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Vern777

Aircraft data: Lift/Drag/Moments data

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Anyone know a good place where I can find these data? In a table where I can then use to interpolate data? Anyway, you know I've been trying to implement simple flight dynamics. I've succeed partially. My lift and drag coefficients are constants. I have not gotten around to implementing a simple linear approximation function yet (was tired last night). Although I also want to interpolate some real data and compare that with my own linear approximation function.

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There is a classic textbook called "Theory of Wing Sections" by Abbott and von Doenhoff, which can be had for cheap on Amazon.com, that has some such data. Mostly 2D airfoils, and it would be lift, drag and pitching moment only---not corrected for 3D flows. It can be a nice reference to have.

Two invaluable books that provide closed-form analytic formulas to approximate the force coefficients for different wing shapes (3D), configurations, etc., are "Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach" by Daniel Raymer, and and "Design of the Aeroplane" by Darrol Stinton. Sadly, these two are anything but cheap. But, they are very, very fine references that provide a tremendous amount of data that is suited to basic flight simulators that need fairly realistic flight dynamics. Heck, these books even have approximations for computing structural info such as center-of-mass and inertia tensors for aircraft with fuel compartments, landing gear, etc.

Yet another book (written by an ex-professor of mine), is "Introduction to Aircraft Performance, Selection, and Design" by Francis Hale. Its not as comprehensive as Raymer, nor as down-to-earth and intuitive as Stinton, but does provide some similar information.

I point out the books because they have some very useful formulas for simulations where tables of data isn't available. VERY well suited for game flight dynamics, even with a reasonable degree of realism. But....

Apart from that, last but far from least (in fact this is probably your best best to begin with) you can freely get your hands on numerous wind tunnel experimental results from the NASA tech reports server. For example, search on "Advanced Turboprop" (a project I worked on when doing my Master's research) and go to page 3 of the search results. Pull up the paper "Low-speed aerodynamic characteristics..." by Dana Dunham et al., which is in PDF format. You'll find lots of tables of lift/drag/pitching moment/rolling moment/yawing moment, side force (CL, CD, CPM, CRM, CYM, CSF in the tables) and lift/drag ratio vs. angle-of-attack (alpha) and "Q". Q being the dynamic pressure in the wind tunnel = 1/2 * air density * square of the velocity in the free stream. Very nice charts as well. You should find just tons of such data on this server.

(Er, minor plug, if you do a search on my name, "Graham Rhodes," you'll find a copy of my Master's Thesis.)

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wow thanks! Sadly NASA server seems to be down.

Those books, I will look them up at the library tomorrow.

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