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Aeronautics and Astronautics

Wing Aerodynamics P2 SESA2022 Laboratory


Original version by
(first created September 2014)

Wing Aerodynamics Laboratory (P1)

Modified on October 16, 2019

The report will be marked out of 100 and it counts for 15% of your module mark.

This handout contains all the necessary details of the work you are expected to do. Please read the theory
sections and allow sufficient time. The report should cover both the Infinite-Span Wing Experiment and the
Finite-Span Wing Experiment and should be no longer than 8 pages including appendices and references
(minimum font size 11 of any san-serif font such as Helvetica/Arial and use single-line spacing). Do not
include a separate title page. Just the name and Student ID number is sufficient.

A 5% reduction in mark will be enforced for each page over the limit.

The deadline is near the end of the semester because some of the concepts relevant to this lab will be
discussed in the lectures. The relevant lectures are scheduled from end of October to end of November.
However, limitations with timetable requires us to run the lab from end of October to middle of November.
Therefore, some of you will do this lab concurrently with the lectures and others will do the lab just after
the material is covered in the lectures. In order to ensure that everyone gets similar technical information
before submission of the report, we have scheduled the submission deadline at the end of the semester.
The information from the lectures will enable you to write the discussion sections of the report where you are
expected to link the experimental data to the theory. This means the submission of the report is anywhere
between three to six weeks from the date of your lab (depends on your group). Therefore, there is plenty of
time for all groups to complete the reports. However, you are highly encouraged (expected) to complete major
parts of your report such as creating figures, writing the introduction, methods and results sections within one
week of your lab.



This is a checklist for the information you need to have before you leave the lab.

1. The dimensions of the wind tunnel 

2. Details on the manometer and the force transducers 
3. Details of the aerofoil (chord length, span width, diferent angles of attack etc) 
4. The freestream speed of the wind tunnel at which the experiment is carried out 
5. The angles of attack that were used for your experiment (typically: 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 degrees) 
6. Pressure distribution information at one angle of attack for infinite wing (α = 6◦ ) 
7. Lift, drag and moment information from the force transducers for all angles of attack 

LE Leading edge
TE Trailing edge
AoA Angle of attack (◦ )
α Geometric AoA (◦ )
α0 Zero-lift AoA (◦ )
β Flap AoA (◦ )
γ Physical AoA (◦ )
φ Manometer’s inclination angle to the vertical (◦ )
Cp Coefficient of pressure
p0 Stagnation pressure/Total head (Pa)
ps Static pressure (Pa)
p∞ Upstream static pressure (Pa)
q∞ Upstream dynamic pressure (Pa)
u∞ Upstream velocity (m/s)
ρ Air density= 1.2041 kg/m3 - dry air at 20◦ C and standard atmospheric pressure (kg/m3 )
ρH2 O Water density 1000kg/m3 (kg/m3 )
CL Coefficient of lift
Cl Sectional coefficient of lift
CD Coefficient of drag (derived from force)
Cd Sectional coefficient of drag
L Lift force (N)
l Lift per unit span (N/m)
D Drag force (N)
d Drag per unit span (N/m)
N Normal force (N)
T Tangential force (N)
Re Reynolds number
c Wing chord (m)
F Force (N)
R Reaction force (N)
M Moment (Nm)
S Wing span=1.54 m (m)
S0 Distance between the sensor’s Coordinates System and the wing = 0.25 m
h Multi-manometer reading (cm)
ν Air’s kinematic viscosity 15.11 × 10−6 m2 /s (m2 /2)
M Mach number
SG f luid Multi-manometer’s fluid specific gravity 0.787


