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Konstantin Matveev and Ralph Duncan

Development of the Tool for Predicting Hydrofoil

System Performance and Simulating Motion of
Hydrofoil-Assisted Boats

The hydrofoil technology is experiencing re-

ABSTRACT emergence. Retrofitting existing catamarans with
Hydrofoil technology is experiencing re- hydrofoils and building new hydrofoil-assisted
emergence due to demands for higher performance multi-hulls is a booming industry. Hydrofoils have
in both military and commercial sectors. significantly improved the efficiency of
Hydrofoil-assisted ships and boats use foils to commercial fast ferries. Hydrofoil systems are
pa rt
iallyorf ul
lys uppo r tas hipswe ight .To successfully applied for motion mitigation on large
reduce hydrodynamic resistance, a significant fast ships and show similar promise for future
fraction of the ship hull is lifted out of the water. Sealift ships. Although there are currently no
Hydrofoils can also be very effective in mitigating serious attempts to introduce hydrofoil technology
motions in rough seas. One of the factors limiting to the pleasure boat market, hydrofoils have
wider application of the hydrofoil technology is reduced fuel consumption on small boats by nearly
difficulty and high cost of developing high- half and considerably improved seaworthiness.
performance hydrofoil systems. A set of computer One of the problems preventing a wider use of
programs that will improve design of hydrofoil- hydrofoils is the complicated development process
assisted boats is currently under development. of efficient, robust, and inexpensive hydrofoil
This tool can be used for initial optimizing of systems.
complex hydrofoil configurations and for There are many publications on specifics of
developing hydrofoil control systems. Steady and hydrofoil modeling. Some of the previous studies
unsteady forces on hydrofoil system elements are used a simplified approach (e.g., Sakic 1981,
represented in the general form suggested by Latorre and Teerasin 1992) that did not account
fundamental hydrodynamic theories. Empirical for many important factors, such as effects of
corrections account for viscosity and other effects. motion history and interactions between foil
Interactions between hydrofoil systems are systems. On the other hand, Computational Fluid
included. The motion simulator can predict Dynamics tools have recently been developed that
stability and maneuverability of hydrofoil-assisted can accurately simulate hydrofoil systems (e.g.,
boats and their motions in waves. Walree 1999, Migeotte 2002). However, these
tools are computationally intensive and still
partially rely on empirical knowledge.
INTRODUCTION This paper describes efforts to develop relatively
Hydrofoils are characterized by the highest lift- simple engineering tools for practical
drag ratio among all types of water-borne craft hydrodynamic design of hydrofoil systems and
within the optimal regime for hydrofoils. boats. The basic idea is to represent the
Hydrofoil technology attracted significant hydrodynamic forces in the form suggested by
attention in the second half of the twentieth fundamental theories. Correlation factors are
century and thousands of hydrofoil boats were introduced that account for real-life effects
built. However, hydrofoil ships were displaced neglected by theories. These factors are obtained
from a dominant position on the fast ferry market either from other mathematical models addressing
by simpler and lower-maintenance catamarans that specific phenomena or from empirical knowledge
are more efficient at larger relative dimensions (or (e.g., Ogilvie 1958, Egorov and Sokolov 1965).
lower relative speeds).
An essential step in developing these engineering
tools is validating them against experimental Z
results. One of the requirements in this project is
to keep the development cost low and the tool h
simple enough for use in practical parametric
design. Therefore, some discrepancies between
model results and test data can be tolerated.
Design of hydrofoils and other advance marine x
vehicles is not as straightforward as that of
conventional (usually slow) ships. Model testing is b U
strongly recommended. Intermediate-scale
prototypes are also useful for reducing the
uncertainty of scale effects and in achieving Figure 1: General scheme of a submerged hydrofoil.
optimal performance at the full scale. The
engineering tool being developed is not considered
as a substitute for testing, but as a means for k z 0 0
preliminary optimizing of the ship design and
reducing development time. Cz 0
. (2)
C z k 1
Physical phenomena most critical for realistic 1
design of high-performance hydrofoil systems are
outlined in the following sections. In particularly, The derivative of the lift coefficient on the attack
a general formula for the lift of a hydrofoil section

