Cambered leading edges

In article <13524@umd5.umd.edu>, jeffy@syrinx.umd.edu (Jeffrey C. Burka) writes:
|>I'm very curious about cambered leading edges--what the theory behind them
|>is, what exactly they're supposed to do to flight characteristics (stability?
|>high wind capability?  low wind capability?  good looks?), how designers
|>figure out where to place the camber (all experimentation or is there
|>some theory that dictates where the best position is?) how much of an angle
|>to use, etc., etc.

Being a kite maker and having talked to several other stunt kite
makers, I've come to the conclusion that most kite makers don't know
what they are talking about when they give you a reason for doing
something. I don't mean to imply that they don't know what they are
doing, but that they don't know the reasons for doing things.

|>So does anyone out there have thoughts on the matter?  Perhaps a book
|>they could point me to?  Unfounded opinions that are still worth sharing?

I think that the performance gains are found in the taut sail that is
the result of curving the leading edges and curving the trailing
edges. The light wind performance of these kites is certainly aided by
removing the flapping of the trailing edge. A flapping trailing edge
does cause a lot of drag.

Of course, I'm just guessing.
Marty Sasaki                            sasaki@tle.enet.dec.com

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