Edwin J. Saltzman*
Analytical Services & Materials
Edwards, California
K. Charles Wang†
The Aerospace Corporation
El Segundo, California
Kenneth W. Iliff‡
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Edwards, California
*
Abstract shown to be related to Hoerner’s compilation for body,
airfoil, nacelle, and canopy drag. These analyses are
†
This‡paper examines flightmeasured subsonic lift intended to provide a useful analytical framework with
and drag characteristics of seven liftingbody and wing which to compare and evaluate new vehicle
body reentry vehicle configurations with truncated configurations of the same generic family.
bases. The seven vehicles are the fullscale M2F1,
M2F2, HL10, X24A, X24B, and X15 vehicles and Nomenclature
the Space Shuttle prototype. Lift and drag data of the 2
various vehicles are assembled under aerodynamic A aspect ratio, A = b ⁄ S
performance parameters and presented in several Ab base area, ft2
analytical and graphical formats. These formats unify
the data and allow a greater understanding than studying Ac maximum projected crosssectional area,
the vehicles individually allows. Liftcurve slope data ft2
are studied with respect to aspect ratio and related to al longitudinal acceleration, g
generic windtunnel model data and to theory for low
aspectratio planforms. The proper definition of an normal acceleration, g
reference area was critical for understanding and Aw wetted area, ft2
comparing the lift data. The drag components studied
b span, ft
include minimum drag coefficient, liftrelated drag,
maximum lifttodrag ratio, and, where available, base c base pressure profile factor,
pressure coefficients. The effects of fineness ratio on c = CD ⁄ CD ′
b b
forebody drag were also considered. The influence of
CD drag coefficient, C D = D ⁄ qS
forebody drag on afterbody (base) drag at low lift is
CD base drag coefficient, using derived base
b
*Edwin J. Saltzman, Senior Research Engineer.
pressure profile (reference area is A b for
†K. Charles Wang, Member of the Technical Staff, Member, equations (8) and (9); reference area is S
AIAA. for equations (11), (12), and (13))
‡Kenneth W. Iliff, Chief Scientist, Fellow, AIAA.
CD ′ base drag coefficient, assuming “flat” base
Copyright 1999 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and b
pressure profile (reference area is S )
Astronautics, Inc. No copyright is asserted in the United States under
Title 17, U.S. Code. The U.S. Government has a royaltyfree license to CD zerolift drag coefficient
exercise all rights under the copyright claimed herein for 0
Governmental purposes. All other rights are reserved by the copyright CD forebody drag coefficient referenced to A b
fore, b
owner.
1
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
CD forebody drag coefficient referenced to S δ sb speedbrake deflection, deg
fore,S
2
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
shapes, they were all piloted and capable of routine generic family, lowaspectratio lifting reentry shapes
unpowered horizontal landings. Each of these vehicles with truncated bases. The results can also be used as a
also had a truncated afterbody or blunt base, which firstorder design tool to help airframe designers define
resulted in base drag being a significant component of the outer mold lines of future configurations as well as
the total vehicle drag. In terms of planform design, all of assess the predictive techniques used in design and
the aforementioned vehicles had lowaspect ratios development.
between 0.6 and 2.5. The lift and drag data of the
vehicles presented herein were obtained during Use of trade names or names of manufacturers in this
subsonic, unpowered, coasting flights performed at document does not constitute an official endorsement of
Edwards Air Force Base (California) between 1959 and such products or manufacturers, either expressed or
1977. The primary organizations involved were the implied, by the National Aeronautics and Space
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center# (Edwards, Administration.
California) and the Air Force Flight Test Center; the
U. S. Navy was also a partner in the X15 program. Historical Background
The purpose of this study is to assemble flight At a NACA conference held in March of 1958,
measured lift and drag data from these vehicles under manned satellites and alternative methods of reentering
common aerodynamic performance parameters or the Earth’s atmosphere were comprehensively studied.1
metrics (that is, the data from all seven vehicles are Three different methods of reentry from Earth orbit
plotted together) in an attempt to unify the results for were considered and discussed within the first four
this class of vehicles. This array of data is intended to papers. The three methods were ballistic reentry,2 the
collectively yield information that might otherwise wingless lifting body,3 and winged configurations.4
escape notice if the vehicles were studied individually. Reference 3 advocated the lifting body mainly on the
To accomplish this, the performance parameters of the basis that its hypersonic lifttodrag ratio of
subject vehicles have been related, or exposed, to data approximately 0.5 would provide a maximum
formats and standards that are based on theory and deceleration of approximately 2 g, low enough to allow
concepts that range from several decades to a century a pilot to intervene in the control of the vehicle during
old (for example, the concepts of Jones; Allen and this portion of the reentry.
Perkins; Helmbold; Krienes; Oswald; and ultimately,
Prandtl and Lanchester). Works that have been explicitly The first liftingbody concepts involved very blunt
used will be referenced in following sections. halfcones.3, 5 Later, the concepts evolved into higher
finenessratio cones,6–8 and the capability of achieving
The innovative and intuitive concepts cited above conventional (although unpowered) horizontal landings
were intended for vehicle configurations that are quite was discussed. Numerous windtunnel model tests were
different than the subject vehicles. For example, the performed on candidate versions of the halfcone and
relevant Jones work applied to sharpedged, lowaspect shapes having flattened bottom surfaces. In 1962, Reed
ratio wings; Allen’s and Perkins’ related work addressed demonstrated unpowered horizontal landings and
highfinenessratio bodies of revolution; and the controllable flight with a miniature lightweight radio
concepts of the others applied to moderate, high, and controlled model of an M2 halfcone configuration.9
even infiniteaspectratio wings. In other words, some of This demonstration was followed by the construction of
the concepts and standards employed herein were not a lightweight M2 craft large enough to carry a pilot.
originally intended to apply to the subject vehicles. This unpowered M2F1 vehicle demonstrated
Nevertheless, several such theoretical relationships and controllable flight and horizontal landings for a
standards have been used as a means of organizing and maximum subsonic lifttodrag ratio of 2.8. The M2F1
assessing the flight results considered. lift, drag, and stability and control characteristics were
published circa 1965.10, 11
This study is ultimately intended to provide a useful
database and analytical framework with which to A heavier and modified version of the M2 shape was
compare and evaluate the subsonic aerodynamic built and began flying in 1966. The resulting subsonic
performance of new vehicle configurations of the same lift and drag data from flight were published in 1967.12
Other liftingbody configurations (all capable of
unpowered horizontal landings) were developed and
#
NASA Dryden was called the NASA Flight Research Center at the flighttested as well. The subsonic lift and drag
time of the subject flight experiments. characteristics have previously been reported for the
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
HL10,13 X24A,14 and X24B15 lifting bodies. More candidate reentry vehicles that perform horizontal
information on the evolution and flight testing of the landings.
lifting bodies is available.9, 16–18
As was mentioned in the “Introduction,” some of the
The M2F1 and subsequent lifting bodies were not the unifying metrics depend on borrowed concepts and
pioneer vehicles for performing unpowered (“dead standards that are several decades old and were
stick”) landings, but they were the first verylowaspect originally intended for application on winged vehicles
ratio vehicles ( A < 1.5 ) to routinely land without of high or moderateaspect ratio. The authors realize
power. The early rocketpowered research vehicles (the and accept that some readers may disagree with how the
X1, X2, and D558II aircraft) were designed for borrowed concepts and standards are applied herein.
unpowered landings, but they had aspect ratios between The formats, concepts, and standards that have been
6 and 3.6. Later, the X15 hypersonic research aircraft, used, and the information that may be derived
which had an aspect ratio between the early rocket therefrom, are offered as a beginning in the quest for
powered vehicles and the lifting bodies, made routine understanding the general nature of lift and drag for this
deadstick landings. The X15 aircraft was designed to unique class of vehicles. This “beginning” could not
land unpowered19 based on the experience of the earlier have occurred but for the seven flight research programs
addressed herein and the dedicated technical personnel
rocketpowered aircraft having the higher aspect ratios
who processed, analyzed, and carefully documented the
and on a series of special landing investigations using
lift and drag data. The present authors are indebted to
lowaspectratio fightertype airplanes.20 This study
these earlier investigators for their attention to detail and
investigated approach and landings at lifttodrag ratios
comprehensive reporting.
of 2 to 4 and used extended gear and speed brakes to
increase the drag. Lift and drag data for the X15 The following information is included for the purpose
aircraft have previously been published.19, 21 of orientation and perspective.