is given and its generalization to complex angle is for a deeply submerged, infinite
hydrofoil systems is outlined. We also discuss a 0
tandem foil interaction, a convenient method for aspect ratio hydrofoil. For the ideal fluid and thin
calculating unsteady hydrodynamic forces, and a foil profiles this coefficient is equal to 2. A
development of 6D motion simulator for a correction to this coefficient that depends on the
hydrofoil boat. Correlations and functions are not profile thickness-chord ratio, Reynolds number,
presented here in details due to paper size limits and the trailing edge closure angle should be
and because of the proprietary nature of some applied to account for these effects (e.g., Martin
correlations and methods. 1963). The apparent attack angle is the angle
between the line connecting trailing and leading
edges and the horizontal plane. The effective zero-
STEADY HYDRODYNAMIC attack angle is 0 . This angle is a function of the
FORCES foil camber, Reynolds number, and the trailing
The lift force generated on a hydrofoil (Figure 1) is edge closure angle (Egorov and Sokolov 1965).
determined by formula The XFOIL program (Drela 1989) is another
method for determining the effect of viscosity on
U 2 the zero-attack angle. Discussions on the effect of
Z C z S, (1) Reynolds number can be found in (Walree 1999)
and (Migeotte 2002). The proximity to the free
where C z is the lift coefficient, is the water water surface is accounted for by corrections 0
density, U is the flow velocity with respect to the and k to the effective attack angle and to the lift
foil, and S is the one-side foil area. S b 2 , derivative, respectively. They are functions of the
where is the foil aspect ratio and b is the profile thickness-chord and submergence-chord
effective chord. The lift coefficient of a hydrofoil ratios (Egorov and Sokolov 1965). Denominator in
with finite aspect ratio, moving under free water Eq. (2) is due to a finite aspect ratio ; and is
surface is Glauert correction. The influence of the foil
submergence that affects the vorticity wake is
accounted by and the influence of struts is employed on modern hydrofoil fast ferries (Figure
accounted by (Egorov and Sokolov 1965). This 3), we propose to apply the transverse strip
is a function of the strut positions and the foil approach. The foil span is divided into a number
submergence and aspect ratio. of sections and the local lift coefficient is
computed for each of the sections considering the
Figure 2 compares the results of Eq. (2) and local foil profile, local flow characteristics, and the
experimental data for the lift coefficient of a global span of the hydrofoil system.
hydrofoil section at Reynolds number 2.5x106.
This figure illustrates the uncertainties one should
expect when using approximate mathematical


Lift coefficient




-2 0 2 4
Installed attack angle [deg]

Figure 2: Lift coefficient for profile YS-920. ,

experimental data for smooth and rough surface
(Shen 1985); solid line, model prediction.

Figure 3: Photo and front view of a hydrofoil fast

Hydrodynamic resistance of a hydrofoil system ferry of Olympia class.
includes profile, inductive, and wave drag
components. Struts have profile, spray, and
sometimes cavitation drag components (Egorov One of the initial variants of the bow hydrofoil
and Sokolov 1965, Voitkunsky 1985). Hydrofoil system of Olympia-class ship (Figure 3) was tested
sections crossing the water surface may also on a model scale at chord-length Reynolds number
generate spray drag. Special fences are usually 5.5-8.0x105. Measured lift and drag are presented
installed on hydrofoil and strut sections near the in Figure 4 by open circles. Predictions for this
operational waterline to minimize this drag system by the theory outlined in this paper are
component and to avoid foil ventilation. High- shown by crosses. (Some details of the foil system
performance hydrofoils should operate in the geometry are known to us only approximately.)
subcavitating regime. The boundary of the Adequate agreement between model and test
subcavitating domain for a particular profile is a results is observed in Figure 4 in the range of
function of the lift coefficient, profile thickness- operational attack angles and submergences.
chord ratio, and cavitation number. Underprediction of the lift can be partly attributed
to a reduced viscous influence on the lift
For calculating hydrodynamic forces on the
derivative and a zero-attack angle in the vicinity of
complex surface-piercing foil systems, such as
free water surface (Migeotte 2002). Another
important factor is the non-uniform distribution of upwash region in the wave system, then the lift
the lift force along the span of a hydrofoil. On a force generated on this foil will incline forward
single zero-dihedral hydrofoil, the central sections effectively creating thrust. The length of the wave
are more heavily loaded than the sections near the hollow is approximately proportional to the speed
tips. Therefore, a hydrofoil with deeper and a square root of the span of the front foil. The
submergence of the central part will generally deviation of the water surface from the
produce higher lift than predicted by the approach undisturbed level depends on the front foil
outlined here, although the influence of struts will geometry, its submergence, lift coefficient, and the
partly compensate for this effect. Simple semi- ship speed. Expressions for engineering
empirical corrections can be applied to account for calculations of these values are available
such phenomena in engineering design of (Kolyzaev, Kosorukov, and Litvinenko 1980, Bai-
hydrofoil system. Qi 1981, Voitkunsky 1985). Besides the effect of
deforming the water surface, there is also the
influence on the stern foil by the trailing vortices
1.5 of the front foil. For shallow submerged
hydrofoils, the influence of the free water surface
+ 4 deg
should be accounted for when estimating this
effect (e.g., Voitkunsky 1985).
Lift [KN]

