Fliegen Works Inc.
Aeronautical Engineers – Portland, OR – USA

Rudder Tab On A-1 Series Blimps

Summary:  Rudder Tab certification 

 Project Name: Rudder Tab On A-1 Series Blimps

 Client: American Blimp Company

 Client Request:  The client requested a fix to balance the aerodynamic torque created by an installed Lightsign on the left side of the blimp’s envelope. 

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 Project Summary: We did the preliminary sizing for a company that supplies discount Lexus parts and worked with ABC on the detail design.  Fliegen Works developed the aerodynamic loads, produced a structural test proposal and then DER witnessed the tests.  The design of a fixed tab on a Rudder of  ABC A-1 series airship was a challenge since a number of engineering estimations were made.  From minimal available blimp flight and aerodynamic data and old NACA data an analysis was performed to design a fixed rudder tab that biased the rudder to compensate for the unsymmetrical drag on  the airship due to the Lightsign on one side of the airship.  This was a major change to the type design by the type certificate holder. 

Results: Successful flight testing, installation and approval of rudder tab on A-1 series blimp.  Pilot force required to maintain straight flight reduced acceptable levels. Rather than complex CFD a simple method combined with a little guesswork was applied.  Minimal time and cost was required to produce the required results in this manner.

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