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46 Ansichten9 SeitenAn analytic study is conducted to determine the impact of aspect ratio on the efficiency of a wing at low Reynolds
numbers. Viscous effects in terms of airfoil sectional behavior are simulated. The behavior of two airfoils is
experimentally examined to extract parameters required for simulation. The analysis indicates that without the
inclusion of airfoil pressure drag, wing efficiency increases essentially unbounded with aspect ratio. However,
incorporating airfoil efficiency leads to the appearance of distinct peaks in plots of the range and endurance
parameters.Lowairfoil efficiency is seen to favor moderate wing aspect ratios so as to minimize the sectional pressuredrag
penalty.

Jan 14, 2015

© © All Rights Reserved

PDF, TXT oder online auf Scribd lesen

An analytic study is conducted to determine the impact of aspect ratio on the efficiency of a wing at low Reynolds
numbers. Viscous effects in terms of airfoil sectional behavior are simulated. The behavior of two airfoils is
experimentally examined to extract parameters required for simulation. The analysis indicates that without the
inclusion of airfoil pressure drag, wing efficiency increases essentially unbounded with aspect ratio. However,
incorporating airfoil efficiency leads to the appearance of distinct peaks in plots of the range and endurance
parameters.Lowairfoil efficiency is seen to favor moderate wing aspect ratios so as to minimize the sectional pressuredrag
penalty.

© All Rights Reserved

Als PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

0 Bewertungen0% fanden dieses Dokument nützlich (0 Abstimmungen)

46 Ansichten9 SeitenAn analytic study is conducted to determine the impact of aspect ratio on the efficiency of a wing at low Reynolds
numbers. Viscous effects in terms of airfoil sectional behavior are simulated. The behavior of two airfoils is
experimentally examined to extract parameters required for simulation. The analysis indicates that without the
inclusion of airfoil pressure drag, wing efficiency increases essentially unbounded with aspect ratio. However,
incorporating airfoil efficiency leads to the appearance of distinct peaks in plots of the range and endurance
parameters.Lowairfoil efficiency is seen to favor moderate wing aspect ratios so as to minimize the sectional pressuredrag
penalty.

© All Rights Reserved

Als PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

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at Low Reynolds Number

Lance W. Traub

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona 86301

Downloaded by QUEEN MARY & WESTFIELD COLLEGE on January 4, 2015 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/1.C031980

DOI: 10.2514/1.C031980

An analytic study is conducted to determine the impact of aspect ratio on the efficiency of a wing at low Reynolds

numbers. Viscous effects in terms of airfoil sectional behavior are simulated. The behavior of two airfoils is

experimentally examined to extract parameters required for simulation. The analysis indicates that without the

inclusion of airfoil pressure drag, wing efficiency increases essentially unbounded with aspect ratio. However,

incorporating airfoil efficiency leads to the appearance of distinct peaks in plots of the range and endurance

parameters. Low airfoil efficiency is seen to favor moderate wing aspect ratios so as to minimize the sectional pressuredrag penalty.

Nomenclature

AR

b

CD

Cd

CDo

C Do

=

=

=

=

=

=

Cdo

CL

Cl

CL

Cl

c

D

e

Kp

k

L

max

n

q

S

U

W

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

aspect ratio

wingspan

finite-wing drag coefficient

sectional drag coefficient

finite-wing zero-lift drag coefficient

finite-wing zero-lift drag coefficient based

on integrated chord

sectional zero-lift drag coefficient

finite-wing lift coefficient

sectional lift coefficient

finite-wing lift-curve slope

sectional lift-curve slope

chord

drag

span or Oswald efficiency factor

slope of linearized drag polar, airfoil

constant

lift

maximum

exponent

dynamic pressure

planform area

flight velocity

weight

exponent, angle of attack

attainable leading-edge suction

taper ratio

viscosity

density

nondimensional spanwise coordinate

=

=

=

=

=

=

tip

Introduction

finite wing is commonly decomposed into two components. One

is assumed effectively constant and is constituted of primarily skin

friction (CDo for a symmetrical airfoil or CD min for a cambered

section). The other component is lift dependent (proportional to C2L )

and represents both the three-dimensional (3-D) inviscid drag (vortex

drag), as well as the sectional pressure drag. The sectional pressure

drag and the vortex drag are approximated as C2L ARe or

CL CLmd 2 ARe (cambered section), in which the span efficiency factor e incorporates the effect of spanwise load deviation

from elliptic as well as the loss of leading-edge suction corresponding

to airfoil pressure drag [13]. Examination of these terms would

imply that performance improvement (CD reduction) would be most

readily achieved by an aspect-ratio increase. For a given chord, this

would suggest a span increase. However, an increase in span has both

structural as well as profile-drag implications. Large [4] conducted a

study to establish the optimal planform, size, and mass of a wing. In

this study, the wing was assumed to scale along all three axes.

