Effect of the Wing Airfoil Shape on the Aerodynamics and Performance of a Jet-Trainer Aircraft – An Optimization Approach
One key factor in developing the performance of military aircraft are its aerodynamic characteristics and performance. This research presents the effect of different wing airfoil shapes on the aerodynamic characteristics and performance of the popular jet trainer aircraft L-39C. The aerodynamic data of different airfoil shapes were used to determine the aerodynamic characteristics and performance of the L-39C for different airfoil shapes in an effort to optimize the aircrafts aerodynamic and performance. NACA 64A012 airfoil is currently used on the L-39C, however, there exist many airfoils that may have potential. In this study, the following airfoils are selected NACA 4412, NACA 2415, NACA 64212 and NACA 64215. Each of these airfoil influences the characteristics of the aircraft and hence its performance. The International Standard Atmosphere was used in this study for calculations at different altitude. For each airfoil, the aircraft performance in terms of thrust required, power required, rate of climb, etc. at different altitudes and airspeed are calculated and analysed. The airfoil data were calculated at horizontal cruising flight with angle of attack at 0o to reduce the variables that can affect the calculations. The results of the calculation and analysis showed that NACA 4412 has significant results in terms of aerodynamic characteristics although in terms of aerodynamic performance, the NACA 64A012 and NACA 4412 showed to require lower thrust required and power required. NACA 4412 also showed better results in terms of aerodynamic characteristics compared to the others although NACA 64A012 show some variance in the results. NACA 4412 and NACA 64A212 has shown to be promising in aerodynamic characteristics and performance where one has its own benefits over the other. Although in the end, NACA 4412 may be recommended for its aerodynamic characteristics and performance but require compromise for its performance.