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# Chap.

5
Incompressible Flow over
Finite Wings
OUTLINE
Downwash and induced drag
The Biot-Savart law and Helmholtzs
theorems
Prandtls classical Lifting-line theory
Elliptical lift distribution
General lift distribution
Downwash and induced drag
Aerodynamic difference
between finite wing and
airfoil
For finite wing, the flow
near wing tips tends to
curl around the tip, being
forced from the high-
pressure just underneath
the tips to the low-
pressure region on top.
Due to the spanwsie component of flow from tip
toward to root, the streamlines over the top
surface are bent toward root. In contrast, the
streamlines over bottom surface toward tip.
A trailing vortex is created at each win tip.
Effect of downwash
Wing-tip vortices
downstream of the wing
induce a small component
of air velocity, called
downwash which is
denoted by the symbol w.
Downwash causes
inclining the local relative
wind in the downward
direction.
Effective angle of attack

The tilting backward of the lift vector induce a
drag, called induced drag Di which is a type of
pressure drag.
Total drag = Profile drag + Induce drag, therefore
i
o o = o
eff
S q
D
C C c C
i
i D i D d D

= + =
, ,
where

The Biot-Savart law and Helmholtzs
theorems
The Biot-Savart law
The velocity at point P, dV, induced by a small
directed segment dl of a curved filament with
strength I is

The velocity at P by a
straight vortex filament
of infinite length is
3
4
r
r dl
dV

t
=
I
}

t
=
3
4
r
r dl
V
I
The magnitude of V

The velocity at P by a semi-
infinite vortex filament
u
=
t
=
u
t
=
}

sin
where
2
sin
4
2
h
r
h
dl
r
V
I I
h
V
t
=
4
I
Holmholtzs vortex theorem
The strength of a vortex filament is constant along
its length.
A vortex filament cannot end in a fluid; it must
extend to the boundaries of the fluid (which can
be ) or form a closed path.
Lift distribution
Different airfoil sections may have geometric and
aerodynamic twist, that results in a lift distribution
along the span.

Prandtls classical Lifting-line theory
Horseshoe vortex
Horseshoe vortex
consists of a bound
vortex and two free
vortex.
The bound vortex
induces no velocity
along itself, however,
the two free vortices
contribute to the
downward velocity
along the bound
vortex.

Downwash
Downwash at point y along the bound vortex is
) 2 / ( 4 ) 2 / ( 4
) (
y b y b
y w
t

+ t
=
I I
Lifting-line theory
horseshoe vortex,
infinite number of
horseshoe vortices
with a vanishing
small strength dI are
superimposed to form
the bound vortices a
single line which is
called lifting line.
The trailing vortices become a continuous vortex
sheet trailing downstream of the lifting line.
The velocity w induced at y0 by the entire trailing
vortex sheet is

The induce angle of attack is
}

t
=
2 /
2 /
0
0
) / (
4
1
) (
b
b
y y
dy dy d
y w
I
}

t
= o

=
|
|
.
|

\
|

= o
2 /
2 /
0
0
0
angle small for
0
1
0
) / (
4
1
) (
) (

) (
tan ) (
b
b
i
i
y y
dy dy d
V
y
V
y w
V
y w
y
I
The lift coefficient at y=y0 is

From the Kutta-Joukowski theorem, lift for the
local airfoil section located at y0 is

Expression of effective angle of attack
| | | |
0 0 eff 0 0 eff 0
) ( 2 ) (
= =
o o t = o o =
L L l
y y a c
) (
) ( 2

) ( ) (
2
1
0
0
0 0
2
y c V
y
c
y V c y c V L
l
l

=
= =
'
I
I
0
0
0
eff
) (
) (
=

o +
t
= o
L
y c V
y I
Fundamental equation of Prandtls lifting-line
theory (integro-differential equation of I)

The solution I gives the three main aerodynamic
characteristics of a finite wing
}

t
+ o +
t
= o
o o = o
2 /
2 /
0
0 0
0
0
0
eff
) / (
4
1
) (
) (
) (
) (
b
b
L i
i
y y
dy dy d
V
y
y c V
y
y
I I
1. The lift distribution

2. The lift coefficient

3. The induced drag coefficient
) ( ) (
0 0
y V y L I

=
'
}
}

= =
=
2 /
2 /
2 /
2 /
) (
2
) (
b
b
L
b
b
dy y
S V S q
L
C
dy y V L
I
I
}

o =
o
'
~ o
'
=
'
2 /
2 /
,
) ( ) (
2
sin
b
b
i i D
i i i i i
dy y y
S V
C
L L D
I

Elliptical lift distribution
Charateristic
Elliptical circulation distribution

where I0 is the circulation at the origin.
Elliptical lift distribution

Zero lift at the wing tips

2
1 ) (
2
0
|
.
|

\
|
=
b
y
y I I

2
1 ) ( ) (
2
0
|
.
|

\
|
= =
'

b
y
V y V y L I I
0 )
2
( )
2
( = =
b b
I I
Resulting aerodynamic properties
By using the transformation y=b/2 cosu, we obtain

which states that downwash is constant over the
span for an elliptical lift distribution.
Induced angle of attack
b
w
2
) (
0
I
= u
S
b C
L
i
2
AR ratio Aspect ,
AR
=
t
= o
Induced drag coefficient

which states that CD,I is proportional to the square
of CL and inversely proportional to AR.
For an elliptical lift distribution, the chord must
vary elliptically along the span; that is, the wing
planform is elliptical.

AR
2
,
t
=
L
i D
C
C
General lift distribution
Characteristic
Consider the transformation

and assume

Fundamental equation at a given location
cos
2
b
y u =
sin 2 ) (
1

u = u

N
n
n A bV I

sin
sin
) ( sin
) (
2
) (
1
0
0
0 0
1
0
0
0
u
u
+ u o + u
u t
= u o
=
N
n L
N
n
n
nA n A
c
b
We may choose N different spanwise stations,
then we can obtain N independent algebraic
equations with N unknowns, namely, A1, A2, .AN.
Resulting aerodynamic properties
Lifting coefficient

Induced drag coefficient
AR ) (
2
1
2 /
2 /
t = =
}

A dy y
S V
C
b
b
L
I

|
|
.
|

\
|
= o o +
t
=
N
n L
i D
A
A
n
C
C
2
2
1
2
,
where , ) 1 (
AR
Define span efficiency factor e

Note that o=0 and e=1 for the elliptical lift
distribution. Hence, the lift distribution which yields
minimum induced drag is the elliptical lift
distribution.
AR
) 1 (
2
,
1
e
C
C
e
L
i D
t
=
o + =