Aircraft Aerodynamics

Technical Applications


Aerodynamic efficiency is one of the key parameters that determines the weight and cost of an aircraft. Roughly speaking, an aircraft's range is directly proportional to its aerodynamic efficiency without any increase in fuel usage.


Such fairly-recent aerodynamic technologies as supercritical airfoils and winglets have already provided substantial increases in aerodynamic efficiency over first-generation jet transports, and there are many emerging aerodynamics technologies worthy of development and implementation. One of the most promising, especially for improving efficiency in jet transports, is laminar flow control. Improved aerodynamics is critical to both commercial and military aircraft, including rotary wing aircraft. For commercial aircraft, improved aerodynamics reduces operating costs, thereby making the aircraft more competitive on international markets. It also significantly contributes to the national security by improving efficiency and performance of military aircraft.