The Thirteenth Wright Brothers Lecture delivered by Mr A. E. Russell of The Bristol Aeroplane Co. Ltd. before the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences in New York on December 17, 1949. The problem of flutter is one of the earliest associated with flying but has, until comparatively recent times, been solved merely by solving the problem of strength coupled with the tactical distribution of lead weights. We are now becoming quite proficient at solving the problem of strength and are disturbed if our test structures do not fall within 1 or 2 per cent of the design loads (however arbitrary these loads may be). At the same time this steady refinement of design has resulted in a reduction of structure weight for given design loads. Refinement of structural design has reduced the stiffness of the structure and this, coupled with a steady increase of cruising speeds, has brought the flutter problem into its present prominence.
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