THE rapid progress made in aircraft design during the past few years is demanding a more modern way of obtaining the lines of an aircraft than the older methods of lofting as borrowed from the shipbuilding industry. With the current demand for reduced drag a more exact method of defining the lines than was possible by eye, as formerly practised, becomes imperative. If it be shown that the lines of an aircraft can be determined mathematically, a tool becomes available to the designer with which he can define his shapes to whatever degree of accuracy he wishes to work. Furthermore, the designer will have more complete control of the lines than in the past, when he had to rely on lines lifted from the loft floor. Finally, if mathematical analysis of aircraft shapes is feasible then it is possible to define any given point on the envelope with exactitude and if the shape be curved he can give the curvature in all the planes and the slope of tangents in all planes. This becomes useful in determining clearance points, etc.
Morrison, R.L. (1948), "Conics as Applied to Mathematical Lofting: A Report by a Canadian Engineer on the Conic Lofting Methods Investigated by Fleet Aircraft Limited for Use in their Design Offices", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 46-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb031602
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