Lippisch, A.; The Delta Wing

steelpillow

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Alexander Lippisch (Trans. Gertrude L. Lippisch); The Delta Wing: History and Development, Iowa State University Press, 1981.

Translation of:
Alexander Lippisch; Ein Dreieck fliegt, Motorbuch-Verlag, 1976.

This is a stunning little book, profusely illustrated. It will make your eyes bleed.

It covers not only the deltas but the related swept tailless and the odd few canards as well, before finishing off with his ekranoplanes, or "aerodynes" as he called them. It lists all his aircraft, whether tailless or conventional. Dozens and dozens of the blighters, every one a SecretProjects heartthrob. Among other beauties you will find a WWII project for a four-engined flying wing bomber of 50.6 m span, comparable to the postwar Northrop YB-35's span of 52.2 m.

I ordered a library copy, picked it up today, am only allowed to keep it for a couple of weeks <sob!>.

If you have a specific question, post here or drop me a PM and I will do my best to answer it.

Personal nugget to date: his work from ca. 1930 built on a German theoretical study, itself based on work picked up on a visit to England. I'm guessing GTR Hill here. And we all know that Hill was inspired and influenced by the father of the stable tailless aeroplane, J W Dunne.
 

Apteryx

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They have a copy in the local University library. It is a rich lode indeed. Since its publication a lot of the designs described therein have shown up in other Secret Projects books, but it's worth seeking out.
 

Sundog

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Yes, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the development of the delta wing and also like seeing many of Lippisch's late war designs.
 

Jemiba

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The original is available at the States Library in Berlin, too. Maybe interesting for
those, able to use distance loan in Germany or even neighbouring countries,
 

steelpillow

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The only bit I wish is that he could have written a bit more about the aerodynamic design of the individual types. He seems to have see-sawed quite a bit between different approaches to stability, both longitudinal and lateral, and that happens to be a topic that interests me. For example some of the photos show clear evidence of wing tip wash-out, from the early glider Experiment on Page 23 to the Me 163 B on page 58, yet he makes no mention of this aspect. Other photos evidently do not, so he must have used inherently stable aerofoils with reflex camber at the rear - and he does mention this on occasion.

One intriguing tidbit he does offer is that the technique for designing an inherently stable aerofoil, with zero displacement of the centre of pressure, was picked up passed on by Glauert on a visit to England Germany (Correction: Glauert was English, with an English mother and German expatriate father). This would have to have been in the late 1920s, and the another pioneer of those aerofoils in the preceding years was GTR Hill of Pterodactyl fame. And Hill's inheritance may be traced back to Jose Weiss and Handley Page, both of whom has also worked in England.
 
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Jemiba

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Then it's a bit of irony, that the western allieds were that keen on getting
their hands on those information, isn't it ? ;)
 

steelpillow

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Jemiba said:
Then it's a bit of irony, that the western allieds were that keen on getting
their hands on those information, isn't it ? ;)

To give Lippisch credit, he did a lot of research into transonic speeds and that was the real gem for the allies.

The sadder side is that Dunne himself briefly returned to aircraft design during the early stages of World War II, with the aim of bringing his ideas into the modern age to support the war effort. A combination of crippling neuralgia (a painful nervous complaint that prevented him from working at his drawing-board) and one of his dream-visions, urging him to complete another task, diverted him mid-war. I would love to know whether any of that work survives.

Oh, and to add to my previous remarks, Lippisch records that he cut his teeth on tailless theory ca.1921 in conversations with Fritz Wenk, technical director of the Weltensegler Company which was making stable tailless gliders with swept, turned-down wing tips. It was from Wenk that Lippisch learned of the equivalence of either sweeping back and washing-out the tips or reflexing the trailing edge - an equivalence which Dunne himself had noted in a lecture to the Aeronautical Society, back in the day. But at that time Lippisch was still a child gazing up in awe at the Wright Flyer and he probably never realised where the idea came from.

There is a sense that Lippisch unconsciously carried the torch for Dunne, accomplishing what he could not.
 

richard

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Lippisch wrote his story too , in a book published at " Luftfahrtverlag Axel Zuerl " (264 pp , 225 ill.) : an interesting complement to "Ein Dreick fliegt" for the german language readers ...
 

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Wka23

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No worries if anyone can send any information on lippisch wi g in ground effect please post here for all
 
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