Despite the success of the X15 unpowered landing Earliest flight: June 8, 1959 X15 aircraft
experience, the early planning for the Space Shuttle
included “pop out” auxiliary engines to ensure safe Shuttle prototype
Last flight: October 26, 1977
Enterprise
horizontal landings. Thompson, an X15 and lifting
body research pilot, argued that the X15 and lifting Most number
body experience rendered landing engines for the Space of flights: 199 X15 aircraft
Shuttle as an unnecessary weight and payload penalty.22 Least number Shuttle prototype
The Space Shuttle was ultimately designed to make of flights: 5 Enterprise
unpowered landings, and thus became the heaviest of M2F1
the reentrytype vehicles to use routine deadstick Lightest vehicle: 1250 lb
lifting body
landings. The lowspeed lift and drag characteristics of
Shuttle prototype
the nonorbiting Shuttle prototype Enterprise have Heaviest vehicle: 150,900 lb
Enterprise
previously been published.23 Results have been
reported for the Enterprise with and without a
tailcone.23 Only the truncated configuration—that is, The seven vehicles completed a combined total of
without a tailcone—is considered in this paper. 424 flights. Data from 6–7 percent of those flights were
used for this paper.
Currently, new lifting reentry vehicles are being
developed for rescue missions from space and to serve Methods of Analysis
as reusable launch vehicles. These vehicles have much
in common with the lifting bodies described herein and, This section assembles methods and metrics
if aspect ratio is increased somewhat, with the X15 (performance parameters) used in the analysis of the
aircraft and the Shuttle prototype. This report presents subject lift and drag data. The primary metrics of
the subsonic lift and drag characteristics of the M2F1, aerodynamic performance include liftcurve slope; a
M2F2, HL10, X24A, X24B, and X15 vehicles and modified Oswald liftingefficiency factor; the dragdue
the Shuttle prototype Enterprise under unifying tolift factor; maximum lifttodrag ratio; and for
performance parameters and formats, with the intent of minimum drag analysis, equivalent parasite drag area,
aiding the definition of exterior mold lines of future equivalent skin friction coefficient, base pressure
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
coefficient, base drag coefficient, and forebody drag In this modified form of Oswald’s efficiency factor,
coefficient. CL and C D are the values of lift and drag
min min
coefficient at the vertex of the parabolic or nearly
LiftCurve Slope
parabolic relationship of C L as a function of C D (that
Trimmed liftcurve slope data for the subject vehicles is, the drag polar), which does not necessarily occur at
are related to potential flow standards for finitespan zero lift. This condition exists for five of the seven
wings. The most exact theoretical solution for unswept, vehicles considered in this study. Both liftrelated drag
rectangular wings at incompressible conditions is factors represent lift coefficients extending to greater
considered to be that derived by Krienes.24 Krienes’ than that required to obtain maximum lifttodrag ratio.
relationship for liftcurve slope, C L , and aspect ratio,
α
A, is wellrepresented by the following relationship Maximum LifttoDrag Ratio
from Helmbold25 as expressed by Polhamus:26 The maximum value of C L ⁄ C D (symbolized as
( L ⁄ D ) max ) achieved by each of the subject vehicles at
2πA 2
C L =  (rad–1) (1) subsonic speeds is presented as a function of b ⁄ A w .
α 2
A +4+2 This form of aspect ratio is referred to as the “wetted
aspect ratio.”34 This presentation includes a reference
At the lowest aspect ratios ( A < 1.0 ) , equation (1) framework consisting of a family of curves representing
merges with the linear relationship of Jones,27 which constant values of equivalent skin friction coefficient,
follows: C F , which is a form of minimum drag coefficient,
e
CD (which includes both forebody and base drag).
πA min
C L =  , (rad–1) (2) Thus, if
α 2
D min
Equations (1) and (2) represent lift due to circulation. CD =  (4)
Neither of these relationships account for leadingedge min qS
vortex lift, such as is developed by highly swept delta
wings,28 nor lift generated by vortices resulting from then
crossflow over the forebody.29–31 The relationships
represented by equations (1) and (2) are each oblivious S
CF = CD  (5)
to the effects of trim. Although all seven vehicles violate
e min Aw
the limitations of equations (1) and (2), these equations
are considered to be rational standards for evaluating the Although C F is called the “equivalent skin friction
e
relative lifting capability of the subject configurations. coefficient,” the operative word is “equivalent” because
The slopes for the lift curves of the present study were C F contains base drag, separation losses, protuberance
e
obtained over the lift coefficient range extending from drag, and other losses in addition to skin friction. The
the lowest lift coefficient achieved for a given maneuver family of reference curves is analogous to that
to a lift coefficient greater than that required to obtain employed by Stinton,35 and the curves are defined by
maximum lifttodrag ratio. the following oftenused expression from Loftin:36
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
coefficient is the equivalent skin friction coefficient Minimum Forebody Drag
(eq. (5)), which is obtained by basing the minimum drag
coefficient on the wetted area, A w . The wetted area for Significant forebody drag losses exist in addition to
each vehicle is considered to be the wetted area of the the losses caused by skin friction alone. A way to
respective forebody, which includes the body and wings quantify the sum of these losses is to compare the
or fins, and is thus the sum of all outer moldline measured minimum drag of a vehicle with the sum of
surfaces ahead of an associated base or trailing edge. the measured base drag and the calculated skin friction
drag for completely attached, turbulent, boundarylayer
Another format for comparing minimum drag for flow. The difference that results from this comparison
various configurations is called the equivalent parasite represents losses from multiple sources, which are
drag area, f. This metric is related to equation (4) but designated “excess forebody drag.” The calculated,
eliminates the controversy regarding the choice of idealized, sum of the base drag and skin friction drag for
reference area by being defined as follows: each vehicle is obtained from:
D min Ab
f = CD S =  , (ft2) (7) C F = C F + C P  c (10)
e b A
min q w
Use of equivalent skin friction coefficient, C F where C F is the turbulent skin friction coefficient
e
(eq. (5)), and equivalent parasite drag area, f (eq. (7)), (calculated) of the forebody and c is a base pressure
is common among aircraft designers. An early example profile factor.
of their use is given in reference 37.
The values of C F , representing idealized forebody
losses, have been calculated for each of the vehicles at
Thus far, minimum drag has been represented as
the various flight conditions; adjusted for
C D , where the reference area is the vehicle planform
min compressibility effects by the reference temperature
area, S , which is sometimes defined subjectively; C F ,
e method as applied by Peterson;38 and adjusted for form
where the reference area is the forebody wetted area, factor (threedimensionality) by the coefficient, 1.02, as
A w , which can be defined objectively and accurately; or recommended for conical flow.39 The value of C F used
as f , where reference area is eliminated as a factor to calculate the reference curves presented herein is
altogether. Despite any confusion that might result from 0.0023, which is the average C F of the various
such names as “equivalent skin friction coefficient” and vehicles. The constant, c = 0.92, is a base pressure
“equivalent parasite drag area,” each of the metrics profile factor that will be explained in the following
presented above for minimum drag should be section.
understood to include all losses caused by the forebody
(that is, body plus fins, protuberances, control surfaces, Base Pressure Profile Factor
and, if applicable, wings) as well as the drag caused by A common practice by windtunnel and flight
all base surfaces. Mathematically speaking, the experimenters has been to define a base drag coefficient
following exists: increment as:
Ab Ab
CD = CD + C D  (8) C D = C P  (11)
min fore,S b S b b S
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
practical. The factor, c, is used here to account for the scale vehicles. The X15 configuration serves as a
rounded edges of the pressure profiles. nearly ideal vehicle for defining the base pressure
profile factor by the means described because of its
For example, the base drag increments for the X15
aircraft21 are derived from the base pressure data40 known overwhelmingly turbulent boundary layer, the
using the flat profile assumption. However, when the small projected boattail area, and the precisely defined
resulting “flat profile” base drag increment is subtracted base area that does not change with variations in
from the total zerolift drag, the resulting forebody drag longitudinal control positions. In contrast, for most of
coefficient, based on wetted area, is approximately the liftingbody vehicles, longitudinal control variations
0.0011 for M = 0.65. For forebody drag, this increment can cause significant changes in base area.
is clearly too small, being only onehalf of what the
turbulent boundarylayer skin friction coefficient should Base Pressure Coefficients
be for the given flight conditions.
Flightmeasured base pressure coefficients, base
As a practical matter based upon the X15 flight pressure coefficients derived from published
experience, no regions of laminar flow existed. incremental drag attributed to the base, and estimated
Considering, therefore, overall turbulent flow for base pressure coefficients derived from those of a
surfaces ahead of each base element and accounting for closely related, afterbodybase configuration are
the skin temperature at subsonic speeds following coast compared with two analytical equations developed by
down from hypersonic speeds,41–43 the friction drag Hoerner.31 These equations were derived from wind
component has been calculated for the Mach numbers tunnel experiments of smallscale models. Hoerner’s
and Reynolds numbers of interest here.38, 39 The equation for threedimensional axisymmetric bodies of
subsonic drag of the blunt leading edges and the several revolution is as follows (where K = 0.029 ):
protuberances that were exposed to the flow was
estimated using guidelines from reference 31. The K
resultant—more realistic—forebody drag is the sum of – C P =  (14)
b
the friction drag, the leadingedge drag, and the CD
fore,b
protuberance drag for lowlift coefficients. The more
correct base drag coefficient may now be defined as: Hoerner’s equation for quasitwodimensional base flow
conditions that generate the wellknown Kármán vortex
CD = CD – CD (12) street is:
b 0 fore,S
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Data Uncertainty coefficients, as used in this paper, are obtained from
curves faired through numerous data points, the
The accurate definition of lift and drag characteristics uncertainty of the coefficients and other metrics should
from flight data requires high quality sensors and be smaller than shown in table 1.
careful attention to detail in sensor calibration and use.
