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Proc. R. Soc. A (2005) 461, 415432


doi:10.1098/rspa.2004.1295
Published online 16 November 2004

A slender-wing theory in potential ow


By E d m u n d C h a d w i c k
School of Computing, Science and Engineering,
University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK (e.a.chadwick@salford.ac.uk)
Consider uniform, steady potential ow past a slender wing. By considering a horseshoe vortex in the limit as /U s , where is the circulation, U is the uniform
stream velocity and s is the span, a model representing a vortex sheet is obtained
from which the lift on the slender wing can be determined. (This is in contrast to
the textbook approach of Batchelor and Katz & Plotkin, who discretize the vortex
sheet with horseshoe vortices in the limit as /U s , but then relate the vortex strength to lift by using the two-dimensional limit /U s 0. We shall argue
that using these dierent limits in the same analysis is inconsistent and leads to an
incorrect result.)
The resulting potential term is shown to be the same as the potential term of
the lift Oseenlet in Oseen ow. In the limit of high-Reynolds-number ow, only half
the contribution to the lift integral comes from the potential-velocity part of the
lift Oseenlet. The other half comes from the vortexwake-velocity part of the lift
Oseenlet. We therefore assume potential ow everywhere except at the vortex sheet,
along which we allow a singular vortexwake-velocity term of the lift Oseenlet.
From this, a slender-wing theory is presented together with integral expressions
for the lift and change in lift over the wing surface. Applications to slender bodies
and large-aspect-ratio wings, in particular, the LanchesterPrandtl lifting line, are
then considered.
Keywords: potential ow; Oseen ow; slender-body theory;
slender-wing theory; manoeuvring

1. Introduction
We investigate the manoeuvring of slender bodies with appendages such as ns and
slender wings, within an incompressible uid. Ship and submarine manoeuvring,
and marine-animal propulsion, fall into this category, as well as bird ight, aircraft
manoeuvring and missile guidance at velocities such that the compressibility of air
is not an important factor. For these problems, the uid slips past the bodies and a
vortex wake emanates behind. The requirement is to provide an accurate mathematical model that enables us to determine manoeuvring characteristics. This means an
accurate representation of the wake. Since the uid slips past the bodies, the viscous
resistance to motion is small. This naturally leads to the potential-ow representation. However, in the present paper, we argue that the standard potential-ow
models do not model the wake properly, in particular, the vortex sheet emanating
from the trailing edge of a wing. We therefore propose an alternative potential-ow
model derived from the Oseen formulation.
Received 8 July 2002
Revised 1 December 2003
Accepted 10 February 2004

c 2004 The Royal Society




415

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416

E. Chadwick

As a rst step, consider uniform, steady ow past xed, closed slender bodies
and slender wings. The slenderness assumption enables us to approximate the ow
near the body and, in this way, nd relations between the hydrodynamic forces on
the body and the body shape (Clarke 1972; Lighthill 1960; Newman 1972; Thwaites
1960; Tuck 1992). These models also assume potential ow. Hence the vortex wake
is not modelled. This gives rise to concern as it was shown by Chadwick (1998) that,
in general, the far-eld velocity cannot be decomposed into a potential-velocity part
and a wake-velocity part. (In the far eld, the Oseen equations approximately hold.)
It is concerning because using (incorrectly) this decomposition leads to an incorrect
evaluation of the lift (Chadwick 1998). We cannot then be sure that potential-ow
models evaluate the lift correctly. However, the potential velocity and wake velocity
can be separated for two-dimensional ow, axisymmetric ow and low Reynolds
number ow (Chadwick 1998). For these special cases, this diculty does not arise.
The question now arises as to whether, for high-Reynolds-number ow without
transition to turbulence, a potential-ow model is sucient for determining the
lift force on the body. For high-Reynolds-number ow past slender bodies, Chadwick (2002) argues that the Oseen equations are approximately valid everywhere
and the slip boundary condition can be applied on the surface of the slender body.
This yields a slender-body theory in Oseen ow, and is generated by a distribution of Oseenlets. However, exactly half the contribution to the lift comes from
the potential velocity of the lift Oseenlet, and the other half comes from the vortex wake velocity, regardless of the Reynolds number (see Appendix A). So, in the
limit of high-Reynolds-number ow, a potential-ow model is obtained from which
only half the contribution to the lift comes from the potential velocity. The extra
half contribution, which comes from the vortexwake-velocity term, must also be
included in the model. This has far-reaching consequences for general textbook
potential-ow models of slender wings and slender bodies, since it suggests that,
in the existing models, half of the lift contribution, from the vortex-wake velocity,
has been inadvertently omitted. This gives rise to a dilemma, since the models have
been veried extensively over the years by experiment. This is the starting point of
the research within the present paper, and we begin by looking at textbook wing
theory.
Consider slender-wing theory in which the slender wing is replaced by a vortex
sheet which, in turn, is represented by a distribution of horseshoe vortices. In these
models (Batchelor 1967; Lighthill 1989; Thwaites 1960), the lift of the horseshoe
vortex is taken as /U s 0. Since the vortex sheet is represented by the limit
of innitesimal horseshoe vortices, the limit should be /U s , which we shall
show results in a reduction in the lift by exactly a half. In this limit, the potential
velocity due to the horseshoe vortex is the same as the potential velocity part of the
lift Oseenlet. We argue that an additional half contribution to the lift comes from
the vortexwake-velocity term of the lift Oseenlet. So, by good fortune, the existing
models have been inadvertently evaluating the correct value for the lift although
using the wrong limit.
From this analysis, a slender-wing theory is presented, together with applications to slender bodies and large-aspect-ratio wings, in particular, the Lanchester
Prandtl lifting line. We shall also discuss the implications of this theory for the Kutta
condition.
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A slender-wing theory in potential ow

