Title: The origin of lift – understanding lift

Authors: Jean-Jacques Chattot

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California Davis, USA

Abstract: In this note, an attempt at giving as simple as possible an explanation for the lift of an airfoil is proposed based on an intuitive use of Newton's law on one hand and the application of the well-established inviscid flow theory of thin airfoils on the other. A thin parabolic cambered plate is chosen as profile at zero incidence because the flow it produces minimises viscous effects and the particle paths along the plate, above and below it, have the same length, thus proving the 'equal transit' explanation to be wrong.

Keywords: flow past profiles; Newton's law; thin airfoil theory; viscous effects; airfoil lift; leading edge adaption; Kutta-Joukowski condition; Reynolds number.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAD.2020.107176

International Journal of Aerodynamics, 2020 Vol.7 No.1, pp.83 - 88

Published online: 06 May 2020 *

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