by Tommy H. Thomason

Saturday, July 4, 2015

It's Not That Easy to Avoid Error

I did a pretty good post on the Douglas F4D early on that was based on an article I did for the IPMS update:

One of the detail configuration issues that I didn't mention was the main landing gear wheel hubs, mostly because I wasn't paying close attention to them.

I was recently asked which of three different wheel hubs installed on F4Ds now on display was the one to use on a fleet airplane. The answer was:
Note that one was not even used on fleet F4Ds as far as I know. If a model kit manufacturer faithfully copied this particular F4D, it would be incorrect in this regard.

Another detail is the "spat" that was on the earliest F4Ds. This was to accommodate the Davis barrier used on axial-deck carriers (see
As far as I know, the spats weren't present on any fleet Fords, because they only operated from angle-deck carriers.

Finally, as I was hanging out with some radio-control enthusiasts at the New England Air Museum as they were measuring its F4D for a large-scale flying model, I happened to notice that the wing-tip airfoil had a negative camber. This is one way to provide stability and control to a "tail-less" design. It seems counter-intuitive from an overall lift standpoint but something of the sort is necessary when there is no horizontal tail.

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