An extended theory of thin airfoils and its application to the biplane problem

Millikan, Clark B
naca-report-362
1931


The report presents a new treatment, due essentially to von Karman, of the problem of the thin airfoil. The standard formulae for the angle of zero lift and zero moment are first developed and the analysis is then extended to give the effect of disturbing or interference velocities, corresponding to an arbitrary potential flow, which are superimposed on a normal rectilinear flow over the airfoil. An approximate method is presented for obtaining the velocities induced by a 2-dimensional airfoil at a point some distance away. In certain cases this method has considerable advantage over the simple "lifting line" procedure usually adopted. The interference effects for a 2-dimensional biplane are considered in the light of the previous analysis. The results of the earlier sections are then applied to the general problem of the interference effects for a 3-dimensional biplane, and formulae and charts are given which permit the characteristics of the individual wings of an arbitrary biplane without sweepback or dihedral to be calculated. In the final section the conclusions drawn from the application of the theory to a considerable number of special cases are discussed, and curves are given illustrating certain of these conclusions and serving as examples to indicate the nature of the agreement between the theory and experiment.

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