Theoretical Considerations
This section will provide you with the theoretical aspects required to understand the two experiments con-
sidered in the P2 - Wind Tunnel Laboratory: Infinite-Span Wing Experiment and Finite-Span Wing Experiment.
The main objective of these experiments is to give you an insight into the fundamental differences between
two dimensional flow dynamics and three dimensional flow dynamics. You are required to submit a full report,
which will have a 10% contribution to your overall module mark.
First, we must define the operating environment and the operating conditions mainly to be able to create
and assess the applicability of the assumptions framework. The operating environment is a low speed wind
tunnel, closed loop, with 7 by 5 feet (i.e. 2.13 m by 1.52 m ) cross section. The average temperature is 20◦ C
and the ambient pressure can be assumed as the standard sea level pressure. The operating conditions are
represented by the wind tunnel’s speed (20 m/s which is approximately Mach 0.06). There are two applicable
assumptions that will be described separately: inviscid flow and incompressible flow. These two assumptions
will greatly simplify our theoretical model.

Inviscid flow
There are no truly inviscid flows in nature as the phenomena of friction (viscosity), mass diffusion and
thermal conduction always occur at a molecular level to a certain degree. However, in many engineering ap-
plications, these transport phenomena are mostly negligible, especially for high and finite Reynolds numbers
flows. Therefore, the flow can be separated into two regions: the inviscid region and the viscous region. In
the case of an aerofoil mounted in a flow at a low angle of attack, the viscous region is small and represented
by the thin viscous boundary layer neighbouring the surface of the aerofoil. The inviscid region is repre-
sented by all the flow outside the boundary layer. Given a wing chord c = 0.3m, an upstream flow velocity
u = 20m/s and a kinematic viscosity ν = 15.11 × 10−6 m2 /s (Re = u×c
ν ), how well is this assumption
holding? Also, can the flow still be considered inviscid when the aerofoil is at high angles of attack
at which separation occurs and hence a large wake is formed downstream? [1].

Incompressible flow
An incompressible flow is defined as a flow for which the working fluid density ρ is constant. There are,
of course, more advanced definitions of what compressibility is which link to thermodynamic considerations,
but a good approximation is that all flows for which Mach number (M) is less than 0.3, can be considered
incompressible. Hence, what are your comments regarding the applicability of the incompressibility
assumption for the current case?

Bernoulli’s Equation
Using the assumptions of the inviscid and the incompressible flow, Bernoulli’s equation becomes applica-
ble. The equation is:
p + ρu2 = const. (1)
Thus for an incompressible, inviscid flow, the static and dynamic pressures add up to a constant along stream-

Irrotational flow
If we consider an infinitesimal fluid element moving through the flow field, we can describe its orientation
as a combination of both translation and rotation. Additionally, the fluid element may also change its shape,
but this change can also be considered a combination of translation and rotation. The case on the right of
Figure 1 shows on the upper streamline a fluid element where the angular velocities of its sides are zero,
hence the flow is irrotational. The lower streamline of the case on the right shows a two dimensional fluid
element where the angular velocities of the two intersecting sides are finite, but equal and opposite to each
other and so their sum is identically zero; hence the flow is irrotational as well. How well is this assumption
holding for the current case? Explain only from a qualitative point of view. [1]

Figure 1: Rotational and irrotational flow comparison.

If besides inviscid and incompressible, the flow is also irrotational, the value of the constant from Equation
1 is the same between all streamlines. Applying Bernoulli’s equation far upstream:
p∞ + ρu2∞ = p0 (2)
where p0 is defined as the stagnation pressure and the subscript ∞ refers to the upstream conditions.

Pressure coefficient
The static pressures and velocities around the aerofoil differ from their upstream values. Assuming that
there is a negligible variation of static pressure through the thin boundary layers on the surface of the aerofoil,
Bernoulli’s equation can be applied to relate the surface static pressure ps to the upstream conditions:
1 1
p0 = ps + ρu2 = p∞ + ρu2∞ (3)
2 2
where u is the velocity just outside the boundary layer. By defining the surface pressure coefficient, C p in the
usual way, from Equation 3:
ps − p∞ ps − p∞
Cp = 1
= (4)
2 ρu∞
p0 − p∞
Hence, the coefficient of pressure can be determined from the two pressure differences.
The experimental setup is fitted with a number of pressure tappings on both the top and bottom surfaces
and on both the main aerofoil and flap section which are connected to a multi-manometer; this will allow
measuring the static pressures at points around the aerofoil. A standard pitot-static probe is mounted on the
side of the test section to read the stagnation pressure. The coefficients of pressure around the aerofoil can
be determined using these readings.