0.5 0 deg

- 4 deg

1 1.5 2
Relative submergence


0.08 Figure 5: Wave hollow behind a hydrofoil and

+ 4 deg tandem hydrofoil arrangement.
Drag [KN]


0.04 Tandem hydrofoil systems have found widespread

0 deg applications in the second half of the last century
(Matveev K.I. and Matveev I.I. 2001). However,
0 the complexity of their development and
1 1.5 2 production is a significant barrier to introducing
Relative submergence
new ships. Special maintenance is also required
(Matveev 2001). Hydrofoil-assisted ships, where
Figure 4: Lift and drag generated on the model-scale the weight is only partially supported by
fore foil system of one experimental variant of hydrofoils, are becoming more popular. Such ships
Olympia class hydrofoil. experimental data use simpler hydrofoil systems, and a portion of the
(Matveev I.I. 1999); theoretical results. hull always remains in contact with water,
simplifying the propulsion system arrangement.
Interactions between hulls and foils on such boats
FOIL INTERACTIONS are complicated, and optimization of the
performance of new configurations requires
A hydrofoil moving in the proximity of the free complex analysis or elaborate testing programs
water surface creates a wave system behind it (Migeotte 2002).
(Figure 5). If another hydrofoil is placed in the
One high-performance tandem-type configuration Vortex-lattice methods have been used for
is shown in Figure 6. It is especially attractive for hydrofoils (e.g., Walree 1999), but the complexity
shallow-water or heavy ships. The front foil of this technique makes it inconvenient for
creates a wave hollow behind itself, and a planing parametric design studies of multi-component
stern with a propulsion system is located in the hydrofoil systems. In our approximate approach,
favorable upwash flow region. The middle foil we use analytical results obtained for simple
system consists of two separate foils at the sides of problems with added empirical corrections
the boat. These mid foils operate outside the wave accounting for real-life effects. For example, a
hollow generated by the front foil. The location of general form of the unsteady hydrodynamic lift on
the mid foils can be chosen to provide favorable a hydrofoil can be expressed as follows (Egorov
front-to-middle foil interaction. Mid foils can also and Sokolov 1965)
augment the upwash flow at the planing surface.
Therefore, all interactions between hydrodynamic Y Yqs Yam Yvw . (3)
elements in this configuration are favorable. Other
significant advantages of this system include The quasi-steady force Yqs is calculated by Eq. (1)
improved roll stability, more uniform distribution but with the effective attack angle
of hydrodynamic support along the ship structure ef V1 b/ 4 / U , where is the angular
(which reduces bending moments in the hull), and
better seakeeping. velocity along the transverse axis, V1 V y U,
V y is the vertical velocity of a hydrofoil, and is
the apparent attack angle.
Yam . (4)
This is the force of an inertial nature that depends
on the added mass. For rectangular hydrofoils, the
added mass can be approximated as for a plate
with corrections for the finite aspect ratio and
relative submergence
b / 2 bk () f1 (h / b) .