In general, lift and drag determination is most sensitive Corresponding uncertainties are not available for the
to error in the measurement of thrust, longitudinal and X24A and X24B lifting bodies and the Shuttle
normal acceleration, angle of attack, static pressure, prototype Enterprise; however, airdata system
Mach number, vehicle weight, and an accounting of calibration procedures similar to those used on the other
control deflections. For the seven vehicles considered four vehicles are known to have been used on these
here, thrust is not a factor where data were obtained three vehicles. In addition, lift and drag were obtained
during coasting flight, thus avoiding a major source of by the accelerometer method for all seven vehicles.
uncertainty. Some of the problems associated with the Although the above table cannot be established as
measurement of these quantities, and their relative representing the uncertainties for the latter three
importance, is discussed in reference 45. vehicles, expecting their uncertainties to be relatively
close to those listed in table 1 is not unreasonable.
Uncertainty information has been published for four
of the subject aircraft: the M2F1, M2F2, HL10, and Results and Discussion
X15 vehicles. For the three lifting bodies, the sources
list estimated measurement errors from sensors (that is, The results of the current study are presented and
the standard deviation) along with the contribution of discussed under four subheadings: “LiftCurve Slope,”
individual sensors to error in C L and C D . Then the “LiftRelated Drag,” “LifttoDrag Ratio,” and several
combined contribution of the sensors to uncertainty of metrics of “Minimum Drag.” Formats for collectively
C L and C D is given in the form of the “square root of presenting the data are chosen in the hope that one or
the sum of the errors squared.”10, 12, 13 For the X15 more formats will yield a greater understanding of the
aircraft, errors are presented in references 21 and 40 for data than would likely occur by studying the subject
Mach numbers higher than those considered here. vehicles individually.
Uncertainty in C L and C D for the X15 aircraft has
therefore been prepared based on unpublished data and LiftCurve Slope
through adjustments to the errors shown in This section attempts to unify the lift capabilities of
references 21 and 40 for the effects of Mach number the seven flight vehicles previously discussed. The
and dynamic pressure. Uncertainty in base pressure subsonic liftcurve slope data for these vehicles have
coefficient is available only for the M2F1 and X15 been assembled from references 10, 12–15, 21, and 23.
vehicles. Table 1 shows the uncertainties that are Data were obtained during gradual pushover/pullup
available from these four vehicles. maneuvers (consequently trimmed for the respective
maneuvers) over a range of lift coefficient extending
Table 1. Data uncertainties. somewhat greater than that required to achieve
maximum lifttodrag ratio. These data are compared to
∆C L ⁄ C L , ∆C D ⁄ C D , ∆C P ⁄ C P ,
b b conical windtunnel model data and to theory for very
Vehicle percent percent percent low and moderatelylowaspect ratios. Figure 1 shows
M2F1 ±3.0 ±5.5 ±7.0 threeview drawings of each of the seven vehicles and
the M2F3 lifting body. Schematic illustrations of
M2F2 ±1.7 ±3.2 Not available
control surfaces whose deflections influence base area
HL10 ±3.2 ±3.9 Not available are also shown for four lifting bodies (fig. 1).
X15 ±4.3 ±3.9 ±6.4
Table 2 shows the data to be considered as derived
from their respective references. The C L and
α
These uncertainties represent the square root of the aspectratio values shown are, of course, subject to the
sum of the squares for each of these coefficients when values of the reference area, S, that were used in the
plotted as individual data points. Because these various referenced documents. Use of the proper
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Body
flap 9.50 ft
13°
Rudder
Elevon
14.167 ft 20.00 ft
13°
Horizontal 9.50 ft
reference
plane (cone
axis)
980072
Lateral reference
plane, Y = 0 in.
9.95 ft
Rudders
flared 5°
Fin
Upper body flaps
22.20 ft
Horizontal
reference
plane, Z = 0 in.
Lower
body flap
980073
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Rudder
9.95 ft
Lateral
reference
plane
Rudder
Horizontal
reference
plane
Lower
body flap
980074
Cross section AA
Elevon
flaps
Forward
A 13.60 ft Elevon
Rudders and
speed brakes A
Elevon Inboard Tipfin
flaps Outboard flaps
21.17 ft
Elevons 9.60 ft
Horizontal
reference
plane
980075
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
10.00 ft
24.50 ft
9.60 ft
980045
72°
25.10 ft
37.50 ft
19.14 ft
3°
980046
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Ailerons Horizontal
stabilator
49.50 ft
Speed brakes
Rudder
18.08 ft
22.36 ft
13.10 ft
Rudder
980546
Elevons
122.25 ft
Rudder
46.33 ft
56.58 ft
Body
78.07 ft flap
107.53 ft
980033
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
M2F3 (M2F2)
X24A
HL10
980547
(i) Control surfaces that cause variable wedge angles. (Rudder and fin control surfaces are also shown.) The X24A
shaded items also apply to the X24B lifting body.
Figure 1. Concluded.
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Table 2. Liftcurve slope data.
As published Revised
CL , CL , CL , CL ,
Configuration S, b, α α S, b, α α
0.62 δ U ≈ 11.5° 139 9.95 0.712 0.0216 1.238 160 9.95 0.619 0.0188 1.076
HL10 0.60 δ f = 0° 160 13.60 1.156 0.023 1.318 Revision not required
0.60 δ f = 3° 160 13.60 1.156 0.021 1.203 Revision not required
0.60 δ f = 30° 160 13.60 1.156 0.020 1.146 Revision not required
14
X24A 0.50 δ L = 0° 162 10.0 0.617 0.0239 1.369 195 13.63 0.953 0.0199 1.138
0.50 δ U ≈ – 13 ° 162 10.0 0.617 0.0263 1.507 195 13.63 0.953 0.0218 1.252
0.50 δ U ≈ – 21 ° 162 10.0 0.617 0.0220 1.261 195 13.63 0.953 0.0183 1.047
X24B 0.50 δ U ≈ – 13 ° 330.5 19.14 1.108 0.0217 1.243 Revision not required
0.50 δ U ≈ – 20 ° 330.5 19.14 1.108 0.0217 1.243 Revision not required
0.60 δ U ≈ – 20 ° 330.5 19.14 1.108 0.0188 1.076 Revision not required
X15 0.65 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 25.64° 200 22.36 2.50 0.0649 3.719 307 22.36 1.629 0.0423 2.423
0.72 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 25.64° 200 22.36 2.50 0.0662 3.793 307 22.36 1.629 0.0431 2.471
Shuttle 0.40 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 36° 2690 78.07 2.266 0.0446 2.556 3816 78.07 1.597 0.0314 1.799
prototype 0.50 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 36° 2690 78.07 2.266 0.0437 2.504 3816 78.07 1.597 0.0308 1.765
reference area and span is important towards achieving The liftcurve slopes for each of the flight vehicles
some understanding of how the lifting characteristics of were expected to occur below the Jones and Helmbold
the various configurations relate to each other, to relationships, which represent maximum efficiency for
generic windtunnel model data, and to theory. medium or lowaspectratio configurations that obtain
their lift from circulation. However, the results from
Figure 2(a) shows the liftcurve slope data (the solid both M2 vehicles and the X24A vehicle, as shown by
symbols) for five of the seven vehicles as published in the solid symbols in figure 2(a), considerably exceed
the respective references plotted as functions of aspect these expectations. In addition, the X15 solidsymbol
ratio. Figure 2(a) also shows the relationships of C L to liftcurve slope greatly exceeds the Helmbold
α relationship. These comparisons of liftcurve slope data
aspect ratio as defined by Helmbold (eq. (1)) and, for the
to the Jones and Helmbold expressions raise at least
lowest aspect ratios, the linear relationship of three questions:
Jones (eq. (2)). Neither of these relationships accounts
for lift from vortices generated by sharp, highly swept • To what extent is reference area a factor that
leading edges. contributes to the apparent anomalies?
• Do verylowaspectratio windtunnel model data
exist that would support or refute the liftingbody
slopes that exceed the Jones expression?
Vehicle Revised, Reference
or model S • To what extent are compressibility effects a factor
M2F1 10 contributing to the apparent anomalies?
M2F2 12
HL10 13 These questions have been addressed, and some of the
X24A 14
X24B 15
results are represented by the open symbols in
X15 21 figure 2(a). Representative reference areas have been
Shuttle prototype 23 assigned for five of the seven vehicles; the other two
Half cones 46 vehicles were already assigned representative reference
Elliptical cones 47
areas, as published. The revised reference areas and the
Solid symbols denote
unrepresentative S resulting liftcurve slopes are also shown in table 2.
