Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Best Airfoil ...

Which NACA airfoil is the best? (for you?) The answer one expects is the shape with the highest lift, lowest drag and most favorable moments. 

Cl vs. Cd for 3 NACA airfoil shapes.
The graph above (lift vs. drag) can give us some hints.

  1. The 63-012 is good (low drag) at low lift requirements.  Perfect for a high performance keel (perhaps low aspect ratio).
  2.  The 0012 is good (low drag) at higher lift than the 63-012.  This would work well for a higher aspect ratio keel or rudder.
  3. The 23012 is good for a wing or hydrofoil. It also had good moment characteristics (not shown on graph).
Still thinking about how to choose the best airfoil shape for your design, please see the following video:

If you have questions about the performance of NACA airfoils and you need to get the coordinates or .DXF file for your designs, then I recommend the VisualFoil NACA software for Windows XP, 7 and 8. 

Thanks for reading.

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