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B Turning an airfoil around

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  1. Jun 13, 2016 #1
    Hi was trying to figure out what would happen if you reversed the wing of a standard prop plane? for example...the thinner wedge is towards the front. Would you still get lift? I suppose not since there is a reason the rounded/thicker edge is facing towards the front. but why not?
     
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  3. Jun 13, 2016 #2

    A.T.

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    With the right angle of attack, yes. But the flow would be more likely to separate.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2016 #3

    mathman

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    A flat plate can be an airfoil at an angle of attack.
     
  5. Jun 13, 2016 #4

    sophiecentaur

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    There is more to a wing than just to provide Lift. A well designed wing profile provides lift yet it also keeps the Drag low.
     
  6. Jun 13, 2016 #5

    boneh3ad

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    Actually, due to the rounded side being in the back, you may or may not generate lift (or at least very little) depending on where separation occurs.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2016 #6

    fresh_42

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    Vintage aircrafts can easily fly on their back. And on youtube I saw a test pilot flying a barrel roll with a 707.
    Aerodynamics of aircrafts are a rather complicated issue.
     
  8. Jun 13, 2016 #7

    David Lewis

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    A sharp leading edge (LE) can work at very low Reynold's numbers. Dr. Michael Selig tested the LRN1007 airfoil and it performed well.

    There are airfoils with a sharp LE and blunt trailing edge (TE), e.g. X-15, but they're designed for supersonic operation. Subsonic airfoils have a tapered trailing edge that comes to a sharp point in order to avoid a turbulent wake and associated bluff body drag.
     

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  9. Jun 14, 2016 #8

    boneh3ad

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    That's not why typical subsonic airfoils come to a point (or at least not the primary reason). See, for example, flatback airfoils commonly found on wind turbines. It's primary purpose is actually setting the rear stagnation point so that a net circulation can develop around the airfoil and lift can be generated. Any reduction in the turbulence of the wake is a bonus.
     
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