4.4 Figure 2(a) also shows lowaspectratio windtunnel
model results.46, 47
4.0
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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
relationships of Jones and Helmbold for lowaspect compared with open symbols. Note also that when the
ratios. However, application of the revised (more area and span effects of the M2F1 elevons are applied,
representative) reference areas causes the data for the the datum shifts to a much higher aspect ratio and below
M2F1 and the X24A vehicles to fall below the the Helmbold curve. In addition, as noted earlier, the
theoretical relationships of equations (1) and (2). A X24A data are no longer greater than the theoretical
literature search for the lifting characteristics of model curves.
shapes having aspect ratios less than 1.0 reveals that
such elevated liftcurve slopes as shown for the M2F2 As noted earlier, the liftcurve slope data from the
vehicle may be expected. Results from windtunnel tests halfcone models46 and the elliptical cone models47
(shown in figure 2(a) as open right triangles) represent tend to confirm the M2F2 flight results, which exceed
slender halfcones46 and elliptical cones.47 the Jones relationship. The values for the elliptical cones
at aspect ratios greater than 1, however, have liftcurve
The reason that the M2F2 vehicle and the slender slopes that are significantly lower than both the
shapes of references 46 and 47 (that is, those having Helmbold and Jones relationships (equations (1)
aspect ratios less than 1.0) have relatively high liftcurve and (2), respectively). For the elliptical cones having the
slopes may be related to welldeveloped forebody highest aspect ratios (that is, clearly nonslender), a lift
vortices caused by crossflow as reported by Allen and component due to circulation likely exists in addition to
Perkins29 and Hoerner.30–31 Because the model data of
some degree of crossflow; whereas at the lowest aspect
references 46 and 47 were untrimmed, their liftcurve
ratios, the crossflow component of lift is more
slopes would be expected to be optimistic. The half
dominant.30, 31
cones, having relatively sharp lateral edges, would be
expected to produce vortex lift. However, the elliptical Regarding compressibility effects, table 2 shows that
cone with the most slender planform (lowest aspect
the liftcurve slope data obtained from the vehicles
ratio) also has a relatively high slope compared to
theory. Thus, the conjecture regarding welldeveloped represent a range of subsonic Mach numbers.
vortices (resulting from body crossflow) providing an Compressibility effects may be at least approximately
extra component of lift is afforded credence even if accounted for by applying the oftenused Prandtl
2 0.5
sharp lateral edges are absent. Glauert factor, ( 1 – M ) . Both Gothert50 and
Hoerner30 believe that for the lower aspect ratios, the
Because of this evidence that crossflow (counter 2 n
exponent n in ( 1 – M ) should be less than 0.5.
rotating vortex pair) effects may contribute significantly
Nevertheless, compressibility effects are approximated
to the lift of the slender forebody portions of lifting
bodies, considering that the forebodies of the X15 here by use of the more common exponent of 0.5. Figure
aircraft and the Shuttle prototype may likewise generate 2(b) shows the liftcurve slopes from figure 2(a) for the
significant amounts of crossflow lift is appropriate. seven vehicles, based on the more representative
Therefore, for these winged vehicles, the forebody reference area, adjusted for compressibility effects. The
planform area and the wing area projected to the vehicle purpose here is to show that, for the vehicles having data
centerline will now be considered to be the reference at two Mach numbers (the M2F2, X24B, and the X15
area.** The consequences of the revised reference areas
vehicles, and the Shuttle prototype), accounting for
for the X15 aircraft and Shuttle prototype are
compressibility effects places the affected data
represented in figure 2(a) by the respective open
symbols. somewhat in alignment with the relationships of
equations (1) and (2).
The revisions of reference area and aspect ratio
influence all vehicles except the HL10 and X24B A major factor that provides greater order for the data
vehicles, both of which already had proper reference in figure 2(b), as compared to figure 2(a), was the
areas as published. Note that a substantial reduction in application of the more representative reference areas.
liftcurve slope exists for the X15 aircraft and Shuttle Adjustment of the data for compressibility effects had
prototype in figure 2(a) when solid symbols are less influence. Together, these factors did not provide an
impressive coalescence of the flight results; however,
that casually chosen reference areas can confound
**Planform area aft of the wing trailing edge will not be included as
understanding and result in misleading conclusions has
reference area in conformance with reference 27, which postulates
been established. Also of interest, based on the M2F2
that for pointed shapes, “sections behind the section of maximum
width develop no lift.” data and the slenderbody data from references 46
16
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Vehicle Revised, Reference .08
CL =
πA
or model S
α 2 (57.3)
M2F1 .07 Λ = 0°
M2F2
HL10
X24A
.06 Λ = 45°
X24B
X15 .05
Shuttle prototype CL ,
Λ = 60°
Half cones 46 α .04
Elliptical cones 47 deg –1
4.0 .03
3.6
Jones, for low .02
3.2 aspect ratios,
equation (2) .01
2.8
2.4 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
CL • 1 – M2, Helmbold, Aspect ratio, b2/S
α 2.0
equation (1) 980538
rad –1
1.6
Figure 3. Variation of liftcurve slope with aspect ratio
1.2 for various values of sweep.51
.8
.4
2
as dragduetolift factor ( ∆C D /∆C L ) plotted as a
0 .4 .8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 3.2 function of the reciprocal of aspect ratio (1/A). Included
A • 1 – M2 as a reference framework is a family of lines
980537
representing the theoretical relationship for an ideal
(b) Liftcurve slope and aspectratio values of figure 2(a) elliptical span loading, wherein ε = 1.0 , and for
adjusted by applying revised reference areas and significantly less optimum load distributions
approximating for the effects of compressibility. represented by ε < 1.0 ,31, 32 which are expected for the
vehicles reported here.
Figure 2. Concluded.
The derivation of dragduetolift factor and lifting
efficiency factor would normally consist of obtaining
2
and 47, is that a verylowaspectratio lifting reentry ( ∆C D /∆C L ) from their linear relationship and
vehicle may have a liftcurve slope somewhat greater deriving ε from Oswald’s equation for a polar plot of
than the Jones relationship. This possibility is also C L as a function of C D in which the minimum drag is
supported by data and reasoning contained in
at zero lift. However, for several of the subject vehicles,
references 28–31.
the minimum drag did not occur at zero lift. For these
At high and moderateaspect ratios, liftcurve slope vehicles, their polars were displaced, and C D
min
is diminished by wing sweep. At aspect ratios less occurred at some finite lift coefficient defined as C L ,
min
than 2, however, the influence of sweep on lift is weak. which is the lift coefficient at the vertex of the parabolic,
Figure 3, reproduced from reference 51, shows this or nearly parabolic, polar. In reference 33, a
characteristic. Consequently, wingsweep effects for the transformation is proposed by Wendt that accounts for
X15 aircraft and the Shuttle prototype have not been
the displacement of the vertex; for polars of this type,
addressed in this discussion of liftcurve slope.
equation (3) is used for defining lifting efficiency.
LiftRelated Drag
Application of Wendt’s transformation should be
The data array of liftrelated drag characteristics for straightforward enough; however, for some lowaspect
the subject vehicles uses a format employed by Hoerner ratio vehicles, analysis of the available flight data still
in chapter 7 of reference 31. Figure 4 shows these data presents a challenge. Lowaspectratio vehicles often
17
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
have polars that are quite shallow—that is, the vertex, prototype, have dragduetolift factors below this line,
where minimum drag coefficient occurs on the parabolic although one configuration of the X24A vehicle is
curve, is not as sharply defined as it is for somewhat “borderline.” Figure 4 shows a qualitative interpretation
higher aspectratio aircraft. In addition, for some of the of the relative lifting efficiency of the subject vehicles.
2
polars in this study, the curve is incomplete and whether All slopes of ∆C D /∆C L shown in figure 4 and in table
the lift coefficient for the vertex has been reached is not 3 are based on the revised reference areas used and
readily apparent; or for some, the vertex is judged to not discussed in the “LiftCurve Slope” section (table 2).
have been defined by the range of the data. For all of The liftingefficiency factor, ε , is not influenced by the
these cases herein, the authors’ judgement has been choice of reference area.
exercised and equation (3) has been applied. Figure 4
shows the results of this approach. The ε factors Maximum LifttoDrag Ratio
thereby derived are tabulated in the legend of the figure
and are also evident by the relative positions of the data Figure 5 shows maximum lifttodrag ratio as a
2
points (of ∆C D /∆C L from table 3) in the plot with function of the ratio of spansquared to wetted area for
respect to the theoretical reference lines. each of the vehicles in subsonic flight. This format is
commonly used by designers of conventional subsonic
Figure 4 shows a dashed line intersecting the ordinate aircraft because at subsonic speeds, air vehicle
at approximately 0.16 that represents a drag increment, efficiency is most directly influenced by span and
separate and above the induced drag associated with the wetted area. Raymer34 refers to this abscissa function as
induced angle of attack. Note that this line is parallel the “wetted aspect ratio.”
and therefore, where applicable, is additive to the line
For the lifting bodies, the X15 aircraft, and the
corresponding to ε = 1.0 . This increment is defined as
Shuttle prototype, all of which have significant amounts
1 ⁄ 2 π ; and according to reference 31, the additional
drag is analogous to that resulting from the loss of of base drag, recognizing the “base” effects by
leadingedge suction and the associated losses from assigning base drag to the previously mentioned
flow separation and reattachment. For lifting bodies, the equivalent skin friction coefficient parameter, C F , is
e
analogy may involve drag associated with the flow necessary. Consequently, figure 5 also shows a reference
separation over the upper body caused by crossflow as framework consisting of a family of constant values of
well as the lack of a prominent leading edge. Note that C F as employed by reference 35. This family of curves
e
only the winged vehicles, the X15 aircraft and Shuttle is derived from the oftenused expression that relates
1.4
ε = 0.35 0.40 Vehicle ε
0.45 M2F1 0.35
M2F2 0.54, 0.59
1.2
0.50 HL10 0.48, 0.50, 0.58
X24A 0.53, 0.54, 0.67
X24B 0.46, 0.56, 0.58,
1.0 0.60 0.58
X15 0.54, 0.66
0.70 Shuttle 0.57, 0.60
.8
∆CD 0.80 prototype
0.90
∆CL2
.6 1.00
.6
.4
.8
1.0 rat i o
.2 ect
1.5 Asp
2
3
6 4
0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0
1 /A
980539
Figure 4. The relationship of dragduetolift factor with the reciprocal of aspect ratio.
