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Lifting Line Theory

AOE 5104 Advanced Aero- and Hydrodynamics Dr. William Devenport and Leifur Thor Leifsson

Top surface

Bottom surface
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Lifting Line Theory

Applies to large aspect ratio unswept wings at small angle of attack. Developed by Prandtl and Lanchester during the early 20th century. Relevance
Example of a phenomenological model in which elementary ideal flows are used to represent real viscous phenomena Basis of much of modern wing theory (e.g. helicopter rotor aerodynamic analysis, extends to vortex lattice method,) Basis of much of the qualitative understanding of induced drag and aspect ratio
Biot Savart Law: Velocity produced by a semi-infinite segment of a vortex filament

V=

4h

1868-1946

1875-1953

Physics of an Unswept Wing

Werle, 1974, NACA 0012, 12.5o, AR=4, Re=10000

Head, 1982, Rectangular Wing, 24o, Re=100000

Cessna Citation

Aircraft Data Velocity = 165 knots Wing Area = 29 m^2 Wing Span = 16 m Mean Aerodynamic Chord = 2 m Weight = 8000 kg Chord Reynolds Number = 1.18E7

l,

y

-s

Outwash

pu<pl

pu pl

Vortical wake

Inwash

Vortical wake induces downwash on wing

Downwash

changing angle of attack just enough to produce variation of lift across span
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Wing Nomenclature
Induced drag

l,

di

s
A

Section A-A

-s

-w

Area S b
A

CL =
C Di =

L 1 V2 S 2
Di 2 1 2 V S

Total drag coeff

Geometric angle of attack Downwash angle -w=-w (y) Downwash velocity c=c (y) Chordlength S Planform area s Half span b Span c = S/b Average chord 2/S Aspect ratio AR=b/c=b Sweep angle of chord line l Lift per unit span Drag per unit span dv

= (y) = (y)

LLT The Wake Model

d s -s y y1

dy1

Assume role up of wake unimportant Assume wake remains in a plane parallel to the free stream Model wake using single vortex sheet starting at the quarter chord Strength of d vortex shed at y1=

dy

dy1
y1

dy y1

dy1

4 ( y1 y )

w( y ) =

4 ( y

dy y1
1

dy1

y)
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LLT The Section Model

di

Assume flow over each section 2D and determined by downwash at chord, and thin airfoil theory Sectional lift coefficient

-w

Cl =
So,

V l = 1 2 = 2 ( 0 ) 1 V2 c 2 V c 2
= V ( 0 )c + wc
d v V w

Sectional forces Total Forces integrated over span Total Coefficients

l V

L V dy
s

Di wdy
s

L 2 CL = 1 2 s dy V S 2 V S

D 2 C Di = 1 i 2 2 wdy V S s 2 V S 11

The Monoplane Equation

Wake model
l,

w( y ) =

4 ( y

dy y1
1

dy1
Section model

y)

-s 0

s y

= V ( 0 )c + wc
d dy1

y / s = cos

c = V ( 0 )c + 4 s

dy y1

y1 y

= 4U s

n =1, odd

A sin(n )
n

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= 4U s

n =1, odd

A sin(n )
n

Solving the Monoplane Eqn.: Glauerts method

s y

-s 0

y / s = cos
c
4s ( 0 ) sin = cn An sin( n ) + sin 4s n =1, odd

2 CL = s dy V S
w( y ) =

2 C Di = 2 wdy V S s

1. Decide on the number of terms N needed for the sine series for 2. Select N points across the half span, evenly spaced in 3. At each point evaluate c, , 0 and write down the corresponding monoplane equation 4. Solve the resulting N equations for the N unknown coefficient An 5. Evaluate (y) and then the integrals for w(y), L and Di, and thus the aero coefficients

4 ( y

dy y1
1

dy1
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y)

Glauerts Method Example

= 4U s
n =1, odd

A sin(n )
n

-s 0

s y

y / s = cos
c
4s ( 0 ) sin = cn An sin( n ) + sin 4s n =1, odd

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CL =

2 s dy V S
w( y ) =

C Di =

2 2 s wdy V S

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4 ( y

dy y1
1

dy1
4

y)

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2 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0

Other results
Substituting

= 4U s
CL =

n =1, odd

A sin(n )
n

into

2 dy V S s

2 C Di = 2 wdy V S s
2 CL C Di = (1 + ) AR

w( y ) =

4 ( y

dy y1
1

dy1

y)

gives

C L = ARA1

n =3, odd

n( A

/ A1 ) 2

w n =1, odd = sin V

nA sin(n )
n

So,

Lift increases with aspect ratio For planar wings at least lift goes linearly with angle of attack and lift curve slope increases with aspect ratio (to 2 at ) ? Drag decreases with aspect ratio and goes as the lift squared. Downwash tends to be largest at the wing tips ? Drag is minimum for a wing for which An=0 for n3 ?
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The Elliptic Wing

So the minimum drag occurs for a wing for which An=0 for n3. For this wing:

= 4U sA1 sin( )
w = A1 V

y 4V A s + s = 1 1
2

since

= arccos( y / s)

2 CL C Di = AR

and

c=

V ( 0 ) V A1

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