The last force depends on the shed vorticity

Figure 6: Scheme of a boat with positive interactions Ysv b 2 U f 1 (h / b)
between hydrodynamic elements (Maksimov et al. 2
( s)ds

, (5)
0 s s1 b / 2
b / 2

where (s ) is the circulation density in the wake
When predicting unsteady motions of a boat, one
must know unsteady hydrodynamic forces on at a horizontal coordinate s , and s1 is the current
hydrofoils. If unsteady processes are sufficiently coordinate of the hydrofoil trailing edge. For
slow (e.g., in long waves), then a quasi-steady several classical cases (e.g., harmonic variations,
approach can be applied to calculate forces using steady acceleration, etc.) and idealized hydrofoil
Eqs. (1-2). If disturbances are small and periodic, profile, the intensity of shed vorticity can be
then the forces (both amplitude and phase) will determined analytically; in other cases it can be
depend on Strouhal numbers (or frequency). In found numerically in a time stepping process. This
essentially unsteady problems, the fully unsteady method for calculation of unsteady hydrodynamic
methods for calculating forces should be applied. lift gives results in acceptable agreement with
experimental data (Egorov and Sokolov 1965).
BOAT DYNAMICS forward foil is felt by the aft foil after time delay
L / U , where L is the distance between
The ultimate goal of the model under development hydrofoils. This approximation is sufficient for
is motion prediction of a hydrofoil craft in both useable engineering results.
calm water and in unsteady operations, including
rough seas. The motion simulator integrates the The dynamic system outlined here is applied for
boat dynamics equations applying the expressions simulating vertical plane motion in waves of the
for the forces outlined above. When conducting model of one variant of Olympia-class hydrofoil.
such modeling, two or more coordinate systems Experimentally obtained steady lift and drag
are usually used. For example, equations of coefficients (which are functions of attack angle
motions are written in the ship-fixed coordinate and submergence) were used with the addition of
system where inertial moments do not change. unsteady forces, wave-induced forces, and the
Motion trajectory is presented in the space-fixed fore-aft foil interaction. Calculated amplitudes of
system. When disturbances are small, the heave and pitch in following waves are compared
equations can be simplified. Sometimes the in Table 1 with experimental data and with results
problem can be reduced to motions in the obtained by simpler (but still nonlinear) theory
coordinate sub-spaces, such as the vertical plane which neglects vorticity wake and the fore-aft foil
motion (pitch, heave, surge) for seakeeping in interaction. Following waves are usually the most
head and following waves, or lateral motion adverse wave direction for a hydrofoil craft. It
(sway, yaw, roll) for maneuvering. Our tool should be noted that the final, optimized
incorporates all degrees of freedoms, with the configuration of the Olympia hydrofoil, which
ability to study reduced-order problems. additionally employs controlled flaps, has motions
in high seas 2-10 times lower than those for the
The general form of the dynamics equations are hydrofoil system variant studied here. Higher
written as accuracy between test data and experimental
x results that may be needed for design optimization
will require using sophisticated CFD methods for
F ( x, x
; history; waves; control ) , (6) modeling hydrofoil craft dynamics.
where M is the inertial matrix, M is the added
mass matrix, and x is the vector of six Motion parameter Heave Pitch
coordinates. The generalized force vector on the
right-hand side of Eq. (6) depends on the position Experimental data 35 mm 2.1 deg
and velocities of the craft, history of its motion, (Matveev I.I. 1999)
sea waves, and control system actions (e.g., flaps
on hydrofoils). Besides forces acting on the Prediction by the 30 mm 2.4 deg
hydrofoils, the forces generated on the appendages presented theory
and propulsors, as well as the forces due to above-
water hull motion in still or windy air, are Prediction by the 38 mm 2.8 deg
theory neglecting
foil interaction and
An interesting phenomenon in the dynamics of a vorticity wake
hydrofoil craft is the unsteady fore-aft foil
interaction. In complete CFD methods, these
interactions are accounted for by the vorticity
shedding from and the waves produced by the Table 1: Amplitudes of heave and pitch in following
