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Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > Archives > 2000

2000 Closed threads from 2000 (read only)

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Old 27 May 2000, 01:16 AM   #1
Henry Biddlecombe
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Did you know? The actual fault of the Sopwith Camel that caused the plane to spin and flip over very easily was that the radial engine and the propeller spun in the same direction, causing the plane to sometimes spin with the engine. This caused the plane's wings to loose flying speed, which caused the plane to fall out of control and crash.
Old 27 May 2000, 02:11 AM   #2
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amazing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Old 27 May 2000, 03:47 AM   #3
Camel - Torque/gc/C/G
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Not quite that simple. The Camel was also tail heavy which means less pitch and yaw stability. Usually the tailsurfaces damp this out but the Camel had pretty small tail surfaces. The fixed area of the rudder was pretty small as well ( compare it to an SE5a ) and didnt contribute much too yaw stability. A larger fixed plane aircraft like the SE5a contributed more to stability in the yaw plane without the pilot having to add input to stop any oscillations and in those days the rudder controls werent sensitive enough that a pilot could counter yaw by pressure on the rudder pedals (Imagine flying a Dr1 and not being able to control its yaw attitude by the rudder ).

Rotary engined aircraft also have strong torque and gyroscopic presession. The gyroscopic precession acts at 90 degrees to the plane of rotation. A turn to the left would cause a moment that nosed the aircraft up and turn to the right a moment that would pull the nose down. In a turn, if the pilot pulls "up" the moment will act to pull the aircraft furthur to the right. If the plane stalls the moment will cause a rapid yaw to the left.

The Torque of the big slow turning propeller of the Camel also tried to roll the aircraft to the left, which makes rolling into left turns easier. This also raises the lift co-efficient for the lift wing making the left wing more likely to stall before the right wing. Apparently too the Clerget needed to have it's mixture re-adjusted at about 200ft, so a pilot taking off would have to be looking into the cockpit not too soon after take-off.

So cadet pilot takes off, used to clapped out BE2's and Avros (similar to the idea Killratio put forward for the high rate of RE8 accidents), the cadet takes off and begins to turn to the left when the Clerget demands attention, cadet looks down, Camel's gyroscopic precession raises the nose, small tail areas dont resist it. The airspeed falters, the little tail surfaces dont give the pilot feedback on the dirty air that is travelling over them, the RAF15 airfoil with poor stall characteristics, not being able to handle low airflow to well and the left wing loses lift, the gyroscopic precession and torque pull and roll the Camel hard to the left respectively and the Camel stalls into the ground.

Old 27 May 2000, 04:05 AM   #4
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Further to Cam's scholarly reply;

I remember reading in and old magazine that in a left hand turn you had to put on left rudder to keep the nose down and in a right hand turn you had to put on left rudder again to keep the nose up!

An Australian Camel pilot named Jack Wright found, the first time he successully got a Camel into the air, he was applying full left rudder as he left the ground!

He was one of those pilots who absolutely loved the razor-sharp handling of this little beast. The only other type of pilot were the ones who absolutely hated them.
Old 27 May 2000, 06:59 AM   #5
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Rotary, not radial. I can never keep 'em straight, either.
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We'll call them something else.
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Old 27 May 2000, 10:32 AM   #6
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The rotary engine spins around a central hub, with the propeller fixed to the engine itself.
A radial engine is mounted in place, and the propeller is attached to the central shaft which spins.
It does get confusing at times.
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci

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Old 27 May 2000, 06:25 PM   #7
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The Camel and Dr1 with the rotaries and small tail surfaces and fixed rudder surfaces had poor yaw and pitch authority, but what about the Nieuport 17/23?

It had the LeRhone which suggests it would be suffer/benefit from the same torque and gyroscopic precession behaviour the Camel and Dr1 did. Plus it had no fixed vertical tail surface, which suggests the yaw wouldnt be damped by the aircraft in the same manner of the Dr1. There is also no more dihedral on the lower wing than the Camel's lower wing.

Why isnt there lurid tales of Nieuport flight behaviour? It's design suggests it is in the same class of behaviour as the Camel and Dr1.

Old 27 May 2000, 11:27 PM   #8
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For that matter Cam; What about the Pup? It's handling was supposed to be impeccable. It was engined up to 110HP wasn't it?
Old 27 May 2000, 11:28 PM   #9
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For that matter Cam; What about the Pup? It's handling was supposed to be impeccable. It was engined up to 110HP wasn't it?
Old 27 May 2000, 11:47 PM   #10
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Hi Guys,

Can't stay now, but a large part of the problem gets back to the Camel's CG and the fact that it was 1. Tail heavy, 2, the magority of the mass was centred around that CG.

I'll get backj tomorrow



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Not here are the goblets glowing,
Not here is the vintage sweet;
'Tis cold as our hearts are growing,
And dark as the doom we meet.
But stand to your glasses, steady!
And soon shall our pulses rise:
A cup to the dead already-
Hurrah for the next that dies!
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sopwith, camel, facts

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