NATIONAL
ADVISORY
COMMITTEE
_{”}
, FOR AERONAUTICS
,,_,,_,
_{}_{.}_{}_{}_{.}
REPORT
1063
AIRFOIL
PROFILES FOR MINIl%IUMPRESSVRE'DRAG
AT SUPERSONIC~~ELOCITIES~GEN~RAL
ANALYSIS WITH APPLICATION TO LINEARIZED SUPERSONICFLOW
(I 
_{_} 

By 
DEAN 
R. 
CHAkMAN 

_{.} 

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REPORT 1063
AIRFOIL
PROFILES
FOR
MINIMUM
SUPERSONIC
APPLICATION
VELOCITIESGENERAL
TO
LINEARIZED
PRESSURE
ANALYSIS
SUPERSONIC
By 
DEAN 
R. CHAPMAN 

Ames 
Aeronautical 
Laboratory 

Moffett 
Field, 
Calif. 
DRAG
AT
WITH
FLOW
National
Advisory
Committee
for
Aeronautics
Created 
by 
act of Congress approved 
March 
3, 
1915, for 
the 
supervision 
and 
direction 
of the scientific study 

of the problems 
of flight 
(U. S. Code, 
title 
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sec. 
151). 
Its 
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to 15 by 
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C.
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compensation.
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of Technology, Chairman 

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Secretary, 
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Institution, 
Vice Chairman 

DETLEV 
W. 
BRONK, 
PH. 
D., President, 
Johns 
Hopkins 
Univer 
HON. DONALD 
W. NYBOP, Chairman, 
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sity. 
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H. 
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Admiral, 
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States 
Navy, 
Deputy 
Acting 
Deputy 
Chief 
of Staff (Development). 
Aeronautics 
Board. 

States 
Air 
Force, 
Chief
EDWARD
of
Naval
U.
Operations.
PH.
CONDON,
Standards.
D.,
Director,
National
Bureau
HON.
JAMES
R.
M.
THOMAS
H.
HAZEN,
W.
DOOLITTLE,
B.
S.
S.,
DAVIS,
Assistant
SC. D.,
Vice
Secretary
President,
Director
of
Engineering,
of
Shell
Allison
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Division,
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Motors Corp. 

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M. 
E., 

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of 
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President,
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the
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of
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States
Navy,
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_{H}_{U}_{G}_{H}
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_{D}_{R}_{Y}_{D}_{E}_{N}_{,}
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_{D}_{.}_{,}
_{D}_{i}_{r}_{e}_{c}_{t}_{o}_{r}
of
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E. 
RAYMOND, 
SC. 
D., 
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President, 

Douglas 
Aircraft 
Co., 
Inc. 
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W.
REICHELDERFER,
SC.
D.,
Chief,
Engineering,
United
States
Weather 
Bureau. 

GORDON P. 
SAVILLE, 
Major 
General, 
United 
States 
Air 
Force, 

Deputy 
Chief 
of StaffDevelopment. 
HON.
ment
WALTER
Board,
G.
WHITMAN,
Department
THEODORE
Cornell
P.
WRIGHT,
University.
SC.
Chairman,
of
Defense.
Vice
D.,
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F.
VICTORY,
LL.
Research 
and 
Develop 
President 
for 
Research, 
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Secretary 
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W.
CROWLEY,
JR.,
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B. 
S., 
Associate 
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for 

J. 
E. 
REID, 
D. 
Eng., Director, 

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DEFRANCE, 
B. 
S., Director, 
Director,
Lewis
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H.
CHAMBERLIN,
Field,
Va.
Calif.
Cleveland,
Execulive
Aeronautical
Langley
SMITH SHARP, SC. D.,
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II
5
i
^{_}^{,}^{}
,.,1
REPORT
1063
AIRFOIL
PROFILES
FOR
MINIMUM
PRESSURE
DRAG
AT
SUPERSONIC
VELOCITIESGENERAL
ANALYSIS
WITH
APPLICATION
TO
LINEARlZED
SUPERSONIC
FLOW
1
By
DEAN
R.
CHAPMAN
SUMMARY
A 
theoretical inuestigation 
is made of the air:foil 
projile 
for 

