Supercritical Airfoil Coordinates
I'm learning how to use a CFD program and I would like to test a supercritical airfoil to compare with
classic airfoils. The problem is that I can't find the coordinates of a supercritical shape. Could you
please help me?
As we have explained previously, an airfoil is a special shape that defines the
cross-section of a wing or other lifting body. This shape promotes the generation of a lower pressure on the upper
surface than on the lower surface, and the difference between these pressures
creates lift. Many classes of airfoils exist, some of which are further
described in previous airfoil questions. A supercritical
airfoil, an example of which is illustrated below, is merely a special class of airfoil shapes tailored for use
at speeds near Mach 1.
- question from name withheld
Whitcomb supercritical airfoil
Coordinates for a vast variety of airfoils are available on the internet. By far the most expansive and complete
list that we have come across is the UIUC Airfoil Coordinates Database. The only limitation of this site is that it doesn't always
provide a description of what kind of airfoil a given set of coordinates describes, so additional knowledge is
required on the part of the user.
Nevertheless, a couple of good classic supercritical shapes you might want to investigate include:
Whenever you make use of airfoil coordinates, one of the key characteristics to look for is the order of the points
since many software programs require the coordinates to be ordered a certain way. The UIUC coordinates are ordered
from leading edge to trailing edge along the upper surface and then leading edge to trailing edge along the lower
surface. Depending on the airfoil analysis or CFD program you use, they may need to be reordered. The simplest
way to accomplish this is usually using a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel.
- answer by Jeff Scott, 8 June 2003
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