Effect of camber on the aerodynamics of adaptive-wing micro air vehicles

W. Null, S. Shkarayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Four microair vehicle wind-tunnel models were built with 3, 6, 9, and 12% camber, all based upon the S5010-TOP24C-REF thin, cambered-plate airfoil. These models were tested in the Low Speed Wind Tunnel at angles of attack ranging from 0 to 35 deg and velocities of 5, 7.5, and 10 m/s, corresponding to mean aerodynamic chord Reynolds numbers of 5 × 104, 7.5 × 104, and 1 × 105, respectively. Aerodynamic coefficients CL, CD, CM and lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) were obtained and plotted vs angle of attack for all of the cambers at each velocity. Large positive, nose-up pitching moment coefficients were found with all cambers at the lowest Reynolds number. These results have been verified with flight tests of micro air vehicles utilizing these airfoils. The 3% camber wing gives the best lift-to-drag ratio of the four cambers and theoretically would be the optimal choice for high-speed, efficient flight. It is theorized that the 6 and 9% camber wings will give the best low-speed performance because of their high lift-to-drag ratios and mild pitching moments near their stall angles of attack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1542
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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