minimum 
pressure drag 
at 
zero lift 
in supersonic$ow. 
_{I}_{n} 
_{t}_{h}_{e} 

Jirst 
part 
of 
the report a ge,neral method 
is 
developed *for 
calcu 

lating 
the 
pro$le having 
the 
least 
pressure 
drag 
for 
a 
given 

auxiliary 
condition, such 
as a given 
structural requirement 
or 
a 

given 
thickness ratio. The 
various 
structural 
requireme& 
con 

sidered include bendiny 
sttength, 
bend&g 
stitfness, 
totsional 

strength, 
and torsional 
stijfness. 
_{N}_{o} 
_{a}_{s}_{s}_{u}_{m}_{p}_{t}_{i}_{o}_{n} 
_{i}_{s} 
_{m}_{a}_{d}_{e} 

regarding 
the trailingedge 
thickness; 
the 
optimum 
value 
_{i}_{s} 

determined 
in the calculations 
as a function 
of the base pressure. 
To 
illustrate 
the general 
method, the optimum 
airfoil, 
de$ned 
as the airfoil 
having minimum 
pressure drag for 
a given 
auxil 

iary 
condition, 
is calculated 
in a second part of the report 
using 
the equations 
of linearized 
supersonic$ow. 
_{I}_{t} _{i}_{s} _{f}_{o}_{u}_{n}_{d} 
_{t}_{h}_{a}_{t} 
_{t}_{h}_{e} 

optimum 
ai?:foil in most 
cases has a blunt 
trailing 
edge. 
_{I}_{t} _{a}_{l}_{s}_{o} 

isfound 
that 
the optimum 
thickness distribution depends 
only 
on 

one dimensionless parameter, termed the “base pressure 
param 

eter”. 
This 
parameter 
involves the Mach number, 
airfoil 

thickness 
ratio, and base pressure coe$icient. 
_{T}_{h}_{e} _{<}_{f}_{l}_{e}_{e}_{t} 
_{o}_{f} 

variations 
in 
each of these latter three guantities 
on the shape 
of 

the optimum 
proJile is discussed, and a simple criterion 
formu 

lated 
for 
determining the 
condition under 
which 
the optimum 

trailingedge 
thickness 
is greater than 
zero. 
The calculated 
pressure drag 
of the 
optimum 
projile 
is compared 
to 
that 
of 
a 

biconvex sharptrailingedge 
pro$le 
satisfying 
the 
same struc 

tural 
requirement. 
The reduction 
in pressure 
drag 
depends 
on 

the base pressure parameter and varies.from a few 
percent 
to 
as 

much 
as 75 percent. 
INTRODUCTION
sharptrailingedge airfoil. 
This 
particular 
auxiliary condi 

tion, however, 
does not 
represent 
practical 
cases where 
an 
airfoil must satisfy a certain structural
a given
Drougge
analysis to determine the optimum
condition of a given bending stiffness of the airfoil, and also
requirement,
section
such as
area moment
(reference
of inertia,
1) has made
or a given
a more
modulus.
theoretical
auxiliary
elaborate
for
the
profile
for the condition 
of a given torsional stiflncss. 
_{D}_{r}_{o}_{u}_{g}_{g}_{e} _{u}_{s}_{e}_{d} 

linearized 
airfoil 
theory 
and considered 
only 
sharptrailing 
edge
respects: They do not cover cases outside the scope of linear ized airfoil theory, and, though they include the auxiliary
conditions of given bending and torsional stiffness, they do
are
two
airfoils.
His
results
somewhat
limited
in
not include the auxiliary condition of a given bending strength
(given section modulus).
A
far
more
important
limitation
of this analysis, though, is the tacit assumption that 
the 

optimum 
airfoi1 
will 
have a sharp 
trailing 
edge. 

