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Compressible Flow fundamentals

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Compressible Flow fundamentals

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In compressible flow, both the lift and drag of a thin airfoil can be determined to a reason-

able level of accuracy from an inviscid, irrotational model of the flow. Recall the equations

developed in Chapter 6 governing steady, irrotational, homentropic (rs = 0) flow in the

absence of body forces.

r U = 0

U U rP

r + =0

2 (14.1)

P

=

P0 0

rP = a2 r. (14.2)

P 1 rP

r = . (14.3)

14-1

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-2

P U U

r + = 0. (14.4)

1 2

Substitute (14.2) into the continuity equation and use (14.3). The continuity equation

becomes

U ra2 + ( 1) a2 r U = 0. (14.5)

a2 U U a1 2 U1 2 a1 2 1 2

+ = + = 1+ M1 = C p Tt (14.6)

1 2 1 2 1 2

Note that the momentum equation is essentially equivalent to the statement that the

stagnation temperature Tt is constant throughout the flow. Using (14.6) we can write

a2 U U

= ht . (14.7)

1 2

U U U U

( 1) ht r U U r = 0. (14.8)

2 2

single equation for the velocity vector U. The irrotationality condition r U = 0 permits

the introduction of a velocity potential.

U = r (14.9)

r r 2 r r

( 1) ht r r r = 0. (14.10)

2 2

For complex body shapes numerical methods are normally used to solve for . However

the equation is of relatively limited applicability. If the flow is over a thick airfoil or a blu

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-3

body for instance then the equation only applies to the subsonic Mach number regime at

Mach numbers below the range where shocks begin to appear on the body. At high subsonic

and supersonic Mach numbers where there are shocks then the homentropic assumption

(14.2) breaks down. Equation (14.8) also applies to internal flows without shocks such as

fully expanded nozzle flow.

In the case of a thin airfoil that only slightly disturbs the flow, equation (14.8) can be

simplified using small disturbance theory. Consider the flow past a thin 3-D airfoil shown

in Figure 14.1.

U = U1 + u

V =v (14.11)

W =w

where

u

<< 1

U1

v

<< 1 (14.12)

U1

w

<< 1.

U1

Similarly the state variables deviate only slightly from free-stream values

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-4

P = P1 + P 0

T = T1 + T 0 (14.13)

= 1 + 0

and

a = a1 + a0 . (14.14)

ious terms are

U U U1 2 u2 v 2 w 2

= + uU1 + + +

2 2 2 2 2 (14.15)

r U = ux + vy + wz

and

U U

r = (ux U1 + uux + vvx + wwx , uy U1 + uuy + vvy + wwy , uz U1 + uuz + vvz + wwz )

2

(14.16)

as well as

U U

( 1) ht r U =

2

U1 2 u2 v 2 w 2

( 1) ht + uU1 + + + ux +

2 2 2 2

(14.17)

U1 2 u2 v 2 w 2

( 1) ht + uU1 + + + uy +

2 2 2 2

U1 2 u2 v 2 w 2

( 1) ht + uU1 + + + uz

2 2 2 2

and, finally

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-5

U U U U

( 1) ht r U U r =

2 2

U1 2

( 1) ht + uU1 ux +

2

U1 2

( 1) ht + uU1 vy +

2 (14.18)

U1 2

( 1) ht + uU1 wz

2

Neglect terms in (14.17) and (14.18) that are of third order in the disturbance velocities.

Now

U U U U

( 1) ht r U U r =

2 2

U1 2

( 1) ht + uU1 ux +

2

U1 2

( 1) ht + uU1 vy +

2 (14.19)

U1 2

( 1) ht + uU1 wz

2

or

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-6

U U U U

( 1) ht r U U r =

2 2

(14.20)

ux U1 2 + uux U1 + vvx U1 + wwx U1

U U U U

( 1) ht r U U r =

2 2

(14.21)

a1 2 (ux + vy + wz ) ux U 1 2 ( + 1) uux U1 (vvx U1 + wwx U1 )

Divide through by a1 2 .