Force considerations
Assume an aerofoil at a geometric angle of attack α, relative to the flow with the flap at an angle β, relative
to the aerofoil.

Figure 2: Wing dimensions diagram and force considerations across the wing section.

The objective now is to determine the lift and drag coefficients using the readings provided by the pressure
tappings. First, consider an element of unit span and length ∆s on the surface of the aerofoil (i.e. left small
purple line) which is tilted by θ with respect to the aerofoil’s axis (i.e. red line). The normal net force to
this element is, under the aforementioned assumptions, ps ∆s which in the XY Cartesian coordinate system
defined by the aerofoil has the following components:

∆Na = ±ps cos(θ)∆s = ±ps ∆x

∆Ta = ±ps sin(θ)∆s = ±ps ∆y
The + elements represent the ones which create a force component in positive Y or X direction and −
elements represent the ones that create a force component in negative Y or X direction. For the elements lo-
cated on the flap, the net force acting in the XY Cartesian coordinate system will be defined slightly differently
due to the fact that the elements are all tilted by the flap angle β (see Figure 2).

∆N f = ±ps cos(β ± θ)∆s = ±ps [cos(β) cos(θ) ∓ sin(β) sin(θ)] ∆s

∆T f = ±ps sin(β ± θ)∆s = ±ps [sin(β) cos(θ) ± cos(β) sin(θ)] ∆s
The value of the normal force (N) is the integration of all ∆N across the surface of the entire wing. Since in the
current case the size of ∆s is not infinitesimal and has a finite determinable value, the integration becomes
a summation of the normal force across the upper and lower surfaces of both the aerofoil and its flap. The
same applies to the tangential force. Hence:

N = ∑ ∆Na + ∑ ∆N f + ∑ ∆Na + ∑ ∆N f
up up low low
T = ∑ ∆Ta + ∑ ∆T f + ∑ ∆Ta + ∑ ∆T f
up up low low
where N is the normal force per unit span and T is the tangential force per unit span, both relative to the
XY Coordinate system belonging to the aerofoil. Furthermore, the normal force and the tangential force

coefficients can be defined as:

N x
CN = 1 2 = C p d
2 ρu∞ c C c
T y
CT = 1 2 = C p d
2 ρu∞ c C c
Here ρ is the air density, u∞ is the upstream wind velocity and c is the wing chord. However, the coefficients
of lift and drag are determined in the XY Coordinate system of the flow direction and not in that of the aerofoil.
CL = CN cos(α) −CT sin(α)
CD = CN sin(α) +CT cos(α)

Thin aerofoil theory

The objective of this brief section is to refresh assumptions under which this theory is applicable and also,
to refresh some of its consequences. Requirements:

1. As the name states, the maximum aerofoil thickness must be small compared to the chord length - the
maximum thickness of the wing is approximately 35.64 mm and the chord is 300 mm.
2. The theory is restricted to low angles of attack.
3. The flow must be both inviscid and incompressible.
4. The flow must be two-dimensional.

