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# Hong Kong Community College

## CCN2299 Introduction to Flight Performance

Semester One 2018/2019
Assignment 1 Part 2
Airfoil Design and Testing

Learning Objectives:
- To understand how the design of airfoil produce lift and drag
- To understand how aerodynamic principles influence aircraft design

Section I – Characteristics of an Airfoil
Name of the Profile Geometry 12%
Section II – Performance Analysis of a Flat Plate
Lift Calculation and Data Analysis 17%
Section III – Performance Analysis of an Airfoil
Results of Foilsim Simulation, Lift Calculation and Data Analysis 34%
Section IV – Experiment: Flow Visualization in Smoke Tunnel
Flat Plate Test and Airfoil Test 22%
Conclusion
Discussion 15%

Instructions
1. Submission date and time: end of week 8 (Semester 1)

2. Plagiarism will be penalized severely. Marks will be deducted for assignments that are
plagiarized in whole or in part, regardless of the sources.

## Late submission of the assignment is NOT accepted.

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Introduction
Write an individual report to study the characteristics and performance of the flat plate and
airfoil. In this report, you need to take advantage of the airfoil simulator, calculations and
experiments to compare the characteristics and performance of different types of airfoil and
recommend one type of airfoil for the aircraft design.

## Section I – Characteristics of an Airfoil

With reference to the picture below, name all the labelled profile geometry of an airfoil in the
table provided.

## Label Name Label Name

A Location of max camber B Chord Line
C Max Chamber D Max thickness
E Location of max thickness F Mean Camber line

## Fundamental Lift Equation

The below table shows the lift coefficient of a flat plate at angles of attack from 0⁰ to 90⁰. A
flat plate of 6m span and 1m chord is tested in an airstream of velocity 80m/s where the air
density is 1.225kg/m³. Find the lift of the flat plate by using the above lift equation as below
chart.

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Angle of 0⁰ 10⁰ 20⁰ 30⁰ 40⁰ 50⁰ 60⁰ 70⁰ 80⁰ 90⁰
attack
(AOA)
Lift 0 0.68 0.78 0.80 0.76 0.68 0.56 0.38 0.20 0
coefficient
Lift (N) 0 15993.6 18345.6 18816 17875.2 15993.6 13171.2 8937.6 4704 0

i) Using the above results, plot a graph to show the curve of lift against angle of attack
(i.e. Lift vs Angle of Attack) for flat plate.
Remark: Using the Excel software to plot and capture the graph in your report to
explain.

## Lift vs Angle of Attack for flat plate

20000
18000
16000
14000
12000
Lift(N)

10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Angle of Attack(⁰)

ii) From above the graph, what are the angle of attacks if the zero lift obtained?

## Maximum lift is obtained at A.O.A. 30⁰

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Section III – Performance Analysis of an Airfoil
With this Foilsim simulation, you can investigate how the design of an airfoil produces lift and
drag by changing the values of different factors that produce aerodynamic forces.

## The procedure of the using Foilsim is as following:

Step 1. Open the Foilsim and Reset
 Open the Foilsim
 Set the Units as Metric

## Step 2. Enter the data of flight conditions

 Click on the Flight button
 Change the speed value to 290 km/h
 Change the altitude value to 0 m and Enter
Remark: Set Metric if the unit is not correct

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Step 3. Enter the wing size
 Click the Size button
 Change the Chord-m value to 5.6 m
 Change the Span-m value to 22.4 m and Enter
 The Area-sq m should be 125.44 m2
Remark: Set Metric if the unit is not correct

## Step 4. Enter the data of airfoil shape

 Below are the specifications of the airfoil:

##  Max thickness: 15% at 30.9% chord

 Max camber 4% at 40.2% chord

 Based on the specifications of airfoil above, input the Camber-%c value and the Thick-
%crd value and select the appropriate Basic Shape (Symmetric or High Camber or
others?)

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Step 5. Check the life coefficient (CL) and drag coefficient (CD) by different values of AOA
 Change the Angle-deg value as 0
 Select the Cl and Cd button to display the value of lift coefficient (CL) and drag
coefficient (CD) respectively
 Click on Rescale button to display a plot on a graph
Remark: You can display lift and drag by selecting the buttons of Cl and Cd

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i) Record the values of lift coefficient and drag coefficient at various Angle of Attack (AOA)
as below chart.

## AOA (⁰) Lift Coefficient (CL) Drag Coefficient (CD)

-8 -0.488 0.038
-6 -0.252 0.019
-4 -0.007 0.013
-2 0.238 0.02
0 0.474 0.038
2 0.7 0.066
4 0.918 0.103
6 1.127 0.147
8 1.327 0.2
10 1.519 0.26
12 1.673 0.318
14 1.749 0.356
16 1.73 0.364

ii) Using the above results, plot a graph to show how the values varies with angle of attack
as below:
- Lift coefficient and Drag coefficient varies with angle of attack (i.e. CL and CD vs
Angle of Attack).
Remark: Using the Excel software to plot and capture the graph in your report to
explain.

