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Page Title: Fixed-Wing Aircraft
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The history of naval aviation goes back to the turn  of  the  century  when  an  Army-Navy  board studied designs for the Langley “flying machine.” Afterward,  members  of  the  board  agreed  that aircraft  could  be  developed  for  use  in  warfare. The  first  naval  officer  selected  for  flight training   was   Lieutenant   T.G.   Ellyson.   In December  1910  Ellyson  received  orders  to  undergo instruction  with  Glenn  Curtiss,  producer  of  the first  practical  hydroplane.  Curtiss  also  trained  the pilot  who  made  the  first  shipboard  takeoff  from USS Birmingham in 1910—Eugene Ely. Ely later made the first successful aircraft landing on the deck of a ship, the armored cruiser Pennsylvania. In  July  1911  the  Navy  received  its  first airplanes—a  Wright  landplane  for  training  and a Curtiss hydroplane. The next year Lieutenant Ellyson   proved   the   feasibility   of   the   newly devised compressed-air catapult by flying a plane shot  from  a  barge. From that time until the present, the Navy has tried  four  distinct  approaches  to  integrating aeronautics  with  the  fleet.  It  has  used  carriers, flying  boats,  lighter-than-air  craft,  and  pontoon aircraft   that   operated   from   noncarrier   ships. Using these approaches has taken naval aviation through two eras. During the first era propeller- driven combat aircraft flew from small, straight- deck carriers while pontoon planes operated from large men-o-war. Great flying boats flew antisub- marine warfare (ASW) patrols and were serviced by seaplane tenders, and huge rigid and nonrigid lighter-than-air craft roamed the skies. The second era  exists  today.  This  era  of  modern  naval aviation  consists  of  jet-powered  aircraft;  giant carriers; helicopters; and large, long-range patrol planes. During both of these eras, naval aviation has  enjoyed  success. Soon  after  the  attack  on  Pearl  Harbor  on 7  December  1941,  American  carriers  dispelled  any doubts   about   the   effectiveness   of   shipboard aviation.  Carriers  that  fortunately  were  absent from  the  scene  that  fateful  morning  delivered forceful retaliatory blows on enemy installations in  the  Pacific. Naval aviation has come a long way since its beginning in 1910. As naval aircraft have become increasingly more advanced over the years, they have  been  used  in  many  ways.  Today’s  naval aircraft  fall  under  one  of  two  categories:  fixed wing  or  rotary  wing. FIXED-WING   AIRCRAFT A  fixed-wing  aircraft  maybe  divided  into  three basic  parts:  fuselage,  wings,  and  empennage. The fuselage is the main body of the aircraft, containing  the  cockpit  and,  if  there  is  one,  the cabin.  On  virtually  all  naval  fighter  and  attack aircraft  operational  today,  engines  are  mounted within the fuselage, as are some of the fuel tanks. Wings  are  the  primary  lifting  devices  of  an aircraft,  although  the  fuselage  and  tail  provide some lift. Several devices located on the trailing (rear) edge of the wings help control the aircraft. Flaps  give  extra  lift  on  takeoff  and  slow  the aircraft   in   flight   or   landing.   Ailerons   control the  roll,  or  bank,  of  the  aircraft.  Trim  tabs aerodynamically  unload  the  control  surfaces  to relieve  some  of  the  pilot’s  work. Auxiliary   lifting   devices,   resembling   flaps, located  on  the  leading  (front)  edge  of  the  wing increase  the  camber  (curvature)  of  the  wing  for added  lift  on  takeoff. Most Navy jet aircraft carry their bomb loads on pylons (called stations) under the wings and, in some cases, under the fuselage. Some jets have missile stations on the sides of the fuselage. Fuel cells are fitted inside the wings; additional tanks are  fitted  on  the  outside  of  the  wings  for  extra range. Larger jets may have their engines slung beneath  the  wings  in  pods.  On  some  low-wing  air- craft, the main landing gear retracts into the wings while the nose wheel retracts into the fuselage. On most high-wing aircraft, such as the A-7, all gears retract into the fuselage. The  empennage  consists  of  the  stabilizing  fins mounted on the tail section of the fuselage. The vertical   stabilizer,   upon   which   is   generally mounted the rudder, controls yaw (the direction of the nose about the vertical axis). The horizon- tal stabilizer, on the trailing edge of which are the elevators,  determines  the  pitch  (climb  or  dive). Some  supersonic  aircraft  may  have  a  full  delta wing.  These  aircraft  have  no  horizontal  stabilizer, and  their  elevators  and  ailerons  are  combined into  control  surfaces  called  elevons.  In  aircraft with  internally  mounted  jet  engines,  exhausts  are normally  located  in  the  tail.  High-performance jets have afterburners that give additional thrust at the cost of greatly increased fuel consumption. Rudder,  ailerons,  and  elevators  are  collectively grouped  as  control  surfaces.  The  ailerons  and elevators are controlled by the “stick” or a similar device in the cockpit. The rudder is controlled by foot pedals. On high-performance aircraft, aero- dynamic pressures on these surfaces become too great  for  a  pilot  to  overcome  manually;  hence, all high-speed models today have power-assisted controls. Figure 12-1 shows representative types of  fixed-wing  aircraft. 12-2

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