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## MAE 3241: AERODYNAMICS AND

FLIGHT MECHANICS
Introduction to Lifting Line Theory

April 11, 2011

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
Florida Institute of Technology

D. R. Kirk
2
NECESSARY TOOL
General treatment accomplished with Biot-Savart Law
3
4
r
r dl
dV
I
=
t
Electromechanical Analogy:
Think of vortex filament as a wire carrying an electrical current I
The magnetic field strength, dB, induced at point P by segment dl is:
3
4
r
r dl I
dB

=
t

3
EXAMPLE APPLICATIONS
h
V
t 4
I
=
h
V
t 2
I
=
Case 1: Biot-Savart Law applied between
Case 2: Biot-Savart Law applied between fixed point A and
3
4
r
r dl
dV
I
=
t
Case 1
Case 2
4
BIOT-SAVART LAW
5
EXAMPLE APPLICATIONS
Case 1:
6
HELMHOLTZS VORTEX THEOREMS
1. The strength of a vortex filament is constant along its length
2. A vortex filament cannot end in a fluid; it must extend to boundaries of fluid
(which can be ) or form a closed path
Note: Statement that vortex lines do not end in the fluid is kinematic, due to
definition of vorticity, e, (or in Anderson) and totally general

We will use Helmholtzs vortex theorems for calculation of lift distribution which
will provide expressions for induced drag
L=L(y)=

I(y)
7
CONSEQUENCE: ENGINE INLET VORTEX
8
CHAPTER 4: AIRFOIL
Each is a vortex line
One each vortex line I
1
=constant
Strength can vary from line to line
Along airfoil, =(s)

Integrations done:
Trailing edge
z/c
x/c
Side view
Entire airfoil has I
I
1
I
4 I
7
9
CHAPTER 5: WINGS
10
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Replace finite wing (span = b) with bound vortex filament extending from y = -b/2
to y = b/2 and origin located at center of bound vortex (center of wing)

Helmholtzs vorticity theorem: A vortex filament cannot end in a fluid
Filament continues as two free vorticies trailing from wing tips to infinity
This is called a Horseshoe Vortex
11
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Trailing vorticies induce velocity along bound vortex with both contributions in
downward direction (w is in negative z-direction)
( )
( )
2
2
2
4
2
4
2
4
4
y
b
b
y w
y
b
y
b
y w
h
V

|
.
|

\
|
I
=
|
.
|

\
|

I

|
.
|

\
|
+
I
=
I
=
t
t t
t
Contribution from left trailing vortex
(trailing from b/2)
Contribution from right trailing vortex
(trailing from b/2)
This has problems: It does not simulate downwash distribution of a real finite wing
Problem is that as y b/2, w
Physical basis for solution: Finite wing is not represented by uniform single bound
vortex filament, but rather has a distribution of I(y)
12
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Represent wing by a large number of horseshoe vorticies, each with different
length of bound vortex, but with all bound vorticies coincident along a single line
This line is called the Lifting Line
Circulation, I, varies along line of bound vorticies
Also have a series of trailing vorticies distributed over span
Strength of each trailing vortex = change in circulation along lifting line

We need a way to let I=I(y)
13
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Example shown here will use 3 horseshoe vorticies

dI
1
14
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
dI
1
dI
2
15
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
dI
1
dI
2
dI
3
16
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Represent wing by a large number of horseshoe vorticies, each with different
length of bound vortex, but with all bound vorticies coincident along a single line
This line is called the Lifting Line
Circulation, I, varies along line of bound vorticies
Also have a series of trailing vorticies distributed over span
Strength of each trailing vortex = change in circulation along lifting line

Example shown here uses 3 horseshoe vorticies
Consider infinite number of horseshoe vorticies superimposed on lifting line
dI
1
dI
2
dI
3
17
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Infinite number of horseshoe vorticies superimposed along lifting line
Now have a continuous distribution such that I = I(y), at origin I = I
0
Trailing vorticies are now a continuous vortex sheet (parallel to V

