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# Wings

Wake Vorticies
Induced Drag
Lift Curve Slope
Swept Wings
Wing Flaps
MAE 2
Campbell, J.F., and Chambers, J.R., Patterns in the Sky, NASA SP-514, 1994.
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MAE 2
Wake Vorticies
A wake vortex is created by air “leaking” around the tips of a finite-length wing.
Pressure over the bottom surface is greater than that on the top surface.
Flow establishes a circular pattern downstream of the wing.

airflow
Right wing counter-clockwise
rotation when viewed from behind
Left wing clockwise rotation when
viewed from behind
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MAE 2
Vortex Effects
The wingtip vortices cause a downward velocity component on the wing itself.
This downward flow is called downwash.
Downwash reduces the effective angle-of-attack at the airfoil.
Lift coefficient slope is reduced relative to angle-of-attack (will derive later).
Vortex downwash increases drag on the wing.
This source of drag is called induced drag or drag-due-to-lift.
There are many physical explanations for induced drag.
Every aerodynamicist has his/her favorite explanation.
V

V

w=downwash
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MAE 2
Induced Drag
Induced drag is estimated by tilting the lift vector by the angle-of-attack “induced” by
downwash acting on the wing.
The induced angle-of-attack at a given airfoil section depends on the lift distribution
over the entire wing (and possibly other nearby aerodynamic surfaces).

b = wingspan
Lift Distribution
Downwash
Distribution
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MAE 2
Induced Angle-of-Attack
For an elliptical lift distribution, the downwash induced angle-of-attack is
approximated as:
o
i
=
C
L
nAR
o
i
=induced angle of attack
C
L
=wing lift coefficient
AR=aspect ratio
b=wingspan
S=wing reference area
AR=
b
2
S
A span efficiency factor (later related to Oswald's efficiency factor) is introduced to
approximate the induced angle of attack for non-elliptical lift distributions.
o
i
=
C
L
ne AR
e=efficiency factor
e≤1
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MAE 2
Induced Drag Coefficient
A new component of drag results when the lift force vector is tilted by the induced
angle of attack.
D
i
=Lsino
i
≃Lo
i
L=q

S C
L
o
i
=
C
L
ne AR
D
i
q

S
=
C
L
2
ne AR
C
Di
=
C
L
2
ne AR
The induced drag coefficient is defined by normalizing this component of drag force.
C
D
=c
d
+
C
L
2
ne AR
The total wing drag coefficient (for subsonic speeds) is:
C
D
=total drag coeff.
c
d
=profile drag coeff.
Profile drag includes skin friction and pressure drag due to separation.
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MAE 2
Lift Curve Slope for Finite Wing
The left coefficient slope (with respect to angle-of-attack) is reduced in the presence
of downwash.
a=
a
0
1+
a
0
ne
1
AR
C
L
=a
0
(o−o
i
)=a
0
(
o−
C
L
ne
1
AR)
C
L
=a
0
o−
a
0
C
L
ne
1
AR
C
L
=
a
0
o
1+
a
0
ne
1
AR
dC
L
d o
≡a
a=lift curve slope finite wing
a
0
=lift curve slope infinite wing
e
1
=efficiency factor
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MAE 2
Swept Wings : Subsonic
Sweeping the wings of a subsonic airplane moves drag divergence point to a higher
Mach number.
M
cr
(airfoil )M
cr
(swept wing )
M
cr
(airfoil )
cos D
D
V

V

cos D
V

sinD
The airfoil responds only to
the velocity component
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MAE 2
Swept Wings : Supersonic
Wave drag is reduced by sweeping the wing so that the leading edge is inside the
Mach cone.
M

>1 M

>1
Wing swept outside of Mach cone Wing swept inside of Mach cone
j=sin
−1
(
1
M

)
j=Mach angle
j j
w
i
n
g

L
E
w
i
n
g

L
E
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MAE 2
Stall Speed
The stall speed is the slowest speed at which the aircraft can sustain level flight.
The lift force must balance weight to maintain steady, level flight.
V
stall
=
.
2W
j

S C
Lmax
W=L=
1
2
j

V

2
S C
L
The stall speed occurs when the airplane flies at its maximum lift coefficient.
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MAE 2
Flaps
A low value for stall speed leads to a safer airplane (slower landing speeds).
Stall speed is decreased by increasing the maximum lift coefficient.
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o
L=0
o=angle of attack
C
L
o
L=0
(no flaps)
6=0
6=15 deg
6=45deg
Trailing edge flap