1 U U 1 U U

ht r U U r =

a1 2 2 a1 2 2

( + 1) M1

1 M1 2 u x + v y + w z uux (14.22)

a1

M1

(( 1) (uvy + uwz ) + vuy + wuz + vvx + wwx )

a1

Equation (14.22) contains both linear and quadratic terms in the velocity disturbances

and one might expect to be able to neglect the quadratic terms. But note that the first

term becomes very small near M1 = 1. Thus in order to maintain the small disturbance

approximation at transonic Mach numbers the uux term must be retained. The remaining

quadratic terms are small at all Mach numbers and can be dropped. Finally the small

disturbance equation is

( + 1) M1

1 M1 2 u x + v y + w z uux = 0. (14.23)

a1

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-7

potential.

= U1 x + (x, y, z) (14.24)

( + 1) M1

1 M1 2 xx + yy + zz = x xx . (14.25)

a1

Equation (14.25) is valid over the whole range of subsonic, transonic and supersonic Mach

numbers.

If we restrict our attention to subsonic and supersonic flow, staying away from Mach

numbers close to one, the nonlinear term on the right side of (14.25) can be dropped and

the small disturbance potential equation reduces to the linear wave equation

2

xx ( yy + zz ) =0 (14.26)

q

where = M1 2 1. In two dimensions

2

xx yy = 0. (14.27)

The general solution of (14.27) can be expressed as a sum of two arbitrary functions

(x, y) = F (x y) + G (x + y) . (14.28)

Note that if M1 2 < 1 the 2-D linearized potential equation (14.27) is an elliptic equation

that can be rescaled to form Laplaces equation and (14.28) expresses the solution in terms

of conjugate complex variables. In this case the subsonic flow can be analyzed using the

methods of complex analysis. Presently we will restrict our attention to the supersonic

case. The subsonic case is treated later in the chapter.

If M1 2 > 1 then (14.27) is the 2-D wave equation and has solutions of hyperbolic type.

Supersonic flow is analyzed using the fact that the properties of the flow are constant along

the characteristic lines x y = constant. Figure 14.2 illustrates supersonic flow past a

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-8

thin airfoil with several characteristics shown. Notice that in the linear approximation the

characteristics are all parallel to one another and lie at the Mach angle 1 of the free

stream. Information about the flow is carried in the value of the potential assigned to

a given characteristic and in the spacing between characteristics for a given flow change.

Right-leaning characteristics carry the information about the flow on the upper surface

of the wing and left-leaning characteristics carry information about the flow on the lower

surface.

Figure 14.2: Right and left leaning characteristics on a thin 2-D airfoil.

All properties of the flow, velocity, pressure, temperature, etc. are constant along the char-

acteristics. Since disturbances only propagate along downstream running characteristics

we can write the velocity potential for the upper and lower surfaces as

(x, y) = F (x y) y > 0

(14.29)

(x, y) = G (x + y) y < 0.

Let y = f (x) define the coordinates of the upper surface of the wing and y = g (x) define

the lower surface. The full nonlinear boundary condition on the upper surface is

v df

= . (14.30)

U y=f dx

In the spirit of the thin airfoil approximation this boundary condition can be approximated

by the linearized form

v df

= (14.31)

U y=0 dx

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-9

@ (x, y) df

= U1 (14.32)

@y y=0 dx

or

U1 df

F 0 (x) = . (14.33)

dx

U1 dg

G0 (x) = . (14.34)

dx

In the thin airfoil approximation the airfoil itself is, in eect, collapsed to a line along

the x -axis, the velocity potential is extended to the line y = 0 and the surface boundary

condition is applied at y = 0 instead of at the physical airfoil surface. The entire eect of

the airfoil on the flow is accounted for by the vertical velocity perturbation generated by

the local slope of the wing. The linearized boundary condition is valid on 2-D thin wings

and on 3-D wings of that are of thin planar form.

Recall that (14.26) is only valid for subsonic and supersonic flow and not for transonic flow

where 1 M1 2 << 1.

Lets work out the linearized pressure coefficient. The pressure coefficient is

P P1 2 P

CP = 1 2 = 2 1 . (14.35)

U

2 1 1 M 1 P1

T 1

=1+ U1 2 U 2 + v 2 + w2 . (14.36)

T1 2Cp T1

Similarly the entropy is constant and so the pressure and temperature are related by

P 1 1

= 1+ U1 2 2

U +v +w 2 2

. (14.37)

P1 2Cp T1

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-10

!

