Modeling a wing mast sail in heliciel Introducing the mecaflux software suite: Wings or foils modeling in heliciel Aerial propeller modeling in heliciel Boat propeller modeling in heliciel Ventilation propeller modeling in heliciel Wind turbine propeller modeling in heliciel Tidal turbine modeling in heliciel Kaplan propeller modeling in heliciel
Hydrofoil wings and sails
drag and lift wing or blade elements losses at the wing or blade tips

Understand and master design of Hydrofoil wings and sails:

The objective here is to remember the basics needed to construction of a wing a hydrofoil or a propeller.(propeller can be considered as a rotary wing).We will not make, for the moment, any difference between a wing and a foil because, apart cavitation , the methode is the same.
Understand what is happening on the wing and flying, has took few centuries to humanity...and it will take some time to do it with less energy than birds.Move an anvil on 10 meters with a 10 megaton firecracker is impressive but a little expensive.


The genie is to fly the heavier object possible with the least possible energy. The concept of transport speed is important because take ten days to 10 meters, even an oyster can do it.


Wing of quality will be one that allows us to bring the desired load at the desired speed, by applying the minimum force. To estimate the quality (efficiency) of our wing , we compare the force that it produces(The Lift) and the force that it consumes(The Drag), to the desired operating speed. efficiency =lift/drag ratio
The tests in wind tunnels or pools (numerical or experimental) give us performance coefficients (no units) that will be the the basic data for the calculation of the forces on the wings propeller blades and foils:
These coefficients are given for a wing of infinite length, this means that losses and turbulent phenomena are not taken into account. To distinguish the performance of an infinite wing (2 dimensions taken into account) , from performance of a wing of finite length (three dimensions taken into account), we talk about 2D performance for a wing of infinite length, and performance 3D for wing of finite and known length.
  • The formula for the lift: Lift(2D)(en Newtons)=
    CL X Wing area(m²) X Fluid density(Kg/m3) X ( fluid velocity²(m/sec) / 2).
  • for the drag is the same but with the CD:Drag(2D)(en Newtons)=
    CD X Wing area(m²) X Fluid density(Kg/m3) X ( fluid velocity²(m/sec)/2)
Observe that the drag forces and lift increases with the square of the speed.
The drag and lift of a propeller in the software HELICIEL

trainée et portance sur une pale d'hélice


The Wing or Blade elements:

A wing could very well be defined by a single profile of constant width, but to answer the constraints of mechanical resistance and to obtain optimum performance, the actual shapes are generally more complex. To analyze and understand what is happening on a wing or propeller blade , it is convenient to cut it into slices, starting from the base to the tip, the shape of the sections are the profiles.The profiles describe the sectional forms of our blade. A portion flanked by two profiles is un an element of the blade or wing.
the elements and profiles of the blade

propeller blades elements

The profiles known performance that surround an item, allow us to calculate the drag and lift of the element. This method of blade elements analysis allows the calculation of propellers.This calculation using 2D performance profiles requires some corrections to take account of the length of the blade or wing which is the third dimension: It is important to reiterate that the calculated drag and lift with cd and cl are theoretical values, not taking into account some losses.. Ideal wing or a blade which would not have leak, would have an efficiency equal to its 2D performance of profiles. these these drag and lift theoretical, measured in wind tunnels or calculated by numerical methods, are nominated performance 2D (2 dimensions) or "performance wing of infinite span." 2D, because it does not take into account the phenomena of the third dimension: the length of the blade or wing.
Lift resulting from the difference in pressure between the top and bottom of the wing. But the pressure differential generates leaks , because more fluid wants to get to the other side by the shortest path it finds! The shortest path is the tip of the wing or blade..

la zone de surpression et la zonne de dépression d'une aile provoque le contournement et les pertes en bout de pale

photo d'un avion montarnt le contournement et les pertes en bout d'ailes

A high aspect ratio is a lift distributed on a large surface therefore a difference of pressure between lower and upper surfaces not giving too much to the fluid the desire to get to the other side

Calculate the performance of a wing considering tip vortices and tip losses requires knowing the impact these vortices on the profiles 2D performance. This can be done by calculating the deviation of the fluid induced by the vortices. Calculating the speeds induced by the vortices, we can correct angles perceived by profiles and infer the performance of the wing of finite span (3D).The calculations of these speeds is achieved by the induced vortex theory that describes the relation between the lift and the vortices. To learn more:Theory wing of finite span based on the method of distribution of vortices.
Example of the influence of the shape and aspect ratio: vortices and wingtip loss of 4 wings of shapes and different aspect ratio, shown schematically in software Heliciel

Rectangular wing length of 2 meters Aspect ratio = 4 ratio (Lift / Drag) =16

Rectangular wing length of 9 meters Aspect ratio = 18 ratio (Lift / Drag) =32

Triangular wing length of 2 meters. Aspect ratio = 5 ratio (Lift / Drag) =19. Triangular wing length of 9 meters. Aspect ratio = 33 ratio (Lift / Drag) =36
A device reduces the blade tip leakage by placing a barrier:

les ailes de cet avion sont étudiées pour un rendement optimum car elles ont un fort allogement, un retrecissement en bout d'aile cocentre la portance loin du bout de pale et les winglets font barriere aux perte des contournement en bout de pale

You now know the basic principles that will allow you to guide your choices when you choose your wing or blade geometry settings in HELICIEL software :

In the tab dimensions blade or wing a series of sliders allows to model the shape of your blade or wing in all its dimensions..

heliciel software interface with the ability to shape the wing or propeller blade with a series of sliders


We now turn to a specific phenomenon hydrofoils and marine propellers: Cavitation

If you wish to learn more: