The effects of shielding the tips of airfoils

Reid, Elliott G

Tests have recently been made at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory to ascertain whether the aerodynamic characteristics of an airfoil might be substantially improved by imposing certain limitations upon the air flow about its tips. All of the modified forms were slightly inferior to the plain airfoil at small lift coefficients: however, by mounting thin plates, in planes perpendicular to the span, at the wing tips, the characteristics were improved throughout the range above three-tenths of the maximum lift coefficient. With this form of limitation the detrimental effect was slight; at the higher lift coefficients there resulted a considerable reduction of induced drag and consequently, of power required for sustentation. The slope of the curve of lift versus angle of attack was increased.

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