417

SB
S

Figure 1. The surface S and contour C .

2. Potential ow
(a) Equations of motion
We start with the incompressible NavierStokes equations (Lamb 1932, p. 577), with
the viscosity set to zero, and also the continuity equation for incompressible ow
uj

ui
p
=
,
xj
xi

uj
= 0.
xj

(2.1)

Here, ui and p are the velocity and pressure, respectively, in sux notation for the
Cartesian coordinate system (x1 , x2 , x3 ) and is the uid density and is assumed to
be constant.
Assuming the slip-body boundary condition, then
u j nj = 0

(2.2)

on the body surface SB , where ni is the outward pointing normal. Consider a slender
wing with a trailing edge and assume that a wake emanates from the trailing edge
on which the velocity and pressure may be singular and discontinuous.
We suppose that a surface S exists on which the trailing edge lies, and enclosed
by a contour C . The contour C is dened as the intersection with SB of a tube T
with circular cross-section, radius  centred on the trailing edge (see gure 1).
The tube T also has a hemispherical cap at each end, centred at the endpoints of
the trailing edge with radius . Hence the points on the contour C and the points
on the surface S all lie a distance at most  away from the nearest point to them on
the trailing edge.
Then the condition
te
min{xC
(2.3)
i (t1 ) xi (t2 )2 }  
t1

is satised, where  2 is the 2-norm distance measure, xC


i represents a point on the
contour C parametrized by the variable t1 such that ta  t1  tb for some constants
ta and tb , xte
i represents a point on the trailing edge parametrized by the variable t2
such that tc  t2  td for some constants tc and td , mint1 is the minimum value at
t1 over the range of values for t2 and (2.3) must hold for all t1 .
Then the force is represented by a surface integral of the normal pressure over the
body surface (Lamb 1932) such that
  

fi = lim
pni ds ,
(2.4)
0

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418

E. Chadwick

where fi is the force on the body due to the uid, ds is an element of surface and
SB S is part of the body surface not lying on S . Since uj nj = 0 on the body
surface, then

  
fi = lim
(pni + ui uj nj ) ds
0

SB S

0

SS

  
= lim


(pni + ui uj nj ) ds ,

(2.5)

where S is a general surface enclosing the body except for the constraint that S must
lie on S. We have used the result that the integrand of the volume integral enclosing
the two surfaces S S and SB S is identically zero from Greens integral theorem.
Finally, we assume that, away from the vortex-wake region, the velocity can be
represented by a potential velocity such that ui = /xi . Then
p = 12

