1989-09-01

An Entropy Method for Induced Drag Minimization 892344

A fundamentally new approach to the aircraft minimum induced drag problem is presented. The method, a “viscous lifting line,” is based on the minimum entropy production principle and does not require the planar wake assumption. An approximate, closed form solution is obtained for several wing configurations including a comparison of wing extension, winglets, and in-plane wing sweep, with and without a constraint on wing-root bending moment.Like the classical lifting-line theory, this theory predicts that induced drag is proportional to the square of the lift coefficient and inversely proportional to the wing aspect ratio. Unlike the classical theory, it predicts that induced drag is Reynolds number dependent and that the optimum spanwise circulation distribution is non-elliptic.

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