Relations are given, which suggest that a highly tapered wing may

prove to be an optimal compromise [4].

In an earlier paper [5], an analytic analysis suggested that the LD

and C32

L CD ratios increased with aspect ratio (although at a

diminishing rate) essentially unbounded. An examination of

Bramesfelds [5] formulation indicates the sectional variation of CD

(the airfoils pressure drag) with CL is not accounted for and is a

significant contributor to this trend. Consequently, in this paper, an

analysis is presented that accounts for the lift dependency of the

profile drag as well as sectional efficiency. Analytic relations are

derived that show variable dependencies so that the reader can gauge

the impact of the equation constituents. The relations may also be

used for preliminary design purposes. Evaluation shows the

appearance of distinct peaks for LD, dependent on the airfoil

efficiency. Two formulations are presented: fixed or variable

planform area. For the first method, the wing loading (WS) is

conserved. Thus, an increase in wingspan would decrease the chord

to conserve planform area. Consequently, the first analysis presented

would yield for the designer the geometry best suited to satisfy a

prescribed wing loading or area. For the second formulation, variable

planform area and weight are treated. Experimental measurements

for two airfoils are used to quantify relevant parameters required in

the analysis.

Subscripts

ave

i

max

md

r

ref

average

inviscid

maximum

minimum drag

root

reference

online 4 January 2013. Copyright 2012 by Lance W. Traub. Published by

the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.

Copies of this paper may be made for personal or internal use, on condition

that the copier pay the $10.00 per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center,

Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923; include the code 1542-3868/

13 and $10.00 in correspondence with the CCC.

*Associate Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department. Member AIAA.

Formulation

For a symmetrical or moderately cambered airfoil section, the drag

polar for an untwisted finite wing may be expressed as

626

627

TRAUB

CD CDo

C2L

ARe

(1)

may be estimated by modification to either term on the right-hand

side of Eq. (1).

CD CDo

C2L

CDo

ARe

AR

C2L

1

ei 1ARCL

(10)

The attainable leading-edge suction is the ratio of the actual leadingedge suction divided by the maximum attainable, and may be

estimated as (using a small angle approximation) [2]

Leading-Edge Suction

Downloaded by QUEEN MARY & WESTFIELD COLLEGE on January 4, 2015 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/1.C031980

approximated as a loss of the axial force or the leading-edge suction

on the airfoil and is incorporated into the far-right term of Eq. (1).

However, an estimate for CDo showing its dependency on aspect ratio

and Reynolds number is needed. Assuming for generality a straight

tapered wing

AR b2 S

2b

cr 1

(2)

in which Cd min may be assumed CDo unless a heavily cambered

airfoil section is used, or a wing that is twisted.

The finite-wing lift-curve slope may be approximated using

Helmbolds [6] equation:

Cl

CL s

1

The average chord is given by

cave

cr 1

bAR

2

CLLD max

8

>

>

<

(13)

CLC32 CD max

which integrates to

practical taper ratios (i.e., > 0.2). Thus, for simplicity, Eq. (5) will

be used in the subsequent analysis. Effects of taper are thus limited to

the inviscid (vortex) drag component through ei .

Recasting W 0.5U2 SCL such that

s

2W

U

SCL

CDo

8

>

>

>

<

9 2

4

>

>

>

1

=

CL

q

>

>

2W

>

>

1

>

k

: AR 3 >

;

by

ARei

(14)

L CD )max may be estimated by

substituting either Eq. (13) or Eq. (14) into Eq. (12), and then

formulating the relevant ratio (i.e., LD CL CD or C32

L CD ).

Sectional Drag Coefficient

pressure drag follows. The sectional drag coefficient incorporating

pressure drag may be estimated as [1]

Cd Cdo KpC2l

(8)

(15)

of the airfoil section. Using Eqs. (9) and (15), CD for the wing may be

written as

0 s1

1 2W A

k@

CL AR

>

>

;

L CD may be maximized

minimizing CD C32

L and solving for CL , with the result

(6)

(7)

9 1

>22

>

1 =

q

>

ei AR

CL

2W

>

1

:k AR

12

ct < cr

2

AR

(5)

U c1

c1

t

r

C Do k

1ct cr

(11)

achieved can be found and substituted into Eq. (12). Finding the

minimum of DL gives

increase in aspect ratio is achieved by increasing the span b. To

conserve S, this would be accompanied by a reduction in chord. Thus,

as aspect ratio increases, the Reynolds number drops in this

formulation.

