Investigation of Aerodynamic Improvements using Wing Tip Sails


An aerodynamic analysis was performed to investigate the potential of wing tip sails to increase aerodynamic efficiency. The NASA NLF-02 15 natural laminar flow airfoil was used for the main wing with, lower Reynolds number sections, the Wortman FX63-137 and FXLIII-142K25 being used for the root and tip chords, respectively, of the wing tip sails. By utilizing a momentum integral boundary layer analysis within the panel code PMARC viscous drag was calculated in addition to wing lift. Areas producing reductions in drag were found which surpass that of a wing without wing tip sails. Parameters which were varied to ascertain the effect of wing tip sails were wing tip sail dihedral angle, tip sail incidence angle, and tip sail decalage angle. The greatest dependence was found to be on the dihedral angle of the first sail, the incidence angle of the first and third sail and decalage angle. The greatest improvements in the maximum lift over total drag of 23% at a cruise lift coefficient of 0.4 were found.

Meeting Name

37th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit (1999: Jan. 11-14, Reno, NV)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 1999 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

14 Jan 1999