Chapter 8

The Anatomy of the Airfoil

Abstract

The chapter presents fundamental concepts and theories regarding airfoil lift and drag generation. It begins by presenting crucial definitions for use in airfoil theory. Ranging from the basics of Buckingham’s Π-theory to representation of forces moments to discussion of pressure distribution along the upper and lower surfaces of the airfoil and how it affects the growth of the boundary layer and, eventually, flow separation. Discussion of airfoil stall characteristics and ice-accretion problems are introduced with the basics of airfoil design theory. Then important geometric properties of airfoils are presented to help make the aircraft designer better rounded when comes to identifying various airfoil ...

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