2
= 0,
xj xj


,
xi xi

(2.6)

which are the Bernoulli equation and Laplace equation, respectively. We assume that
p 0 and /xi 0i as r , where 0i is the vector (01 , 02 , 03 ) = (0, 0, 0).
(b) Vortex line
In the following sections, we shall use the velocity representation of a vortex line
and its near-eld approximation, which shall be given here. A vortex line is dened
such that the circulation around a closed contour enclosing the line is a constant
giving its strength, in the limit as the contour approaches the line (Batchelor 1967).
A vortex line is itself the limiting value of a vortex tube as the length dimension of
the tube cross-section tends to zero (Batchelor 1967).
(i) Velocity representation of a vortex line
We shall show that the vortex line along the x3 -axis from x3 = a to x3 = b is given
by
 
 b
1

ui (x1 , x2 , x3 ) =
k3 d,
ijk
(2.7)
4 a
xj R
where R = {x21 + x22 + (x3 )2 }1/2 . We shall show that is the circulation. We
note that this is a hypothetical vortex line, since a real vortex line cannot begin or
end in the uid (Batchelor 1967). The circulation C is then given by


C = lim
ui ti dc ,
(2.8)
r0

Cr

where ti is the vector tangent to the contour Cr such that ti = ijk nj lk , lk is the
unit vector direction of the vortex line and Cr is a circular contour enclosing the
vortex line in a plane perpendicular to it of radius r and centred
on it such that the

polar coordinates (r, ) give x1 = r cos , x2 = r sin , r = x21 + x22 .
Dene

ui ti dc.
(2.9)
I(r, x3 ) =
Cr

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A slender-wing theory in potential ow


Then


I=
Cr

ijk
a

xj

419



1
k3 d (ilm nl m3 ) dc.
R

(2.10)

Changing the order of integration, and the variables of integration from to x3


and from c to , we get


 bx3  2
1


r d d
(ijk ilm k3 m3 nl )
I=
4 ax3 0
xj
2 + r2


 bx3  2
1


=
r d d
4 ax3 0 r
2 + r2
 bx3
r2
= 12
d.
(2.11)
2
2 3/2
ax3 ( + r )
By noting that

r2


= 2
,
2 + r2
( + r2 )3/2
we get


I(r, x3 ) =

1
2

b x3

a x3


.

(b x3 )2 + r2
(a x3 )2 + r2

(2.12)

Hence the circulation is given by


C=

(2.13)

for a < x3 < b and C = 0 for other values of x3 .


(ii) Two-dimensional velocity approximation near a vortex line
We now consider the two-dimensional approximation near a vortex line. The neareld approximation is

unf
(2.14)
i ,
i =
2r
where (1 , 2 ) = ( sin , cos ) and the superscript nf denotes the near eld. Then,
over the circular contour Cr radius r, the circulation C is
 2

(2.15)
C=
j j r d = ,
2r
0
since ti = ijk nj lk = i . A slender wing is represented by a vortex model and is
discussed next.
(c) Slender-wing representation
The classical approach is developed by thinking of a discretization of the vortex
sheet by a number of horseshoe vortices. Lighthill (1989, gure 86, p. 216), Batchelor
(1967, gure 7.8.4, p. 585) and Katz & Plotkin (2001, gure 8.2, p. 169) distribute
a spanwise number of horseshoe vortices of varying strength and in the limit let
the span of each tend to zero, Newman (1977, gure 5.18, p. 195) and Katz &
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420

E. Chadwick
area A
x1

x2

x3

x1
x3

horseshoe vortex
Figure 2. Distribution of horseshoe vortices which make up the vortex sheet.

Plotkin (2001, gure 8.17, p. 186) distribute a spanwise and chordwise distribution
of horseshoe vortices of varying strength and in the limit again let the span of each
tend to zero. We therefore represent the ow around a slender wing by a distribution
of bound and free vortices over an area A within the slender wing. This distribution
is approximated by a nite number of horseshoe vortices distributed over the area A.
Let us suppose that A lies in the plane x2 = 0, and that the horseshoe vortices are
regularly spaced with span x3 in the x3 -direction and separated by distance x1
in the x1 -direction, as shown in gure 2.
The vortex strength on the vortex sheet (x1 , x3 ) is approximated at a nite
number of points with coordinates (ix1 , 0, (j + 12 )x3 ) for some integer values of i
and j, and related to the strength of the horseshoe vortex at that point. In the limit
as both x1 and x3 0, then the vortex-strength function is determined. Hence,
in this limit, the span of each horseshoe vortex tends to zero. This means we take
/U s .
The total lift is approximated by summing the lift contributions from all the
horseshoe vortices in the model. Hence the lift is found exactly by applying the
limiting process such that /U s .
However, we assert that the standard classical approach wrongly assumes the lift
contribution from each of the innitesimal horseshoe vortices in the limit /U s 0.
This means that, in order to relate vortex strength to lift, the two-dimensional result
is used. Batchelor (1967, p. 586) explicitly states that this is an assumption: According to the second of our two main assumptions. . . the ow about any section of the
wing. . . may be regarded as two dimensional. Similarly, Katz & Plotkin (2001, p. 172)
relate vortex strength to lift by using the local two-dimensional lift result. The reasoning given for assuming this in these particular cases is that the spanwise variation is very gradual. But, however gradual, there is still a variation, otherwise there
would not be the requirement for the horseshoe vortex discretization in the classical
approach; a vortex sheet is assumed to emanate from the trailing edge rather than
vortices trailing from the two span tips only. To recap, in order to relate the vortex
strength to lift, the limit /U s 0 is generally assumed, but this is inconsistent
with the representation of the wake by a vortex sheet for which the limit /U s
holds.
For wings such that the spanwise variation is not gradual, the lift force is generally
determined by calculating the pressure dierence over the top and bottom surfaces of
the wing. This is equivalent to Newmans approach (Newman 1977, p. 193) and also
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A slender-wing theory in potential ow

