Questions tagged [airfoil]

The 2D shape of a section of aircraft wing.

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4answers
10k views

Why do solar planes have many small propellers instead of fewer large ones?

Many solar planes, like NASA's Helios (pictured above), NASA's Pathfinder, and to a lesser extent Facebook's Aquila employ the use of many small motor propeller sets instead of one or two engines like ...
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8answers
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Is there an aerofoil that gives reasonably good lift for both air flow directions: forward and backward?

Could an aerofoil be designed to give reasonably good lift for both flow directions? I was motivated by this related question on Aviation SE: Can a plane fly backward if its propeller is in reverse? ...
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4answers
20k views

What is the performance of a flat plate wing?

By flat plate I mean this: Source: Physics.SE Low performance indeed, but how much low? How would: The angle of attack, The speed range, The turn capability, The fuel consumption, Or other ...
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3answers
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Are NACA airfoils used in modern aircraft design?

I know that NACA is famous for its ducts: Gratuitous Ferrari F-40 from Wikipedia. Mmmm... pretty... It is also well known for its airfoils, and many planes in the early years of aviation used NACA ...
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2answers
21k views

What is the method to calculate a finite wing's lift from its sectional airfoil shape?

I am struggling to get my head around a concept that I believe should be fairly simple to understand. Lift versus drag and AoA data of many airfoils are freely available, for instance the NACA 4-...
13
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1answer
339 views

Can a transonic airfoil have two shock waves?

I am currently running CFD cases on a transonic airfoil at Mach 0.75 and performing an angle-of-attack sweep to evaluate its performance. When I reached the angle of attack of 4.5 degrees (which I ...
12
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4answers
3k views

Why isn't there a single best airfoil for subsonic flight?

Why does airfoil used by modern subsonic aircraft (this is true for transonic airliners too) vary from plane to plane? Haven't we figured out a single best airfoil shape, with the highest lift to ...
11
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1answer
504 views

Why does linear airfoil theory break down at hypersonic speeds?

Why can't we just extend linear supersonic theory beyond M = 5? I've looked at NASA papers discussing everything from geometric effects, air disassociation, and thermal coupling, but no clear and ...
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4answers
623 views

Why does the aerodynamic center exist?

I am a glider pilot and instructor with a master’s degree in actuarial mathematics. I teach aerodynamics every winter for upcoming glider pilots. As you surely know, the aerodynamic center is the ...
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6answers
3k views

Why doesn't an airfoil rotate?

As far as I understand, two of the reasons how an airfoil generates lift are Coandă effect and downwash. However, if there is upwash near the leading edge, why isn't an airfoil rotated by the two ...
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2answers
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Do airliners like Boeing and Airbus use airfoil variation along the span for their wings?

Airfoil variation will make a significant difference in airflow over the wing, thus proper variation according to the lift profile should improve the overall aerodynamic performance. But by how much? ...
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How to go about designing a custom airfoil?

I am familiar with the NACA 4-digit and 5-digit airfoil design system where airfoils, but I was wondering if anyone had some good reference material or software for designing a completely custom ...
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2answers
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Was the B727's wing supercritical (even if not so designed)?

The Boeing 727's wing upper surface appears unusually flat, especially at the root (Albeit at an angle). Refer to the images linked below: airlinereporter.com Flickr Also from Flickr Was the B727'...
9
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1answer
646 views

Which books should I study to understand more about Supercritical airfoils?

I want to understand the theory behind supercritical airfoils and all the details about them. It would be nice if I could get a standard supercritical airfoil, its experimental Cl, Cd data in the ...
9
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1answer
7k views

Does lift coefficient vary with the wind velocity for a given angle of attack?

I have this question in my mind. I have been trying to look for this in different books about aerodynamics and I couldn't find the answer. I know I could check the answer experimentally, if I had a ...
8
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4answers
3k views

Why are the wings of some modern gliders tadpole shaped?

