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Thursday, December 18, 2014

F4U Low Drag Wing Study Part 3

Rework and new fabrication to support the new wing design included:

  • Lateral control would be through the use of "retractable ailerons" (circular arc spoilers) along with short span conventional ailerons.
  • Landing flaps will be slotted type extending from the fuselage to approximately 80% of the span of the wing. Whereas the fixed hinge flaps on the F4U-4/-5 only covered 55% of the wing span.
  • Armament would be 4 20mm guns with 200 rounds of ammunition. Also eight Mark 9 rocket pylons and two center section bomb or fuel carrying pylons. A centerline pylon completes the external stores provisions.
  • Wing folding would be improved to allow operation in winds up to 55 knots.
  • Main landing gear would be similar geometry but extensive redesign to fit the low drag wing airfoil. The main tires would change to 30 x 7.7 10-ply high pressure tires instead of the 32 x 8 tires of the F4U-4.
  • Due to angle changes the wing to fuselage joint would be reworked.
  • Some strengthening to the aft section and stabilizers would be necessary.
Expected Performance Improvement
  • The maximum speed at combat power in clean fighter configuration compared to the F4U-5 would be  16 mph at the combat power critical altitude.
  • The maximum speed difference at sea level would only be 7 mph.
  • Stalling speed reduction of 1.3 mph than a standard F4U-5 with the flaps down.
  • Stalling speed increase of 3 to 4 mph with the flaps up over a standard F4U-5.
  • The angle of bank in the first second and rate of roll is estimated to be as much as a 10% increase at 300 mph over the standard F4U-5.
Four things led to the increased speed estimates:
  • Higher critical mach number due to the change in airfoil from NACA 230 series to a NACA 64 series.
  • Improvement in critical mach number for the wing inlet duct
  • Reduction in drag and surface roughness due to the use of Metalite wherever practical
  • Elimination of wing flap external hinges.

Previous posts in this series:
Low Drag Wing Study Part 1
Low Drag Wing Study Part 2

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