Newsletter 13
Summer 2006
Updated on 25May2006
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents Hawker Association

Aviation Heritage Project
Camm Bust for RAF Club
Crescent Wing More
Crescent Wing Even More
Harrier News
Hawk - First Delivery
Hawk News
Joe Turner
People News
RAF Harrier Story
Sopwith Catalogue
Test Flying the Hunter
Tripartite Squadron
Walter John Biggs
Wartime Project Office
Further to Harry Fraser-Mitchell's comments in News Letter No. 12, Ralph Denning expands his argument...
Harry F-M has charged me with making a (non-aerodynamic!) 'canard' in saying that Handley-Page got the idea for the crescent wing from Arado. He further implied that Arado used the crescent wing to solve a short-term problem of getting the centre of lift nearer to the C.G. I still stick to my views; in particular that Arado's main aim was aerodynamic. Arado's Chief Aerodynamicist, Rudiger Kosin, gave a full explanation in a book by Wolfgang Wagner entitled 'Die Ersten Strahlflugzeuge der Welt' (The World's First Jet Aircraft), as follows:
More On The Origin Of The Crescent Wing

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"When, in 1942, Arado considered the application of the swept wing effect, three wind-tunnel models with different constant sweep angles were tested in the low speed tunnel of the DVL...At higher angles of sweep the models showed massive flow detachment at the wing tips and, in fact, increasingly so at increased sweep which, with even greater growth, would have led to nose-up pitch, stall and nose dive. Experiments fitting leading edge slats, similar to those used on the Me 109, led to nothing so they hit on the idea of sweeping the wing more steeply on the inboard section than on the outboard section. Arado patented this idea in 1942...Despite all this theoretical work the flight behaviour of the wings with decreased outboard sweep was still not assured. Therefore it was decided to undertake a practical experiment with a large scale model." Kosin also states that "the wing plan form evolved in this way was employed after the war by Handley-Page on the Victor bomber, and permits attachment points on the fuselage to be retained with the same centre of gravity and landing gear...very important taking into consideration the pressure of deadlines in 1944."
This may well be the model photographed in the LFA A.1 tunnel shown in my lecture. I would also comment that RS Stafford (Chief Designer, Handley-Page) was a member of the Farren Mission to Germany that visited LFA Volkenrode in June 1945.
Harry agrees that HP knew of the Arado work but says that none of it was used by them. This seems to enter the field of semantics. My lecture was concerned with conceptual design issues rather than detailed design. It should also be remembered that all swept wing activity stems from Busemann and the simple sketch in his paper to the 1935 Volta Congress.
Harry also makes the point that HP optimised the exchange of sweep angle and thickness:chord ratio which was not done by Arado. I would say that with the engine thrust levels available in Germany from 1942 to 1945 the pursuit of the highest transonic Mach number was not the immediate priority.
Finally, I must emphasise that I wholeheartedly agree that Handley-Page optimised the crescent wing concept, as did Avro the delta, but using the German work, discovered in 1945, as a starting point.