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REPORT No. 460 THE CHARACTERISTICS OF 78 RELATED AIRFOIL SECTIONS FROM TESTS IN THE VARIABLE-DENSITY TUNNEL « By Eastuax N. Jacons, Kuwvnrm E, Wako, and Rovenr M. Poveznrox SUMMARY An investigation of a large group of related airfoils ‘was made in the N.A.C.A. eariable-density wind tunnel at a large value of the Reynolds Number. The teats were made to provide data that may be directly employed for @ rational choice of the most suitable airfoil section for a given application. ‘The variation of the aerodynamic characteristics with eariationa in thickness and mean-line form were therefore systematically studied. The related airfoil profiles for this investigation were developed by combining certain profile thickness forms, obtained by varying the mazimum thickness of & basic distribution, with certain mean lines, obtained by varying the length and the position of the mazimum mean-line ordinate. A number of calues of these shape variables ‘wire used to derive a family of airfoils. For the purposes af this investigation the construction and teats were limited to 68 airfoils of this family. In addition to these, ecveral supplementary airfoils have been included in order to study the effects of certain other changes in the form of the mean line and in the thickness distribution. ‘The results are presented in the standard graphic form representing the airfoil characteristics for infinite aspect ratio and for aspect ratio 6. A table is aleo given by means of which the important characteristica of all the airfoils may be conzeniently compared. The variation of the aerodynamic characteristics with changes in shape is shown by additional curves and tables. A. comparison ia made, where possible, with thin-airfoil theory, a ‘summary of which is presented in an appendiz. INTRODUCTION ‘Tho forms of the airfoil sections thai are in common use today are, directly or indirectly, the result of investigations made at Géttingen of a large number of airfoils. Previously, airfoils such es tho RAF. 15 and the U.S.A. 27, developed from airfoil profiles investigated in England, were widely used. All theso investigations, however, wore made at low values of tho Reynolds Number; therefore, the airfoils developed may not be the optimum ones for full-scale pplicatic More recontly a number of airfoils have been tested in the variable-density wind tunnel at values of the Reynolds Number approaching those of flight (refer- ence 1) but, with the exception of the M-series and a series of propeller sections, the airfoils have not been systematically derived in such a way that the results could be satisfactorily correlated. ‘The design of an efliciont airplane entails the careful balancing of many conflicting requirements. This statement is particularly true of the choico of the wing. Without a knowledge of the vprintions of the aerody- namic characteristics of the dirfoil sections with the ‘variations of shape that affect tho weight of the struc- ture, tho designer cannot reach a satisfactory balance between the many conflicting requirements. ‘Tho purpose of the investigation reported herein was to obtain the characteristics at o large value of the Reynolds Number of a wide variety of related airfoils, ‘Tho benefits of such a systematic investigation are evident, ‘The results will greatly facilitate the choice of the most satisfactory airfoil for a given application and should eliminate much routine airfoil testing. Finally, because the results may bo correlated to indioaté the trends of the acrodynamic characteristics, with changes of shape, they may point the way to the design of now shapes having botter characteristics. Airfoil profiles may be considered as made up of cer- tain profile-thickness forms disposed about cortain ‘mean lines. ‘The major shape variables then become favo, the thickness form and the mean-line form. ‘The thickness form is of particular importance from a structural standpoint. On the other hand, the form of tho moan lino determines almost independently some of tho most important aerodynamic properties of the airfoil section, eg, the angle of zero lift and the pitching-moment characteristics. ‘ho related airfoil profiles for this investigation were derived by changing systematically these shape vari- ables. ‘The symmetrical profiles were defined in terms of a basic thickness variation, eymmotrical airfoils of varying thickness being obtained by the application of factors to the basic ordinates. Tho cembered pro- files woro then developed by combining these thickness forms with various mean lines. ‘The mean lines wore obtained by varying the camber and by varying the shape of the mean lino to elter the position of the maximum mesnlino ordinate. The mazimum ordinate 209 300 of the mean line ia referred to throughout thi report as the camber of the airfoil. and the position of the maximum. ordinate of the mean line as the position of the eamber. An airfoil, produced as described above, is designated. by a number of four digits: the firet indicates the eamber in percent of the chord; the second, the position of the camber in tenths of the chord from the leading edge; and the last two, the maximum thickness in percent of the