Reply To: Water ballast?

Welcome to Sky Soaring Forums Restricted content Water ballast? Reply To: Water ballast?

John DeRosaJohn DeRosa

    Cute joke (attached) and interesting that they reference gliders.

    I wonder if what the chicken with the yellow hair thinks happens to cruise speed is correct for an airplane (versus a glider). That is, at a certain throttle setting in an AIRPLANE does increasing the wing loading magically also increase the cruise speed?

    In a glider increasing the wing loading (and gross weight) with water ballast shifts the performance curve (aka polar) so that the aircraft’s “best” cruise speed (called minimum sink) shifts upward. Meaning you can cruise faster between thermals and that’s important during a contest. But nothing is free as you pay for this gain by needing stronger lift as a lighter ship would need.

    So might the airplane get better performance, and thus better fuel economy, with higher wing loading? Heck, I don’t know. But I do know that no Cessna has wing tanks to add water like my glider does!

    My $0.02.

    Best Regards,
    John H DeRosa