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Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Aerospace Engineering

Laboratory Session III:

Re-design the wing of the C-212-400

Ignacio Egido Garcı́a

Enrique Labiano Laserna
Francisco Luis Ruiz Sánchez
Francisco Jesús Santos-Olmo Dı́az de
los Bernardos
Laboratory Session III:
Re-design the wing of the C-212-400

1 Introduction 2

2 Methodology 2

3 Results and discussion 3

4 Conclusion 5

Laboratory Session III:
Re-design the wing of the C-212-400

1 Introduction
During this laboratory session the wing of the airplane C-212-400 will be redesigned and optimized with the objective
of reaching the minimum possible induced drag when the airplane is at cruise conditions. After that, the new wing
is going to be studied under different upstream velocities, and the polars and the angle of attack will be obtained.
For this purpose, two methods will be applied in order to analyze the wing, both of them used with the assistance
of two different softwares. The first of them will be the collocation method, that will be implemented in Matlab,
and then the numerical lifting line, that will be done with XFLR5. Once everything is calculated with both of the
methods, the results will be evaluated in order to compare them and check which is the most useful one and under
which situations.
Two simplifications are going to be done, first of all the absence of geometric twist makes the angle of attack to be
considered constant along the wing span, and the second one is that dC dα = 2π. It is important to point out that

both the surface area of the wing and the total span must remain constant, so therefore, just by calculating ct and
L the whole redesign will be completed. Note that ct is the chord at the wing tip.
The data from the plane is shown in Table 1.

Max Weight 8000 kg

Cruise 300 km/h at 3050 m
Wing Surface 41 m2
Span 20.27 m
Aspect Ratio 10:1
Airfoil Section NACA 65-218
No Geometric twist

Table 1: Airplane characteristics.

2 Methodology
From the collocation method is needed to obtain the optimal values of ct and L, and it is going to be worked with
those values in the following part of the laboratory. With the collocation method it is easy to obtain a numerical
solution for Equation 1, which is the lifting line theory equation.

∞ ∞
4b X X sin(nθ)
α(θ) = dCl
A n sin(nθ) + αL=0 + nAn (1)
dα c(α) n=1 n=1

Equation 1 will be used for each of the parts of the wings, as it must be discretized in N different ones. So Equation
1 will be applied N times, one for each of them. Notice that since the airfoil is the same along the span, also the
αL=0 will be constant. The value of the aerodynamic twist obtained from the XFLR5 is αL=0 = −0.0258 rad.
Beside this, assuming leveled flight and cruise conditions, A1 is established from:

CL = 1 2
= πARA1 (2)
2 ρU∞ S

From that, a system of equations is obtained, and it will be used to solve the angle of attack, A2 and An .

  α   −4bsin(θ )
+ n sin(nθ 1)
 
−1 ... 2πC(θ1 ) sin(nθ1 ) sin(θ1 ) 2πc(θ )
A 1 − A 1 − αL=0
 . ..  A2  1
 . ..  .
 

 . . .  .  
  


4b sin(nθn ) −4bsin(θn )
−1 ... 2πC(θn ) sin(nθ n ) + n sin(θn ) An 2πc(θn ) A 1 − A 1 − α L=0

Laboratory Session III:
Re-design the wing of the C-212-400

Afterwards, An is used to get δ for every chord at the tip.

Cd = (1 + δ) (4)

X An 2
δ= n( ) (5)

Once all δ are obtained, the induced drag coefficient will be computed. The value of the chord at the tip that will
yield to the minimum induced drag will be selected as the optimum one. Thereafter, the new design of the wing
will be carried out.
In the second task, the condition of straight level flight will be no longer valid and therefore the assumption of L=W
cannot be used. For this reason, and following the same steps as before, an iteration process for different values of
the lift will be performed. Under this condition, the polar of the wing at nominal cruise velocity will be computed
using the optimized wing calculated in the previous section.
Considering again levelled flight (but not cruise conditions), the angle of attack of the wing as a function of the
velocity will be plotted. In this case, the lift will be constant and therefore the lift coefficient will only depend on
the velocity (see equation 2). Using the optimized wing design, and following the same method than in the previous
task, the angle of attack and all the coefficients will be computed. Finally, the results will be compared with those
obtained using the numerical lifting line implemented in XFLR5.

