An experimental investigation on the distribution of the aerodynamic loads over the structural members of an inflatable, high aspect ratio (5.4), advanced concept paraglider

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


In order to arrive at some "feel" for the aerodynamic loads distributed to the structural members of an advanced concept para.glider at subsonic flight and low aerodynamic pressures, an experimental investigation was initiated and performed at the Langley Research Center.

A paraglider model was designed and fabricated, and load recording balances were inserted within its structural members at various locations. The model was placed into the wind tunnel facility and tested over a range of aerodynamic pressures, where for each pressure the model's angle of attack varied from 5 degrees to 30 degrees.

The test data, collected in terms of force coefficients, was applied to a prototype paraglider system of which the geometry and related aerodynamics are shown in appendix A. The mechanics of the application of the test data to the prototype system is shown in appendix B. The resulting air loads distributions over the structural members for the prototype system for both steady state flight and flare out are shown in figures 12 and 13.