Given the current experimental conditions, how applicable are these assumptions?
This theory predicts the following key points for aerofoils which respect the aforementioned requirements:

1. Lift coefficient is directly proportional with AoA and the proportionality parameter is 2π (i.e. dCL
dα = 2π).
2. On a symmetric aerofoil - no camber - the centre of pressure is located at the quarter-chord behind LE.
3. For any aerofoil - with or without camber - the aerodynamic centre is located at the quarter-chord behind

Numerically, the coefficient of lift of an aerofoil within the assumptions of thin aerofoil theory is:
CL = CL0 + α = CL0 + 2πα = 2π(α − α0 ) (10)

where CL0 represents the coefficient of lift at zero incidence (i.e. α = 0) and α represents the geometric
AoA. Since between the coefficient of lift and AoA is a linear relationship, intuitively, CL0 represents the added
effect of the camber and camber alone on the coefficient of lift. For a symmetric aerofoil (which is the case of
the aerofoil for β = 0 flap angle), the value of CL0 is 0. Furthermore, the value of CL0 can be either positive
or negative, depending on a positive or negative camber, respectively. You are required to compare the
experimental results with the theoretical expectations of the thin aerofoil theory.
To provide a more comprehensive image of this theory, keep in mind the fact that you may find in some books
that the AoA in Equation 10 is referenced relative to the zero-lift angle (i.e. α0 ), instead of a geometric AoA;
this is just an alternative way of representing the effects of the camber.

Experiment: Infinite Wing

The objective of this experiment is to examine the pressure distribution around an aerofoil of effectively
infinite span, in order to show the effects of incidence changes and to determine the lift of the aerofoil. The
pressure tappings data is to be compared with direct measurements taken using a 6-axis sensor. Please
make sure that you have followed and understood the theoretical background outlined before continuing.

The aerofoil spans the wind tunnel’s working section, thus ideally generating a two-dimensional flow.
Around the aerofoil, a number of pressure tappings are fitted - small diameter holes (1 mm), drilled through
the carbon fibre surface and attached to pressure tubes - along a plane tilted by 15 degrees to the horizontal
plane and located as close as possible to the middle section of the wind tunnel to ensure a fully developed 2D
flow. These pressure tappings enable the surface static pressure ps to be measured at various stations. Each
pressure tube is connected to a pressure transducer. The dynamic pressure, q∞ = 21 ρu2∞ , can be obtained
from the pressure difference, p0 − p∞ , using Equation 3. The pressure coefficients at various points on the
aerofoil are found using Equation 4.
On an unswept aerofoil (i.e. the LE is perpendicular to the incoming flow) like the one used in this ex-
periment, a stagnation point is located near the leading edge. In the case of a symmetrical aerofoil with no
camber (i.e. β = 0 case), the stagnation point is located at the leading edge, at α = 0◦ AoA. Recall that
C p = +1 at a stagnation point in inviscid, low-speed flow.

Lift and Drag estimations: Method 1 (using pressure distribution)

Using the manometer’s readings measured during the lab session, calculate the pressure coefficient and
plot its value against the location (the coordinates of the location are given in the excel spreadsheet
that is available on blackboard). Once the fields are populated, you should have plots similar to the ones
provided in Figure 3(a)and 3(b). These plots provide you with the graphical representation which is necessary
to determine the coefficients of lift and drag.
Referencing back to Equations 8, we are now able to determine the normal (CN ) and tangential (CT ) force
coefficients relative to the wing, by integrating the pressure coefficient. You should write a Python code to do
this. You can also use an Excel function to do the contour integration automatically.
Alternately, you can use a laborious method of counting the squares in the plots, since the area inside the
plots represents the contour integration of the coefficient of pressure along the aerofoil.
CN = Cp d = (Square no.) × (x − axis minor step) × (y − axis minor step)
IC c
y (11)
CT = C p d = |(Square no.)| × (x − axis minor step) × (y − axis minor step)
C c
From Figure 3(a) the number of positive squares is 854, while the number of negative squares is 121. The
minor step of the y-axis is 0.04 and the minor step of the x-axis is 0.01, hence:
CN = Cp d = (854 − 121) × 0.01 × 0.04 = 0.2932 (12)
C c
Similarly, from Figure 3(b), the number of positive squares is 226, while the number of negative squares is
123. The minor step of the y-axis is 0.004 and the minor step of the x-axis is 0.04. The tangential coefficient