Thcrc 
is a small amount 
of cxpcrimcntal 
evidence 
in 
t.he 
measurements of Ferri (rcfcrcnce 2) on airfoils with sharp trailing cdgcs which suggests that the optimum airfoil might,
_{m}_{e}_{a}_{s}_{}
in fact, have a moderately thick
ured profile drag of one airfoil tested by Ferri (G. U. 3 airfoil
at a Mach number
inviscid theory would indicate. Allowance for skin friction
would
Schlieren photographs and pressuredistribution measure
ments showed that viscous effects effectively thickened the
trailing
to
edge.
_{T}_{h}_{e}
lower
of
1.85)
was
considerably
become
than
cause
this
discrepancy
even
greater.
airfoil shape near the trailing edge. From these results 
it 

can be inferrecl that at moderate supersonic velocities it 
is 

possible for an airfoil with a thickened trailing edgethat 
is, 

a 
blunttrailingedge 
airfoilto 
have 
lower 
drag 
than 
a 
In
supersonic
flow
the finite
thickness
of an airfoil
invari
ably introduces 
a certain amount of pressure drag which can 

be minimized 
by 
a rational choice 
of 
airfoil 
shape. 
The 

profile 
for minimum 
pressure drag 
depends, 
among 
other 

things, 
on the particular auxiliary condition that is imposed 
on the airfoil geometry. For 
example, 
if 
it is required 
that 

the optimum profile (defined 
herein as the profile 
of 
least 

pressure drag for a given 
auxiliary condition) satisfy 
the 

auxiliary condition of a given 
thickness 
ratio, then according 
to a wellknown 
result of Ackeret’s 
linearized 
airfoil 
theory, 

the socalled doublewedge 
profile 
represents 
the 
optimum 
corresponding sharptrailingedge airfoil. _{E}_{m}_{p}_{l}_{o}_{y}_{i}_{n}_{g} _{a} different approach, this inference has been obtained from
quantitative considerations in reference 3, where a reasonable
estimate
lated 8s a function of trailingedge thickness. Such calculn
tions, though very approximate, have indicated that in cer
of the base pressure was made
and
the drag
calcu
tain cases a moderate increase in trailingedge thickness 
will 

decrease the overall pressure drag. 

Apart 
from 
the reasons just 
cited 
for 
expecting 
that 
the 
optimum supersonic airfoil might have a thick trailing 
edge, 
there are other independent considerations which suggest
1Supersedes NACA
TN
2264,“Airfoil
Profiles
for hfinimum
Pressure Drag
at Supersonic VelocitiesGeneral
Analysis
With
Application
to Linearized
Supersonic FLOW,” by Dean R.
Chapman,
pressure published subsequent to TN 2264.
1951. Vnriow
examples of Optimum
proffles given in TN
2264have been supplemented
and revised for the present report
iu sccordance with
CXPeri~eLItal meWWm?ntS
of bse
1
_{2} 
REPORT 1063NATIONAL 
ADVISORY 
COMMITTEE 
FOR AERONAUTICS 

the 
same result. 
By analyzing 
conditions 
at infinite 
Mach 
ingedge 
thickness. 
The 
profile 
so determined, which 
is 

number, Saenger pointed out in 1933 that even with a vacuum 
termed 
an optimum 
profile, 
is considered 
to depend 
on 
the 

at 
the base the optimum 
airfoil 
for a given 
thickness 
ratio 
base pressure, 
Mach 
number, and 
the particular auxiliary 
would, 
in 
this 
extreme 
case, have a trailingedge thickness 
condition 
imposed 
on 
the 
airfoil. 
A 
secondary 
purpose 
of 

equal 
to 
the maximum 
airfoil thickness. (See reference 
4.) 
the investigation 
is 
to 
develop a method of sufficient gener 
In 
reference 
5, Ivey 
obtained 
a similar 
result 
by 
calculating 

the 
pressure 
drag 
at 
a Mach 
number 
of 
8 
for 
a family 
of 
airfoils 
having 
va.rious positions 
of maximum 
thickness. 

