Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Design Study: F-104 Flaps

How did the F-104's razor-thin wing produce enough lift for takeoff and landing?  Blown flaps.  From a fantastic website of unofficial aircraft study guides called Airplanedriver.net:

"The Starfighter is equipped with a Boundary Layer Control system, often called "BLC". This system uses engine bleed air to blow over the trailing edge flaps whenever they are extended beyond 15 deg. This allows slower approach and landing speeds, but does result in a loss of lift if the throttle is closed prior to touchdown. The valve that controls this is mechanically driven by the flap actuator, thus is always in the proper position. 

After a go around, leave the flaps in the takeoff position for 30 to 60 seconds to let the BLC system cool. Damage to the system will result if you forget this."

Makes you wonder how many F-104 pilots have learned (the hard way) to avoid reducing thrust to idle in the flare.

No comments:

Post a Comment