The Effect of Disposable Load Drop on the Range of Aircraft

[+] Author and Article Information
Milton J. Thompson

Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas

J. Eng. Ind 92(3), 590-594 (Aug 01, 1970) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3427820 History: Received February 13, 1970; Online July 15, 2010


A simple analytical procedure is presented for the determination of the range or radius of action of an aircraft, based on the well-known Breguet equation, under conditions where a portion of the total payload, other than fuel, is to be dropped during the flight. It is assumed that this portion of the disposable load or dropped load is released at the mid point of the total distance flown. If the radius of action is compared with the value corresponding to no dropped weight being carried during the flight, the results may be normalized in terms of two weight parameters: (a) the ratio of the total disposable load of fuel and dropped load to the takeoff gross weight, and (b) the ratio of the dropped load to total disposable load. Numerical results are presented for a wide range in the values of these ratios disclosing some rather unique properties of the functional relationships involved. A comparison is made with the results of graphical determinations of bombing range, using methods originally presented by Diehl, it being shown that the present method agrees closely with Diehl’s approximate empirical relation for a limited range of the values of the weight parameters. The procedure described is equally adaptable to either propeller or jet-driven aircraft.

Copyright © 1970 by ASME
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