More 
recently, 
Smelt (reference 6) has developed 
an approx 

imate 
condition 
determining when 
an airfoil 
with 
maximum 
thickness 
at 
the trailing edge has lower 
drag in hypersonic 

flow 
than 
an 
airfoil 
with 
a 
sharp 
trailing 
edge. 
Saenger, 
Ivey,
and
Smelt,
however,
did
not
consider
airfoils
having
a
ality 
to enable secondorder 
and shock 
expansion 
theories 

to be used in calculating optimum profiles. 
Such 
generality 

is desirable in order to obtain 
results 
that 
are valid 
at hyper 

sonic 
Mach numbers. 
_{B}
base pressure
7
73
NOTATION
parameter
for
linearized
supersonic
flow
trailingedge ness, and profile that has unreasonable bers trailing thickness their less than results velocities. Mach trailing that the maximum determine airfoil the it Mach thick hence do not edge. at lower optimum evident, profile it is not num at the at for hypersonic Nevertheless, the this is optimum basis high supersonic thick expect numbers On have a relatively the to optimum edge. supersonic some profile would thickness The physical edge airfoil in reason why it supersonic flow is possible to have for a lower a blunttrailing pressure drag 
_{z}_{?} c _{C}_{d} _{f} F(k, h H 
1 limiting value of the base pressure parameter below which the chord optimum the drag function airfoil has a blunt airfoil section symbol pressure for coefficient Py’ trailing edge q>)incomplete lus kand trailingedge dimensionless elliptic integral amplitude (p thickness trailingedge of the first kind thickness (h/t) of modu 

than 
a corresponding 
sharptrailingedge 
airfoil 
is quite 

simple, as can 
be illustrated 
by 
the 
t,wo profiles 
shown 
in 
I 
given value of the auxiliary integral 
_{[}_{:}_{~}_{c}_{&}_{d}_{~}_{]} 

figure 1. 
These 
profiles 
have 
the same 
area, 
which corre 

sponds to the 
same torsional 
stiffness of a thinskin 
structure 
k, 1 
constant defined by equation (20) length of chord over which airfoil thickness is constant 

L 
dimensionless length of chord over which airfoil thick Mach number 

! 
: 
r 
  Sharp _{I} r  Bun 
broilingedge f hoilingedge 
oit .foif airfoil 
M 
ness is constant (Z/s) 

n 
arbitrary parameter appearing in the definition of the auxiliary integral I 

(For the examples considered 
~2,is taken 
as 
I, 
2, 
3 or 

* 
I 
P 
static pressure on airfoil surface 

FIGUREI.Sketch comparing a typical sharptrailingedge 
airfoil 
P 
pr ess,I coefhcient [(,,)/(a 
_{p}_{,} 
_{v}_{a}_{z}_{)}_{]} 

airfoil 
of equal area (equal torsional 
stitiess and a blunttrailingedge structure). for a thinskin 

The 
blunttrailingedge 
airfoil 
has a slightly 
smaller thick 
base pressure coefficient [(P~~J/($ pm VZ)] 

ness 
ratio 
and 
a position 
of 
maximum 
thickness 
which 
is 
Reynolds number based on airfoil chord 

farther rearward, 
hence 
the 
leadingedge angle 
is 
smaller 
distance from leading edge to first downstream posi 

and 
the pressure 
drag 
of 
the 
surface forward 
of 
the 
trailing 
tion 
of maximum 
thickness 

edge is less than 
that 
of 
the 
sharptrailingedge 
airfoil 
A 
t 
maximum thickness of airfoil 

certain amount 
of base drag, 
however, 
obviously 
is added 
by 
v 
velocity 

employing 
a thick trailing 
edge. 
If the 
added 
base drag 
is 
X 
distance from leading edge 

less 
than 
the 
reduction 
in 
pressure foredrag, 
then 
the 
net 
x 
dimensionless distance from leading edge (r/s) 

result 
is a smaller total 
pressure drag 
for 
the 
blunttrailing 
Y 
ordinate of upper half of airfoil 

edge airfoil. 
This invariably 
is the case at extremely high 
Y 
dimensionless ordinate [y/(t/2)] 

supersonic 
Mach 
numbers 
where 
the 
base drag 
is negligible 
P 
JMm2 
1 

compared 
to 
the pressure 
foredrag. 
At low 
supersonic 
x 
Langrangian 
multiplier 
(arbitrary 
constant) 

