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Cole Reiner

Mr. Pochop

Aerospace Engineering

Xfoil Project

The main point of the project was to become familiar with all the tools xfoil has,

that way we can use the program later on when building airfoils. We have examined

many coefficients such as; lift, drag, pressure, friction, and moments, and after doing

the project, it is much easier to analyse all these different graphs and data charts.

Overall, I did receive much different data for the graphs of the coefficients compared to

the NACA 2415 airfoil that was tested in the wind tunnels back in the day.

Pressure Coefficients
The actual tested data from NACA 2415 graph was a little different than the data

received on xfoil. NACA original gave a .6 coefficient of lift compared to .755 that was

found on xfoil. The moment Coefficient was -.2 on the original graphs and xfoil was -.1.

Some of this error may be due to the fact that xfoil is run off a computer rather than in a

real life air tunnel.

1. Find Pressure coefficients at 4 and 9 degrees with a reynolds number at 3

million. Xfoil= > Naca 2415 Oper => re 3e6 Oper => Visc

2. Compare the graphs

3. Plot skin friction coefficient

4. Run the sequence of angles (-18 degrees to 24 degrees)

5. Plot data from the sequence in excel and explain the meaning and compare the

graph to the original NACA 2415

6. Repeat for Re of 6e6 and 9e6

7. Find the boundary layer from an angle of attack from 24 degrees

8. Look at the drag data and find whether drag is because of skin friction or


Pressure Coefficient with an angle of attack at 4 degrees at a Re of 3

The dotted Lines are the inviscid solution where the colored lines are the viscid solution .

Viscid Solution CL= .6888 CM = -.0513 CD = .006

Inviscid Solution Cl = .755 CM = -.0642 CDP = -.0014

Pressure Coefficient Graph with an angle of attack at 9 degrees with Re of

3 million
Viscid Solution CL= 1.2145 CM = -.0463 CD = .00107

Inviscid Solution Cl = 1.3665 CM = -.0742 CDP = -.00148

The inviscid solution is different from the viscous solution because inviscid does

not take into consideration viscosity which makes sense given its name. Viscous deals

with real airflow and how it would react over the airfoil. That is why there are the yellow

and blue lines as well, because the air has to split up and travel on either side, where as

inviscid does not take that into account.

In both airfoils, the air becomes turbulent at about 75% of the chord length of the

airfoil. On the top of side of the airfoil the pressure coefficient is about -0.3 and on the

bottom the pressure coefficient is about .1.

Skin Friction Charts
Angle of attack set to 4 degrees:

At .05% the skin friction is has a lot of friction at .0095. This makes sense

because this is basically where the air first hits the airfoil. The skin friction transition

points on the top are at 30% the Friction Coeff is at about .0005 then spikes to .0067 at

38% chord length where the skin friction is larger. This is where the air is going

turbulent probably right where the boundary layer and separation occur.

Angle of Attack set to 9 degrees:

This is basically the same idea as the first chart. The friction is at its peak (.017)

at the very beginning (.05%), then the friction spikes up again once it is about to hit its

boundary layer (10%). Looking back, the second peak actually looks like it is where the

air first hits the airfoil, because on the cpx graph, the airfoil starts at 10%. My

hypothesis is that the friction is actually very high right before the airfoil hits that air, but

this could also be wrong because I do not really know how friction works before it

touches the airfoil or if any exists.

Pacc, Aseq:
Uses a range of -18 degrees to 24 degrees with an interval of .5 for all sets
of data.

Reynolds Number: 3 million

This is the data we got from running the program in xfoil, it shows the pressure

coefficient at every angle between -18 and 24 degrees. I then transferred the data from

xfoil and put it on excel in order to make better charts and graphs. This was repeated

for each reynolds number.

Reynolds Number: 6 million
Reynolds Number: 9 million
Every graph looked similar to the original NACA 2415 graphs, but they all were

slightly off too. This is most likely due to the scales of the graph, the scales for the

graph we used were different. Also, xfoil is a program running these situations, and the

original graphs were tested through actual wind tunnels which may make the data

The angle of attack where the lift to drag ratio is the greatest is at 6 degrees and the
ratio is 122.

The airfoil boundary layer becomes turbulent at about 25% of its chord length.
If you look at the airflow from the pressure coefficient graph, you can also confirm

that the boundary layer becomes turbulent at that chord length. After it separates it

continues to flow further and further away from the airfoil. Compared to something like

alfa 9, where it stays fairly close to the airfoil and never really separates.
This is where the lift is greatest compared to drag. On the tangent line, this is the only

place where the line intersects with the graph. 0.00733 is the coefficient of drag point

intersects which is also at 6 degrees.

Drag is due to mainly due to pressure, because comparing higher angles of

attack to each other, the pressure is always causing an increasing amount of drag. Skin

friction does increase with larger angles of attack, but so does pressure at the same


The project mainly got us familiar with xfoil and all the different tools within xfoil. I

can now easily determine skin friction, pressure coefficients, boundary layers much

easier after and understand the meaning of all the charts and graphs. In the future,

when we create our own airfoils, it will be easier to see what works the best using this


Pochops notes

1) Good job, you answered the questions and wrote a well written report
2) How does changing the Reynolds number affect your data?

Grade 95%