Absolute coefficients and the graphical representation of airfoil characteristics

Max Munk
Jun 1921

It is argued that there should be an agreement as to what conventions to use in determining absolute coefficients used in aeronautics and in how to plot those coefficients. Of particular importance are the absolute coefficients of lift and drag. The author argues for the use of the German method over the kind in common use in the United States and England, and for the Continental over the usual American and British method of graphically representing the characteristics of an airfoil. The author notes that, on the whole, it appears that the use of natural absolute coefficients in a polar diagram is the logical method for presentation of airfoil characteristics, and that serious consideration should be given to the countries, in order to advance uniformity and accuracy in the science of aeronautics.

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