18
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
discussion that follows applies to the highest values of
Vehicle ε CF
maximum lifttodrag ratio obtained for each vehicle.
e
M2F1 0.35 0.0199 * Although figure 5 shows the highest values for each
M2F2 0.59 0.0206
HL10 0.48 0.0172 vehicle, table 3 includes maximum lifttodrag ratios for
X24A 0.54 0.0110 each vehicle for less efficient control deflections or
X24B 0.58 0.0088
conditions as well.
X15 0.66 0.0115
Shuttle 0.60 0.0139
prototype The highest values of maximum lifttodrag ratio for
* Gear drag subtracted five of the vehicles and their collective relationship to
14
CF
e the reference framework of curves form an array (a band
2
12
0.003 of ( L ⁄ D ) max over a range of b ⁄ A w ) that should be a
0.004 useful reference source with which to relate future
10
reentrytype vehicles. The M2F1 and HL10 lifting
0.006
bodies, which are less efficient, should be no less useful
to the degree their lesser apparent efficiency is
8 0.008
(L/D)max understood. In the case of the M2F1 vehicle, the
0.010
outboard elevons would again seem to be negative
6 0.015
components in this data format because they add drag,
0.020
0.025 are inefficient in providing lift (and were not intended to
4 0.030 2
provide lift), and displace the datum to a higher b ⁄ A w
value of the abscissa by a factor of approximately 2. The
2
HL10 lifting efficiency, ε , is somewhat low, and its
equivalent skin friction parameter, C F , is quite high,
e
0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1.0 1.2 although the HL10 has a relatively modest component
b2/Aw 980540 of base drag for the subsonic control position
configuration.
Figure 5. The relationship of the maximum lifttodrag
ratio to wetted aspect ratio.
Assigning the derived base pressures to the projected
area of all body surfaces normal to the flight path does
not account for the flightdetermined value of C F for
e
maximum lifttodrag ratio to the minimum drag the HL10 vehicle. This value suggests that if all aft
coefficient (here expressed as C F ), aspect ratio, and the sloping surfaces experienced separated flow, the
e
liftingefficiency factor (equation (6)). The range of the resulting drag would not produce the observed
family of C F curves shown in figure 5 covers the range equivalent friction drag coefficient. Therefore,
e
of values experienced by the vehicles. Thus, the format considering compressibility effects, trim drag, and
used will accommodate this class of vehicles whose outboard fin drag due to sideloads as possible
minimum drag consists of a large component of base contributors to the high C F values for the HL10
e
drag as well as friction drag. A liftingefficiency factor, vehicle at C D conditions is reasonable. Some
ε , of 0.6 was assigned to these curves because this
min
combination of these factors plus some separated flow
value is approximately the average for the subject over the aft sloping surfaces of the upper body is
vehicles as a group. The dashed curve for the equivalent speculated to cause the HL10 maximum lifttodrag
skin friction coefficient is included because it represents ratio to be displaced somewhat below the
a nominally clean modern aircraft that does not have a aforementioned band represented by the M2F2, X24A,
truncated body. X24B, and X15 vehicles and Shuttle prototype in
figure 5.
All M2F1 lift and drag data were obtained “as
flown,” with gear exposed. The value shown in figure 5 The lower maximum lifttodrag ratios for the HL10,
is adjusted for “retracted” gear, based on the estimated X24A, and X24B vehicles that are listed in table 3
gear drag increment obtained from reference 10. The represent the effects of increased longitudinal control
19
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Table 3. Drag characteristics data.
Aw , Ab , CP ∆C D 2 CF CF ′ W,
Configuration f, Ab ⁄ Aw , b b
e e
nominal
CD ′ CF 
∆C L 2 ( L ⁄ D ) max

Aw CF

CF

Vehicle M remarks min ft2 ft2 e ft2 percent * ε lb
M2F1 0.15 exposed gear 0.0860 11.95 431 0.0277 30.84 7.16 –0.103 0.689 0.351 2.80 0.466 10.04 7.61 1250
“clean” 0.0618 8.59 0.0199 30.84 7.16 –0.103 3.44 7.21 4.78
M2F2 0.45 δ u ≈ 11.5° 0.0650 9.04 459 0.0197 22.51 4.90 –0.209 0.946 0.544 3.13 0.216 8.14 4.26 6000
0.62 δ u ≈ 11.5° 0.0680 9.45 0.0206 22.51 4.90 –0.209 0.870 0.592 3.16 9.00 4.89
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
HL10 0.60 δ f = 0° 0.0496 7.94 460.5 0.0172 14.83 3.22 –0.110 0.571 0.482 3.60 0.402 7.23 5.88 6000
0.60 δ f = 3° 0.0558 8.93 0.0194 16.98 3.69 –0.110 0.554 0.497 3.33 8.15 6.55
0.60 δ f = 30° 0.0895 14.32 0.0311 29.13 6.33 N/A 0.475 0.579 2.48 13.07 N/A
X24A 0.50 δ L = 0° 0.0400 6.48 590 0.0110 11.78 2.00 –0.136 0.623 0.536 4.25 0.315 4.70 3.63 6360
0.50 δ u ≈ – 13 ° 0.0480 7.78 0.0132 18.12 3.07 –0.158 0.500 0.668 4.17 5.39 3.55
20
0.50 δ u ≈ – 21 ° 0.0605 9.80 0.0166 25.36 4.30 –0.186 0.629 0.531 3.28 6.92 3.83
X24B 0.50 δ u ≈ – 13 ° 0.0252 8.33 948.4 0.0088 18.79 1.98 –0.153 0.500 0.575 4.50 0.386 3.96 2.70 8500
0.50 δ u ≈ – 20 ° 0.0285 9.42 0.0099 25.64 2.70 –0.178 0.495 0.577 4.28 4.38 2.43
0.60 δ u ≈ – 20 ° 0.0312 10.31 0.0109 25.41 2.68 –0.180 0.524 0.557 3.96 5.05 3.01
0.80 δ u ≈ – 40 ° 0.0702 23.20 0.0245 38.05 4.01 –0.287 0.628 0.458 2.39 10.79 6.12
X15 0.65 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 25.64° 0.0645 12.90 1186 0.0109 33.0 2.78 –0.330 0.360 0.543 4.05 0.422 5.22 1.15 15,000
0.72 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 25.64° 0.0680 13.60 0.0115 33.0 2.78 –0.346 0.296 0.661 4.20 5.50 1.24
0.40 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 36° 0.0610 164.09 11833 0.0139 449.6 3.80 –0.230 0.332 0.600 4.70 0.515 7.43 3.10 150,900
Shuttle
prototype 0.50 Λ, c ⁄ 4, ≈ 36° 0.0604 162.48 0.0137 449.6 3.80 –0.230 0.351 0.567 4.69 7.37 3.06
CF
0.0120 e 0.0060
0.0200
0.0150 0.0100 0.0050
0.0250 0.0080 0.0040
0.0300 0.0030
Vehicle Remarks CF
0.0023 e
CF
M2F1 Gear drag 7.21
102 subtracted
M2F2 8.14
HL10 7.23
CF = turbulent CF, X24A 4.70
f, e X24B 3.96
equivalent averaged for all
vehicles X15 5.22
parasite Shuttle 7.37
drag area, prototype
101
ft2
100
102 103 104 105 106
A w, ft2 980541
Figure 6. The relationship of equivalent parasite drag area and equivalent skin friction coefficient to total wetted area,
at subsonic speeds.