3 Results and discussion

After performing the iteration process in order to achieve the geometry that leads to a minimum drag, Figure 1
is obtained. It shows the values obtained of δ for different chords values at the tip. As it can be observed, the
parabolic shape of the curve gives a minimum value of δ that would produce the minimum induced drag. In fact, that
minimum point corresponds to a value of the chord at the tip of ct =0.7706 m and the corresponding δ=0.007912.
With this value, and considering all the constraints (surface area and L) the minimum induced drag obtained is
CD =0.0135. Beside this, the value of L will be 7.477 meters. Table 2 shows the results:

Figure 1: δ vs chord at the tip

Ct [m] L [m] δ Cd
0.7706 7.477 0.007912 0.0135

Table 2:

Laboratory Session III:
Re-design the wing of the C-212-400

For the second part, the new optimized design of the wing will be considered. Assuming nominal cruise velocity but
not levelled flight, the polar of the wing is displayed in Figure 2. In this case both results using Matlab and XFLR5
are consistent leading to the conclusion that both methods are perfectly valid for this analysis. In fact, it can be
appreciated that for low values of the induced drag there is a high increase on the lift coefficient. From theory, it is
known that at some point, at which stall would occur, a gradual reduction of the of the lift coefficient would appear
produced by the separation of the boundary layer.

Figure 2: Polar.

The last study of the redesigned wing will be its performance during straight level flight. For this purpose, the
variation of the angle of attack depending on the upstream velocity will be observed, using both the implemented
collocation method and the Lifting Line Theory on XFLR5. It is well known from theory that increasing the angle
of attack of an airfoil increases the lift, until a critical angle of attack when it enters into stall. Also needs to be
mentioned that a higher flight velocity for a given angle of attack increases the lift. The condition to maintain
a straight level flight is to have a constant lift that equals the weight, so to maintain a constant lift, when the
flight velocity is increased, it must be compensated with a decrease in the angle of attack. Figure 3 shows how
this relationship between the flight velocity and the angle of attack is. The results obtained with both methods
is very similar, and some differences can be observed for lower flight velocities, and then lower Reynolds, because
the collocation method neglects viscous effects. Another important data observed in Figure 3 is that if the flight
velocity is increased, the angle of attack goes asymptotically to a value close to the angle of attack that produces
zero lift calculated before. Notice that both methods are based in several simplifications such as neglecting the
compressibility effect or the critical value for stall, so this approximation works for low angles of attack and low

Laboratory Session III:
Re-design the wing of the C-212-400

Figure 3: Angle of attack vs upstream velocity in straight level flight

4 Conclusion
After performing the analysis, it can be stated that both numerical lifting line implemeted in XFLR5 and collocaction
method are procedures quite acceptables. For the re-designed of the wing a very low induced drag coeffecient was
obtained. However, according to the theory, the results would have been even better assuming also no aerodynamic
twist. But as it was stated previously, a value of 0.0135 is a very good result.
The results discussed above have been calculated by means of two different methods; however, the results obtained
have been very similar because the cases studied were related to levelled-flight, and cruise conditions, in which
there are no high angles of attack and the wing is less probably to stall. So the results are less complex and easily
Optimization is in reality a more complex process than the one that it has been done in this practice. It is true
that it has been fulfilled the requirement of minimize the induced drag but the results are not realistic. In the real
world, there are more aspects that have to be taking into account to study the performance of a wing and that have
a strong influence on the drag and lift. In addition to all the aerodynamic requirements that have to be fullfilled,
the structural and aeroelastic standpoints have a great relevance in the design to avoid for instance, the well known
phenomenom called Flutter. Aerospace engineering will take into account this effect at the time of designing an
aircraft to avoid that structural parts of the aircraft enter in collapse.
It is also important to mention that the optimization process in designing is a key factor to improve performance,
efficiency and quality of the designed piece. Many costs can be saved with a good designing process, as shown, if an
aircraft flights at cruise with the optimized wing design performed above, it will be subjected to the lesser induced
drag, so safety, stability and less fuel consumption are added more than a random wing could do.