Designing aircraft to be less prone to tip stalls is critical, and a tip stall is more likely to occur with tapered wings, and the result can be an aircraft dropping a wing to the side in the roll axis. Without corrective action, the plane can enter a spin. To recover from a stall, the pilot must reduce the wing’s angle of attack below the critical stall angle by pushing forward on the elevator to lower the nose and gain speed.
Steve Trimble reported in the June 25 issue of Aviation Week that Boeing used revolutionary new “model–based systems-engineering tools” to design the T-7A, instead of relying on traditional paper drawings in the design process. In recent testing of the T-7A, the aircraft reportedly experienced the classic wing-drop issue, but this has been corrected. “A software fix for a wing-drop problem discovered during the Phase 1 flight testing—but acknowledged by Air Force officials and Boeing only in mid-June—was loaded into the prototype aircraft on June 17. The aircraft performed “wonderfully and as expected,” says Steve Schmidt, a Boeing test pilot for the T-7A.” Boeing has reported a number of advantages of the model-based systems-engineering approach. For example, the fuselage sections of the prototype aircraft were spliced in 30 minutes instead of the typical 24 hours. T-7A images courtesy of Boeing.