Important Concepts in Thin Airfoil Theory 1.

This airfoil theory can be viewed as a panel method with vortex solutions taking the limits of infinite number of panels & zero thickness & zero camber
lim

thickness →0 N →∞ camber →0 1 2π

{ lim vortex panel} = thin airfoil theory
∑γ j Kij =V∞ i ni
j =1 N

1 γ (ξ ) d ξ dz   =V∞  α −  2π x −ξ dx  


0

c

2.

Cl = 2π (α − α LO )

α LO =
x= •

1 dz (1 − cos θo )dθo dx π∫ 0

π

c (1 − cos θo ) 2 dz α LC = 0 for =0 {i.e. symmetric airfoils} dx thickness does not affect Cl to 1st order

3. Moment at

c is constant with respect to α according to thin airfoil theory 4

⇒ • •

c = aerodynamic center 4 M c only depends on camber!
4

M c = 0 for symmetric airfoil
4

4. Thin airfoil theory assumes:

• • • • • • •

2-dimensions Inviscid* Incompressible* Irrotational* Small α Small τ max c Small zmax c

*⇒ D' = 0