Old 10-02-2018, 08:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
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There is one inherent problem with sharp LE ... critical angle to airflow.

As Q mentions - there is a sharp change in its ability to sustain lift.

It is actually not correct to say a fast aircraft has a sharp LE ........ what is true is that such aircraft have a THIN wing .... the old EE Lightning is a prime example of this. BUT they still had ROUNDED LE for very good reason.

As the wing angle of attack changes - the LE presents a different attitude to the oncoming airflow. If its rounded - the airflow will remain good for a reasonable change of angle, but make that LE sharp - a small change in angle of attack and now you have a turbulent disrupted airflow.

The sharp entry would only benefit 'maybe' in perfectly straight level flight with no requirement to pitch up / down.

Its actually a phenomenon we see with flat plate wings when you don't sand a rounded LE.

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