421

x2
O
x1

x3

Figure 3. Horseshoe vortex.

bound
vortex
line

wing trailing
edge lies
on S
r
s

trailing vortices
r + O(s)
points of intersection

Figure 4. Intersection of the trailing edge and the horseshoe vortex.

of Katz & Plotkin (2001, pp. 191, 193). However, in these calculations, the pressure
integral across the trailing edge has been omitted and is not the complete lift force.
Including this reduces the lift force by a half, and will be shown in a forthcoming
paper. In contrast, the lift induced by a horseshoe vortex by considering the complete
surface pressure integral is given next.

3. Horseshoe vortex
Consider now the force contribution on the slender wing from one of the horseshoe
vortices lying over the area A. For ease of analysis, position the horseshoe vortex such
that the three vortex lines range from (, 0, 0) to (0, 0, 0), from (0, 0, 0) to (0, 0, s)
and from (0, 0, s) to (, 0, s), as shown in gure 3.
From (2.7), the velocity of the horseshoe vortex is then given by

1/2

1

ijk
k1 d
ui =
4 0
xj (x1 )2 + x22 + (x3 s)2

1/2


+
ijk
k1 d
4 0
xj (x1 )2 + x22 + x23

1/2
 s

ijk
k3 d.
(3.1)
4 0
xj x21 + x22 + (x3 )2
Consider the closed surface S of the force integral equation (2.4), remembering
that the trailing edge of the wing lies on it. In the case of this horseshoe vortex, we
therefore consider a particular closed surface S, which is constrained such that the
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422

E. Chadwick
x2

x3

surface S

x1
trailing edge

Figure 5. Surface S enclosing the horseshoe vortex.

two points of intersection between the surface S and the two trailing vortices of the
horseshoe vortex lie on the trailing edge (see gure 4). In the limit as the span of
the horseshoe vortex tends to zero (and so /U s ), the distance r along each
trailing vortex line of the horseshoe vortex from the bound vortex line to the point
where the line pierces the surface S is the same to rst order.
We can therefore choose the surface S consisting of a cylindrical surface radius
r = {x21 + x22 }1/2 along the length 0  x3  s, a hemisphere radius r centred at
(0, 0, 0) in the region x3  0 and another hemisphere radius r centred at (0, 0, s) in
the region x3  0 (see gure 5). The choice of hemispherical caps, rather than, say,
discs at the ends, is for ease of analysis.
We also want to demonstrate that the limit /U s 0 has been wrongly assumed
in the standard classical approach. Therefore, we consider the force integral in two
limits: rst, as /U s 0, and second, as /U s .
(a) The limit /U s 0
Equivalently, this means t = s/r , and in this limit we shall nd that the
contribution to the lift force comes from the velocity induced by the bound vorticity
only. The force integral over the surface (2.5) is
  

