AIRCRAFT construction, like shipbuilding and most other branches of engineering, is to a large extent an experimental science. That is to say, our knowledge is so limited in certain respects that we proceed chiefly by trial and error methods. To experiment full scale with ships or aircraft is both costly and dangerous. It has long been the custom, therefore, to make and test models with a view to ascertaining the probable behaviour of the full‐size machine before it is built. Aircraft engineers in particular have been compelled to rely extensively upon model tests in the wind tunnel for their information as to the aerodynamic forces upon the various parts of aircraft. In the same way the seaplane owes a great deal to the valuable information derived from tank tests of models.
Mitchell, R.J. (1930), "Tank Tests with Seaplane Models: Suggestions, Based on Experience, for the Application of Model Results to Full Scale", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 2 No. 10, pp. 255-259. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb029324
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