Airfoils for Tailless Airplanes: Design and Selection

Airplane Types and Moment Coefficient
Moment Coefficient and Airfoil Shape
Reflex and Moment Coefficient
Reflex and Lift & Drag
Location of Camber and Moment Coefficient
Dangers everywhere
Velocity Distribution and Boundary Layer
Airfoil Design for Light Tailless Airplanes


Depending on the type of tailless airplane, stability requirements lead to different criteria for airfoil selection. For most tailless planes, airfoils with low moment coefficients yield the best performance. Low moment coefficients and high lift coefficients can be achieved by using reflexed camber lines, but the corresponding velocity distributions are sensitive to low Reynolds numbers, and may result in problems with stall behavior. The best compromise for light, tailless airplanes seems to be a moderately reflexed camber line, combined with the maximum camber shifted towards the leading edge and a rather blunt nose. Together with a smooth velocity distribution, a soft stalling character can be achieved. Concerning the stall characteristics, the airfoil plays an important role, but only in conjunction with the spanwise lift distribution, which is a result of the wing planform and the spanwise twist distribution. Swept and tapered wings tend to have a higher loading near the wing tip, which causes the tip to stall first, if no additional twist is used.

Airfoil Design for Light Tailless Airplanes

Last modification of this page: 21.05.18

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