Aerodynamics Discuss the physics of flight revolving around the aerodynamics and design of aircraft.

Engine thrust angles

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Old 01-23-2019, 04:55 AM
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TampaRC
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Default Engine thrust angles

What type of aircraft require down thrust and or right thrust ? I am working on a low wing p-51 and am wonder if offsets are needed.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:08 AM
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No airplane really needs thrustline offset to fly however adding in offsets can reduce the pilot workload. I usually start with zero down thrust and 2 degrees of right thrust. These are my standard for an aerobatic model. They will get adjusted based on a few things. My question is on your P-51 is does the wing have a positive incidence. If so what will most likely result is that the airplane will pitch trim at a certain power level but add more power and it will climb. Some consider this desirable but I do not. If your model does this and you choose to want to eliminate or reduce the tendency then some down thrust will help. Right thrust will help during take off runs. Without it the model will want to veer off to the left and you will have to compensate with right rudder. Adding right thrust will reduce this to a degree but you will still need to be rudder proficient. This and other trimming techniques are just a matter of what expectations you have for the airplane.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TampaRC View Post
What type of aircraft require down thrust and or right thrust ? I am working on a low wing p-51 and am wonder if offsets are needed.
There is no specific "type" that requires thrust angles to the engine. It's a combination of things including but not limited to wing, horizontal and vertical stab incidences. Speed envelope and wing loading. Engine torque and any number of other things. Even the airfoil of the wing can play into it. The full size Piper Cherokee has some noticeable down and right thrust to it. Some planes will offset the vert stab a few degrees which can be seen when looking down the center line.

I know the full size P-51 has some down thrust to it but not much. I don't believe it has any right thrust though. Some of the models I've seen of this plane have the down and some don't. Again, it's all in the rest of the stuff I mentioned.

If building a kit, I'll trust that the designer has built in any engine thrust he may want. If scratch building I tend to zero everything unless the plans say otherwise. If after flying it I feel a need to add engine thrust, I'll user washers behind the engine mount to "adjust" it. But for me, learning the different flying characteristics of each plane is part of the fun. If every plane flew and landed the same, I would soon get bored with the hobby.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:10 PM
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The need or not is related to the location of the thrust line to the wing, which is a major portion of the drag on any airplane. It is also related to the amount of pitch stability trimmed into the model by the selection of where the model is balanced and the resulting decalage angle between wing and stabilizer. The more "stable" the plane is the more it tries to climb from any excess speed or adding power. And thus the more desire for some downthrust to reduce that pitching up.

Which is why a lot of seriously aerobatic models that are trimmed for pretty much neutral stability can get away with a 0-0-0 thrust, wing and tail setup and why high wing trainers might have something more like -2, +4, +2 or -4, +2, 0 setups or something along that line.

Your P51 is a low wing so that helps avoid the need for excess downthrust provided you set the CG location and wing to stabilizer angles fairly flat so it has some but limited pitch stability. That being the case you could likely get by with something like 0, +1.5, 0 and it would fly well yet still have some positive self recovery from fast dives. And you would trim the CG location to arrive at where it flies level at mid throttle at that setup.
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