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Basics of Aeronautics

Basics of Aeronautics

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Published by: manisekar87 on Sep 01, 2009
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01/05/2013

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Airfoil
Various components of the airfoil.An
airfoil
aerofoil
inBritish English) is the shape of a wingor blade (of a propeller , rotor or turbine) or sailas seen in cross-section. An airfoil shaped body moved through afluidproduces a force perpendicular to the fluidcalledlift. Subsonic flightairfoils have a characteristic shape with a rounded leading edge, followed by a sharp trailing edge, often with asymmetriccamber .Airfoils designed with water  as the working fluid are also called
hydrofoils
.
Introduction
The historicalevolutionof airfoil sections, 1908 - 1944,  NASA Lift and Drag curves for a typical airfoilAfixed-wing aircraft's wings, horizontal, andverticalstabilizers are built with airfoil-shaped cross sections, as are helicopter rotor blades. Airfoils are also found in propellers,fans,  compressorsandturbines.Sailsare also airfoils, and the underwater surfaces of sailboats, such as thecenterboard, andkeel are similar in cross-section and operate on the same principles as airfoils. Swimming and flying creatures and even many plants and sessileorganisms employ airfoils; common examples being bird wings, the bodies of fishes, and the shape of sanddollars. An airfoil shaped wing can createdownforce on anautomobileor other motor vehicle, improvingtraction.1
 
Any object with an angle of attack in a moving fluid, such as a flat plate, a building, or the deck of a bridge, will generate an aerodynamic force perpendicular to the flow calledlift.  Airfoils are more efficient lifting shapes, generating lift with lower dragand maintaining lift athigher angles of attack. A lift and drag curve obtained inwind tunneltesting is shown on theright.Airfoil design is a major facet of aerodynamics. Various airfoils serve different flight regimes.Asymmetric airfoils can generate lift at zero angle of attack, while a symmetric airfoil may better suit frequent inverted flight as in an aerobaticairplane. Supersonic airfoils are much more angular in shape and can have a very sharp leading edge. Asupercritical airfoil,with its low camber, reducestransonic drag divergence. Movable high-lift devices,flapsandslatsare fitted to airfoils on many aircraft.Schemes have been devised to describe airfoils — an example is the NACA system. Variousad-hoc naming systems are also used. An example of a general purpose airfoil that finds wideapplication, and predates the NACA system, is theClark-Y. Today, airfoils are designed for specific functions using inverse design programs such as PROFIL and XFOIL. Modern aircraftwings may have different airfoil sections along the wing span, each one optimized for theconditions in each section of the wing.An airfoil designed for  winglets(PSU 90-125WL)
Airfoil terminology
The various terms related to airfoils are defined below:
 
The
mean camber line
is a line drawn half way between the upper and lower surfaces.
The
chord line
is a straight line connecting the leading and trailing edges of the airfoil,at the ends of the mean camber line.
The
chord 
is the length of the chord line and is the characteristic dimension of theairfoil section
The
maximum thickness
and the location of maximum thickness are expressed as a percentage of the chordAn airfoil section is nicely displayed at the tip of this Denney Kitfox aircraft (G-FOXC), builtin 1991.
Thin Airfoil Theory
2
 
A simple mathematical theory of 2-D thin airfoils was devised byLudwig Prandtland others inthe 1920s. The airfoil, centre-line equation y(x), is considered to produce a distribution of vorticity γ(
 s
)along the chord line s. By the Kutta condition, the vorticity is zero at the trailing edge. Sincethe airfoil is thin, x can be used instead of s, and all angles can be approximated as small.From the Biot-Savart law, this vorticity produces a flow field
w
(
 s
) whereSince there is no flow normal to the curved surface of the airfoil, w(x) balances that from thecomponent of main flow V which locally normal to the plate - the main flow is locally inclinedto the plate by an angle α −
dy
/
dx
. That isThis integral equation can by solved for γ(
 x
), after replacing x by
 x
=
c
(1 −
cos
(θ)) / 2,as a Fourier series in
 A
n
 sin
(
n
θ) with a modified lead term
 A
0
(1 +
cos
(θ)) /
 sin
(θ)That is(These terms are known as theGlauertintegral).The coefficients are given byandBy the Kutta-Joukowski theorem, the total lift force F is proportional to and its moment M about the leading edge toThe calculated Lift coefficient depends only on the first two terms of the Fourier series, asThe moment M depends only on
 A
0
,
 A
1
andA
2
, as
= − 0.5π(
 A
0
+
 A
1
 A
2
/ 2)3

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