A History of Suction-Type Laminar-Flow Control with Emphasis on Flight Research: From the 1930s to the X-21 and the Boeing 757, Swept Wings, Noise, Insect Contamination, Ice Particles, Supersonic

by Progressive Management

Publisher: Progressive Management

Publication Date: May 18, 2015

ISBN: 9781311801609

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this NASA report presents a history of that portion of laminar-flow technology known as active laminar-flow control, which employs suction of a small quantity of air through airplane surfaces. This important technique offers the potential for significant reduction in drag and, thereby, for large increases in range or reductions in fuel usage for aircraft. For transport aircraft, the reductions in fuel consumed as a result of laminar-flow control may equal 30 percent of present consumption. Laminar-flow control is an area of aeronautical research that has a long history at NASA's Langley Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Center, their predecessor organizations, and elsewhere. In this monograph, Albert L. Braslow, who spent much of his career at Langley working with this research, covers the early history of the subject and brings the story all the way to the mid-1990s with an emphasis on flight research, much of which has occurred here at Dryden. This is an important monograph that not only encapsulates a lot of history in a brief compass but also does so in language that is accessible to non-technical readers. NASA is publishing it in a format that will enable it to reach the wide audience the subject deserves.
Laminar-flow control is a technology that offers the potential for improvements in aircraft fuel usage, range or endurance that far exceed any known single aeronautical technology. For transport-type airplanes, e.g., the fuel burned might be decreased a phenomenal 30 percent. Fuel reduction will not only help conserve the earth's limited supply of petroleum but will also reduce engine emissions and, therefore, air pollution. In addition, lower fuel usage will reduce the operating costs of commercial airplanes at least eight percent, depending upon the cost of the fuel and, therefore, will curtail ticket prices for air travel.