Topic Author
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:15 am

Width Affecting Aerodynamic Efficiency

Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:33 am

Hey guys

I remember reading a while back that it helps increase aerodynamic efficiency for an airplanes width to be more aerodynamically efficient if it rapidly increases. The example given is engines under the wings make the change in width from the fuselage to the wing tips more rapid than just following the leading edge of the wing. Am I crazy and mis remembering or is this a real thing?

DH1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30/80 717 727 735/6/7/8/9 744 762/3 77E/W E40/75/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150
J/S DH8D 736/7/8
User avatar
Posts: 17891
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Width Affecting Aerodynamic Efficiency

Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:11 am

I think you're talking about "area ruling". However it is not really about rapid change; more like "even" change.

Area ruling works like this. The "ideal" aerodynamic shape is like a tapered cigar. Think the fuselage of a Lockheed Constellation. The central concept is that the cross sectional area must taper, even if it is not shaped like a cigar. So you will have little area at the nose, growing towards the middle, and tapering off towards the tail. If you look at a 380 from below, you will see that the wing/fuselage fairing is quite "fat" in the rear. This avoids a drastic decrease in cross sectional area and makes the cross sectional area tapering smooth. The engines and flap track fairings play important roles in area ruling as well.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos