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Evolution of Airfoils for Sailplanes

Horstmann, K.H. and Boermans, L.M.M. (2003) Evolution of Airfoils for Sailplanes. AIAA/ICAS International Air & Space Symposium and Exposition, Dayton (usa), 14.-17.07.2003.

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About 110 years ago O. Lilienthal built his gliders with cambered plate wings which were stiffened out by a plenty of strut wires. Analysis of this type of airfoils show their narrow range of angles of attack and their rapid loss of lift at stall conditions. The development of the thick airfoils of the Göttingen series led to the construction of the Vampyr with a strut free wing and a torsion leading edge box. The quality of the surface and the maximum thickness close to the leading edge did not allow reasonable extent of laminar flow. The big advantages of laminar flow airfoils have been discovered in the late thirties and have been systematically investigated by the NACA. But only the combination of an airfoil designed for laminar flow and the excellent surface quality of a sandwich construction of glass fibre reinforced plastics and solid foam made the big success of laminar airfoils for sailplanes possible. This is shown by way of the example of the Ka 6 and the Phönix. Examples of typical airfoils demonstrate further developments: Airfoils without and with flaps; problem of laminar separation bubbles, use of destabilisation zones and use of turbulators. An attempt to assess future possibilities for performance improvements of sailplanes closed the paper.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/12797/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=2004,
Title:Evolution of Airfoils for Sailplanes
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Boermans, L.M.M.Delft University of Technology, NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Event Title:AIAA/ICAS International Air & Space Symposium and Exposition, Dayton (usa), 14.-17.07.2003
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Aircraft Research (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AR - Aircraft Research
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Flight Physics (old)
Location: Köln-Porz , Braunschweig , Göttingen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology
Deposited By: Grant, Claudia
Deposited On:31 Jan 2006
Last Modified:14 Jan 2010 19:30

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