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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
209300
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.

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