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Title: Towards the tumble resistant microlight
Authors: Gratton, GB
Newman, S
Keywords: Tumble;Microlight;Rogallo;YB-49;Autorotation;Hang-glider;dH-108;BKB-1
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Society of Experimental Test Pilots
Citation: European Symposium of Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Dresden, Germany, 21 - 25 Jun 2006
Abstract: The tumble mode is a pitching departure from controlled flight which leads to a pitch autorotation that is generally unrecoverable – resulting in vertical ground impact, usually preceded by in-flight breakup (the mechanism for which, surprisingly, can sometimes prevent loss of life). This was identified in work led by the British Microlight Aircraft Association beginning in 1997 as a response to a number of fatal accidents in Rogallo winged microlight aeroplanes, although the tumble is also known to occur to hang-gliders. This paper explains how this class of aeroplane is controlled, and how it has been found that they can enter the tumble mode. The mechanism by which the tumble can be entered is described. This has led to work showing how flight testing can be used to establish and demonstrate resistance to tumble entry – particularly important with increasing number of very high performance flexwings. These flight tests will be explained, together with the significance of the results. Recent accident investigation work has also shown a new mechanism of tumble entry, through partial failure of the A-frame structure and the pitch-trimmer mechanism. Also described is a possible relevance to well known historical accidents to flying wing aeroplanes – specifically the YB-49 and dH-108, and discovered data on the characteristics of the BKB-1 flying wing glider; are also described.
Appears in Collections:Aeronautics
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dept of Design Research Papers
Dept of Design Research Papers

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