Flap neutral setting for wing-fuselage junction?

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Exian

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Hello!

For my project (15 m racing class glider with electric propulsion) I will use the AH93K131 airfoil.

Like all recent flapped glider airfoils, it was specifically designed so that :
- The bottom surface is continuous with flap slightly up for optimal transition performance. Airfoil coordinates are given with the flap in this position (considered 0°).
- The top surface is continuous with flap slightly down for optimal thermal performance. Flap position is 12° down compared to the above reference position.

My performance estimations are the following for my project :
- With flap at 0°, best L/D is 39 at 126 km/h
- With flap at +12°, lowest sink rate is 0,54 m/s at 80 km/h.
But overall best L/D is obtained with +6° flaps and is 45 at 97 km/h (consistent with other gliders of the same class).

I must now design (and build on the almost completed fuselage) the shape of the wing root fairing but I can’t decide what is the best “neutral” flap position that will be “frozen” in this wing root! Is it 0°? Is it +6°, or something between?

On older flapped airfoils, 0° flap setting gave already the best L/D and you used the airfoil as it was, but it not the case with the new ones....

What are the other big sailplane manufacturers doing? (pictures on internet are never zoomed properly at the interesting spots!).

Opinions of soaring specialists and others are welcomed! AH93K131-15.gif
 

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BoKu

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I think LS6 has it at the -5 (full negative) setting.

I chose the 0 setting.

Edit add: If I was doing it again, I'd probably go with -5.
 
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Hot Wings

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Opinions of soaring specialists and others are welcomed!
I'm one of the "others".

IMHO, and it's just an opinion, I'd probably try to figure out how much time is spent with the flaps at cruise and how much time you spend with it down. Which ever time is the greatest determines the fuselage mate.
 

pictsidhe

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I'm also an other. I concur with Hotwings, set it wherever it will spend the most time.

It's good to see someone with a sensible electric aircraft plan, add electric propulsion to a very low drag airframe...
 

Hot Wings

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Upon further thought my simplistic opinion is further humbled. It may in fact be better to choose the condition where less time is spent.

For example if 60% of the time is spent in thermals but but the thermal mated fuselage profile reduces performance by 70% in cruise it might be better overall to take the lesser percentage performance hit for a longer time and design for cruise - provided time to goal is the desired result rather than simple time aloft.

Just another example of when a seemingly simple problem may not be so simple and why experience is so valuable.;)
 

pictsidhe

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With the design and use uncertainty, I could be tempted to make removeable fairings. If I found they didn't work, swap them...
 

Hot Wings

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With the design and use uncertainty, I could be tempted to make removeable fairings. If I found they didn't work, swap them...
Or make a little "rubber ducky" one that can follow the flap.

But when Boku said he did it one way and would do the opposite next time :cool:
 

Exian

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Thanks for your answers and comments.

What I first had in mind :
When talking about gliders, first thing that comes to mind is best L/D.
So common sense would be to do design for this best L/D.

But thinking about it again and considering most of your comments:
From my gliding experience, you rarely fly at best L/D (~100km/h), you are usually going slower in thermals, and faster between them!

What I am sure is that no one sets the wing root fairing at the "thermaling" position (12° flap down in my case). So the other configuration (0°) is right?

So I will probably go for the 0° position.

Having the fairing follow the flap mouvement seems difficult.
It will not be easy, but if after the flight tests I find that 6° would have been better, I could still modify it. Because of how I built the fuselage and will build the fairing, the part of the fairing next o th flap will be a massive block of dry micro, nothing structural. I can sand it away and make a new one ...

I attached a picture of the current state of my project. Summer vacations will be used to made the surface finish (sanding a lot of dry micro, spray putty and sanding again, gel-coat and lots of wet sanding).
 

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Jay Kempf

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Absolutely gorgeous. Like a fine French wine! :)

Re: wing position. Best L/D. Flows around the root are easier disturbed at high CL and low V. At cruise it will clean up no matter how you arrange the root. I know too late but I just saw this for the first time just now. Amazing.

Questions: what did you do for wing twist and flap/aileron break. Winglets? What is your wing area?
 

Exian

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Absolutely gorgeous. Like a fine French wine! :)

Re: wing position. Best L/D. Flows around the root are easier disturbed at high CL and low V. At cruise it will clean up no matter how you arrange the root. I know too late but I just saw this for the first time just now. Amazing.

Questions: what did you do for wing twist and flap/aileron break. Winglets? What is your wing area?
Thanks!

Wing area is 9,1 m².

Flap and aileron hinges are aligned in a straight line from root to tip.
Simple mixer for aileron/flap, no differential between inboard and outboard flap/aileron panels.

Wing twist is -1,5° at tip, airfoil is rotated around flap/aileron hinge line.
Wing planform is almost elliptical, also using the hinge line as a reference.

Yes, winglets will be fitted but I don't really know how to design them properly, so first iteration will use "generic" values of twist, toe-in, taper ratio... from literature.

To resume, the wing will be quite similar to that of Diana 2, but with standard spar structure inside.
 

Jay Kempf

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All those parameters sound PERFECT. Exactly what I have done on my own design. It think the only difference I have to you is probably gross weight due to large motor and second human and wing area. I am using a slight variation of the same airfoil. The drag bucket numbers through all the flap settings are amazing. What is really amazing about this airfoil is the CM curve through the flap settings. So stable. I've run quite a bit of CFD on this sort of configuration looking at root fillet behavior and overall drag numbers. You should be knocking on 50:1 in thermaling trim.

There are some good papers on winglet design out there.
 

Exian

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My MTOW is limited to 315 kg from the French ultralight regulation (single seater with BRS). Max Cl should be 1,7 considering my wing surface to meet the 65km/h stall speed.
I am probably too optimistic on Cl max (but not to much considering Cl of 1,65 proved in Wind tunnel without full flaps), but we can now have an exemption up to 70km/h stall speed.

My performance estimations are also saying best L/D closer to 50 than the 45 I announced, but I considered some drag penalty of the FES and no laminar flow past the hinge line under the wing (so only 85% c laminarity instead of 95%). But it might be better than expected, who knows?!

Like Diana 2, I reduced wetted area and fuselage cross section (0,74 m x 0,54 m in my case) as much as conveniently possible.
 
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Jay Kempf

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Your AR is 24.75 which I think is near Sparrowhawk. Your CL peak at 1.65 for the 3D wing is going to be tough but you might just overdeploy your flaps. The HP series of gliders (Richard Schreder) used large deflections of flaps up to 90 degrees and no spoilers. Worked well allowing steep approaches.

My design calc currently has just about 10 sq meters and 22+ AR but my MTOW is more like twice yours. I would like to get to CL 1.5 and at or below 60 mph approach speed flapped under power. And I would be happy with anything north of 40:1. So basically the bottom of my speed range is like a large sailplane carrying some water and two people on board. This is all a compromise against scratching away in marginal lift at the expense of having a large cruise speed and the ability to just start the motor and fly away with no safety issues of deploying a self launching retractable motor. I am trying to keep myself to 15M for no reason other than more span is just unwieldy. In fact I am thinking about having wing tips remove or fold to get under 38' span. Still doing drag tweaking of the OML at low and high speeds.
 
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