1977-02-01

Application of Numerical Optimization to the Design of Supercritical Airfoils without Drag-Creep 770440

Recent applications of numerical optimization to the design of advanced airfoils for transonic aircraft have shown that low-drag sections can be developed for a given design Mach number without an accompanying drag increase at lower Mach numbers. This is achieved by imposing a constraint on the drag coefficient at an off-design Mach number while the drag at the design Mach number is the objective function. Such a procedure doubles the computation time over that for single design-point problems, but the final result is worth the increased cost of computation. The ability to treat such multiple design-point problems by numerical optimization has been enhanced by the development of improved airfoil shape functions. Such functions permit a considerable increase in the range of profiles attainable during the optimization process.

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