new model or

verifying manufacturer's supplied information.

I originally started programming this spreadsheet because I crashed a new model on its first flight. The cause of the crash was that

the manufacturer had calculated the balance point incorrectly, over 2" aft! They since submitted a change to the plans. This

spreadsheet will allow simple measurements with a ruler that will perform complicated formulas to determine where the neutral point is

and thus where the center of balance should be for an initial test flight.

Wing Tab

With the sole use of this tab you can determine Wing Area, Wingspan, Wing Loading, Sweepback Angle, Aspect Ratio, Taper Ratio

and Mean Aerodynamic Chord.

Balance Point Tab

To determine a balance point (CG) for a first flight, a static margin of 5-10 percent is generally accepted as a good starting point for

a safe test flight. Flight testing can then narrow the actual balance location by removing noseweight. I personally prefer the dive test

method for refining the balance location.

Panknin Wing Twist Tab

Method formulated by Dr. Walter Panknin for determining wing twist, or washout, for required stability of tailless aircraft.

Changing Reynold's number, airfoils, taper ratio, aspect ratio, sweepback, design lift coefficeint and static margin gives the designer

wide latitude so far as final design.

The idea is to have the elevons in trail with the wing i.e. zero elevon deflection at designed cruise airspeed

How to Find Airfoil Data

This is a tutorial on how to determine the zero lift angle and pitching moment of an airfoil from wind tunnel polar data by either graphs

or tables.

Results Tab

Single page printing of results from all of the above tabs

Glossary Tab

Credits Tab

Please read the credits tab.

Current Version July 2009. Pass Solo all letters.

Model Weight (ounces)

20

1/4 Chord

Sweepback Angle

0

Root Chord 1/4 Chord

9 Sweepback Angle

28 degrees 1/4 Chord

Sweepback Angle

Tip Chord 0 degrees

1st Panel Span 9

4.5 Tip Chord

4.57 Tip Chord

2nd Panel Span 0

19.5

3rd Panel Span

0

Span Chord Span Chord Span Chord

0 0 5 9 24 -2

0 9 24 -2 24 -2

Total Span 48.00 in. 4.5 9 24 -7 24 -2

Total Area 345.62 in

2

4.5 0 5 0 24 -7

Wing Loading 8.33 oz/ft

2

0 0

Effective Wing Loading 10.83 oz/ft

2

Mean Chord (area/span) 7.20 in. AC 0 3.21

Mean Aerodynamic Chord (length) 7.49 in.

Wing Aspect Ratio 6.67 MAC distance 10.63 5.08 MAC Length

Wing Taper Ratio 0.60 MAC distance 10.63 -2.40 MAC Length

Location of 0% point 3.99 in.

Location of 25% point 5.79 in. Red Dashed Line

MAC distance from root 10.63 in. 0.00 10.63

Average .25 chord sweep angle 14.00 degrees 3.21 3.21

Note: Red Triangle is Aerodynamic Center (AC) of the Wing

Blue line is MAC location and length

Where Blue MAC line and Red dashed line intersect is the Aerodynamic Center of the Wing

Total Wing Results

-8

-6

-4

-2

0

2

4

6

8

10

0 5 10 15 20 25 30

I

n

c

h

e

s

Inches

Does your wing look like this?

Span Chord Span Chord Span Chord

0 0 5 9 24 -2

0 9 24 -2 24 -2

4.5 9 24 -7 24 -2

4.5 0 5 0 24 -7

0 0

0 3.21

0 3.21 0.00 10.63

3.21 3.21

10.63 5.08

10.63 -2.40

Note: Blue Dash is the balance location with the static margin specified in Row 38

Red Triangle is Aircraft's Neutral Point at the Wings Root

Blue Line is the MAC location and length

Where Blue MAC line and Red dashed line intersect is the Neutral Point of the Wing

Warning!: For the first flight of a model the red Triangle, (neutral point of the plane) should NEVER be forward of the blue Line, (CG).

Static

Margin (%)

Distance

(inches)

% MAC

Neutral Point (%MAC) 0.0 5.79 25.0

Enter Static Margin 0.0 5.79 25.0

Enter actual CG from L.E. 7.00 inches -16.8 %

Enter % MAC 21.0 % 4.0 %

Static Margin Converter

Static Margin

-8

-6

-4

-2

0

2

4

6

8

10

0 5 10 15 20 25 30

I

n

c

h

e

s

Inches

Does your wing look like this?

What Affects Geometric Twist?

The Reynolds number.

The wings sweepback, aspect and taper ratios.