21
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
assumes that the flow is attached over these surfaces. A cursory summary of the data shown in figure 6 can
Separated regions ahead of the base, vortex flow ahead be stated as follows:
of the base, and negative base pressure coefficients each
represent drag increments in excess of the viscous drag • The early generations of lifting bodies, the M2 and
the HL10 vehicles, have equivalent skin friction
generated by the actual wetted surfaces. Hence, this
coefficients between 0.017 and 0.020 (in contrast to
drag metric defines the sum of the drag sources
the average value of skin friction for all seven
(excluding lift) that include friction drag for turbulent vehicles for turbulent flow, 0.0023).
flow conditions as well as drag components in excess of
friction. Because even an ideal body will have friction • For the X24A and X15 vehicles, the
drag, this metric is labeled as a “parasite” factor because corresponding coefficients are approximately
0.011.
the metric includes such parasitic losses.
• The X24B vehicle, the last of the lifting bodies,
The equivalent parasite drag area can also be had a coefficient slightly less than 0.009.
interpreted in terms of an equivalent skin friction
• The wetted surfaces of the Shuttle prototype
coefficient, C F , by noting the location of a datum point
e Enterprise were purposely roughened to simulate
for a given vehicle relative to the family of constant the thermal protection tiles of operational vehicles
equivalent skin friction lines (fig. 6). The equivalent to follow. In addition, this vehicle had a very large
skin friction coefficient is, of course, another metric that base area. Consequently, the Shuttle prototype
reveals the degree to which measured minimum drag of equivalent friction coefficient of approximately
a vehicle exceeds the ideal minimum drag (that is, the 0.014 is understandably higher than the three
skin friction drag over the wetted area). The average lowest values, and occupies the median position in
skin friction coefficient over wetted areas for all seven the array of coefficients for the subject vehicles.
vehicles, assuming flatplate, turbulent, boundarylayer
Note that the range of the lowest equivalent skin
flow (adjusted by a form factor of 1.02) at flight Mach
friction coefficients for each of the seven vehicles, from
and Reynolds numbers, is C F = 0.0023 , which can
approximately 0.009 to 0.020, is from 4 to slightly more
also be considered as a reference value of C F (see the
e than 8 times the skin friction drag that would occur from
dashed line in figure 6). Table 3 shows the explicit
an attached, turbulent, boundary layer alone. This range
values of equivalent skin friction coefficient for each of in equivalent skin friction is essentially the same as the
the subject vehicles at each flight condition considered range of values for older propellerdriven aircraft having
herein. These values result from equation (5), as shown fixed landing gears.52 In the case of the seven vehicles,
in the “Methods of Analysis” section. this range would be the base drag increment and
upstream vortices not associated with the base, possible
Although table 3 shows more than one value of f or
compressibility effects, and local regions of separated
C F for most of the vehicles, figure 6 shows only the flow that largely correspond to the drag penalties
e
lowest value for each vehicle. For some of the vehicles, associated with exposed landing gears and the
drag coefficients exist that represent both the subsonic propulsion system (including cooling losses) for the
control configuration (the value shown in figure 6) and small, more conventional aircraft. Figure 6 also shows
the lessefficient transonic configuration that requires in tabular form values of C F ⁄ C F for each data symbol
e
larger control deflections. For the X15 aircraft, the C F on the graph, where C F , the theoretical skin friction for
e
included in figure 6 is the one for the lower Mach turbulent flow at the flight condition of each vehicle, is
number, and thus is the one experiencing lower calculated by the methods of reference 38 and
compressibility effects. In the case of the M2F1 lifting augmented by the form factor of 1.02 from reference 39.
body, which had a fixed landing gear, the estimated Table 3 shows corresponding values of this ratio for
landing gear drag has been subtracted for the datum of every flight condition considered.
figure 6. This estimate is from reference 10 and was The preceding discussion revealed that the lowest of
based on information obtained from Hoerner.31 All data the equivalent skin friction coefficients among the
in figure 6 include the base drag for each vehicle. several vehicles was approximately 4 times greater than
22
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
the associated turbulent boundarylayer skin friction such that each line represents a calculated level of C F
e
coefficient. As noted, when relating the equivalent skin with basic skin friction drag and base drag for a specific
friction coefficients of the subject vehicles to that of value of A b ⁄ A w .
propellerdriven aircraft having exposed landing gear,
significant drag penalties exist in addition to the friction For the subject vehicles considered in this report, a
and base drag components, even at minimum drag
vehiclespecific value of C F can be calculated using
conditions. These additional losses are designated as e
vehiclespecific C P data††(positioned as appropriate
excess equivalent skin friction or as excess drag. b
within the family of constant C P lines) and vehicle
b
A family of relationships can be assembled specific C F values (instead of the average value of
representing the approximate level of equivalent skin 0.0023). These values are represented by the smaller
friction coefficient ( C F ) corresponding to basic skin symbol of each symbol pair, located at the lower end of
e
friction for turbulent flow over the forebody, variations the vertical line that connects to the corresponding
in base pressure coefficient, and the ratio of base area to larger symbol at the upper end.
wetted area for the subject class of vehicles. Compared
with measured data, this format should provide some When the smaller symbols are interpreted with
understanding of how much the equivalent skin friction respect to the ordinate scale, they approximate the
coefficients for the subject vehicles exceed calculated equivalent skin friction coefficient each subject vehicle
levels based on friction drag for turbulent flow plus should have if the vehicle experiences drag only from
measured and estimated base pressures. the friction resulting from a fully attached, turbulent
boundary layer over the wetted surface and the base
Figure 7 shows this comparison, where the family of
lines is calculated from equation (10) over a range of
††Upper and lower flap deflections necessary for calculating base
constant base pressure coefficients. All of the lines start area for the X24A and X24B vehicles were obtained from
at the reference average C F value of C F = 0.0023 , references 53 and 54, respectively.
e
.032
CF
e
CP = – 0.35 Actual Calculated Vehicle
.028 b
M2F1*
M2F2
.024 – 0.30 , , N/A HL10
X24A
, , X24B
.020 – 0.25 X15
Shuttle prototype
CF .016 – 0.20 Note: darkened symbols
e for transonic configuration
N/A = not available
– 0.15
.012 * Gear drag substracted
– 0.10
.008
.004 CF = 0.0023
Friction drag
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Ab/Aw, percent 980542
Figure 7. The relationship of equivalent skin friction coefficient to the ratio of baseareatowettedarea.
23
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
drag associated with the pressure coefficients indicated and of the large flare angles that produce higher drag
in table 3. The larger symbol at the upper end of a given from both the windward surface and from reduced
vertical line is the experimentally measured value of pressure on the leeward side.56
C F for that vehicle as obtained from table 3. The
e This result, obtained at Mach 0.8, is included with the
increment of C F represented by the length of the other data representing lower Mach numbers because it
e
vertical line segment connecting a symbol pair provides a base pressure coefficient reference datum
quantifies the excess drag (that is, the amount that the that is used for estimating base pressure coefficients for
actual drag exceeds the presumed or calculated drag at the X24A and the other X24B data pairs. The major
these minimum drag conditions). The authors speculate portion of the base region for these two vehicles is the
that the excess drag increments result from: same; and the upper and lower body flaps, which
influence the base area as they are deflected, are
• local regions of separated flow upstream of base identical. Note that the X24B vehicle had a very large
stations or any trailing edges. increment of excess drag for the transonic configuration
(the darkened triangles) as would be expected; however,
• vortices generated by deflected control surfaces, the X24B subsonic configurations experienced excess
body crossflow, and in some cases, unproductive drag increments much smaller than those for the other
side loads generated by outboard vertical or canted lifting bodies. The excess drag of the X24A vehicle, at
fins. low lift, is somewhat larger than that of the subsonic
• roughness and protuberance effects. X24B vehicle, but is still much smaller than those of
the earlier liftingbody configurations (the M2F1,
• compressibility effects. M2F2, and HL10 vehicles).
• data uncertainty (see the “Data Uncertainty”
section). The excess lowlift drag increment for the X15
aircraft is very small. The likely reason for this small
For example, note the M2F2 lifting body (the increment is the relatively highfineness ratio of the
circular symbol without a flag), which has a basearea fuselage, thin wings, and horizontal stabilizer, which
towettedarea ratio of 4.9 percent. If no excess drag allows for smallangle aftsloping surfaces. Therefore,
these surfaces maintain a proverse pressure gradient that
sources existed for this vehicle, its calculated level of
assures attached flow. These features virtually
C F , associated with the measured base pressure eliminated compressibility effects.
e
coefficient of –0.209 plus friction drag, would be
0.0117. However, the actual level of C F for the M2F2 Because the Shuttle prototype Enterprise had a
e
vehicle, (the larger circular symbols) is approximately roughened surface to simulate the thermal protection
0.020. Apparently, this vehicle experiences significant systems of the actual orbiting Space Shuttles to follow,
excess drag beyond the skin friction and base drag, even the value of C F used to determine the position of the
smaller symbol for the Shuttle prototype (fig. 7) is too
at minimum drag conditions. The M2F1 and HL10
low for this vehicle. Consequently, the excess drag
vehicles experience even larger excess drag. increment shown for the Shuttle prototype in figure 7 is
too large, but the magnitude of this discrepancy cannot
The X24B liftingbody vehicle is represented by the
be quantified based on the presently available data.‡‡
triangular symbols. Unfortunately, base pressure
measurements were made for this vehicle only in the Base Pressure Coefficients
transonic configuration, wherein the very large upper
and lower flap deflections created a flared afterbody.55 Hoerner compiled base pressure data from projectiles,
The sum of the upper and lower flap deflections was fuselage shapes, and other smallscale three
approximately 68°; refer to the schematic of bodyflap dimensional shapes31 and derived therefrom an equation
angles in Figure 1(i). These data (the darkened triangle
symbols) were obtained at a Mach number of 0.8,
‡‡According
whereas the other X24B data presented in this paper to reference 57, preflight estimates of thermal
were obtained at Mach 0.5 and Mach 0.6 with smaller protection system drag indicated an additional increment of 0.00084
(based on wetted area) to the Shuttle friction drag. However,
flap deflections. The very large excess drag increment reference 57 also considered the estimate of thermal protection system
noted between the large and small darkened triangular drag to be too large after examining postflight data from an orbiting
symbols shows the obvious effects of compressibility Space Shuttle (Columbia, mission STS2).