(pni + ui uj nj ) ds .
(3.2)
fi = lim
0

SS

The integral is divided into contributions from the bound vortex (denoted by superscript B), the trailing vortices (superscript T; T1 for the vortex line from (0, 0, 0)
to (, 0, 0) and T2 for the vortex line from (, 0, s) to (0, 0, s)), the circular cylindrical surface (superscript cyl) and the hemispherical surfaces (superscript hem).
Hence
fi = fiB + fiT = fiB,cyl + fiB,hem + fiT,cyl + fiT,hem .
(i) Contribution from the bound vortex line
The trailing edge, along which the vortex sheet emanates, lies along the line = 0.
From (2.3), we can bound the surface S by a contour C which is a distance  either
side of the trailing edge, at = /r and = 2 /r. Hence the contribution to the
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A slender-wing theory in potential ow


lift f2 from the bound vortex line is
  s  2/r

B,cyl
B
= lim
U u2 n1 r d dx3 +
f2
0

/r

423


2/r

U uB
1 n2 r d dx3

(3.3)

/r

from symmetry arguments, where the polar coordinate (r, ) are such that x1 =
r cos and x2 = r sin . Assuming that the ow is two dimensional in the plane of
constant x3 , then the velocity is given by the approximation (2.14), and so
f2B,cyl = 12 U s + 12 U s,

(3.4)

which is O(s) where O means of the order of. We note that the contributions from
the hemispherical ends of the surface are O(r), and so are negligible in the limit
t = s/r . So
(3.5)
f2B = U s,
which is the standard result for the lift of a horseshoe vortex (Lighthill 1989; Newman
1977). We now show that the contributions from the trailing vortices tend to zero in
the limit.
(ii) Contribution from trailing vortex lines
First consider the trailing vortex line that induces the velocity

1/2

1

T1
ijk
k1 d
ui =
4 0
xj (x1 )2 + x22 + x23

ln(R x1 )k1 ,
= ijk
4
xj

(3.6)

where R = {x21 + x22 + x23 }1/2 and we use the identity given in Appendix B. Similarly,
from symmetry arguments and using the same integral limits as (3.3), we have
  s  2/r

 s  2/r
T1
f2T1,cyl = lim
U uT1
n
r
d
dx
+
U
u
n
r
d
dx
1
3
2
3 .
2
1
0

/r

/r

(3.7)
Splitting the rst of these integrals in two, to get
  1  2/r

 s  2/r
T1
U uT1
n
r
d
dx

U
u
n
r
d
dx
lim
1
3
1
3 ,
2
2
0

/r

1

(3.8)

/r

where 1 = Ar, with A a large constant, we see that the rst term in (3.8) is O(r)
and the second term is O(r ln r). Similarly, the second part of (3.7) is O(r).
Furthermore, over the hemispherical surfaces, the integral contributions are of
O(r). Applying the same analysis to the trailing vortex line T2 means that f2T =
O(r ln r), and these contributions are of negligible order in the limit t = s/r .
So, dening the quantity L such that
L = U s,

(3.9)

f2 = f2B = L = U s.

(3.10)

then

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424

E. Chadwick

This result is of no surprise, since in the limit the ow is two dimensional, and this
is the two-dimensional result for lift on an aerofoil. However, for three-dimensional
ow past a wing, a trailing vortex sheet occurs, and so the two-dimensional result
cannot be generalized for three dimensions, and the following limit for the horseshoe
vortex must be considered instead.
(b) The limit /U s
Equivalently, this means t = s/r 0, and in this limit we shall nd that the
contribution to the lift force comes from the velocity induced by both the bound
vortex line and also the free vortex lines.
(i) Contribution from the bound vortex line
As t = s/r 0,
uB
i

ijk
4
xj

 
1
s x1
k3 =
.
R
4 R3

(3.11)

From symmetry, the contribution to the force integral comes from the term
  

B
B
f2 = lim
U u2 n1 ds = 13 L,
(3.12)
0

SS

where S is taken as the surface of the sphere Sr of radius r.


(ii) Contribution from the free vortex lines
Consider the free vortex lines F1 for the vortex line from (, 0, 0) to (0, 0, 0)
and F2 for the vortex line from (0, 0, s) to (, 0, s). Let us consider rst the free
vortex line F1. From symmetry arguments, the integral contribution to the force
from the free vortex line F1 is
  

U uF1
n
ds
.
(3.13)
f2F1 = lim
1
2
0

SS

Now consider the contribution to this integral over the cylindrical surface. From
(2.14), near the vortex line F1 the velocity is
uF1
2

x3

,
2 (x22 + x23 )

and so the contribution over the cylindrical surface is




 

U r s x3
U r
s2
F1,cyl
f2
=
dx3 dx2 =
ln 1 + 2 dx2 .
2 r 0 x22 + x23
4 r
x2

(3.14)

(3.15)

Changing the variable of integration to q = s/x2 and integrating by parts gives



t

 t
s
2s
U
f2F1,cyl =

dq
,
(3.16)
ln(1 + q 2 )
2
4
q
t 1 + q
t
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A slender-wing theory in potential ow

425

where t = s/r. Therefore,


f2F1,cyl =

U r
{ln(1 + t2 ) 2t(tan1 t 12 )}.
2

(3.17)

So, as t 0,

U r
(t) = 12 L.
2
The same contribution is obtained from the free vortex line F2, and so
f2F1,cyl

f2F,cyl = f2F1,cyl + f2F2,cyl = 12 L + 12 L = L.