If the average chord is not used as the characteristic length, C Do

may be integrated as [in which c cr 1 ct ]

Z1

U

C Do k

cr 1 ct d

1

2

AR

(4)

U cr 1

U b

k

CDo k

2

AR

Cl

AR

as 2rad. The drag coefficient may be written as [using Eqs. (9)

and (10)]

0 s1

1 2W A

1

C2L

(12)

CD k@

CL AR

ARei

CL

(3)

U cave

CDo kRe k

Cl

AR

2

s

1

s

C2L

B1 2W C

CD k@

A KpC2L

CL AR

ARei

0

(9)

(which is incorporated into the span efficiency factor e), effects may

be estimated as

(16)

Eq. (16) by CL and solving for the minima:

628

TRAUB

2

CLLD max

6

6

6

4

1

22

7

Kp

q 7

7

5

1 2 k 1 2W

AR

1

ARei

(17)

which for a given aspect ratio yields the CL to fly at LD max.

Similarly, the CL for C32

L CD )max may be estimated as

CLC32 CD max

L

82

2

94

3

>

>

>

<

=

2

1

7 Kp

6

4 q

5

>

2

2ARe

2W

i >

>

;

: k 1 AR 3

Downloaded by QUEEN MARY & WESTFIELD COLLEGE on January 4, 2015 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/1.C031980

(18)

Equations (17) and (18) in conjunction with Eq. (16) allow the

estimation of LD)max or C32

L CD )max.

Generally, Kp may be estimated more conveniently than as it is a

more familiar term in the community. As such, the relationship of

and Kp is of interest.

The sectional drag coefficient may be written as [2]

Cd Cdo Cl 1

(19)

1 KpCl 1 2 Kp

or

Kp 1 Cl 1 2

(20)

0 Kp 1Cl ; zero leading-edge suction;

behavior of the wings airfoil section in terms of lift-curve slope and

drag-due-to-lift behavior. Such information may be ascertained

experimentally or numerically. In this paper, both approaches are

pursued. Consequently, an experimental study was conducted using

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Universitys low-speed 1 by 1 ft openreturn wind tunnel. This wind tunnel has a measured turbulence

intensity of 0.5% and jet uniformity within 1% in the core. The wall

boundary layer is approximately 5 mm thick. Force measurements

were taken using a low-range platform balance. The balance has a

maximum range of 43 N and a demonstrated accuracy, resolution,

and repeatability of 0.0098 N. Load-cell voltages were digitized

using a National Instruments USB-6009 14-bit A/D board. A

LabVIEW data-acquisition code was written to acquire and process

the load-cell outputs. Each data point represents the average of 1000

readings. Angle-of-attack setting ability is within 0.1 deg. The

Reynolds number, based on the chord, was varied from 40,000 to

225,000. The wind-tunnel velocity (and q) was measured using a

FlowKinetics LLC FKT 2DP1A-C multifunction meter that was

interfaced with the LabVIEW acquisition code using a serial

connection.

Two wings were designed in CATIA and then rapid prototyped

using Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Universitys rapid-prototyping

facilities, yielding acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic wing

representations. The chord of the wings was 101.6 mm. The wing

sections were a ClarkY and an SD7062. The ClarkY profile

was chosen due to its widespread use in the R/C community and

competitive performance at low Reynolds numbers [7]. The SD7062

section was investigated as it is a representative high-performance

low-Reynolds-number airfoil. The wings spanned the tunnel to

facilitate nominally two-dimensional flow. Wall corrections were not

applied.

Airfoil Characterization

of the ClarkY airfoil. The significant boundary-layer improvement

ClarkY airfoil

0.40

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

Cl 0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

Cl 0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

Cl 0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

0.30

Re = 200k

Re = 225k

Cd 0.20

0.10

0.00

0.4

0.3

Re = 125k

Re = 150k

Cd 0.2

Re = 175k

0.1

0.0

0.4

Re = 40k

Re = 75k

0.3

Re =100k

Cd 0.2

Laminar Separation

-5

10

, deg

15

0.1

20

0.0

0.0

0.4

0.8

Cl

1.2

1.6

629

TRAUB

Reynolds-number impact is marked in the 40,000100,000 range. At

Re 40; 000, laminar separation is indicated by attenuated lift with

concomitant high drag. For Re > 100; 000, the Reynolds number is

seen to have a moderate impact such that the lift and drag plots remain

essentially invariant. Although this airfoil is cambered, the minimum

drag coefficient is seen to coincide with Cl 0. Consequently, the

minimum drag coefficient may be considered to represent CDo for an

untwisted wing.

