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This page contains an interactive Java applet to explore the various factors which affect the lift and drag of an airfoil. All of the information presented by the applet are available within the Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics. You should start with the slide describing the factors that affect lift and the factors that affect drag.

This is a special, undergraduate, on-line version of the FoilSim III Java applet. If you are an experienced FoilSimU user, you can use the sleek version which does not contain the following instructions and loads faster on your computer.

FoilSimU III includes all of the options of the original FoilSim III plus some additional input and output panels. These panels are made available so that you can study the details of the conformal mapping used in the Kutta-Joukowski analysis. In the analysis, flow around a cylinder is mapped into flow around an airfoil. Using the Input Push Buttons on the Control Panel, you can display a generating plane input panel. The panel contains four input variables which control the size and location of the generating cylinder relative to the poles of the transformation, and the strength of the point vortex which is embedded in the airfoil. According to the Kutta condition of the analysis, the strength of the vortex is set to bring the aft stagnation point to the trailing edge. With this version of FoilSim III, you can turn the Kutta condition off by using the Analysis input panel to study the effect. A graph of the flow in the generating cylinder plane is also available using the Plot Selection input panel. A technical paper describing the details of this method is also available.

You can download your own copy of the undergraduate program by clicking on this yellow button:

Button to Download a Copy of the Program


Button to Display Aerodynamics Index
Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics
Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics


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Editor: Nancy Hall
NASA Official: Nancy Hall
Last Updated: May 13 2021

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