Mach 
numbers, 
though, 
the 
base 
drag 
can be many times 
u 
arbitrary 
parameter 
appearing 
in 
the definition 
of the 

the 
pressure foredrag, 
and the 
optimum 
trailingedge 
thick 
auxiliary 
integral 
I 

ness must 
be expected 
a priori 
to 
depend to 
a great 
extent 
(For 
the 
examples 
considered 
u 
is taken 
as 
0 
or 
1.) 

on the base pressure. 
P 
mass density 

The present 
theoretical 
analysis 
was 
initiated 
in 
view 
of 
SUBSCRIPTS 

the 
foregoing 
considerations. 
The primary purpose 
of 
the 
0 
airfoil 
surface at leading 
edge 

investigation 
is 
to develop 
a 
method 
of determining 
the 
1 
airfoil 
surface at trailing 
edge 

supersonic 
airfoil 
profile 
for 
minimum 
pressure 
drag 
at zero 
free stream 

lift, 
without 
making 
an arbitrary 
assumption about 
the trail 
brn 
base 
AIRFOIL
PROFILES
FOR
MINIMUM
PRESSURE
DRAG
AT
SUPERSONIC
VELOCITIES
_{3}
circulararc 
biconvex 
airfoil with 
sharp 
trailing 
edge 
doublewedge 
airfoil 
with sharp trailing 
edge 
V
vacuum
at base
^{I}
differentiation
with
SUPERSCRIPT
respect
to
x
THEORETICAL
ANALYSIS
ASSUMPTIONS
AND
STATEMENT
OF
PROBLEM
In
the
analysis
which
follows
several
simplifying
assump
tions
sonic flow
the pressure
trailing
nonconducting
edge is sharp.
are made.
Twodimensional
only
airfoils
in
_{I}_{t}
surface
flow
the
assumed
a purely
_{i}_{s} _{a}_{s}_{s}_{u}_{m}_{e}_{d}
super
_{t}_{h}_{a}_{t}
of the
at zero lift
are considered.
on the airfoil
from
is further
at any point
forward
of
edge can be calculated
gas.
No
It
an inviscid,
the
leading
regarding
that
analogous
assumption
is made
_{h} _{w}_{h}_{i}_{c}_{h} 
_{m}_{i}_{n}_{i}_{m}_{i}_{z}_{e}_{s} 
_{t}_{h}_{i}_{s} 
_{e}_{x}_{p}_{r}_{e}_{s}_{s}_{i}_{o}_{n} 
_{f}_{o}_{r} 
_{a} 
_{g}_{i}_{v}_{e}_{n} _{a}_{u}_{x}_{i}_{l}_{i}_{a}_{r}_{y} 

_{c}_{o}_{n}_{d}_{i}_{t}_{i}_{o}_{n}_{.} 

Before 
expressing 
the various auxiliary 
conditions 
in ana 

lytical 
form, 
it should 
be noted that 
the surface pressure 
co 

efficient 
P is regarded 
as a known function 
of the variable 
y’ 

and 
the 
two 
parameters 
y’,, (surface 
slope 
at leading 
edge) 

and 
M,. 
The actual 
functional form 
of 
P(y’, y’o,M,) 
will 
depend
shockexpansion
on
whether
linearized,
is
secondorder,
in
hypersonic,
or
theory
employed
calculating
surface
pressures. 
For example, 
if linear 
theory were employed, 
the 

explicit expression 
P=2y’/ 
Jm 
would 
be 
used; 
but, 
if
implicit
have
employed,
shockexpansion
expression
to
be used.
the
theory
involving
were
employed,
as
a
more
M,
complex
would
to
y’,, as well
to
allow
y’ and
In
order
various
form
of
theories
P(y’,
y’,,
M,)
be
particular
functional
the 
trailingedge 
thickness, 
but 
it 
is assumed 
that 
the 
base 
will 
at 
present be unspecified. 
_{T}_{h}_{e} 
_{e}_{q}_{u}_{a}_{t}_{i}_{o}_{n}_{s} 
_{w}_{h}_{i}_{c}_{h} 
_{r}_{e}_{s}_{u}_{l}_{t} 

pressure coefficient 
Pa is known. 
_{T}_{h}_{i}_{s} _{e}_{n}_{a}_{b}_{l}_{e}_{s} 
_{t}_{h}_{e} 
_{o}_{p}_{t}_{i}_{m}_{u}_{m} 
can 
be applied to any of the 
various 
theories 
by 
substituting 

trailingedge 
thickness to 
be calculated as a function of 
PO; 
the 
appropriate 
function 
for 
P. 

hence, experimental 
data on base pressure in twodimensional 
Turning 
now 
to 
the consideration 
of 
auxiliary 
conditions, 

flow 
are required 
in 
order 
to apply 
the theoretical 
results 
of 
it 
is 
clear 
that 
some integral 
expression 
will 
be 
involved, 

the 
analysis 
to a given case. 
since 
the function 
y(x) is not 
known 
beforehand. 
_{I}_{f}_{,} 
_{f}_{o}_{r} 
_{e}_{x}_{} 

From the 
fact 
that the 
surface 
pressures 
on 
the top 
and 
ample, 
the 
airfoil 
is a solidsection structure 
and the moment 

bottom of 
an airfoil 
can 
be calculated independently 
in 
a 
of 
inertia 
is prescribed, 
then 
the particular 
auxiliary 
condi 

supersonic 
flow, 
it 
follows 
that 
at 
zero 
lift 
the 
optimum 
tion 
which 
y(x) 
must satisfy 
in 
addition 
to minimizing 
cd is 

profile will 
be symmetrical 
about 
the chord 
plane. Conse 
that 
the integral 
S Ocy3dx be constant. 
A 
different 
auxiliary 

quently, reference 
is made 
throughout 
to the thickness distri 

bution of only the upper surface 
of an optimum 
profile. 
condition 
would, 
of course, be present investigation is used which 
represented by a 
different 

In 
comparing 
the 
pressure 
drag 
of various 
profiles, 
the 
integral. ized In auxiliary the condition 
a somewhat is represented 
general 

chord length 
is held 
constant, 
and 
the thickness 
distribution 
by 
the 

along 
the 
chord 
is 
varied 
in 
a 
manner which 
is 
arbitrary 
single integral 

except for 
the 
requirement 
of 
satisfying 
the 
particular 
1 S 0 ‘7J” (t/2)” 
dx=constant 
_{(}_{2}_{)} 

auxiliary condition 
being 
considered. 
The 
various 
auxiliary 
I’; 

conditions 
investigated are: a given 
torsional 
stiffness of 
the 

airfoil 
section, a given torsional 
strength, 
a given 
bending 
where 
n and u are constants. 
Thus 
the 
example 
just cited 

stiffness, a 
given 
bending 
strength, 
and 
a given 
thickness 
is a special 
case of the 
above 
integral 
with 
n=3 
and a=O. 

ratio. 
For 
each 
of 
the structural 
conditions 
the 
case of 
a 
TO illustrate 
further, 
the auxiliary condition 
of a given 
section 

thinskin structure 
and a solidsection 
structure is considered 
modulus 
of a solidsection 
airfoil 
is represented 
by 
the special 

since 
the optimum 
airfoil 
profile 
may 
be expected 
to depend 
case n=3 
and 
a=l. The 
corresponding 
solution 
for 
y(x) 

somewhat 
on the 
type of structure. 
_{A}_{t}_{t}_{e}_{n}_{t}_{i}_{o}_{n} 
_{i}_{s} _{f}_{o}_{c}_{u}_{s}_{e}_{d} 
_{o}_{n} 
in 
this 
latter 
case would 
provide 
the 
profile of least 
pressure 

the fact the minimizing that the basic idea 
employed 
in the 
analysis 
involves 
drag 
for a given 
bending 
strength. 

of pressure 
drag for a given 
structural 
require 
Some 
of the different 
structural criteria 
to which 
the gen 
ment;
the same as would
were
the results
maximized
obtained
with
if
this
value
FORMULATION
method
of approach
are
be obtained
for
a given
the structural
of the
OF
drag.2
PROBLEM
characteristic
MATHEMATICAL
The 
pressure 
drag cd of an airfoil 
with a thick trailing 
edge 

is the 
sum of the base drag and the pressure drag 
of the 
sur 
face forward 
of 
the 
trailing 
edge. 
_{L}_{e}_{t}_{t}_{i}_{n}_{g} 

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