(a) Normal pressure distribution along the aerofoil

(b) Tangential pressure distribution along the aerofoil

Figure 3: Normal and tangential pressure distribution along the aerofoil at 4◦ AoA and -5◦ flap angle

is hence:
I y
CT = Cp d = |(226 − 123)| × 0.004 × 0.04 = 0.0197 (13)
C c
Using the Equations 9, the coefficient of lift can be determined using the current AoA (i.e. in this case α = 4◦
and β = −5◦ ) hence:

CL = CN cos(α) −CT sin(α) = 0.2932 cos(4) − 0.0197 sin(4) = 0.291


Lift and Drag estimation from force/moment transducer

The experimental setup you are provided with allows measurement of both forces and moments. Before
continuing further with the analysis, you will have to refresh the notions of beam theory.
A fixed sensor relative to the holding mount is placed on the upper side of the experimental setup. Re-
membering that the lift is defined as being perpendicular to the flow direction, the force and moment diagram
from Figure 4 a) can be produced, where S0 is the distance from the sensor to the wing (i.e. 0.25 m), S is
the total wing span (i.e. 1.45 m), Fy is the force measured by the sensor in the Y direction relative to both
the chosen XY Cartesian system and the sensor’s coordinate system, Mx is the moment measured by the

Figure 4: Force and moment diagram for the Infinite-Span Wing Setup.

sensor relative to the X axis, Ry is the reaction force from the lower mounting plate and l is the lift per unit
span (N/m). In beam theory terminology, this beam system is called a fixed end - simply supported end with
distributed load configuration.
First, in Y direction all forces must balance altogether:

OY : l × S − Fy − Ry = 0 ⇒ Ry = l × S − Fy (15)

Second, all moments relative to O must balance altogether (positive clockwise):

Ml − Mx − Ry × (S + S0 ) = 0 (16)

where Ml is the moment due to the distributed load:

Z S+S0
Ml = l × s × ds = × S × (S + 2S0 ) (17)
S0 2
Therefore, from Equations 15, 16 and 17:
Fy (S + S0 ) − Mx
l= S2
[N/m] (18)

Using the same considerations as above, but this time for the X direction, as in Figure 4 b), the distributed
drag (drag per unit span) can be determined using the equation:
Fx (S + S0 ) − My
d= S2
[N/m] (19)
where S0 is the distance from the sensor to the wing (i.e. 0.25 m), S is the total wing span (i.e. 1.45 m), Fx
is the force measured by the sensor in the X direction relative to both the chosen XY Cartesian system and
sensor’s coordinate system, My is the moment measured by the sensor relative to the Y axis and d is the lift
per unit span (N/m). Try and follow the derivation by yourselves.
Coefficient of lift:
Cl = 1 2
2 ρu∞ c
Coefficient of drag:
Cd = 1 2
2 ρu∞ c

Experiment: Finite Wing

The main objective is to determine the force and the moment characteristics of a finite wing with a
NACA0012 aerofoil profile with a 33% chord plain flap and an aspect ratio of 2.5 and compare these re-
sults with the ones from the Infinite-Span Wing Experiment.

You are provided with the experimental setup represented in Figure 5. Compared to the Infinite-Span Wing
Experiment, you are not required to model the system. The readings provided by the sensor do not require
any processing. Please have a look at the diagrams and make sure you understand the reasoning.
In OY and OX directions:
Li f t = Fy [N]
Drag = Fx [N]
Coefficients of lift and drag:

Li f t
CL = 1 2 S
2 ρu∞ 2 c
CD = 1 2 S
2 ρu∞ 2 c
Experimental methodology:
1. Set the angle of the flap to a value between -10◦ and 10◦ (This value will be given to you by the
demonstrator and you need this information).
2. The upstream velocity is 20 m/s
3. Using the geometric AoA as the main AoA, the wing is positioned at AoA between 0◦ and +16◦
4. Acquire lift, drag and pitching moment data at each position.
5. During the experiment observe the flow patterns indicated by the tufts attached to the wing surfaces.