## C L & C D vs Angle of Attack

2

1.5

0.5

0
-10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
-0.5

-1
ANGLE OF ATTACK(⁰)

## Lift Coefficient Drag Coefficient

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iii) Based on the above graph, find the values of the maximum lift coefficient and the
critical angle of attack for this airfoil.

## The maximum lift coefficient is 1.749, the critical angle of attack is 14 ⁰.

iv) Briefly explain what will happen if a pilot increases the angle of attack to a value
greater than the maximum lift coefficient.

If the pilot increases the angle of attack beyond the critical angle, the lift coefficient
will decrease rapidly and drag coefficient will increase simultaneously. Once the lift is
unable to support the weight, the aircraft will stall then cannot sustain in the air.

v) The airfoil is tested in a wind tunnel at a velocity of 290km/h where the air density is
1.225 kg/m³. With the given equations as below, what is the lift force and drag force
generated by the airfoil at 4⁰ angle of attack if the wing area is 125.44 m2?

## Fundamental Equations for Lift and Drag

1 290×1000 2
Lift Force= (0.918)(2)(1.225)( ) (125.44)=457694N
60×60

1 290×1000 2
Drag Force=(0.103) (2)(1.225)( ) (125.44)= 51353N
60×60

vi) You need to test the calculations by Foilsim simulation, please show the results of
Foilsim simulation and compare the results with your calculations from v)? Where do

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they differ? What sources of error can you find?

 Difference:
The Foilsim value of Lift Coefficient is larger than the theoretical value 652N(Percentage
Error: +0.14%). Drag Coefficient is larger than the theoretical value 73N(Percentage
Error:+0.14%). Which we can see that the difference between the Foilsim airfoil simulator
predicts a greater value of Lift Coefficient than the drag coefficient.

 Source of error:
1. Value of wind velocity
the lift formula uses physics SI unit (m/s ). As a result, we must convert 290km/h to
80.555…m/s. Foilsim rounded off some of the decimal places and made the whole
velocity value smaller than the theoretical value.

## 2. Value of True Air Speed

With the Foilsim given Reynolds Number: 31,906,486 (a number indicates the flow
pattern of fluid) and air viscosity: 1.7326E-5 kg/-s. By using the definition formula Re
ρ x TAS x L
= , the TAS of the aircraft will be80.5848070606…. While by manual
µ

calculation, we assume the wind speed same as the true air speed.

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vii) The results of Foilsim simulation are based on some assumptions. List two of them.

1. The air used in Foilsim is treated as a single type of gas. In our atmosphere, it consists
of many types of gases (e.g. Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, Helium, Hydrogen…). Which of
them consists of different mass thus each of them has unique density.

2. The wind in Foilsim is always calm, giving a constant airspeed to all the data. In reality,
wind direction and speed are variable, sometimes it could be changing in a minute.
Also, gust is a form of wind that suddenly increase its velocity.

## Section IV – Experiment: Flow Visualization in Smoke Tunnel

Aerodynamicists use wind tunnels to test models of proposed aircraft. The model is placed in
the test section of the tunnel and air is made to flow past the model. Some wind tunnel tests
are designed to provide information about the flow of air around the model. Smoke is injected
into the tunnel upstream of the model for easy visualization.

You are required to do the experiment in the smoke tunnel with two types of airfoil shape
including a flat plate and an airfoil. You need to take photos about the flow of air around the
model for record and explain your findings.

## Task 1 – Flat Plate Test and Data Analysis

i) Set up the flat plate in the wind tunnel so that it is perpendicular to the flow of air and
record the flow of air around the plate. Rotate the plate to different angles and record
the data with photos.
a. According to the photos taken, briefly explain how the smoke varies with the angle
of attack.
b. Compare the results of lift calculation in the section II with the findings in the

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a)
The flow of air is almost parallel
to the airfoil, only small amount
air deflected downwards when

## The upper stream of air near the

which indicated that a blockage
exists, leading the speed of upper
air flow faster. Also, the airflow is
trailing edge. Lift existence can be
seen.

## The upper airflow is completely

detached from the plane and
continued a horizontal flow after

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b)
A.O.A section II CL Section IV Comparison
Observation
0◦ 0 Airflow parallel to Match, no lift is
the plane generated.
14◦ ~0.72 The airflow is Match, lift exists.
tilted plane at
trailing edge
30◦ 0.80 Upper airflow is Unmatch, airflow
completely detach from airflow
detached from the should be no lift
plane generated.

## Task 2 – Airfoil Test and Data Analysis

i) Set up the airfoil in the wind tunnel. Change the angle of attack and record your findings
with photos.
a. Discuss how the smoke/streamlines varies with the angle of attack.
b. Compare the results of the experiment with Foilsim simulation in the section III and

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a)
The flow of air near leading edge
is messy which generated some
turbulence.

## The upper stream of air near the

which indicated that a blockage
upper air flow faster. Also, the
upper airflow joined lower
airflow together at trailing edge.
Lift existence can be seen.

## The upper airflow still adheres to

the upper surface of the airfoil,
lift is still generated smoothly.

## The upper airflow still adheres to

the upper surface of the airfoil,
lift is still generated smoothly.