2 1 1

CP = 1+ U1 2 U 2 + v 2 + w2 1 . (14.38)

M1 2 2Cp T1

U1 2 U 2 + v 2 + w2 = 2uU1 + u2 + v 2 + w2 (14.39)

Now use the binomial expansion (1 ")n = 1 n" + n (n 1) "2 /2 to expand the term in

parentheses in (14.39). Note that the expansion has to be carried out to second order. The

pressure coefficient is approximately

2u u2 v 2 + w2

CP

= + 1 M1 2

2 + . (14.40)

U1 U1 U1 2

flow.

For 2-D flows over planar bodies it is sufficient to retain only the first term in (14.40) and

we use the expression

u

CP

= 2 . (14.41)

U1

For 3-D flows over slender approximately axisymmetric, bodies we must retain the last

term so

2u v 2 + w2

CP

= + . . (14.42)

U1 U1 2

As was discussed above, if the airfoil is a 2-D shape defined by the function y = f (x) the

boundary condition at the surface is

df v

= = tan () (14.43)

dx U1 + u

where is the angle between the airfoil surface and the horizontal. For a thin airfoil this

is accurately approximated by

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-11

df y

= = . (14.44)

dx U1

2 df

CPwall = 1/2

(14.45)

M1 2 1 dx

q

2 2

where dU /U = 2/ M1 2 1 d, which is valid for M1 1 has been used. In the

thin airfoil approximation in supersonic flow the local pressure coefficient is determined by

the local slope of the wing. Figure 14.3 schematically shows the wall pressure coefficient

on a thin, symmetric biconvex wing.

This airfoil will have shock waves at the leading and trailing edges and at first sight this

would seem to violate the isentropic assumption. But for small disturbances the shocks

are weak and the entropy changes are negligible.

A thin, 2-D, symmetric airfoil is situated in a supersonic stream at Mach number M1 and

zero angle of attack. The y-coordinate of the upper surface of the airfoil is given by the

function

x

y (x) = ASin (14.46)

C

where C is the airfoil chord. The airfoil thickness to chord ratio is small, 2A/C << 1.

Determine the drag coefficient of the airfoil.

Solution

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-12

Z C

D=2 (P P1 )Sin () dx. (14.47)

0

where the factor of 2 accounts for the drag of both the upper and lower surfaces and is

the local angle formed by the upper surface tangent to the airfoil and the x-axis. Since the

airfoil is thin the angle is small and we can write the drag coefficient as

Z !

D 1

P P1 x

CD = 1 2 =2 1 2 () d . (14.48)

2 1 U1 C

0 2 1 U1

C

The local tangent is determined by the local slope of the airfoil therefore T an () = dy/dx

and for small angles = dy/dx. Now the drag coefficient is

Z !

1

D P P1 dy x

CD = 1 2 =2 1 2 d . (14.49)

2 1 U1 C 0 2 1 U1

dx C

The pressure coefficient on the airfoil is given by thin airfoil theory (14.45) as

P P1 2 dy

CP = 1 2 =

p (14.50)

2 1 U1 M1 2 1 dx

Z 1 2 Z 1 x x

4 dy x 4A2 2A2 2

CD = p d = p Cos2 d = p .

M1 2 1 0 dx C C 2 M1 2 1 0 C C C 2 M1 2 1

(14.51)

The drag coefficient is proportional to the square of the wing thickness-to-chord ratio.

14.1.6 Thin airfoil with lift and camber at a small angle of attack

A thin, cambered, 2-D, airfoil is situated in a supersonic stream at Mach number M1 and

a small angle of attack as shown in Figure 14.4.

The y-coordinate of the upper surface of the airfoil is given by the function

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-13

Figure 14.4: Trajectory of a piston and an expansion wave in the x-t plane.

x x x x

f = A +B (14.52)

C C C C

x x x x

g = A +B (14.53)

C C C C

where 2A/C << 1 and /C << 1. The airfoil surface is defined by a dimensionless

thickness function

x

C

(14.54)

(0) = (1) = 0

x

C

(14.55)

(0) = (1) = 0

T an () = . (14.56)

C

x

= . (14.57)

C

Solution

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-14

Z C Z C

L= (Plower P1 )Cos (lower ) dx (Pupper P1 )Cos (upper ) dx. (14.58)

0 0

where is the local angle formed by the tangent to the surface of the airfoil and the x-axis.

