These animations were created using a conformal mapping technique called the Joukowski Transformation. A Joukowski airfoil can be thought of as a modified Rankine oval. It assumes inviscid incompressible potential flow (irrotational). Potential flow can account for lift on the airfoil but it cannot account for drag because it does not account for the viscous boundary layer (D’Alembert’s paradox). In these animations, red represents regions of low pressure. The left animation shows what the surrounding fluid looks like when the Kutta condition is applied. Notice that the fluid separates smoothly at the trailing edge of the airfoil and a low pressure region is produced on the upper surface of the wing, resulting in lift. The lift is proportional to the circulation around the airfoil. The right animation shows what the surrounding fluid looks like when there is no circulation around the airfoil (stall). Notice the sharp singularity at the trailing edge of the airfoil.

Here is an animation that shows how the streamlines change when you increase the circulation around the airfoil. (Please note: The background fluid motion in this animation is just for effect and is not accurate!) Here is some Mathematica code to plot the streamlines and pressure using Bernoulli’s equation:

`(* runtime: 13 seconds *)`

U = rho = 1; chord = 4; thk = 0.5; alpha = Pi/9; y0 = 0.2; x0 = -thk/5.2; L = chord/4; a = Sqrt[y0^2 + L^2]; gamma = 4Pi a U Sin[alpha + ArcCos[L/a]];

w[z_, sign_] := Module[{zeta = (z + sign Sqrt[z^2 - 4 L^2])/2}, zeta = (zeta - x0 - I y0)Exp[-I alpha]/Sqrt[(1 - x0)^2 + y0^2]; U(zeta + a^2/zeta) + I gamma Log[zeta]/(2Pi)];

sign[z_] := Sign[Re[z]]If[Abs[Re[z]] < chord/2 && 0 < Im[z] < 2y0(1 - (2Re[z]/chord)^2), -1, 1];w[z_] := w[z, sign[z]]; V[z_] = D[w[z, sign], z] /. sign -> sign[z];

<< Graphics`Master`;

DisplayTogether[DensityPlot[-0.5rho Abs[V[(x + I y)Exp[I alpha]]]^2, {x, -3, 3}, {y, -3, 3}, PlotPoints -> 275, Mesh -> False, Frame -> False, ColorFunction -> (If[# == 1, Hue[0, 0, 0], Hue[(5# - 1)/6]] &)],ContourPlot[Im[w[(x + I y)Exp[I alpha]]], {x, -3, 3}, {y, -3, 3}, Contours -> Table[x^3 + 0.0208, {x, -2, 2, 0.1}], PlotPoints -> 100, ContourShading -> False], AspectRatio -> Automatic];

#### Links

- Joukowski Animation – nice animation showing how the fluid moves
- Joukowski Airfoil – nice Java applet by NASA
- Nikolai Joukowski – used this technique to find the lift on an airfoil in 1906, long before modern computers

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