Aeronautics: Buffeting v. Flutter

One day last summer a Junkers monoplane, carrying a party of British socialites home from a house party in France, was seen by villagers of Kent to "break up" in the air: wings and tail dropped off. All six occupants were killed (TIME, July 28). Last week the New York Herald Tribune reported from London the Air Ministry's finding, a newly discovered cause of crashes: "buffeting" of the tail unit, as opposed to "flutter."

"Flutter" is the name given to a rapid, rippling vibration which most commonly affects the unsupported wing of a...

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