Figure 5: Force and moment diagram for the Finite-Span Wing Setup.

Report - Marking Scheme

This report covers data obtained in Infinite-Span Wing Experiment, Finite-Span Wing Experiment as well as
CFD lab and the boundary layer lab. The CFD lab is used to compare the pressure distribution to the infinite-
span wing experiment. The boundary-layer lab results are used to verify the zero-lift drag measurements
in the finite-wing experiments. Therefore, this lab should be viewed as a holistic report that assesses the
content of 3 different labs.
The report should be no longer than 8 pages including appendices and references (minimum font size
11 of any san-serif font such as Helvetica/Arial and use single-line spacing). Do not include a separate title
page. Just the name and Student ID number is sufficient. The report should be well-structured and present
information with high-quality figures, appropriate text for description/discussion and suitable references. The
presentation of the report will carry 15% of the marks. Please follow the style of this handout to structure
your report (including references). Your report should contain at least the following sections (nominal marks
for specific things to be addressed in the sections are included within parentheses):

1. Introduction - This section should introduce the purpose of the report and the motivation for carrying
out the experiment and CFD. This introduction should also discuss the various theories involved. (5%)
2. Experimental and CFD methods - This section should consist of details of the experiment. This
include a description of the wind tunnel, airfoil, the equipment used to measure pressure and forces
and the conditions under which the experiments were carried out (freestream speed, angle of attack
etc). Discuss the uncertainty is making force and pressure measurements. The section should also
include an overview of the CFD including details of the mesh and conditions (10%)
3. Results & Discussion - This section needs to be split in two subsections. One for the infinite wing and
the second for finite wing.

Infinite wing: This subsection should contain results obtained in the infinite wing part of
the experiment as well as some results from the CFD lab.
(a) First plot the lift coefficient based on the data from the force transducer against angle of attack
and calculate the lift curve slope. Also plot the lift coefficient computed at one angle of attack in
your CFD lab in the same plot. Compare the CFD to the experiments and to the theoretical values
that can be obtained using thin airfoil theory (discuss similarities and differences) (10%)
(b) Find the lift coefficient for α = 0 and comment on its significance. What do you expect to happen
to this value for different angles of the flap? (10%)
(c) Plot the pressure distribution (in non-dimensional form, i.e. -C p ) for an angle of attack (for α = 6◦ )
from the experimental data. Also plot the CFD data for α = 6◦ in the same figure as experimental
data. Comment on the reasons for similarities and differences between CFD and experiments
(d) Integrate the area under these curves from CFD and experimental data for 6◦ to produce a lift
coefficient as explained in the handout and in the lab. Compare this against the lift coefficient from
force transducer measurements. If there are differences, comment on the nature and causes of
these differences. Attribute the differences to potential sources of uncertainties. (10%)
Finite wing: This subsection should show the results from finite wing part.
(e) Plot the Lift coefficient (CL ) against geometric angle of attack. Compare the lift curve slope ob-
tained to the slope in the infinite wing case and comment on the similarities/differences. (10%)
(f) Plot the drag coefficient (CD ) versus CL2 and use this plot to calculate the no-lift drag coefficient
(CD,0 ) for the finite wing. Relate the value obtained to the skin-friction coefficient obtained in the
boundary layer lab. If you assume that the wing is a flat plate of length c and that you have a
turbulent boundary layer for the entire length, then the drag of the plate can be estimated by just
knowing the momentum thickness (θ) at length L from the leading-edge. The Drag force per unit
span D0 = ρU∞2 θ. Use the velocity profile of a turbulent boundary layer from the boundary layer lab
experiment to determine the value of θ. Note that in the boundary layer lab, you did measurements
at length that roughly corresponds to the chord length of the wing at a freestream speed that is
also comparable (therefore, the Reynolds number is very similar in the two experiments). So, the
skin-friction drag estimated from boundary layer lab for a plate is comparable to skin-friction drag
per unit span of the wing. You can also look up this information in a textbook and cite your source.
(g) Plot the glide ratio (CL /CD ) versus CL and compare to the theory for the best glide ratio that can
be achieved using this wing (see lecture slides). (10%)