Figure 2 shows a summary of relevant parameters summarizing the

aerodynamic behavior of this airfoil. Inputs for analytic simulation

(minimum drag coefficient, Kp, Cl , and ) are also presented. As

seen, increasing Reynolds number significantly increases Cl max ,

notably for Re < 100; 000, and is a consequence of pressure recovery

at high incidence being sustained by a turbulent boundary layer,

which thins as Reynolds number increases. The attainable leadingedge suction is also seen to rise rapidly with Reynolds number, and

then remains relatively constant at 0.8 for higher Reynolds number (a

value of 1 would indicate null pressure drag). Note that depending on

its presentation, may vary with the lift coefficient. Within the

framework of the current analytical theory, a single value for is

required. Thus, was established from Kp using 1 Kp Cl .

Kp, an indicator of the level of pressure drag for the airfoil determined

from the slope of the linearized drag polar, is seen to reduce markedly

with the initial increase in Reynolds number. This follows from the

appearance of successful boundary-layer transition effected through

a laminar transitional bubble for Re 75; 000 and higher [7]. The

sectional lift-curve slope Cl also increases with Reynolds number,

and then subsequently drops. The reduction in lift-curve slope is not

1.4

1.3

displacement-thickness variation of the upper- and lower-surface

boundary layers causing the airfoil to behave as though it had camber

addition.

The bottom plot of Fig. 2 shows the variation of the measured

minimum drag coefficient with Reynolds number. The experimental

data are seen to be well approximated by a power-law curve fit. Also

shown on the plot are two lines indicating the drag-coefficient dependency commonly associated with a laminar (1Re 0.5 ) and turbulent

(1Re0.2 ) boundary layer [9]. Note that the curves were shifted to

coincide with the experimental data for the last Reynolds number

(i.e., 225,000). Agreement for Reynolds-number dependency is

suggestive of a laminar boundary layer down to Re 100; 000. This

is despite the observed presence of a transitional bubble over this

airfoil in this Reynolds-number range [7]. The turbulent boundarylayer curve shows too small a Cd variation with Reynolds number.

Included in this plot is an estimate using XFOIL of the predicted

drag-coefficient behavior of this airfoil. As seen, the numerical

prediction is in close agreement with that measured experimentally as

to shape, but with a vertical offset.

Figure 3 presents a similar data summary to that in Fig. 1 for the

SD7062 airfoil, for a more limited Reynolds-number range. Similar

trends are observed with a marked lift-and-drag-coefficient

improvement for Re 100; 000. A notable hysteresis loop is seen

at the higher Reynolds numbers. Figure 4 shows similar trends to

those in Fig. 2; however, with data for Re 40; 000 absent, the

performance improvements (or degradation for Re < 75; 000)

beyond this Reynolds number are not identifiable. The variation of

the minimum drag coefficient with Reynolds number is not as well

behaved as that observed for the ClarkY airfoil, and shows poorer

agreement with XFOIL. A comparison between Figs. 2 and 4 shows

the SD7062 airfoil as having lower minimum and pressure drag than

the ClarkY section.

Clmax 1.2

Evaluation

1.1

such that Eqs. (13), (17), (14), and (18) give the same result [exact, if

Cl 2 following from this simplification in Eq. (11)]. Consequently, due to the intuitive interpretation associated with bounds (0

to 1), this parameter will be used in the subsequent data presentation.

For evaluation purposes and clear trend extraction, the inviscid

Oswald efficiency factor ei was set to 0.9. This is not strictly representative as ei varies with aspect ratio and may decrease for high

aspect ratio [1] depending on the taper ratio. This variation is

moderate, with a rectangular wing generally showing the greatest

difference (15% change for an aspect ratio increasing from 2 to 30).

However, an analysis showed that calculating ei yielded results that

were negligibly different (with only magnitude being affected) to that

with the assumed ei . For design-study application, ei may be readily

estimated using a vortex-lattice simulation or similar approach. As

presented, the theoretical method is suitable for symmetrical or

moderately cambered airfoil sections constituting untwisted tapered

or rectangular wings.