24
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
that related the base drag and base pressure coefficients are obviously threedimensional) are observed to fall
to the forebody drag of the respective bodies (eq. (14)). within or relatively close to this band.
Reference 31 also includes an equation that describes
the analogous relationship for quasitwodimensional Figure 8 also shows that the flight data are relatively
shapes that shed vortices in a periodic manner, the well close to Hoerner’s quasitwodimensional relationship
known Kármán vortex street (eq. (15)). Base pressure (eq. (15)). The relatively higher (more negative)
data from some of the subject vehicles will be compared pressure coefficient from the X24B vehicle (dark
on the basis of the Hoerner relationships and triangle) is caused by the large wedge angle, ahead of
modifications to his equations (using different the base, formed by the upper and lower flaps that are
K values). The search for flightmeasured base pressure used for control in pitch. The upper flap was deflected
data for the seven subject vehicles is somewhat upward approximately 40°, and the lower flap was
disappointing, considering that each of these vehicles deflected downward approximately 28°. This geometry
has a significant component of base drag. Table 4 shows is known to produce more negative base pressure
the results of the literature search. coefficients.56 The only base pressure data from the
X24B vehicle55 were unfortunately obtained with a
Note that the M2F3 vehicle is virtually the same as significantly larger wedge angle than existed for the
the M2F2 vehicle. All configurational dimensions are subsonic control configurations. The X24B polars for
the same except that a centerline upper vertical fin was Mach 0.5 and Mach 0.6 were obtained using much
added to the M2F3 vehicle. For this reason, the smaller wedge angles.
unpublished base pressure data from the M2F3 lifting
body are accepted as representative of those of the The M2F1 datum is unrepresentative of the subject
M2F2 lifting body. Consequently, the M2F2 and the class of vehicles in that the base region was pressurized
M2F3 lifting bodies will be treated as if they were the to some extent by turning vanes (one on each side,
same vehicle in the analysis to follow. below the rudders). Based on the available flight data,
the vehicles considered herein (excepting the M2F1
Because of Hoerner’s convincing demonstration that and the X24B vehicles) are best represented by the
base pressure is related to forebody drag, comparing the threedimensional equation where K = 0.09 – 0.10 ,
available base pressure coefficients from the subject which means base drag of bluntbased largescale
vehicles to his equations is possible. Figure 8 shows vehicles is higher than predicted by Hoerner’s original
these comparisons. Figure 8 also includes a shaded band threedimensional equation. Based on evidence from
for Hoerner’s threedimensional equation that is references 40 and 59 and figure 8, subsonic flow
bounded by numerator coefficients, K, of 0.09 and 0.10. separating from a relatively large, sharpedged three
By modifying Hoerner’s original equation with these dimensional base can be argued to exhibit quasitwo
K coefficients, the base pressure coefficients from the dimensional characteristics. In either case, the data
X15, the M2F3, and the Space Shuttle vehicles (which indicate more negative base pressure coefficients than
Reference
Vehicle C P data number Remarks
b
M2F1 Yes 10 The base region was pressurized by turning the vanes.
M2F3 Yes Unpublished The M2F3 data were applied to the M2F2 vehicle.
HL10 No The base drag data exist, but no explicit base pressure data exists.
X24A No Base pressure coefficients were estimated using X24B results.
X24B Yes 55 Base pressure coefficients for Mach 0.5 and Mach 0.6 were
estimated using Mach 0.8 results.
X15 Yes 40
Space Shuttle Yes 58
25
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Vehicle CP Remarks
b
source
M2F1 Measured Forebody drag includes gear: turning vanes
M2F1 Measured Gear drag subtracted: pressurize base
M2F3 Measured Forebody drag from M2F2
HL10 CP derived from published base drag
b
X24A CP estimates based on X24B,
b
X24B Measured CP for transonic configuration, M = 0.8
b
X24B CP estimates based on X24B,
b
X15 Measured
Space Measured Forebody drag from Shuttle prototype
Shuttle
– .6
– .5
K = 0.100
– .4
CP – .3 K = 0.090
b
– .1
K = 0.029
0
.03 .04 .06 .08 .10 .20 .30 .40 .60 .80 1.00
CD
fore,b 980543
Figure 8. Comparison of base pressure coefficients for subject vehicles with Hoerners’ twodimensional relationship
and with revised threedimensional equation.
the unmodified threedimensional equation generic bluntbased class of vehicles. More largescale
( K = 0.029 ) would predict. Because of the large base base pressure and overall minimum drag (and hence
drag component these base pressures represent, forebody drag) data must be obtained in flight to
employing a method of pressurizing the base region convincingly demonstrate their relationship. Defining
may be advisable. Such methods are available, although this relationship for three or four values of forebody
their use necessarily complicates the afterbody design drag for the same outer moldline shape would be most
details. Considering the very large losses caused by the helpful. Until more flight data are obtained or a superior
base region for this class of vehicles, such pressurizing relationship is developed, the shaded region of figure 8,
devices deserve attention.31, 60–66 derived from the data of the latter three vehicles, is
assumed to be a reasonable representation of the base
Optimum Minimum Drag
pressure characteristics for this class of reentry craft.
Excluding the base pressure data from the M2F1 and Therefore, a revised version of Hoerner’s three
the X24B vehicles for the reasons already given, the dimensional equation, K = 0.10 , has been used to
data from the other three vehicles (M2F3, X15, and show the dependence of minimum drag on the relative
Space Shuttle vehicles) are believed to represent the size of the blunt base over a significant range of
26
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
forebody drag. Figure 9 shows this illustration, where that have relatively large baseareatowettedarea ratios
each of four curves shows how overall minimum drag (between 7.5 percent and 10 percent). This observation,
coefficient varies with forebody drag coefficient for of course, means that such configurations can afford (in
discrete ratios of base area to wetted area (2.5, 5.0, 7.5, fact, may benefit from) additional forebody drag in
and 10 percent). The salient feature of these curves is addition to the unavoidable smooth skin turbulent
that each has an optimum region of lowest overall friction. Thus, surface roughness that may accompany a
minimum drag coefficient, C F . thermal protection system may actually provide a
e
Note that for the 2.5percent relationship, an optimum reduction in overall C F while increasing the forebody
e
region (a drag “bucket”) exists near the forebody drag drag, providing the upper body is flat enough to
coefficient value of 0.003. Because these coefficients are maintain attached, highenergy flow.
based upon the wetted area, and because the smooth Such a reduction would be the result of forebody
skin turbulent friction coefficient for these Reynolds roughness affecting the growth of the boundary layer
numbers (in the 107 to 108 range) would be close to from the nose to the edge of the base, which in turn
0.002, a configuration having a baseareatowettedarea affects the level of “vacuum” or suction at the base
relationship of 2.5 percent can afford only a minute through a “jetpump mechanism” as described by
amount of roughness, protuberance, or separation drag Hoerner.31 Thus, subject to the curves of figures 8 and 9,
over the forebody if the optimum C F is to be achieved. forebody roughness adds to the thickness of the
e
Conversely, for the higher baseareatowettedarea boundary layer, thereby reducing the pumping
relationships, which more closely represent many (vacuuming) of the base and reducing the base drag. The
reentry configurations, the optimum C F (or drag drag bucket curves of figure 9 are related to those seen
e
bucket) occurs at significantly higher values of forebody in chapters 6 and 13 of reference 31 for bodies, nacelles,
drag coefficient, C F ′ . canopies, and airfoils.
e
This characteristic should be of particular interest Figure 9 shows the relationship of C F to forebody
e
with regard to some emerging reusable launch vehicles drag coefficient for the same vehicles as were
.068
Vehicle Remarks
"Ideal" forebody drag M2F1 Gear drag subtracted
.060 coefficient, CF = CF M2F2
e ´ HL10
X24A
.052 X24B , 68° wedge angle
X15 , 56° wedge angle,
.044 speed brakes
Shuttle
10.0
prototype
CF .036
e 7.5
/
Ab A w,
percent
.028 5.0
4.9 4.0
3.4 2.5
.020 7.2
3.7
3.8 4.3
3.1 3.2
.012 2.8
2.0
2.7 Ab/Aw, percent
2.0 2.7
.004
Figure 9. The relationship of equivalent skin friction coefficients for the complete vehicle and the forebody.
