Intercooler cooling-air weight flow and pressure drop for minimum drag loss

Reuter, J George Valerino, Michael F

An analysis has been made of the drag losses in airplane flight of cross-flow plate and tubular intercoolers to determine the cooling-air weight flow and pressure drop that give a minimum drag loss for any given cooling effectiveness and, thus, a maximum power-plant net gain due to charge-air cooling. The drag losses considered in this analysis are those due to (1) the extra drag imposed on the airplane by the weight of the intercooler, its duct, and its supports and (2) the drag sustained by the cooling air in flowing through the intercooler and its duct. The investigation covers a range of conditions of altitude, airspeed, lift-drag ratio, supercharger-pressure ratio, and supercharger adiabatic efficiency. The optimum values of cooling air pressure drop and weight flow ratio are tabulated. Curves are presented to illustrate the results of the analysis.

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