The airfoils zero lift angle and pitching moments and the design lift coeffecient

The Static Margin i.e. Balance Point

Speed 35 mph Design Parameter Tables

Result 196568

Root Zero Lift Angle -3.650 Static Margin 8.0 CL 0.14

Root Cmo -0.097 CL Twist (degrees) SM (%)Twist (degrees) CG

Tip Zero Lift Angle 1.730 0.1 #DIV/0! 0.5 #DIV/0! 5.75

Tip Cmo 0.025 0.2 #DIV/0! 1.0 #DIV/0! 5.72

CL Manually Calculated 0.00 0.3 #DIV/0! 1.5 #DIV/0! 5.68

CL Automatic Value 0.166 0.4 #DIV/0! 2.0 #DIV/0! 5.64

Static Margin 8.00 % 0.5 #DIV/0! 2.5 #DIV/0! 5.61

Aerodynamic Twist -20.06 degrees 0.6 #DIV/0! 3.0 #DIV/0! 5.57

0.7 #DIV/0! 3.5 #DIV/0! 5.54

0.8 #DIV/0! 4.0 #DIV/0! 5.50

0.9 #DIV/0! 4.5 #DIV/0! 5.46

Geometric Twist -14.68 degrees 1.0 #DIV/0! 5.0 #DIV/0! 5.43

Geometric Twist 1.20 inches

Estimated Speed 35 mph Cl = 0.166

CL = 0.136 Speed = 38 mph

Speed Calculator

Table 2

REQUIRED WING TWIST

Reynolds Number

Airfoil Data Required Twist vs SM Required Twist vs Cl

Table 1

Note: Enter the number "zero"

to have Cl automatically

calculated

Graph Method

* I've copied data from the SD7037 airfoil below:

* The polars we're interested in are Cl/Alpha and Cm/Alpha

Direct Reading Method

How to find airfoils zero lift angles (ZLA) and moment of coefficient (Cmo)

* The values for ZLA and Cmo must be obtained from published wind tunnel airfoil data (polars) with such

programs as Xfoil, XFLR5, and Java Foil among many others. See the Links Tab

* To obtain the necessary polar data I'll use XFLR5 as an example as I'm familiar with it's use

* To find the Zero Lift Angle refer to the Cl/Alpha graph. The Vertical y-axis is the lift coeffiecient (Cl) and the

horizontal x-axis is the alpha or angle attack (AoA). We're interested in where the green line crosses the Alpha at

a Cl of zero, in this case it's -2.5 which is our ZLA. This means that this airfoil will not produce any lift with its

leading edge pointed down -2.5 degrees.

* To find the moment of coefficient enter the Cm/Alpha graph with the ZLA found in the step above, move down to

the green line then to the right to find the Cm which in this case is -.07

ZLA

Cmo

Note:

* Shown below is the operating points view. Specify Cl and enter zero for Start and End and select Viscous then

click Analyze. After the airfoil is analyzed viscously, uncheck the Viscous box and then click analyze again and

the data will be automatically calculated in the lower center of the screen. If the CL = 0 then read the Alpha and

Cmo. This data matches exactly what I find with published airfoil data.

* Viscous or Non-viscous (inviscid)

-- It's important to note that I have no practical experience with polars or designing my own tailless swept wings.

To obtain polar information for an airfoil a Reynolds number must be specified which is Viscous data. However,

after comparing data with other modelers published work, Non-viscous or Inviscid data matches exactly with their

published ZLA and Cmo data. Reynolds numbers aren't applicable with Inviscid airfoil data. This is why you see

different values from Viscous in the Polar/Graph Method versus the Direct Reading Method that used Inviscid.

Cl = 0

Alpha = -

3.31

Decimal Metric

Total Span 48.00 in. 1219

Total Area 346

in

2

22.30

Wing Loading 8.33

oz/ft

2

25.42

Effective Wing Loading 10.83

oz/ft

2

33.04

Mean Chord (area/span) 7.20 in. 183

Mean Aerodynamic Chord (length) 7.49 in. 190

Wing Aspect Ratio 6.67 6.67

Wing Taper Ratio 0.60 0.60

Location of 25% AC 5.79 inches aft of root leading edge 147

Wing Sweepback at .25 Chord Point 14.00 degrees 14.00

Balance Point

Location of Neutral Point 5.79 inches aft of root leading edge 147

Note: Balance model forward of this location

Static Margin Specified 0.00 % 0.00

Balance point with above Static Margin 5.79 inches aft of root leading edge 147

Percent of MAC with above balance location 25.00 % 25.00

Required Wing Twist

Twist Required -14.68 degrees -14.68

Twist Required 1.20 inches measured in profile view 30

Reynolds Number 196568 196568

Designed Cl 0.17 0.17

0.00

0.00

0.00

TOTAL WING RESULTS

mm

dm

2

gr/dm

2

gr/dm

2

mm

mm

millimeters aft of root leading edge

degrees

millimeters aft of root leading edge

%

millimeters aft of root leading edge

%

degrees

millimeters measured in profile view

mm aft of root leading edge

%

mm aft of root leading edge

Aerodynamic Center (AC)

The place on the glider where all aerodynamic forces may be assumed to act as a single force, i.e 25%

MAC

Aerodynamic Twist The angle between the zero-lift angle of an airfoil and the zero-lift angle of the root airfoil." In essence,

this means that the airfoil of the wing would actually change shape as it moved farther away from the

fuselage

Airfoil Moment Coefficients (Cmo)

A number that gives you a relative measure of how much nose-over torque the airfoil is generating. It is

typically measured about the 25% of the chord. A negative sign implies that the airfoil wants to naturally

rotate nose-down.