Why are the wings of some modern gliders tadpole shaped, rather than teardrop shaped? An example is the Schleicher ASG 29. Or did they just add a flat plate at the trailing edge for the flaps and ...
8
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3answers
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Why do airfoil's trailing edges point downward?

The trailing edge of and airfoil is mostly pointing downward. Is there any reason for that? Down wash increases drag and down wash is due to the direction of air pointing down. If the trailing edge is ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What is the physical meaning of circulation found in Kutta condition?

The Kutta–Joukowski theorem is applicable for 2D lift calculation as soon as the Kutta condition is verified. When this is the case, there is a circulation $\small \Gamma$ around the airfoil. My ...
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3answers
4k views

Can a steady flow have stagnation points?

I am confused by this idea. If a flow is steady, its streamlines are unchanging. Taking the typical example of an airfoil, there is (at least) one streamline which will hit the leading edge of the ...
8
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3answers
3k views

Why should the leading edge be blunt on low-speed, subsonic airfoils?

I have read that is to help the flow remains attached, but I do not understand the physical principle.
8
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3answers
797 views

Why does a turbulent boundary layer cause more friction drag than a laminar boundary layer?

From what I understand, friction is caused by viscosity and a bigger Reynolds number signifies lower viscosity. Thus, a higher Reynolds number(i.e. turbulent flow) results in lower friction. But, ...
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3answers
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What is the difference between a leading edge flap and a slat?

I always thought that the definition of slat was: "Lift modifying and adjustable wing element on the leading edge of main airfoil." and the definition of flap was: "Lift modifying and adustable ...
8
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1answer
691 views

Could the Concorde reliably land with all engines out?

The Concorde was designed to fly at supersonic speeds; because of this its delta wings produce more drag at subsonic speeds. My understanding is that delta wings can produce a large amount of lift at ...
8
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1answer
463 views

Can a Kline-Fogleman airfoil be used for engine turbines?

I am currently working on the Kline-Fogleman airfoil for NACA 23015 variant at Reynolds number 208800 with the configuration of the backward facing step of 50% thickness at 50% chord on the bottom ...
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2answers
469 views

Transonic buffet - reason for a rapid movements of the shockwave along the wing chord line?

I know that transonic aerodynamic buffet is caused by the separated turbulent boundary layer striking the airframe (horizontal stabilizer, wings, fuselage) with considerable force causing a high ...
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2answers
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What are the advantages of the B747-8 airfoil over B737's airfoil?

The Boeing 747-8 has a new airfoil design much different than a Boeing 737's airfoil. Boeing 737 airfoil: (source: How Airplanes Fly?) Boeing 747-8 airfoil: (source: Boeing) I am a little ...
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2answers
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Why use different airfoils on the same wing of an aircraft?

Why different airfoils are used in different portions of the same wing of an aircraft, for example Boeing 737 wing? Boeing Commercial Airplane Company model 737 airfoils' dat files from here: http://...
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1answer
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What are the disadvantages (if any) of using a supercritical airfoil?

The title sums up my question pretty well. I've searched all over this site, having read many of the questions and answers to various supercritical wing topics, but I haven't found any mention of ...
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2answers
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What airfoil design does the MQ-9 Reaper UAV use?

What airfoil design does the MQ-9 Reaper UAV use? Alternatively, what similar airfoil designs exist? I'm running simulations for the effects of vortex generators for a school project and I would ...
7
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1answer
175 views

Why does strong shock wave-boundary-layer interaction produce a bubble reattachment?

The picture represents a lambda type shock wave, separating the boundary layer at its foot. Separation causes a recirculation bubble to appear. I understand why separation has happened, but what is ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Do negative angles-of-attack create lift?

(wikimedia.org) A typical curve showing section lift coefficient versus angle of attack for a cambered airfoil. Based on the graph above, do negative angle-of-attack values create lift? How?
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2answers
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Why are RC rotor blades different from helicopter blades?

Why do toy (RC) helicopters have curved flat surfaces and larger rotors on true helicopters have a solid aerofoil shape? If the rotor was mechanically strong enough to lift the desired weight, is ...
6
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1answer
961 views

Is drag coefficient lowest at zero angle of attack?

