Has anyone ever used the airplane wing skin or fuselage skin as a radiator?

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  • Has anyone ever used the airplane wing skin or fuselage skin as a radiator?


Answer #1 | 22/12 2013 19:27
It is, radiators are made of aluminum, same as the aircraft skin. Without finned coils, an auto engine radiator wouldn't work, and they are already "streamlined." Keeps working on other better ideas.
Positive: 98 %
Answer #2 | 22/12 2013 19:31
The 1923 Curtis Wright R-6 biplane had radiators that were flush to the wing skin. The XB-70 used radiators under the skin to circulate fuel, the heat transfered into the fuel cooled the skin during tri-sonic cruise and the heat was dissipated as the fuel was burned, which also benefited engine efficiency. Other aircraft have used skin heat exchangers to cool avionics. The copper colored sections of the wings of this RC3-2 are the radiators that cool the engine. 3cca_o.jpg 6345f017_b.jpg
Positive: 92 %
Answer #3 | 22/12 2013 19:58
Flush mounted heat exchangers are NOT a new or revolutionary idea. They've been doing it since the 1930s. Research the Schneider Cup air racers from the 1920s and 1930s. Most of them had flush mounted radiators. The WW I, D III Albatross fighter plane had a radiator flush mounted on the center section of the top wing, in 1916.
Positive: 72 %
Answer #4 | 22/12 2013 21:15
It is unnecessary and adds expensive complication, fallible components and unwanted weight. And, believe it or not, a small radiator has as much surface area as a large section of aircraft skin.
Positive: 40 %
Answer #5 | 22/12 2013 21:30
Actually it is a novel idea in many ways. Cooling drag accounts for a very high percentage of the drag of an aircraft BECAUSE of the added surface area of things like radiator fins, cylinder fins, and even the hollow air cooled blades of turbine engines. Using existing wetted area would cut drag significantly. However, getting waste heat to those areas presents disadvantages in weight and complexity that outweigh any advantages.
Positive: 10 %

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