)
Total strength integrated across sheet of wing is zero

18
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Consider arbitrary location y
0
along lifting line
Segment dx will induce velocity at y
0
given by Biot-Savart law
Velocity dw at y
0
induced by semi-infinite trailing vortex at y is:
Circulation at y is I(y)
Change in circulation over dy is dI = (dI/dy)dy
Strength of trailing vortex at y = dI along lifting line
( ) y y
dy
dy
d
dw

|
|
.
|

\
| I
=
0
4t
19
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE THEORY
Total velocity w induced at y
0
by entire trailing vortex sheet can be found by
integrating from b/2 to b/2:

( )
( )
}

|
|
.
|

\
| I
=
2
2
0
0
4
1
b
b
dy
y y
dy
d
y w
t
Equation gives value of
downwash at y
0
due to
all trailing vorticies
20
SUMMARY SO FAR
Weve done a lot of theory so far, what have we accomplished?

We have replaced a finite wing with a mathematical model
We did same thing with a 2-D airfoil
Mathematical model is called a Lifting Line
Circulation I(y) varies continuously along lifting line
Obtained an expression for downwash, w, below the lifting line

We want is an expression so we can calculate I(y) for finite wing (WHY?)
Calculate Lift, L (Kutta-Joukowski theorem)
Calculate C
L
Calculate o
eff
Calculate Induced Drag, C
D,i
(drag due to lift)
21
FINITE WING DOWNWASH
Recall: Wing tip vortices induce a downward component of air velocity near wing
by dragging surrounding air with them
( )
}

|
|
.
|

\
| I
=
2
2
0
0
4
1
b
b
i
dy
y y
dy
d
V
y
t
o
o
i
( )
( )
( )
( )

~
|
|
.
|

\
|

=
V
y w
y
V
y w
y
i
i
0
0
0
1
0
tan
o
o
Equation for induced angle of attack
along finite wing in terms of I(y)
22
EFFECTIVE ANGLE OF ATTACK, o
eff
, EXPRESSION
( )
( ) | | ( ) | |
( ) ( )
( )
( )
( ) | |
( )
( )
0
0
0
0 0
0
0
0 0
2
0 0 0 0 0
0
2
2
2
1
2
=

= =
+
I
=
=
I
=
I = =
'
= =
=
L eff
L eff l
l
l
L eff L eff l
eff eff
y c V
y
y c
y c V
y
c
y V c y c V L
y y a c
y
o
t
o
o o t

o o t o o
o o
o
eff
seen locally by airfoil
Recall lift coefficient
expression (Ref, EQ: 4.60)
a
0
= lift slope = 2t

Definition of lift coefficient
and Kutta-Joukowski

Related both expressions

Solve for o
eff
23
COMBINE RESULTS FOR GOVERNING EQUATION
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
}
}

=

|
|
.
|

\
| I
+ +
I
=
+ =

|
|
.
|

\
| I
=
+
I
=
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
4
1
4
1
b
b
L
i eff
b
b
i
L eff
dy
y y
dy
d
V y c V
y
y
dy
y y
dy
d
V
y
y c V
y
t
o
t
o
o o o
t
o
o
t
o
Effective angle of attack
(from previous slide)

Induced angle of attack
(from two slides back)

Geometric angle of attack = Effective angle of attack + Induced angle of attack
24
PRANDTLS LIFTING LINE EQUATION
Fundamental Equation of Prandtls Lifting Line Theory
In Words: Geometric angle of attack is equal to sum of effective angle of
attack plus induced angle of attack
Mathematically: o = o
eff
+ o
i

Only unknown is I(y)
V

, c, o, o
L=0
are known for a finite wing of given design at a given a
Solution gives I(y
0
), where b/2 y0 b/2 along span
( )
( )
( )
}

=

|
|
.
|

\
| I
+ +
I
=
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
4
1
b
b
L
dy
y y
dy
d
V y c V
y
y
t
o
t
o
25
WHAT DO WE GET OUT OF THIS EQUATION?
1. Lift distribution