The drag coefficient of a symmetric airfoil is lowest when its angle of attack is zero. I'm not sure if this is true in general.
6
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2answers
2k views

What are the conditions for an airfoil to be a “thin airfoil?”

I know about the theory differences between regular airfoils and thin airfoils, but is there any condition for saying a given airfoil can be analyzed as if it is thin? The extreme case of infinitely ...
6
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1answer
1k views

How would an airfoil react if it was flown backwards?

Out of curiosity what would happen? Would pressure on both top and bottom flip? or stay the same or act as a normal wing with less lift? I'd assume it would still take longer to travel over the top ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What are the correct names for the two faces of an airfoil?

Usual case When representing a wing airfoil, often: The lift is positive The upper surface is the one with low pressure. So the airfoil faces can just be called upper and lower surfaces and we ...
6
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2answers
553 views

Which design method is used for super critical airfoils?

How is an Airfoil categorized as super critical or not super critical? What are the ways to design a super critical airfoils?
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3answers
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Why the dynamic pressure is not mentioned in the explanation of lift by Bernoulli's principle?

Usual "explanation" of lift using Bernoulli principle This theory is: Air over the wing is accelerated, its dynamic pressure increases with velocity. The static pressure over the wing decreases (due ...
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1answer
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How do I choose the correct NACA airfoil for my requirements?

How do you find the correct NACA airfoil to use when you already know the requirements? All of the research I have done on this has shown how to determine what kind of camber/chord/aspect ratio etc. ...
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4answers
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Can this design provide more lift force than thrust from engine?

The problem is depicted in the picture: Generally, why we don't use engine blow wings to fly? Can we use wind-tunnel-like wing to generate lift force? Can it generate more lift than thrust? If it ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Which are some planes shaped like an inverted wing?

To understand my question better, let's consider the priciple behind the lift generated by the wing - The upper surface of the air-foil is curved to deflect the air downwards using the Coanda effect. ...
5
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2answers
460 views

What is the difference between static and dynamic stall?

What are the static and dynamic stalls on the aircrafts wing? When would we encounter static and when dynamic one? What is the difference between them?
5
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1answer
315 views

What is wing trammelling?

What is wing trammelling and how does it affect wing stability and performance?
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3answers
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What is the effect of flow separation on lift, pressure distribution and drag?

Consider an airfoil (a wing) in an airflow. When angle of attack increases, at some point the flow start to separate from trailing edge. By increasing the angle of attack more, this separation area ...
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2answers
681 views

What is a rudder or fin stall?

What is a rudder or fin stall, how will the aircraft behave in that situation, and how should the pilot recognise it? What is the recovery procedure? And what is rudder reversal?
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1answer
281 views

Where can I find articles about Handley Page multi element segmented airfoils?

Can anyone direct me to a source containing the complete article on Handley Page's 6 and 8 element airfoils from Flight magazine Feb 24, 1921 (PDF) or further more detailed information on this subject....
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2answers
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Is the Reynold's number a function of the fluid flow stream or the obstruction?

I am slightly confused with this notion of the Reynolds Number. Specifically, I am looking at airfoil performance at very low Reynolds number. I am reading a lot of papers saying things like ...
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1answer
295 views

What is the name of this airfoil?

Is there a general name for this type of airfoil? I'm having trouble finding any information on it so if anyone knows anything about it please let me know!
5
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2answers
821 views

Is there a downwash equation?

I need to find an equation for the following problem: Suppose a full-size glider passes 10 feet over my head at high speed. No doubt I will feel the downward air pressure (downwash) caused by the ...
5
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1answer
417 views

What would be the effect of skinning over the gap in fixed leading-edge slats?

The Zenith STOL CH-750 experimental aircraft uses a modified NACA 650-18 airfoil (having a 17% fatter-than-normal thickness) with a fixed leading-edge slat. In an effort to reduce drag and improve ...