VC10er
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Posts: 2737
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

New 777-8/9 vertical stabilizers

Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:26 am

One thing I have always loved, since the day I saw the first 772 then the 77-300 was her razor sharp straight lines. Right down to the screwdriver tip at the APU.

I see in the images on boeing's site I have noticed the curved top of the tail ala: 787

Does that little curve actually make an aerodynamic difference and how?

I expected the main wings to curve like a 787, but surprised about the tail as well.

Thanks!
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Starlionblue
Posts: 17746
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: New 777-8/9 vertical stabilizers

Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:13 am

A very general comment: On the one hand, aerodynamically curves tend to be better than sharp edges. On the other hand, manufacturing prefers sharp edges because they're cheaper to make.

As usual, design is a compromise between better aerodynamic shapes and better manufacturing shape.

The sweet spot is moving constantly. As time marches on and manufacturing techniques become more flexible and advanced, we are seeing more curves simply because the cost of designing and manufacturing them is steadily decreasing. CAD, more advanced analysis tools, 3D printing and other techniques allow practical manufacturing of shapes that were just not done a few decades ago. Which is why the 787 tail can be more "advanced" than that of the 777.

It isn't just aerodynamic stuff either. Consider the structural parts below. The new "skeletal" versions do the same job as the old "chunky" ones but are lighter, stronger, cheaper, and use far less base material.

Image

Image
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VC10er
Topic Author
Posts: 2737
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: New 777-8/9 vertical stabilizers

Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:19 am

WOW: makes sense. Interesting diagrams, thank you for taking the time!
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