A model of an inflatable elastic aerofoil

Yorkston, Adam, Blyth, Mark and Parau, Emilian ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5134-2068 (2021) A model of an inflatable elastic aerofoil. Journal of Engineering Mathematics, 131. ISSN 0022-0833

[thumbnail of Paper_elasticmodel]
PDF (Paper_elasticmodel) - Accepted Version
Download (2MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Published_Version]
PDF (Published_Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (933kB) | Preview


A novel method is presented to calculate the deformation of a simple elastic aerofoil with a view to determining its aerodynamic viability. The aerofoil is modelled as a thin two-dimensional elastic sheet whose ends are joined together to form a corner of prescribed angle, with a simple support included to constrain the shape to resemble that of a classical aerofoil. The weight of the aerofoil is counterbalanced exactly by the lift force due to a circulation set according to the Kutta condition. An iterative process based on a boundary integral method is used to compute the deformation of the aerofoil in response to an inviscid fluid flow, and a range of flow speeds is determined for which the aerofoil maintains an aerodynamic shape. As the flow speed is increased the aerofoil deforms significantly around its trailing edge, resulting in a negative camber and a loss of lift. The loss of lift is ameliorated by increasing the inflation pressure but at the expense of an increase in drag as the aerofoil bulges into a less aerodynamic shape. Boundary layer calculations and nonlinear unsteady viscous simulations are used to analyse the aerodynamic characteristics of the deformed aerofoil in a viscous flow. By tailoring the internal support the viscous boundary layer separation can be delayed and the lift-to-drag ratio of the aerofoil can be substantially increased.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The authors acknowledge the partial support of Royal Society International Exchanges Travel Grant IEC/NSFC/181279.
Uncontrolled Keywords: aerodynamics,boundary-integral method,fluid–structure interaction,mathematics(all),engineering(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2600
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Mathematics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Fluid and Solid Mechanics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2021 00:10
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 02:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/80536
DOI: 10.1007/s10665-021-10184-6

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item