In airfoils, the aerodynamic center is usually found close to the quarter chord point, but for quick calculations, we assume it lies on the quarter chord.

What I am looking for, is if there is any way to find a rough estimate as to where the aerodynamic center is actually located on a tested airfoil - given only lift and drag data.

The tested airfoil is mounted on the sting on its quarter-chord point, which sits on top of a force transducer. The angle of attack is varied throughout the test.

The pressure distribution $c_p$ on an airfoil is necessary to determine the aerodynamic center of an airfoil. From the pressure distribution you can obtain all three coefficients $c_l,c_d,c_m$ (well, for accurate $c_d$ you better have a rake for high $L/D$ airfoils). Having only the first two, as in your case, is not enough. Simple because there are many $c_p$ distributions that will give the same $c_l$, $c_d$ forces and different $c_m$ forces. These will also have a different aerodynamic center. Thus, the answer is no. If you don't have means of measuring the moment, couldn't you just vary the mounting position of the airfoil to estimate moments and do your job?

Your Answer

 
discard

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.