4. Conclusions (including references) - Write the major conclusions and the outcomes of this lab.

The mark distribution is only indicative. The major points mentioned in the description above is a statement
of minimum expectation. Of course, the nature in which the data is presented, the quality of the discussion
and level of understanding demonstrated as well as the clarity of the report will all play a significant role in
the final mark given to the report.

• Can I write the report in first person?
No. Use passive voice to write the report. The report is not just about your experience but reporting
scientific facts.
• What referencing style should I use?
This is not critical. In the handout, I use Harvard (Author-year) style referencing. You can use the same.
• The marking scheme mentions discussing theory in the introduction, does this mean we should
talk in depth about the theory used to calculate results and explain equations here, or is it simply
a brief mention of the theory that will be used, and then go into more detail in the discussion
You need to clearly mention the theory in the introduction, reference the the sources for where you ob-
tained this theory and clearly state the assumptions. You can then discuss the differences /similarities
in the experimental data compared to theory in the results section.
• How do I integrate the pressure to get lift?
Ideally, you should write a python code to do this. You have done this in last year’s Computing mod-
ule where you did numerical integration to find area under a curve. Alternately, you can use excel
spreadsheets or box-counting. This is explained in the lab handout.
• In my lab, we did not do angle of attack of 6 degrees due to an error. What do I compare the
CFD to?
Please compare the angle of attack that you have with the results in CFD. What we want is for you to
compare the lift obtained by pressure integration in both CFD and experiments. The angle might not
be the same, but, the outcome from the integration and the interpretations for both cases is of interest
for the report.
• I have checked my calculation but the value I get does not conform to theory. What do I do?
Check your calculations again and talk to a few of your colleagues to ensure that they get similar
erroneous results. If the result is always incorrect, then identify where an error might have occurred
in the measurement to explain the results. Discuss this source of uncertainty as a possible reason for
your differences.
• What are the major sources of experimental uncertainty?
There are at least 3 types of uncertainties that you need to consider:
– Measurement uncertainty: This includes the uncertainty in the data that you collected and is
typically limited to 1) The resolution of the force transducer in terms of getting the forces (This
value is ±0.02N for the different axes), and, 2) The resolution of the pressure in the monometer.
This is the smallest height difference you can measure and this will correspond to a certain value
of pressure. These errors could lead to uncertainties in the values you infer such as lift curve
slope, comparison of transducer data to pressure integration data etc.
– Setup uncertainty: This is an error in the setup and this could be systematic of random. For
example, you might think that the angle of attack is 5 degrees but in reality it might be 7 or 3
degrees. This will lead to an overestimation of underestimation of error. Alternately, there might
be a small twist in the wing and this could lead to stalled wing sometimes while you are not

expecting stall. These setup uncertainties could lead to different experimental values but the
expectations or comparisons to CFD can be different.
– Uncertainty in data analysis: There are uncertainties in the analysis of the data. For example, the
numerical integration that you will use to compute the area under the curve will have errors. There
are also errors in when you best fit a straight line through a cluster of points. These uncertainties
also contribute to the differences between theory and data.
You will need to find the most important source of uncertainty from the above-mentioned list in order
and discuss this when you are trying to ascertain the reasons for the differences between theory and

[1] J. D. Anderson. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, Fourth Edition, 2007.

[2] E. Houghton and P. Carpenter. Aerodynamics for Engineering Students, Fifth Edition, 2003.