(3.18)

(3.19)

Finally, we consider the contribution over the hemispherical surfaces. Since the origins of the hemispheres are separated by a distance s, the velocity
= uF1,hem
+ uF2,hem
uF,hem
2
2
2



=
ln(R x3 )
ln(Rs x3 )
4 x3
x3

s 2
ln(R x3 )
4 x23

(3.20)

in the limit as t 0, where Rs = {x21 + x22 + (x3 s)2 }1/2 . Furthermore, in the limit,
the two hemispherical surfaces tend to the surface of a sphere Sr of radius r. From
symmetry arguments, the force contribution from the free vortex lines over the two
hemispherical surfaces is then given by


 
u2 n1 ds
f2F,hem = lim U
0

Sr S

U s
= lim
0
4
=

 

Sr S


2
ln(R x3 )n1 ds
x23

16 L.

(3.21)

Bringing all these results together, the total force on the surface enclosing horseshoe
vortex in the limit /U s is
F2 = F2B + F2F
= F2B + F2F,cyl + F2F,hem
= 13 L + L 16 L
= 12 L.

(3.22)

Hence the lift force due to the potential-velocity term in this limit /U s is
seen to be exactly half of that in the limit /U s 0.

4. Lifting element
Let us dene the lifting element to be the limiting value of the horseshoe vortex as
/U s . In this section, we give the potential of the lifting element and from it
evaluate the lift force associated with it.
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426

E. Chadwick
(a) Potential

We evaluate each velocity component in turn. From 2 b,



1/2
1

d
2
2
2
0 x2 x1 + x2 + (x3 )
 
1
s

4 x2 R


L

=
ln(R x1 )
4U x1 x2

u1 =

(4.1)

as /U s . Similarly,



1

u2 =
d
4 0 x3 [(x1 )2 + x22 + (x3 s)2 ]1/2



1

d
+
4 0 x3 [(x1 )2 + x22 + x23 ]1/2


 s
1

d
+
4 0 x1 [x21 + x22 + (x3 )2 ]1/2


 

s 2
1
s
1

d
+
2
2
2
2
1/2
4 0 x3 [(x1 ) + x2 + x3 ]
4 x1 R
s 2
s 2
ln(R

x
)

ln(R x1 )
1
4 x23
4 x21



L
=
ln(R x1 )
4U x2 x2

(4.2)

as /U s , and where we have used the integral identity given in Appendix B,




1
ln(R x1 ) =
d,
xj
x
j R
0
such that R = {(x1 )2 + x22 + x23 }1/2 .
Finally, the third velocity component is




d
u3 =
4 0 x2 [(x1 )2 + x22 + (x3 s)2 ]1/2




d
4 0 x2 [(x1 )2 + x22 + x23 ]1/2



s 2
1

d
4 0 x2 x3 [(x1 )2 + x22 + x23 ]1/2



L
ln(R x1 )
=
4U x3 x2
as /U s . Again, the integral identity given in Appendix B was used.
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A slender-wing theory in potential ow

427

Thus the potential of the lifting element is


=

L
ln(R x1 ).
4U x2

(4.4)

This is the potential part of the lift Oseenlet (Lagerstrom 1964; Oseen 1927).
(b) Lift
From symmetry arguments, the force due to the lifting elements is
 
 
f2 =
U u1 n2 ds
U u2 n1 ds = 13 L + 16 L = 12 L
S

(4.5)

by substituting in for the potential (4.4). As expected, this is the same as the
result (3.22) obtained in 3 b. The lifting element potential is now used to give a
slender-wing theory.

