Aeronautical Terms Defined
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Decalage is a term used in
aircraft design to describe the difference in incidence angle between the wing and
the horizontal stabilizer. The incidence angle of the wing is the angle between
the chord line of the wing and the longitudinal axis of the aircraft, while the
incidence angle of the horizontal stabilizer is the angle between the chord line
of the stabilizer and the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.
The decalage angle is important because it affects the stability and control
of the aircraft. A positive decalage angle, where the wing has a higher incidence
angle than the horizontal stabilizer, will create a positive pitching moment and
increase the lift generated by the wing. A negative decalage angle, where the wing
has a lower incidence angle than the horizontal stabilizer, will create a negative
pitching moment and decrease the lift generated by the wing.
In aircraft design, the decalage angle must be carefully considered to ensure
safe and efficient flight. The decalage angle can be adjusted through changes in
the angle of attack of the wing or the horizontal stabilizer, or through the use
of control surfaces, such as flaps or trim tabs.
A positive decalage angle is often used in aircraft design to enhance the stability
of the aircraft, while a negative decalage angle is used to provide more control
over the aircraft's pitch. The optimal decalage angle will depend on the desired
flight characteristics, the weight of the aircraft, and the airspeed, and must be
carefully managed to ensure safe and efficient flight.
Posted February 4, 2023