March 2015 Issue

Stall Before Failure

One of the ideas behind slowing down to penetrate turbulence is to avoid stressing or breaking the airframe. Depending on the turbulenceŚwind gusts, not necessarily in the horizontal planeŚcan change the wingĺs angle of attack abruptly, create airframe loads. Consider the wing depicted below, in smooth, level air (no gusts) and a relatively low angle of attack (AoAŚthe angle between the chord line and the relative wind):

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