A theoretical and experimental investigation of the lift and drag characteristics of hydrofoils at subcritical and supercritical speeds

Kenneth L. Wadlin, Charles L. Shuford, Jr., John McGehee
naca-report-1232
1955


A theoretical and experimental investigation at subcavitation speeds was made of the effect of the free-water surface and rigid boundaries on the lift and drag of an aspect-ratio-10 hydrofoil at both subcritical and supercritical speeds and of an aspect ratio-4 hydrofoil at supercritical speeds. Approximate theoretical solutions for the effects of the free-water surface and rigid boundaries on drag at subcritical speeds are developed. An approximate theoretical solution for the effects of these boundaries on drag at subcritical speeds is also presented. The agreement between theory and experiment at both supercritical and subcritical speeds is satisfactory for engineering calculations of hydrofoil characteristics from aerodynamic data. The experimental investigation indicated no appreciable effect of the limiting speed of wave propagation on lift-curve slope or angle of zero lift. It also showed that the increase in drag as the critical speed is approached from the supercritical range is gradual. The result is contrary to the abrupt increase at the critical speed predicted by theory.

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