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November 01 , 2007

The Theory and Practice of Model Aeroplaning


The object of this little book is not to describe how to construct some particular kind of aeroplane; this has been done elsewhere: but to narrate in plain language the general practice and principles of model aeroplaning. There is a scienceof model aeroplaning—just as there is a science of model yachting and model steam and electric traction, and an endeavour is made in the following pages to do in some measure for model aeroplanes what has already been done for model yachts and locomotives. To achieve the best results, theory and practice must go hand in hand. From a series of carefully conducted experiments empirical formulæ can be obtained which, combined later with mathematical induction and deduction, may lead, not only to a more accurate and generalized law than that contained in the empirical formula, but to valuable deductions of a totally new type, embodying some general law hitherto quite unknown by experimentalists, which in its turn may serve as a foundation or stepping stone for suggesting other experiments and empirical formulæ which may be of especial importance, to be treated in theirturn like their predecessor. By "especial importance," I mean not only to "model," but "Aeroplaning" generally. As to the value of experiments on or with models with respect to full-sized machines, fifteen years ago I held the opinion that they were a very doubtful factor. I have since considerably modified that view, and now consider that experiments with models—if properly carried out, and given due, not undue, weight—both can and will be of as much use to the science of Aeronautics as they have already proved themselves to be in that of marine engineering
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