1.0

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

0.20

0.15

Kp 0.10

0.05

0.00

0.12

0.09

Cl 0.06

0.03

ClarkY airfoil

0.00

0.12

Experimental Data

0.09

Xfoil

Turbulent BL

Cdmin 0.06

Laminar BL

Curves shifted

to coincide

with expt. data at

Re = 225,000

0.03

Cdmin= 90.250 Re -0.718

0.00

Fig. 2

50000

100000

150000

Re

200000

increases reduce the wing chord. Figure 5 shows the effect of the level

of leading-edge suction on the range and endurance parameters

based upon the ClarkY airfoil data (i.e., k 90.085 and

0.664). The left column is associated with LD)max and the

right with C32

L CD )max. For 1 (no sectional pressure drag),

these parameters are seen to increase unbounded as reported in [5]. A

result that is not realistic as the airfoil will eventually stall. This is

indicated on the plots as the lift/stall limiter based upon data from

Fig. 1 and was taken as the point before the onset of massive drag rise.

Note that this is assuming equivalence between the finite wing and

airfoil data. Commonly, the finite wing CL max is assumed to be

250000

[retrieved 10 May 2012].

630

TRAUB

SD7062 airfoil

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

Cl 0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

1.4

1.2

1.0

0.8

Cl 0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

0.30

0.25

0.20

Cd 0.15

Re = 150k

0.10

Re = 200k

0.05

0.00

0.30

0.25

0.20

Cd 0.15

Re = 75k

-5

10

, deg

Re = 100k

0.10

Re = 125k

0.05

15

20

0.00

0.0

0.4

0.8

Cl

1.2

1.6

this lift-limiter point is somewhat arbitrary, this discrepancy is less

germane. As drops, a clearly identifiable peak appears (bottom row

of plots). The peak migrates to lower aspect ratio and its magnitude

1.6

1.4

Clmax

1.2

1.0

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

0.05

0.04

0.03

Kp

0.02

0.01

0.00

0.12

0.09

Cl 0.06

0.03

SD7062 airfoil

0.00

0.09

Cdmin= 2312 Re -0.957

0.06

Experimental Data

Cdmin

Xfoil

0.03

0.00

0

Fig. 4

50000

100000 150000

Re

200000

250000

elucidated through examination of the upper plots in Fig. 5. The lower

drag due to lift associated with tending to 1 drives the optimal CL to

higher values for a given aspect ratio than for lower (so as to

minimize the skin-friction contribution). As drops, the increase in

the drag-due-to-lift component [with respect to CL (i.e., for the same

CL , the drag due to lift increases as drops)] reduces the optimal CL

for a given aspect ratio. For C32

L CD , the drag due to lift is seen as the

largest drag component, while for LD CDo dominates. This follows

from the lower flight speeds, and thus higher CL values associated

with the minimum-power flight condition. The increase in liftdependent drag with aspect ratio stems from the higher required CL

for optimality.

The increase in CDo with Reynolds number is a consequence of the

problem formulation. For a fixed planform area, increasing aspect

ratio reduces the chord. A reduced chord decreases the Reynolds

number, and thus increases the skin-friction drag contribution.

Additionally, for a given vehicle weight, an increase in CL will

necessitate a drop in flight speed to maintain steady-level flight. Both

of these effects contribute to a reduction in Reynolds number with

aspect ratio (in which the chord reduction effect dominates for higher

Reynolds number). Consequently, 1 experiences significant CDo

due to the low Reynolds number (top-left figure). Figure 6 presents a

summary of the effect of on the required aspect ratio to achieve

maximized LD and C32

L CD (see Table 1). As drops, wing

performance reduces, with the level of attainable suction having

lesser impact for < 0.6. Lower aspect ratio is also favored as the

airfoils sectional pressure drag increases (reflected in diminishing ).

This is an intuitive result stemming from the need to minimize the

spanwise extent of the wing, and consequently, aspect ratio. Also

evident is that maximum LD favors lower aspect-ratio wings than

32

maximum C32

L CD . Required optimal CL values for CL CD )max

are higher than LD)max, thus the need to attenuate vortex drag

through high aspect ratio.

The effect of weight variation within the confines of fixed

planform area is examined in Fig. 7. Prescribed weights of 5, 10, and

20 N were evaluated. The attainable suction was set to 0.8 to match

that from the experimental measurements. Counterintuitively,

increasing weight is seen to be beneficial for both LD and C32

L CD .

This follows from the higher required flight speeds to support the

additional aircraft weight (as the wing area is fixed). An increase in q

drops the necessary lift coefficient (reducing lift-dependent vortex

and pressure drag) while increasing Reynolds number, and so by

lessening the skin-friction drag coefficient. The peak in LD occurs

at a similar aspect ratio for all three weights, while C32

L CD appears

unbounded due to the comparatively high .

