Comparative computational analysis of airfoil sections for use on sailing craft
Partida, Louis P.
Hobson, Garth V.
Howard, Richard M.
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This thesis represents the results of a comparative analysis of current and proposed airfoil sections for use on sailing craft. The primary goal of this report is to develop a sail replacement that functions with the ease and durability of current sailboat sails, yet offers a marked improvement in overall performance, with minimum penalties of weight and construction complexity. State-of-the-art computational methods are utilized to determine the respective aerodynamic characteristics of a mode of a current windsurfer sail section and models of a proposed semi-rigid wing-sail section. Wing-sails offer the same promise of performance gains that modern airfoils have produced in comparison to early thin airfoils. An investigation into differences and possible benefits of the analyzed sections' aerodynamic loading and stall characteristics is made using fully viscous Navier-Stokes Computational Fluid Dynamic codes. Finally a full three-dimensional wing-sail computational model is constructed to identify further areas where sectional improvements would enhance the overall performance of the lifting shape
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