2. Total Lift and Lift Coefficient

3. Induced Drag
( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( )dy y y
S V S q
D
C
dy y y V dy y y L D
L D
dy y
S V S q
L
C
dy y V L
dy y L L
y V y L
b
b
i
i
i D
i
b
b
i
b
b
i
i i i
b
b
L
b
b
b
b
}
} }
}
}
}

I = =
I = ' = '
' ~ '
I = =
I =
' =
I = '
2
2
,
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
0 0
2
2
o
o o
o

26
ELLIPTICAL LIFT DISTRIBUTION
For a wing with same airfoil shape across span and no twist, an elliptical
lift distribution is characteristic of an elliptical wing planform
AR
C
C
AR
C
L
i D
L
i
t
t
o
2
,
=
=
27
SPECIAL SOLUTION:
ELLIPTICAL LIFT DISTRIBUTION

Points to Note:
1. At origin (y=0) I=I
0
2. Circulation varies elliptically with distance y along span
3. At wing tips I(-b/2)=I(b/2)=0
Circulation and Lift 0 at wing tips
( )
( )
2
0
2
0
2
1
2
1
|
.
|

\
|
I =
'
|
.
|

\
|
I = I

b
y
V y L
b
y
y

28
SPECIAL SOLUTION:
ELLIPTICAL LIFT DISTRIBUTION
Elliptic distribution

Equation for downwash

Coordinate transformation u

See reference for integral
( )
( )
( )
( )

I
= =
I
=

I
=
= =

|
|
.
|

\
|

I
=

I
=
I
}
}
bV V
w
b
w
d
b
w
d
b
dy
b
y
dy
y y
b
y
y
b
y w
b
y
y
b dy
d
i
b
b
2
2
cos cos
cos
2
sin
2
; cos
2
4
1
4
1
4
0
0
0
0 0
0
0
2
2
0
2
1
2
2
2
0
0
2
2
2
0
o
u
u
u u
u
t
u
u u u
t
t
Downwash is constant over span for an elliptical lift distribution

Induced angle of attack is constant along span
Note: w and o
i
0 as b
29
SPECIAL SOLUTION:
ELLIPTICAL LIFT DISTRIBUTION
( )
AR
C
C
dy y
S V
C
AR
C
S
b
AR
b
SC
b
V dy
b
y
V L
L
i D
b
b
i
i D
L
i
L
i
b
b
t
o
t
o
t
o
t
2
,
2
2
,
2
2
0
2
2
2
1
2
2
0
2
4
4
1
=
I =
=

=
I =
|
|
.
|

\
|
I =
}
}

C
D,i
is directly proportional to square of C
L
Also called Drag due to Lift
We can develop a more
useful expression for o
i

Combine L definition for elliptic
profile with previous result for o
i

Define AR because it
occurs frequently

Useful expression for o
i

Calculate C
D,i
30
SUMMARY: TOTAL DRAG ON SUBSONIC WING
eAR
C
c
S q
D
c C
D D D
D D D D
L
profile d
i
profile d D
induced profile
induced pressure friction
t
2
, ,
+ = + =
+ =
+ + =

## Also called drag due to lift

Profile Drag
Profile Drag coefficient
relatively constant with
M

at subsonic speeds

Look up
(Infinite Wing)

May be calculated from
Inviscid theory:
Lifting line theory
31
SUMMARY
Induced drag is price you pay for generation of lift

C
D,i
proportional to C
L
2
Airplane on take-off or landing, induced drag major component
Significant at cruise (15-25% of total drag)

C
D,i
inversely proportional to AR

Desire high AR to reduce induced drag
Compromise between structures and aerodynamics
AR important tool as designer (more control than span efficiency, e)

For an elliptic lift distribution, chord must vary elliptically along span
Wing planform is elliptical
Elliptical lift distribution gives good approximation for arbitrary finite wing
through use of span efficiency factor, e
32
WHAT IS NEXT?
Lots of theory in these slides Reinforce ideas with relevant examples

We have considered special case of elliptic lift distribution

Next step: develop expression for general lift distribution for arbitrary wing shape
How to calculate span efficiency factor, e
Further implications of AR and wing taper
Swept wings and delta wings
New A380:
Wing is tapered and swept