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b)
A.O.A section II CL Section IV Comparison
Observation
-8◦ -0.488 Airflow at leading Match, lift is barely
edge generated generated.
some turbulence.
0◦ 0.474 Upper airflow joined Match, lift is
lower airflow basically formed.
together at trailing
edge
14◦ 1.749 Upper airflow still Match, lift exists.
upper surface of the
airfoil
30◦ 1.73 upper airflow still Match, lift exists.
upper surface of the
airfoil

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Discussion and Conclusion
Submit your individual written report with different sections as defined above. By comparing
the difference between flat plate and airfoil, write a conclusion and briefly describe why the
airfoil will be your preferred choice for the aircraft design.

The difference between a cambered wing and a flat plate wing is not only of its shape but
also its function. Cambered wing is commonly used in commercial aircrafts because they can
generate more lift. Yet, flat plate still has advantage. From manufacturing aspect, flat plate
wing does not need much process to produce. For me, I prefer the cambered wing more and
the following will explain the reason further.

One point to be noted is that the cambered wing at 0° still can generate lift, while the flat

plate cannot. Specially, the cambered wing can still generate lift at -2°. In practical operation,

aircrafts perform various of motion(for instance straight and level flight, climbing,
descending), it’s better to choose a wing allows a larger range of A.O.A to produce lift force
that means to be safer during any forms of maneuver, preventing the aircraft to stall.

However, the critical angle of flat plate (30°) is larger than cambered wing(16°). In daily life,

aircrafts tilt beyond 20° may already create discomfort to passengers. To conclude, I reckon

cambered wing is beneficial than flat plate due to its negative angle lift production.

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Date of Submission: Week 8
Weighting: 20% (Individual) of the total assignment marks
Marking Rubrics
Section I – Characteristics of an Airfoil Marks
Demonstrates conscious and thorough understanding of the knowledge about Excellent 11-12
the characteristics of an airfoil.

Demonstrates a thoughtful awareness of the knowledge about the characteristics Good 9-10
of an airfoil.

Demonstrates a basic awareness of some of the knowledge about the Satisfactory 7-8
characteristics of an airfoil.

## Demonstrates a limited awareness about the characteristics of an airfoil. Fair 5-6

Demonstrates little or no awareness of the knowledge about the characteristics Poor 0-4
of an airfoil.

## Section II – Performance Analysis of a Flat Plate

All the lift forces analysis are correct. Correct graph curves of lift against angle of
attack are provided to facilitate the discussion and elaboration. Able to identify
Excellent 15-17
all the major of the characteristics of a flat plate.

Most of the lift forces analysis are correct. Graph curves are used to facilitate the Good 13-14
discussion. Able to identify most of the characteristics of a flat plate.

Part of the lift forces analysis are correct. Some graph curves are used to facilitate Satisfactory 11-12
the discussion. Able to identify part of the characteristics of a flat plate.

Some of the lift forces analysis are incorrect. Some graph curves are not Fair 9-10
integrated with the data analysis. Cannot identify the major characteristics of a
flat plate.

Most of the lift forces analysis are incorrect. Much information missing and/or Poor 0-8
inaccurate.

## Section III – Performance Analysis of an Airfoil

All the lift forces, drag forces, lift coefficient and drag coefficient analysis are
correct. Correct graph curves of lift and drag coefficients against angle of attack
Excellent 31-34
are provided to facilitate the discussion and elaboration. Able to identify all the
major of the characteristics of an airfoil.

Most of the lift force, drag force, lift coefficient and drag coefficients analysis are Good 25-30
correct. Graph curves are used to facilitate the discussion. Able to identify most
of the characteristics of an airfoil.

Part of the lift force, drag force, lift coefficient and drag coefficient analysis are Satisfactory 21-24
correct. Some graph curves are used to facilitate the discussion. Able to identify
part of the characteristics of an airfoil.

Some of the lift force, drag force, lift coefficient and drag coefficient analysis are Fair 18-20
incorrect. Some graph curves are not integrated with the data analysis. Cannot
identify the major characteristics of an airfoil.

Most of the lift force, drag force, lift coefficient and drag coefficient analysis are Poor 0-17
incorrect. Much information missing and/or inaccurate.

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Section IV – Experiment: Flow Visualization in Smoke Tunnel
All the findings in the experiment are collected and recorded accurately. Correct Excellent 20-22
photos are provided to facilitate the elaboration.

Most of the findings in the experiment are collected and recorded accurately. Good 16-19
Some photos are used to facilitate the elaboration.

Part of the findings in the experiment are collected and recorded. Photos are used Satisfactory 14-15
to facilitate the elaboration.

Some of the findings in the experiement are collected and recorded. Some photos Fair 11-13
are used to facilitate the elaboration.

Much information missing and/or inaccurate. Little or no discussion about the Poor 0-10
experiment is provided.

Conclusion
Addresses all elements of task in an explicit and convincing way, and achieves Excellent 12-15
stated aims. An impressive piece of writing. The selection of airfoil is well
integrated with the data analysis with good supporting argument.

Addresses all elements of task explicitly, although argument could be more Good 10-11
concisely or convincingly expressed. The selection of airfoil is not fully supported
by data or data not well integrated.