Recent Transonic Airfoil Developments and Some Business Aircraft Implications
Significant advances in transonic airfoil technology have occurred during the last decade in Europe and in the United States. Some of this new technology, available in the open literature, could be applied to business aircraft. The phenomenological differences between the flow characteristics of the newer transonic airfoils and the conventional NASA-type airfoils are described. In particular, supercritical flow generation and recompression without shock-wave, boundary-layer interaction sufficiently strong to destroy the airfoil aerodynamic efficiency are emphasized. One deterrent to the use of improved transonic airfoils is the sophisticated design methodology required to transform an airfoil into a successful three-dimensional wing. Some techniques for designing compatible wings and fuselages, where a large percentage of their surfaces is covered with supercritical flow, are described.