27
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
represented in figure 8. The numbers adjacent to each thirds or threefourths of a classical body of revolution
data symbol indicate the baseareatowettedarea ratio that has a fully boattailed afterbody (for example,
of the respective vehicle at the specific flight condition. SearsHaack). Considering whether the subsonic
From these numbers, in relationship to the curves, note forebody drag of a bluntbased vehicle is dependent on
that the data from the vehicles designated by the open fineness ratio, as is the drag of a fully boattailed body,
symbols (except the M2F1 vehicle) are in qualitative is reasonable. To evaluate this relationship, the forebody
accord with the semiempirical curves. As was stated drag coefficients ( C F ′ ) of the seven vehicles are
e
earlier with regard to figure 8, overall C F for the plotted with respect to effective fineness ratio ( l ⁄ d eff )
e
M2F1 vehicle is believed to be lower than the in figure 10. The open symbols show a clear relationship
semiempirical curves suggest because turning vanes between forebody drag and fineness ratio, although
pressurized the base. For the X24B vehicle (the dark configurational differences other than fineness ratio are
triangle), the value of C F is believed to be high likely prominent for fineness ratios less than 3. As stated
e
because of the aforementioned large flare angle that before for the discussion of figure 7, the solid triangle
lowers the leeside pressures on the longitudinal control symbol representing the X24B vehicle shows a much
body flaps. This belief is not only supported by data higher forebody drag coefficient because of higher
from reference 56 but also by speed brake data from the pressure on the windward surface of the body flaps,
X15 aircraft (the dark symbol) which represent a which are deflected to a large flare or wedge angle. The
comparable flared, or wedge, angle.67 X15 forebody drag for partially deflected speed brakes
(the solid diamond symbol) is included here because it
The Effect of Fineness Ratio on Drag
lends credence to the X24B data, and discussion of
Truncated or bluntbased bodies, such as the subject same, in that the X24B body flaps and the X15 speed
vehicles, bear a familial relationship to the forward two brakes experience related flow phenomenon.
Vehicle Remarks
M2F1 Gear drag subtracted
M2F2
HL10
X24A
X24B , 68° wedge angle
X15 , 56° wedge angle,
speed brakes
Shuttle
prototype
.020
.016
.012
CF
e´
.008
.004
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
l/deff 980545
Figure 10. The relationship of forebody equivalent skin friction coefficient with fineness ratio.
28
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Summary of Results equations ( K = 0.09 to 0.10 ), confirm or refute
the twodimensional nature of the separating flow,
Flightdetermined lift and drag characteristics from or define a new superior relationship that will
seven bluntbased liftingbody and wingbody reentry reliably define the nature of the drag bucket for
configurations have been compared and related to general application.
several standards of aerodynamic efficiency. For lift
5. Minimum equivalent parasite drag area values for
curve slope, limited comparisons are made with generic
the vehicles range from 6.5 ft2 to 164 ft2. Division
windtunnel model results and the theoretical
of equivalent drag area by the associated wetted
relationships of Jones and Helmbold. A summary of
area provided equivalent skin friction coefficients
major results is as follows:
ranging from approximately 0.009 to 0.020,
1. Base pressure coefficient data from the X15, the excluding the less efficient bodyflap
M2F3, and the Space Shuttle vehicles indicate configurations (these coefficients include base
that Hoerner’s equation relating base pressure to drag). These minimum equivalent skin friction
threedimensional forebody drag requires a larger values range from 4 to slightly more than 8 times
numerator coefficient in order to represent large the skin friction drag for the attached turbulent
scale flight vehicles. A tentative range of values for boundary layer alone.
the numerator coefficient is from 0.09 to 0.10 6. When the base drag coefficient is subtracted from
rather than 0.029, which is based on smallscale the minimum equivalent friction coefficient
model data. (thereby defining forebody drag coefficient), a
2. Evidence exists that subsonic flow separating considerable increment of excess drag above that
from a relatively large, sharpedged three which would be attributable to an attached
dimensional base can exhibit quasitwo turbulent boundarylayer still exists for all of the
dimensional characteristics and base pressure vehicles except the X15 aircraft. These equivalent
coefficients. skin friction coefficients, for forebodies, ranged
from approximately 1.2 to approximately 6.6 times
3. The nature of the Hoerner basepressureto the skin friction drag for the attached turbulent
forebodydrag relationship (regardless of whether boundarylayer alone. This extra increment of
his threedimensional or twodimensional equation equivalent friction drag, referred to as excess drag,
is used, or the numerator coefficient value) causes is believed to result from the following:
base drag and forebody drag to combine to form
an optimum minimum drag (a drag “bucket”) over • local regions of separated flow upstream of
a small range of forebody drag. The magnitude of base stations or any trailing edges.
forebody drag coefficient that defines the bucket
• vortices generated by deflected control surfaces,
depends on the ratio of base area to wetted area of
body crossflow, and in some cases, unproductive
the respective vehicle. A vehicle having a large
sideloads generated by the outboard fins.
baseareatowettedarea ratio and a relatively flat
upper surface may benefit from surface roughness • roughness and protuberance effects.
drag (associated perhaps with a thermal protection
system) at low lifting conditions; this combination • compressibility effects.
of features may provide some favorable
compensation for lowfinenessratio vehicles 7. Little order existed to the liftcurve slope data
having a relatively large base. when lift coefficient was based on the reference
areas used in the reports from which the data were
4. Conversely, a strong relationship between forebody
obtained. Application of more representative
drag and fineness ratio (favoring, of course, the
reference areas (for five of the seven vehicles)
higher fineness ratios) has been demonstrated to
and adjustment of the liftcurve slopes for
exist. This characteristic, in concert with the
compressibility provided improved order to the
possibility of achieving the aforementioned drag
data. These data demonstrate that the choice of a
bucket, underlines the importance of obtaining
physically meaningful (representative) reference
more largescale freeflight base pressure and
area is of major importance.
forebody drag data. Such an investigation should
either confirm the numerator coefficient band 8. The M2F2 data demonstrate that the liftcurve
suggested herein for the threedimensional slope of verylowaspectratio lifting bodies can
29
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
exceed the liftcurve slope values represented by Joint Conference on Lifting Manned Hypervelocity and
the relationships of Jones or Helmbold for aspect Reentry Vehicles: A Compilation of the Papers
ratios less than approximately 1. The M2F2 Presented, NASA TMX67563, 1960, pp. 103–119.
results are not believed to be an anomaly because
8Paulson,
they are afforded credence by generic model John W., Robert E. Shanks, and Joseph L.
results as well as by generic leadingedge vortex Johnson, “LowSpeed Flight Characteristics of Reentry
lift data and crossflow lift data. Vehicles of the GlideLanding Type,” Joint Conference
on Lifting Manned Hypervelocity and Reentry Vehicles:
9. Excepting the M2F1 and the HL10 vehicles, the A Compilation of the Papers Presented, NASA
remaining five vehicles form an array (a band of TMX67563, 1960, pp. 329–344.
2
( L ⁄ D ) max over a range of b ⁄ A w ) that should be
a useful reference source against which to relate 9Reed, R. Dale with Darlene Lister, Wingless Flight:
future reentrytype vehicles. The Lifting Body Story, NASA SP4220, 1997.
10Horton, Victor W., Richard C. Eldredge, and
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32
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
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January 1999 Conference Paper
4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS
FlightDetermined Subsonic Lift and Drag Characteristics of Seven
LiftingBody and WingBody Reentry Vehicle Configurations With
Truncated Bases
6. AUTHOR(S)
5295004T2RR00000
Edwin J. Saltzman, K. Charles Wang, and Kenneth W. Iliff.
Presented as AIAA 990383 at the 37th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, Nevada,
January 1114, 1999.
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Subject Category 02, 15
This paper examines flightmeasured subsonic lift and drag characteristics of seven liftingbody and wing
body reentry vehicle configurations with truncated bases. The seven vehicles are the fullscale M2F1, M2F2,
HL10, X24A, X24B, and X15 vehicles and the Space Shuttle prototype. Lift and drag data of the various
vehicles are assembled under aerodynamic performance parameters and presented in several analytical and
graphical formats. These formats unify the data and allow a greater understanding than studying the vehicles
individually allows. Liftcurve slope data are studied with respect to aspect ratio and related to generic wind
tunnel model data and to theory for low aspectratio planforms. The proper definition of reference area was
critical for understanding and comparing the lift data. The drag components studied include minimum drag
coefficient, liftrelated drag, maximum lifttodrag ratio, and, where available, base pressure coefficients. The
effects of fineness ratio on forebody drag were also considered. The influence of forebody drag on afterbody
(base) drag at low lift is shown to be related to Hoerner’s compilation for body, airfoil, nacelle, and canopy
drag. These analyses are intended to provide a useful analytical framework with which to compare and evaluate
new vehicle configurations of the same generic family.