5. Slender-wing theory
Consider an area A over which are distributed bound and free vortex lines within a
slender wing. This is given by the velocity potential
 
l(, )
ln(R, x1 ) d d,
(5.1)
=
A 4U x2
where R, = {(x1 )2 + x22 + (x3 )2 }1/2 .
We now use the fact that half the lift contribution comes from the potential
term (4.4) and the other half comes from the singular wake velocity term (see
Appendix A) of the lift Oseenlet. Then the total lift is given by
 
l(, ) d d.
(5.2)
L=
A

We shall use these equations in the following applications for slender bodies and
large-aspect-ratio wings.
(a) Application: slender-body theory
Let us take the width of the vortex sheet to approach zero. If the slender body lies
along the length xa  x1  xb , then, from (5.1),
 xb
l1 ()
=
ln(R x1 ) d,
(5.3)
xa 4U x2
where R = {(x1 )2 + x22 + x23 }1/2 . The lift is given by
 xb
l1 () d.
L=

(5.4)

xa

Consider the approximate near-eld ow to the slender body,




x2
L(x1 )
2D
,
=
2U x22 + x23
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428

E. Chadwick

where we dene L(x1 ) such that L (x1 ), the derivative of the function L(x1 ), is
L (x1 ) = l1 (x1 ).
The lift force per unit length due to this ow is
 2
U u1 n2 r d
(5.6)
0

for the polar coordinates (r , ) such that x2 = r cos and x3 = r sin .


This gives a lift per unit length at x1 = of 12 l1 (). Hence the lift forces are
matched in the near and far elds. This agrees with the potential term for slenderbody theory in Oseen ow (Chadwick 1998).
(b) Application: large-aspect-ratio wing theory
By taking the length of the slender wing to approach zero, a theory for highaspect ratio wings is given next. The near-eld ow is then shown to agree with
LanchesterPrandtl theory.
Let the wing lie along the span xc  x3  xd . For a large-aspect-ratio wing, the
potential (5.1) becomes
 xd
l3 ()
ln(R x1 ) d,
(5.7)
=
xc 4U x2
where R = {x21 + x22 + (x3 )2 }1/2 . The lift is given by
 xd
l3 () d.
L=

(5.8)

xc

However, from (3.9), L = U s, and so the discretization representation of 2 c by N


horseshoe vortices each of span x3 = (xd xc )/N gives
L = lim

x3 0

N
+1

U j x3 ,

(5.9)

j=1

where j is the strength of the jth horseshoe vortex along the wing span. So j
approximates the vortex strength function (x3 ) at the point x3 = xc + (j + 12 )x3 .
Hence
(5.10)
l3 (x3 ) = U (x3 ).
This gives the potential for large aspect ratio wings as
 xd

1
()
ln(R x1 ) d.
=
4 xc
x2
Near to the wing, x1 , x2  x3 . So
 xd
x2
1
()
d

4 xc
(x3 )2
xd  xd


x2
x2
1

()

()

d ,
x3 xc
x3
4
xc
Proc. R. Soc. A (2005)

(5.11)

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A slender-wing theory in potential ow

429

where  () is the derivative of gamma with respect to . At the wing tips, is


assumed zero. So
 xd 

()
1

d,
(5.13)
x2
4 xc x3
which is the velocity given by the LanchesterPrandtl lifting line theory (Van Dyke
1975).

6. Discussion
A slender-wing theory has been presented by representing the slender wing by a
vortex sheet, and the vortex sheet by an integral distribution of lifting elements
together with a wake-velocity term present only on the vortex sheet. The lifting
element is dened as a horseshoe vortex in the limit as /U s . The wake-velocity
term is included because it contributes signicantly to the lift. This contribution is
evaluated by considering the lift Oseenlet in the limit of high Reynolds number but
laminar ow. (The contribution is exactly a half (see Appendix A).)
By taking the span of the slender wing to approach zero, the potential term contributing to lift for a slender body is given. Then, by matching the surface lift integral,
the approximate near-eld potential ow is obtained.
Also, by taking the length of the slender wing to approach zero, a theory for highaspect ratio wings is given. The near-eld ow is shown to agree with Lanchester
Prandtl theory.
However, the far-eld ow for these two problems given in Tuck (1992) and
Van Dyke (1975) disagrees with our analysis: more than one far-eld term matches
asymptotically to the same near-eld term in these cases. However, if we match the
terms generating lift in the near and far elds, then the far-eld terms given by Tuck
(1992) and Van Dyke (1975) can be discounted. (These discounted far-eld terms
consist of dipole distributions, which do not generate lift.) Furthermore, we note
that the discounted terms generate ows that traverse the wake (cross-ow terms).
This has implications for the Kutta condition, which states that there is smooth
tangential ow at the trailing edge, so there is no cross-ow at the trailing edge, or



