Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-2991
2001-09-11

A New Airfoil Optimized For Light Aircraft Performance 2001-01-2991

A new low Reynolds number, natural laminar flow airfoil design and its impact on performance of a generic light sailplane are presented. Several previously published airfoils, the Liebeck/Camacho LA203A and the Somers/Maughmer SM701, were used as a starting point. They are examined along with several new attempts to further the state of the art for natural laminar flow, single element airfoils. The computational tool XFOIL was used to analyze these airfoils, and the resulting data were adjusted and applied to a generic Sporting Class sailplane design. The results indicated that overall performance improvements are possible over the SM701, the LA203A, and a third reference airfoil.

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