Since the angle is everywhere small we can use Cos () = 1. The lift coefficient is

Z 1 Z 1

D

CL = 1 2 = CPlower d CPupper d. (14.59)

2 1 U1 C 0 0

The pressure coefficient on the upper surface is given by thin airfoil theory as

2 df 2 d d

CPupper = p = p A +B . (14.60)

C M1 2 1 d C M1 2 1 d d

2 dg 2 d d

CPlower = p = p A +B . (14.61)

C M1 2 1 d C M1 2 1 d d

Z 1 Z 1 Z Z

2 df dg 2

CL = p d + d = p df + dg .

C M1 2 1 0 d 0 d C M1 2 1 0 0

(14.62)

In the thin airfoil approximation, the lift is independent of the airfoil thickness.

4

CL = p (14.63)

M1 2 1 C

Z C Z C

D= (Pupper P1 )Sin (upper ) dx + (Plower P1 )Sin ( lower ) dx. (14.64)

0 0

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-15

Since the airfoil is thin the angle is small, and we can write the drag coefficient as

Z ! Z !

1 1

D Pupper P1 Plower P1

CD = 1 2 = 1 2 (upper ) d + 1 2 ( lower ) d.

2 1 U 1 C 0 2 1 U1 0 2 1 U1

(14.65)

The local tangent is determined by the local slope of the airfoil therefore T an () = dy/dx

and for small angles = dy/dx. Now the drag coefficient is

Z 1 Z 1

D 1 dyupper 1 dylower

CD = 1 2 = CPupper d + CPlower d. (14.66)

2 1 U 1 C

C 0 d C 0 d

!

Z 1 2 Z 1 2

2 d d d d

CD

= p A +B d + A +B d .

C2 M1 2 1 0 d d 0 d d

(14.67)

Note that most of the cross terms cancel. The drag coefficient breaks into several terms.

4

CD

=p

M1 2 1 !

2 Z 1 2 2 Z 1 2 Z 1 2 Z 1

A d B d B d

d + d d + d

C 0 d C 0 d C C 0 d C 0

(14.68)

The third term in (14.68) is

Z 1 Z 1

B d B B

d = d = ( (1) (0)) = 0. (14.69)

C C 0 d C C 0 C C

Finally

2 Z !

1 2 2 Z 1 2 2 Z 1

4 A d B d

CD

=p d + d + d .

M1 2 1 C 0 d C 0 d C 0

(14.70)

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-16

In the thin airfoil approximation, the drag is a sum of the drag due to thickness, drag due

to camber, and drag due to lift.

The Figure below shows the flow past a thin symmetric airfoil at zero angle of attack. The

fluid is assumed to be inviscid and the flow Mach number, U11 /a1 where a1 2 = P1 /1

is the speed of sound, is assumed to be much less than one. The airfoil chord is c and the

maximum thickness is t1 . The subscript one is applied in anticipation of the fact that we

will shortly scale the airfoil to a new shape with subscript 2 and the same chord.

Figure 14.5: Pressure variation over a thin symmetric airfoil in low speed flow.

The surface pressure distribution is shown below the wing, expressed in terms of the pres-

sure coefficient.

Ps P1

C P1 = 1 2 (14.71)

2 1 U11

The pressure and flow speed throughout the flow satisfy the Bernoulli relation. Near the

airfoil surface

1 1

P1 + 1 U11 2 = Ps1 + 1 Us1 2 . (14.72)

2 2

The pressure is high at the leading edge where the flow stagnates, then as the flow ac-

celerates about the body, the pressure falls rapidly at first, then more slowly reaching a

minimum at the point of maximum thickness. From there the surface velocity decreases

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-17

and the pressure increases continuously to the trailing edge. In the absence of viscosity,

the flow is irrotational.

r u1 = 0 (14.73)

u1 = r 1 (14.74)

Laplaces equation.

@2 1 @2 1

+ =0 (14.75)

@x1 2 @y1 2

y1 x

1

= 1 g . (14.76)

c c

where 1 = t1 /c is the thickness to chord ratio of the airfoil. The boundary conditions that

the velocity potential must satisfy are

@ 1 dy1 dg (x1 /c)

= U 11 = U 1 1

@y1 y1 =c1 g (

x1

) dx1 body d (x1 /c)

c

(14.77)

@ 1

! U 11 .

@x1 1

Any number of methods of solving for the velocity potential are available including the

use of complex variables. In the following we are going to restrict the airfoil to be thin,

1 << 1. In this context we will take the velocity potential to be a perturbation potential

so that

u 1 = U 11 + u 1 0

(14.78)

v1 = v1 0

or

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-18

@ 1

u1 = U 11 +

@x1

(14.79)

@ 1

v1 = .