1
u2 dl = 0.
lim ( 2 r)
r0

(C is a contour perpendicular to the direction of, and enclosing, the slender body axis
of radius r. u2 is the velocity lateral to the direction of the slender body axis.) Thus,
for the particular representation considered here, by a distribution of lifting elements,
the Kutta condition is automatically satised as a consequence of the matching of
the lift surface integral in the near and far elds.
Therefore, future work will investigate a general derivation of the Kutta condition
for slender bodies and wings by matching the forces and moments in the near and far
elds, a comparison of the theory with experiment and development of a slender-wing
theory for high Reynolds number but laminar Oseen ow.
I acknowledge the anonymous referee who provided improved calculations for the results (2.12),
(3.18) and (B 5). I also acknowledge Nina Fishwick for her contribution to the calculation of the
lift of the horseshoe vortex.
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430

E. Chadwick

Appendix A.
We show that half the contribution to the force of the lift Oseenlet comes from the
potential-velocity term, and half from the vortexwake-velocity term.
The Oseen equations (Oseen 1927) are
U

ui
p
2 ui
=
+
,
x1
xi
xj xj

uj
= 0.
xj

(A 1)

The lift Oseenlet in the x2 -direction is given as (Chadwick 1998; Lagerstrom 1964;
Oseen 1927)

ui =
+ wi =
+
2k 2i ,

xi
xi xi

,
p = U

x1

ln(R x1 ),
=

4U x2
(A 2)
L k(Rx1 )

=
ln(R x1 ),
e

4U
x2

k(Rx1 )

L e

,
=

4U
R

k=
.
2
The force integral given in Chadwick (1998) is

  
ui
fi =
pni + nj
(A 3)
U ui n1 ds,
xj
S
and so the lift from the Oseenlet is given by


  
  

w2

n2
n1 ds +
n1 U w2 n1 ds.
f2 = U
x2
x1
S x1
S
We rst calculate the contribution from the potential terms. This gives
 

n2 ds = 13 L,
U

S x1
 

U
n1 ds = 16 L.
S x2

(A 4)

(A 5)

So the total lift from the potential terms is 12 L, and this is true for any surface S
enclosing the lift Oseenlet singularity. We next calculate the lift from the wake terms.
Taking the surface over the plane at x1 = X and X , the contribution
 
 
w2
1
0.
n1 ds = O

X
S x1
The other contribution to the lift from the wake velocity is
 
 
 

w2 n1 ds = U
n1 ds + 2kU
n1 ds.
U
S
S x2
S
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(A 6)

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A slender-wing theory in potential ow

431

In the far-eld wake,




L kr02 /2x1 1 2 cos2 0 2k

cos 0 ,
e

x2
4U
r02
x1

2
L

ekr0 /2x1 ,

4U x1

(A 7)

where the cylindrical polars (r0 , 0 ) are dened such that x2 = r0 cos 0 and x3 =
r0 sin 0 .
Taking the surface integral S over the integration limits 0  r0 < , 0  0 < 2,
we have
 
  2

U
n1 ds = U
r0 d0 dr0 = 12 L
(A 8)
x
x
2
2
0
0
S
and
 

n1 ds = 2kU

2kU


0

r0 d0 dr0 = L.

(A 9)

The contribution to the lift from the wake velocity is then 12 L + L = 12 L and the
total lift from the velocity potential and wake velocity is 21 L + 12 L = L.

Appendix B.
We want to show that

ln(R x1 ) =
xj

xj


1
,
R

R = {(x1 )2 + x22 + x23 }1/2 .

(B 1)

For j = 1, we have
LHS(B 1) =

1
R

and

RHS(B 1) =
0

(B 2)
 
x1
1
1
d =
= .
R2
R 0
R

(B 3)

For j = 1, we have
LHS(B 1) =

xj (R + x1 )
xj
=
,
R(R x1 )
r02 R

(B 4)

where r02 = x22 + x23 , and



RHS(B 1) =
0

Proc. R. Soc. A (2005)



xj
xj x1
xj (R + x1 )
d = 2
=
.
3
R
r0
R 0
r02 R

(B 5)

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432

E. Chadwick

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Proc. R. Soc. A (2005)