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High Lift to Drag Ratio for 3D Printed Airfoil for UAV’s: An Experimental and Computational Study

Kushal U.K


Airfoils play a pivotal role in the performance of aerodynamically designed bodies. Lift to Drag ratio is one of the primary parameters based on which the efficiency of airfoil’s are characterized. UAV’s are gaining acceptance around the world for the wide range of operations that can be remotely controlled. The primary objective of current work is to narrow in on an airfoil which is capable of producing high lift to drag ratio with a high aspect ratio at low Reynolds number which in turn helps in reducing the operational cost involved for UAV’s. In order to authenticate the sanctity of the results obtained from computational analysis using XFOIL software package, the experimental results for pressure distribution and L/D ratio obtained for NACA series airfoils (0012 and 6412) from wind tunnel calibrated for the required set of values are compared with the results obtained from XFOIL software package, the comparison made satisfy the convergence criteria. Further, from the critical evaluation of the computational data obtained for various series of airfoils, it is evident that S 7075 (Selig series) airfoils produces maximum L/D ratio at low Reynolds number.  Based upon this critical evaluation, S 7075 series airfoil is narrowed down for 3D Printing and the experiment is carried out for validating results with the computational analysis.


Keywords: Airfoil, lift to drag ratio, UAV, Reynolds number, performance, CFD, 3D printing

Cite this Article

Kushal et al. High Lift to Drag Ratio for 3D Printed Airfoil for UAV’s: An Experimental and Computational Study. Journal of Aerospace Engineering and Technology. 2016; 6(2): 65–70p.

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