chord. ‘Thus the N.A.C.A. 2515 airfoil has a maximum camber of 2 percent of the chord at a position 0.3 of the chord from the leading edge, and a maximum thickness of 15 percent of the chord; the N.A.C.A. 0012 airfoil is a symmetrical airfoil having a maximum thickness of 12 pereent of the chord. In addition to the systematic sories of airfoils, several supplementary airfoils have been included in order to study the effects of a few changes in the form of the mean line and in the thickness distribution. Preliminary results which have been published in- clude those for 12 symmetrical N.A.C.A. airfoils, the 00 series (reference 2) and other sections having differ- ent nose shapes (reference 3); and those for 42 cam- bored airfoils, the 43 and 63 series (reference 4), the 45 and 66 series (referenco 5), the 44 and 64 series (refer- ence 6), and the 2¢ series (reference 7). 7 REPORT NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS Hf the chord is taken along the x axis from 0 to 1, the ordinates y are given by an equation of the form kyr ayetaeton! tas! tag! Tho equation was adjusted to give the desired shape by imposing tho following conditions to determine the constants: (@) Maximum ordinate 0.1 at 0.3 chord 2-03 0.1 dy/dz=0 ©) Ordinate at triling edge gel y=0.002 (8) Trailing-edge angle a=1 dy/dz= —0.234 (4) Nose shape a0. y=0.078 ‘The following equation satisfying approximately the above-mentioned conditions represents a profile having 2 thickness of approximately 20 percent of tho chord. £y=0.20690./2—0.126002—0.361002"+ 0.284302" = 0.101504 5 = Ns y=a.2s690 5 012600 -0.351602«" + 028450 9210150 Basic ordinates of N.A.C.A. fomily airfoils (percent of chord) [em] 4] | oe] haw Lead ca ‘Tho tests were made in the varinble-density wind tunnel of the National Advisory Committee for Aero- nautics during the period from April 1931 to February 1932, DESCRIPTION OF ATRFOTS Well-known airfoils of a certain class including the Gottingen 398 and the Clark ¥, which have proved to be efficient, aro nearly alike when their camber is removed (mean line straightened) and they are reduced to thesame maximum thickness. A thickness variation similar to that of these airfoils was therefore chosen for the development of tho N.A.C.A. airfoils, An equation defining the shape was used as e method of producing fair profiles. ‘rovus 1 —Theknes erin, ‘This equation was taken to defino the basic section. Tho basie profile and a table of ordinates are given in figure 1. Points obtained by removing the camber from tho Géttingon 398 and the Clark Y sections, and applying a factor to the ordinates of the rosulting thickness curves to bring them to the seme maximum thickness, are plotted on the abovo figure for com- porison. ‘Sections having any desired maximum thick ness were obtained by multiplying the basio ordinates by the proper factor; that ia +0.284802°—0.1015024) (CHARACTERISTICS OF AIRFOIL, SECTIONS FROM ‘TTRATS IN VARIABLE-DENSITY WIND TUNNEL where tis the maximum thickness, ‘The leading-edge radius is found to be rie¥( gig) = 1308 ‘When the mean lines of certain airfoils in common use were reduced to the same maximum ordinate and compared it was found that their shapes were quite different, It was observed, however, that tho range of shapes could be well covered by’ assuming some simple shape and varying the maximum ordinate and its position along the chord. ‘The mean line was, therefore, arbitrarily defined by two parabolic equa- tions of the form Yerbyt beet bat where the leading end of the mean line is at the origin and the trailing end is on the z axis at z=1. The values of tho constants for both equations were then expressed in torms of the above variables; namaly, (1) Mean-iine extremities 2=0 ao1 w=0 yen 0 (@) Maximum ordinate of mean line += (position of maximum ordinate) 301 and py (U—2p) +2pe—2] * (eft of maximum ordinate) ‘The method of combining the thickness forms with the mean-lino forms is best described by means of the diagram in figure 2. ‘The line joining the extremities of the anean line is chosen as the chord. Referring to the diagram, the ordinate y, of the thickness form is measured along the perpendicular to the mean line from a point on the mean line at the station along the chord corresponding to the value of z for which y was computed. ‘The resulting upper and lower surface points are then designated: Stations 2, and 2, Ordinates y, and y: where the subsoripts u and J refer to upper and lower surfaces, respectively. In addition to these symbols, the symbol 8 is employed to designate the angle be- toveen the tangent to the mean line and the 2 axis. ‘This augle is given by ontan (wae BIEN She wrm rms sik roastnraim eworomes EEBSRS Bok tRES | Son aati fr dein o RA. ‘Slope of eas roar wd at ard Moone 2—Metiodoedblating onal of W.A.0.4 combed ae, Ye=m(maximum ordinate) dyddz0 ‘The resulting equations defining the mean line then became vers Brea, (forward of maximum ordinate) ‘The following formulas for calculating the ordinates may now be derived from the diagram: r=2—y, sin 0 Haat. 008 & nmetyaind Y= YoY, 008 8 Sample calculations are given in figure 2. ‘The center for the leading-edge radius is placed on the tangent to the moan line et the leading edge.