@y1

The boundary conditions on the perturbation potential in the thin airfoil approximation

are

@ 1 dy1 dg (x1 /c)

= U 11 = U 1 1 1

@y1 y1 =0 dx1 body d (x1 /c)

(14.80)

@ 1

! 0.

@x1 1

2 @ 1

C P1 = . (14.81)

U 11 @x1 y1 =0

Note that the boundary condition on the vertical velocity is now applied on the line y1 = 0.

In eect the airfoil has been replaced with a line of volume sources whose strength is

proportional to the local slope of the actual airfoil. This sort of approximation is really

unnecessary in the low Mach number limit but it is essential when the Mach number is

increased and compressibility eects come in to play. Equally, it is essential in this example

where we will map a compressible flow to the incompressible case.

Now imagine a second flow at a free-stream velocity, U12 in a new space (x2 , y2 ) over a new

airfoil of the same shape (defined by the function g (x/c) but with a new thickness ratio

2 = t2 /c << 1. Part of what we need to do is to determine how 1 and 1 are related to

one another. The boundary conditions that the new perturbation velocity potential must

satisfy are

@ 2 dy2 dg (x2 /c)

= U 12 = U 1 2 2

@y2 y2 =0 dx2 body d (x2 /c)

(14.82)

@ 2

! 0.

@x2 1

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-19

In this second flow the Mach number has been increased to the point where compressibility

eects begin to occur: the density begins to vary significantly and the pressure distribution

begins to deviate from the incompressible case. As long as the Mach number is not too

large and shock waves do not form, the flow will be nearly isentropic. In this instance the

2-D steady compressible flow equations are

@u2 @u2 1 @P

u2 + v2 + =0

@x2 @y2 @x2

@v2 @v2 1 @P

u2 + v2 + =0

@x2 @y2 @y2

(14.83)

@ @ @u2 @v2

u2 + v2 + + =0

@x2 @y2 @x2 @y2

P

= .

P1 1

Let

u 2 = U 12 + u 2 0

v2 = v2

(14.84)

= 1 + 0

P = P1 + P 0

where the primed quantities are assumed to be small compared to the free stream condi-

tions. When quadratic terms in the equations of motion are neglected the equations (14.83)

reduce to

1 U12 2 @u2 0 @v2 0

1 + = 0. (14.85)

P1 @x2 @y2

@ 2

u2 0 =

@x2

(14.86)

@ 2

v2 =

@y2

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-20

@2 2 @2 2

1 M1 2 2 + = 0. (14.87)

@x2 2 @y2 2

Notice that (14.87) is valid for both sub and supersonic flow in the thin airfoil approxi-

mation. Since the flow is isentropic, the pressure and velocity disturbances are related to

lowest order by

P 0 + 1 U12 u2 0 = 0 (14.88)

and the surface pressure coefficient retains the same basic form as in the incompressible

case.

2 @ 2

C P2 = (14.89)

U 12 @x2 y2 =0

Since we are at a finite Mach number, this last relation is valid only within the thin airfoil,

small disturbance approximation and therefore may be expected to be invalid near the

leading edge of the airfoil where the velocity change is of the order of the free stream

velocity. For example for the thin airfoil depicted in Figure 14.5 which is actually not

all that thin, the pressure coefficient is within 0.2 < Cp < 0.2 except over a very narrow

portion of the chord near the leading edge.

Equation (14.87) can be transformed to Laplaces equation, (14.75) using the following

change of variables

x2 = x1

1

y2 = q y1

1 M1 2 2 (14.90)

1 U 12

2 = 1

A U 11

where, at the moment, A is an arbitrary constant. The velocity potentials are related

by

1 U 12

2 (x2 , y2 ) = 1 (x1 , y1 ) (14.91)

A U 11

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-21

or

0 1

U 11 1

1 (x1 , y1 ) =A 2 @x 1 , q y1 A (14.92)

U 12 1 M1 2 2

0 1

@ 1 A2 A dg (x1 /c)

= U 11 @ q

@y1 y1 =0 1 M1 2 2 d (x1 /c)

@ 1 (14.93)

!0

@x1 1

@ 2

! 0.