631

TRAUB

300000

300000

L/D

250000

250000

200000

3/2

300000

/CD

300000

L/D

250000

250000

200000

200000

200000

Re 150000

Re 150000

Re 150000

Re 150000

100000

100000

100000

100000

50000

50000

50000

50000

0

0.10

0

0.30

0

0.06

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.08

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.25

CL

CD

CD 0.15

0.04

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

CD 0.10

0.02

0.10

0.02

/CD

0.04

0.20

0.06

3/2

0

0.20

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.15

CD

0.05

0.05

0.00

3.0

2.5

0.00

0.8

0.00

5.0

ClarkY airfoil

ei=0.9, W=9.81N

k= 90.085, = -0.664

4.0

2.0

0.00

1.4

ClarkY airfoil

ei=0.9, W=9.81N

k= 90.085, = -0.664

1.2

0.6

1.0

3.0

CL 1.5

CL 0.4

CL

CL

2.0

1.0

0.2

1.0

0.5

=1

0.0

20

Lift/Stall Limiter

0.0

30

= 0.8

0.6

0.4

= 0.4

0.2

= 0.2

0.0

8

Lift/Stall Limiter

0.8

0.0

6

= 0.0

= 0.6

20

0

0

10

20

10

Fig. 5

20

30

10

20

30

10

20

30

AR

AR

Effect of aspect ratio and attained leading-edge suction on the maximum range and endurance parameters, ClarkY airfoil.

on maximum LD and C32

L CD . Considering the consistency of the

data, the XFOIL simulations were used to define the airfoil. Trends

are seen to be similar to the ClarkY section. However, the SD7062

airfoil yields better performance, although this is partly a consequence of using the XFOIL data, which may be expected to be

somewhat optimistic from a drag perspective. Figure 9 and Table 2

show a summary of data maxima as a function of . Once again,

trends are consistent, with lower aspect ratios favored as the airfoil

efficiency drops. For a thin flat plate, common for balsa gliders in

which is essentially zero, an aspect ratio in the 34 range would be

25

Lift/Stall Limiter

15

3/2

/CD

AR

10

5

0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

15

AR

12

L/D

AR

3/2

L/D, CL

/CD

6

Lift/Stall Limiter

3

0

0.0

0.2

0.4

Table 1

AR (LD)

14a

12

6

5

4

4

1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

LD)max

12.9

9.35

8.10

7.40

6.92

6.54

AR (C32

L CD )

5a

8a

14a

22

17

14

CL32 CD )max

9.26a

8.40a

7.14a

5.83

4.91

4.29

sectional pressure drag.

ClarkY airfoil

ei=0.9, W = 9.81N

k= 90.085, = -0.664

20

CL

AR

AR

2

0

30

CL

10

3/2

L/D

3/2

L/D 10

/CD

/CD

15

CL

CL

0.6

0.8

Variable-Wing Area

vehicle (UAV) was assumed constant, as was the wing loading

(WS), excluding Fig. 7. However, the impact of weight increase,

when the wingspan is increased, is of interest. The estimation of

weight increase due to sizing is not a trivial endeavor. This is

compounded by the manufacturing methods that may be employed in

a UAV. The wing may be solid foam, wrapped in a composite

material, and/or have internal structural members (spars). For the

purposes of the present analysis, the wings chord is assumed

constant. The wingspan may vary to alter aspect ratio.

It will also be assumed that the weight of the fuselage is fixed and

does not scale with the wing dimensions. For conventional aircraft,

examination of available data [10] suggests that the wing accounts

for approximately 1520% of the aircraft weight. Although this may

not be representative for a UAV, it will be assumed so, as little other

data are available.

An analytic analysis by Large [4] has suggested that the wing

weight of an aircraft may be estimated as

1.0

impact on the maximum range and endurance parameters, ClarkY

airfoil.

weightstatements.html [retrieved 10 May 2012].

632

TRAUB

300000

300000

L/D

200000

200000

Re 150000

Re 150000

100000

100000

50000

50000

0

0.10

0

0.30

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.08

3/2

/CD

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.25

0.20

0.06

CD 0.15

CD

0.04

0.10

0.02

0.05

0.00

1.5

0.00

3.0

ClarkY airfoil

ei=0.9, = 0.8

k= 90.085, = -0.664

2.5

1.2

2.0

0.9

CL 1.5

CL

0.6

1.0

0.3

0.5

0.0

10

0.0

15

/CD

6

W = 10N

3/2

W = 5N

CL

L/D

Lift/Stall Limiter

12

W = 20N

3

0

2

0

10

20

30

10

20

30

AR

AR

Fig. 7 Effect of aspect ratio and vehicle weight on the maximum range and endurance parameters, ClarkY airfoil.

300000

300000

L/D

CL

3/2

300000

/CD

300000

L/D

250000

250000

200000

200000

200000

200000

Re 150000

Re 150000

Re 150000

Re 150000

100000

100000

100000

100000

50000

50000

50000

50000

0

0.04

0

0.12

0

0.030

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

250000

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.10

CD 0.02

0.08

0.020

CD 0.015

0.04

0.010

0.02

0.005

0.00

2.0

0.00

3.0

SD7062 airfoil

ei=0.9, W=9.81N

k= 113, = -0.756

1.5

CL 1.0

2.5

= 0.8

2.0

= 0.6

CL 1.5

/CD

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

CD 0.04

0.02

0.000

0.4

= 1

3/2

0

0.08

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.06

CD 0.06

0.01

CL

250000

0.025

0.03

0.00

0.8

SD7062 airfoil

ei=0.9, W=9.81N

k= 113, = -0.756

0.3

0.6

CL 0.2

CL 0.4

1.0

0.5

0.1

0.5

0.0

25

0.0

35

Lift/Stall Limiter

0.2

= 0.4

Lift/Stall Limiter

= 0.2

0.0

14

0.0

8

= 0.0

30

10

/CD

20

L/D 10

15

3/2

15

3/2

L/D

12

25

CL

/CD

20

CL

CL

250000

250000

10

5

0

5

0

10

20

AR

Fig. 8

30

6

0

10

20

AR

30

10

20

AR

30

10

20

AR

Effect of aspect ratio and attained leading-edge suction on the maximum range and endurance parameters, SD7062 airfoil.

30

633

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Table 2

(21)

20

/CD 15

AR

10

3/2

5

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

30

25

AR

20

L/D, CL

3/2

/CD

L/D

15

AR

10

5

Lift/Stall Limiter

0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

impact on the maximum range and endurance parameters, SD7062

airfoil.

1.0

200

0.8

n = 1.2

120

S, m2 0.6

n = 1.4

W, N

80

0.4

40

0.2

0

1.5

0.0

0.10

ClarkY airfoil

ei=0.9, Wref=9.81N, U = 20m/s,

Re = 202.247, c = 0.15m

k= 90.085, = -0.664

1.0

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.08

0.0

10

10

10

L/D

Gray Line: Lift Dependent

0.0

0.80

0.70

0.60

0.50

CD 0.40

0.30

0.20

0.10

0.00

15

CL

3/2

Lift/Stall Limiter

0.2

/CD

0.00

15

/CD

0.5

0.0

15

L/D

ClarkY airfoil

ei=0.9, Wref=9.81N, U = 20m/s,

Re = 202.247, c = 0.15m

k= 90.085, = -0.664

1.0

0.02

n=2

0.4

2.0

0.04

n = 1.8

S, m2 0.6

CL 1.5

CD

0.5

n = 1.6

0.8

2.5

0.06

CL

1.0

280

240

200

W, N 160

120

80

40

0

3.0

n=1

160

10

3/2

0

0.0

5

All values for n = 1.8 and 2

lift coefficient limited

lift coefficient limited

0

0

10

20

AR

30

10

20

AR

C32

L CD )max

17.9a

13.46a

9.36

7.42

6.28

5.52

needed to cope with the larger moments associated with aspect-ratio

increase), whereas n 2 would be excessive (as it would represent

geometry scaling along three axes, not only spanwise as assumed).

To implement variable weight, Eq. (22) may be substituted into

Eqs. (1214) or (1618) to give the maximum LD and C32

L CD for

the aspect ratio. An initial examination of the impact of variable

weight indicated that such an approach would drive the solution to

excessively high flight speeds (approaching the compressible

regime) that are not feasible for small UAVs. This is especially

prominent for LD)max as n 2. Consequently, the effect of weight

will be examined by fixing q such that CL is simply determined from

steady-level flight equilibrium conditions for the associated weight

and planform area. Thus, the values for LD and C32

L CD are not

maximized for the aspect ratio.

Figure 10 presents a summary of results for variable area with

concomitant weight increase. The reference aspect ratio and weight

were set at 1 and 9.81 N, respectively. The flight speed was set at

20 ms (a reasonable value for a small UAV) such that q 240 Pa.

The airfoil chord was also fixed at 0.15 m, thus wing-size increase

was in one dimension (spanwise). Although this may not be entirely

realistic, it is germane to trend elucidation. The weight exponent n is

set variable ranging from 1 to 2, encompassing a linear weight

(n 1) increase to that suggested by Large [4] (n 2) and

representative for 3-D wing growth. Weight is seen to grow rapidly

with aspect ratio. Within the evaluated aspect-ratio range, LD and

C32

L CD show peaks for n 1, and then subsequently 1.6 to 2 (not

1.2 and 1.4). Initially (low aspect ratio), an increase in area reduces

CL such that the drag due to lift is attenuated. As aspect ratio increases

beyond approximately 10, the concomitant increase in weight tends

to overpower the area increase for n 1.4 such that CL starts to rise,

as does the drag due to lift. The increase in LD and C32

L CD for

n 1.2 and 1.4 stems from the requirement that the lift weight.

As an example, consider LD Wq CD. Here, q is fixed. If the rise

25

CL

AR (CL32 CD )

10a

25a

27

18

14

12

Lift/Stall Limiter

CL

30

LD)max

23.28

15.74

14.05

13.04

12.32

11.73

gives a linear weight increase that could be realized by simply

extending the wing without any structural modification. While

Eq. (22) may be oversimplistic, it does provide a systematic approach

to explore the impact of structural-weight increases. Considering the

construction of typical UAV wings, n 1 may represent an

SD7062 airfoil

ei=0.9, W = 9.81N

k= 113, = -0.756

1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

AR (LD)

27a

8

4

3

3

3

S12 AR32 may be expressed as cAR2 . An initial reference total

weight W ref and aspect ratio ARref will be assumed. The fuselage

weight will be set at 85% of this initial reference weight and invariant.

Consequently, for any aspect ratio, the weight may be generalized and

estimated as

AR n

W 0.85W ref 0.15W ref

(22)

ARref

30

10

20

AR

30

10

20

30

AR

Fig. 10 Effect of variable weight and aspect ratio on the range and endurance parameters, q 240 Pa, ClarkY airfoil. ARref 1, W ref 9.81 N

634

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increase. As n increases, the peak of LD and C32

L CD shifts to

lower aspect ratio to mitigate the weight increase and the attendant

high required CL values, and thus drag due to lift. The estimates of

LD and C32

L CD for n 1.8 and 2 are presented for completeness.

However, the required CL values are not achievable, thus the aircraft

could not sustain level flight.

Conclusions

An analytic investigation was conducted to establish the effect of

wing aspect ratio on performance at low Reynolds number. The effect

of airfoil pressure drag was accounted for using a leading-edge

suction approach. To support the study, experimental measurements

were recorded to quantify the behavior of two airfoils as affected by

Reynolds number. The analysis initially was implemented within the

framework of a constrained planform area and weight. If airfoil

pressure drag was neglected, LD and C32

L CD increased without

bound. Including the effects of pressure drag yielded the appearance

of distinct peaks in LD and C32

L CD , which migrated to lower

aspect ratio as the airfoil efficiency dropped. Incorporating the effect

of variable-wing weight showed performance peaks that depended on

the rate at which the weight was set to increase.

Acknowledgment

The author would like to thank Thomas Nix and Kenneth Toro for

performing the wind-tunnel tests.

References

[1] McCormick, B. W., Aerodynamics, Aeronautics, and Flight Mechanics,

2nd ed., Wiley, New York, 1994, pp. 172176.

[2] Traub, L. W., Analytic Drag Prediction for Cambered Wings with

Partial Leading-Edge Suction, Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2009,

pp. 312319.

doi:10.2514/1.38558

[3] Anderson, J. D., Aircraft Performance & Design, 1st ed., McGrawHill,

New York, 1998, pp. 129133.

[4] Large, E., The Optimal Planform, Size and Mass of a Wing,

Aeronautical Journal, Vol. 85, March 1981, pp. 103110.

[5] Bramesfeld, G., Small and Micro Aerial Vehicles: How Much

Span Is Too Much Span, Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 47, No. 6, 2010,

pp. 19821990.

doi:10.2514/1.C000238

[6] Helmbold, H. B., Der Unverwundene Ellipsenflugel als Tragende

Flache, Jahrbuch der Deutschen Luftfahrtforschung, R. Oldenbourg,

Munich, 1942, pp. I-111I-113.

[7] Nix, T., Toro, K., and Traub, L. W., Effects of Surface Flats on the

Performance of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Journal of Aircraft,

Vol. 46, No. 5, 2009, pp. 18151817.

doi:10.2514/1.44124

[8] Traub, L. W., and Cooper, E., Experimental Investigation of Pressure

Measurement and Airfoil Characteristics at Low Reynolds Numbers,

Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2008, pp. 13221333.

doi:10.2514/1.34769

[9] Schlichting, H., Boundary-Layer Theory, 7th ed., Springer, Berlin,

1979, pp. 140638.

[10] Cleveland, F. A., Size Effects in Conventional Aircraft Design,

Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 7, No. 6, 1970, pp. 483512.

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