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Parametric Airfoil Catalog Part I, Archer A18 to Göttingen 655: An Aerodynamic and Geometric Comparison Between Parametrized and Point Cloud Airfoils
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Fluid and Mechatronic Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2013 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A fundamental part of aircraft design involves wing airfoiloptimization, establishing an outer shape of the wing which has good aerodynamic performance for the design mission, good internal volume distribution for fuel and systems and which also serves as an efficient structural member supporting the load of the weight of the aircraft. The underlying idea with this parametrization is to couple an appropriate number of parameters, balancing the need of geometric accuracy with the necessity of few airfoil parameters in order to facilitate en expedient optimisation, with the intrinsic value of having parameters that makes sense for a human; such as thickness, camber and trailing edge thickness. Several approaches to parametrization of wing proles can be found in the literature. Airfoils can be described by point clouds as done in most airfoil libraries. The number of parameters is twice as large as the number of points used (x and y coordinates) and in the case of aerodynamic optimization this parametrization will most certainly be not well behaved, since no smoothing function is included and must therefore be employed. Other problems may arise for the fact that the airfoils sometimes are defined with too few coordinate points and/or too few decimals, a problem occurring especially with old airfoils. On the other hand, the design space that this kind of parametrization allows representing is extremely large, as any and all shapes can be reproduced, even degenerate ones. Airfoils can also be represented by mathematical functions. Among the most common representatives of thiscategory are indeed the NACA 4-, 5- and 6-digits formulations. Compared to point clouds, they could be said to represent the opposite case: they are very well behaving parametrizations, but they cannot cover avery large design space, since they only provide four to six parameters respectively to be tuned. The NACA 4digit series is particularly interesting as the parametersare a part of the name of the airfoil. In the case of the 5- and 6 digit series, the name is instead constructed from the airfoils aerodynamic characteristic and geometry. Another known set of theoretically defined airfoils are the Joukowski profiles [4]. Using the conformal mapping method, airfoils with a round nose and sharp trailing edge can be represented. Sadly the method is not to recommend for trying to match known airfoils and the design space it describes is quite confined to airfoils with often poor performances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013, 1. , 561 p.
Keyword [en]
Airfoils, parametric airfoils
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102625ISBN: 978-91-7519-656-5 (print)OAI: diva2:680077
Available from: 2013-12-17 Created: 2013-12-17 Last updated: 2014-11-04Bibliographically approved

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Melin, Tomas
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