Airfoil Zero Lift Angles (ZLA)

The angle of attack of the airfoil that produces zero lift. The zero lift angles of the root and tip airfoils

influence the geometric wing twist required.

Angle of Attack (AoA)

Angle between the chordline of an airfoil and the oncoming wind. It's the difference between where you

are pointed and where you are going. Not referenced to horizon, but direction of travel.

Area

The total surface area of a wing, tail or fin

Aspect Ratio (AR)

The ratio of the wings span to the wings average chord. The greater the aspect ratio, the less twist is

required. However, as aspect ratio increases, and the wing chord gets proportionally smaller, it becomes

more difficult to build a strong stiff wing.

Center of Gravity (CG)

For modeling purposes, this is the point at which the glider balances fore and aft

Chord

A line connecting the leading edge to the trailing edge of a surface

Coefficient of Lift (Cl)

Is a number associated with a particular shape of an airfoil, and is incorporated in the lift equation to

predict the lift force generated by a wing using this particular cross section. The greater the design

coefficient of lift, the more wing twist will be required. The design coefficient of lift should be the

coefficient of lift at cruise speed so that trim drag is minimized. Some amount of up trim is expected to

be necessary for thermalling.

Drag Coefficient (Cd)

A unitless number for estimating the effective force produced by drag on an object.

Geometric Twist

An actual change in the airfoil angle of incidence, usually measured with respect to the root airfoil.

Lift Coefficient (Cl) A number that tells you a relative measure of how much lift an airfoil is producing at a given angle of

attack. It grows linearly by about 0.10 per degree of angle of attack until stall; typically around 15

degrees.

Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC)

The average chord length of the wing

Neutral Point (NP)

This is the aerodynamic center of the whole aircraft. It's the position through which all net lift acts

Reynolds' Number (Re)

The most important parameter in aerodynamics. This number has no dimensions, but it encompasses

almost everything about a certain flight condition; among these parameters are chordlength, flight

velocity and air density. Low-Reynolds Numbers, 200,000 or less, refer to smaller chordlengths or slower

flight speeds such as those found on R/C Models.

Span

The distance from wingtip to wingtip

Static Margin (SM)

The distance between the aerodynamic center and the center of gravity as measured in percent of the

mean aerodynamic chord. A measure of the amount of static stability possessed by a glider. Increased

static stability (CG further ahead of the neutral point) dictates increased wing twist.

Sweep Back Angle

The angle in degrees the leading edge is swept aft from root to tip. The greater the sweep back angle,

the less twist will be required. However, angles of sweep in excess of 20-degrees adversely affect air

flow over the wing and may lead to control problems

Taper Ratio

The ratio the wings chord tapers from root to tip. The greater the taper ratio, the more twist will be

required. This is due to the loss of airfoil efficiency as the wing tip chord gets smaller.

Wing Loading

This is the amount of gross weight that each square foot of wing must support in flight to provide lift,

expressed as "ounces per square foot"

Wash-out

Leading Edge of Wing twists nose down when going from wings root to tip

Wash-in

Leading Edge of Wing twists nose up when going from wings root to tip

Herk Stokely

I've never met Herk in person but he helped me understand terms such as the Mean Aerodynamic Chord, Static

Margin etc. Thanks so much to Herk for all his excellent knowledge and patience with my numerous questions.

Martin Simons

Martin's book "Model Aircraft Aerodynamics" is a must read for any model airplane designer or wanting to

understand more about aerodynamics.

Others

There are to many others to name that have answered my questions throughout the years. Many have come

from the internet newsgroups. I highly recommend reading these groups and other periodicals as there is a

wealth of information on the design and flying of R/C sailplanes.

Myself

I started this spreadsheet in the early 1990's as I got interested in sailplanes, I was previously a "wet" flyer. As I

trained for my full size fixed wing pilots certificate I found that I enjoyed the learning of the aerodynamics involved

in what makes airplanes fly. Reading Martin's book I thought it'd be nice to input this data for quick comparison

between models. It's grown into what you see today. All I have done is take others knowledge and placed their

formulas into a spreadsheet.

I encourage constructive comments to improve this work. Please email suterc@msn.com

Curtis Suter, Designer.

XFLR5 Airfoil and Wing Analysis Tool

SoarTech Aero Publications

UIUC Applied Aerodynamics Group

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