@x2 1

The transformation between flows one and two is completed by the correspondence

A

1 = q 2 (14.94)

2

1 M1 2

or

t1 A t2

=q . (14.95)

c 1 M1 2 2 c

These results may be stated as follows. The solution for incompressible flow over a thin

airfoil with shape g (x1 /c) and thickness ratio, t1 /c at velocity U1 is identical to the subsonic

compressible flow at velocity, U2 and Mach number M2 over an airfoil with a similar shape

but with the thickness ratio

q

t2 1 M 1 2 2 t1

= . (14.97)

c A c

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-22

The pressure coefficient for the compressible case is derived by adjusting the incompressible

coefficient using CP2 = CP1 /A. This result comprises several dierent similarity rules that

can be found in the aeronautical literature depending on the choice of the free constant A.

Perhaps the one of greatest interest is the Prandtl-Glauert rule that describes the variation

of pressure coefficient with Mach number for a body of a given shape and thickness ratio.

In this case we select

q

A= 1 M1 2 2 (14.98)

so that the two bodies being compared in (14.97) have the same shape and thickness ratio.

The pressure coefficient for the compressible flow is

C P1

C P2 = q . (14.99)

2

1 M1 2

Several scaled profiles are shown in Figure 14.6. Keep in mind the lack of validity of (14.99)

near the leading edge where the pressure coefficient is scaled to inaccurate values.

Figure 14.6: Pressure coefficient over the airfoil in Figure 14.5 at several Mach numbers

as estimated using the Prandtl-Glauert rule (14.99).

All the theory developed in the previous section can be extended to the supersonic case

by simply replacing 1 M1 2 with M1 2 1. In this instance the mapping is between the

equation

@2 2 @2 2

M1 2 2 1 =0 (14.100)

@x2 2 @y2 2

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-23

@2 1 @2 1

= 0. (14.101)

@x1 2 @y1 2

A generalized form of the pressure coefficient valid for subsonic and supersonic flow is

0 1

CP

=F@ q A (14.102)

A A 1 M1 2

=1

When the Mach number is close to one, the simple linearization used to obtain (14.87)

from (14.83) loses accuracy. In this case the equations (14.83) reduce to the nonlinear

equation

1 M1 1 2 + u1 = 0. (14.103)

@x1 @y1 U 11 @x1

@2 1 @2 1 ( 1 + 1) M11 2 @ 1 @ 2 1

1 M1 1 2 + = 0. (14.104)

@x1 2 @y1 2 U 11 @x1 @x1 2

x2 = x1

q

1 M1 1 2

y2 = q y1

(14.105)

1 M1 2 2

1 U 12

2 = 1

A U 11

where

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 14-24

1+ 2 1 M1 1 2 M1 2 2

A= . (14.106)

1+ 1 1 M1 2 2 M1 1 2

Notice that, due to the nonlinearity of the transonic equation (14.104) the constant A is

no longer arbitrary. The pressure coefficient becomes

1+ 2 1 M1 1 2 M1 2 2

C P1 = C P2 (14.107)

1+ 1 1 M1 2 2 M1 1 2

32

t2 1+ 1 1 M1 2 2 M1 1 2 t1

= . (14.108)

c 1+ 2 1 M1 1 2 M1 2 2 c

In the transonic case, it is not possible to compare the same body at dierent Mach numbers

or bodies with dierent thickness ratios at the same Mach number except by selecting gases

with dierent . For a given gas it is only possible to map the pressure distribution for

one airfoil to an airfoil with a dierent thickness ratio at a dierent Mach number. A

generalized form of (14.102) valid from subsonic to sonic to supersonic Mach numbers

is

1

0 1

CP ( + 1) M1 2 3

1 M1 2

2 =F@ 2

A. (14.109)

2

3

( + 1) M1 3

Prior to the advent of supercomputers capable of solving the equations of high speed flow,

similarity methods and wind tunnel correlations were the only tools available to the aircraft

designer and these methods played a key role in the early development of transonic and

supersonic flight.

14.3 Problems

and a small angle of attack as shown in Figure 14.7.

The y-coordinate of the upper surface of the airfoil is given by the function

x x x

f (x) = A 1 (14.110)

C C C

CHAPTER 14. THIN AIRFOIL THEORY 25

x x x

g (x) = A 1 (14.111)

C C C

where 2A/C << 1 and /C << 1. Determine the lift and drag coefficients of the air-

foil.

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