waves of the model of one experimental variant of
forward foil. In our simplified approach, only the
Olympia class hydrofoil. Speed 5.4 m/s (Fr D = 2.7);
unsteady interaction due to the water surface wave height 130 mm; wave length 3.25 m.
deformation is implemented, similar to (Kaplan
1955). This mechanism is dominant for surface-
piercing and shallow submerged foils. A variation
in the water surface deformation produced by the
tin,M. ,Thes t
ability derivatives of a
Hy drona uti
csI nc orporate d,
An engineering tool for calculating hydrodynamic Technical Report 001-10, 1963.
forces on hydrofoil systems and for modeling boat
dynamics is being developed. It will be used for Matveev, I.I. (chief designer of Olympia class
designing hydrofoil-assisted craft. This relatively hydrofoils), personal communications, 1999.
simple approach is suitable for parametric studies Ma tveev,K.I.
, Mainte
nan c eofhy drofoil
of the influence of foil elements on hydrodynamic systems,
2ndI nt e
ona l Conference on High-
performance, seakeeping, and maneuverability. Performance Marine Vehicles, Hamburg,
Controlled foil sections that improve boat Germany. 2001.
performance will also be incorporated into the
tool. Planing and semi-planing hull elements will Ma t
v e
e v,K.I.a ndMatveev,I
,Ta nd em
be added to model transitional regimes of pure hydrofoi
ls yst
e m,Ocean Engineering, 28(2), pp.
hydrofoil boats and service regimes of hydrofoil- 253-261, 2001.
assisted ships. Further development of the tool Migeotte, G., Design and Optimization of
towards CFD will also be considered. Hydrofoil-Assisted Catamarans, PhD Thesis,
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2002.
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ong i
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Egorov, I.T. and Sokolov, V.T., Hydrodynamics of
Sudostroenie, Leningrad, 1985. (in Russian)
Fast Craft, Sudostroenie, Leningrad, 1965. (in
Russian) Walree, F. van, Computational Methods for
Hydrofoil Craft in Steady and Unsteady Flow,
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cesa ndmome nt sactingona
PhD Thesis, Delft University of Technology,
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Kolyzaev, B.A., Kosorukov, A.I., and Litvinenko,
V.A., Handbook on Design of Dynamically
Supported Ships, Sudostroenie, Leningrad, 1980. Dr. Konstantin Matveev o btainedh i
sMas t
(in Russian) degree in Applied Physics from Moscow Institute
of Physics and Technology and his Ph.D. degree
La torre ,R. a ndTe eras i
n,S. ,Cal
ono f in Mechanical Engineering from California
hydrofoil craft take-off speed including influence Institute of Technology. He has 15 years of
of foil size, foil angle, and propel
lershaftsize, research and consulting experience in
Ocean Engineering, 19(2), pp. 183-197, 1992. hydrodynamics, acoustics, and thermal sciences.
Maksimov, V.Y., Matveev, I.I., Volkov, V.V., He worked on hydrodynamics and dynamics of
Korotkov, M.M., Firsel, V.B., and Erlykin, I.I., advanced marine vehicles: air-cavity ships,
Hi gh-s pe edc r aft,
I nnov ationCerti
ca t
e4 72056, planing craft, wing-in-grounds (WIG), ships with
USSR, 1975. (in Russian) aerodynamic unloading, multi-hulls, SWATH, and
hydrofoils. As a post-doctorate, he advanced
thermoacoustic technology at Los Alamos
National Laboratory. Currently Dr. Matveev is
Senior Hydrodynamicist at Art Anderson In the last ten years he has applied his knowledge
Associates. He leads research efforts on high- and experience to marine projects that have
performance marine vehicles and conducts included a foil-assisted passenger-only ferry
fundamental research in the area of fluid design, a 52 foot high speed aluminum passenger
mechanics. vessel, investigation of ferry wake wash, ferry
system analyses, and marine engineering services
Mr. Ralph Duncan is a retired US Navy for a large vehicle ferry. At Art Anderson
Engineering Duty Officer with more than thirty Associates he has held positions as Senior Marine
years of maritime experience. His broad-based Engineer, Vice President of Business Development
experience provides a unique blend of ship and Vice President of Marine Engineering. He is
handling, water transportation, construction currently Principal for Military and Innovative
management, marine engineering and design, and Vessel Design and Program Manager for the
marine project management experience as well as company Seabase and Sealift programs.
formal graduate training in design of ship systems.