Aerospace Engineering Department
BS in Aerospace Engineering
A linear strength vortex panel method was developed to predict the Cp and Cl for a lifting two element airfoil. The linear strength vortex panel method was first validated against thin airfoil theory and experimental data for a single NACA 2412 airfoil. At 2 degrees angle of attack, the linear strength vortex panel method predicted a Cl of about 0.49. Experimental data and thin airfoil theory gave Cl estimations of 0.45 and 0.22 respectively. The Matlab code was then modified to accept a two element airfoil. The two key modifications were the separation of the two different sets of wing element panels and the subsequent addition of a second Kutta condition. The linear strength vortex panel method was then used to determine the Cl and Cp distribution of a two element wing. The two element wing of study was the rear wing airfoil used on the 2008 Formula SAE car. Using a reference length of 1.43 and an angle of attack of 2 degrees, the panel method predicted a Cl of 3.98. Improved results can be obtained by using more panels or better geometry resolution around the leading edge and the gap between the two wing elements.