Generalized multi-point inverse airfoil design

Michael S. Selig, Mark D. Maughmer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In a rather general sense, inverse airfoil design can be taken to mean the problem of specifying a desired set of airfoil characteristics, such as the airfoil maximum thickness ratio, pitching moment, part of the velocity distribution or boundary-layer development, etc., then from this information determine the corresponding airfoil shape. This paper presents a method which approaches the design problem from this perspective. In particular, the airfoil is divided into segments along which, together with the design conditions, either the velocity distribution or boundary-layer development may be prescribed. In addition to these local desired distributions, single parameters like the airfoil thickness can be specified. The problem of finding the airfoil shape is determined by coupling an incompressible, inviscid, inverse airfoil design method with a direct integral boundary-layer analysis method and solving the resulting nonlinear equations via a multi-dimensional Newton iteration technique. The approach is fast and easily allows for interactive design. It is also flexible and could be adapted to solving compressible, inverse airfoil design problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes
Event9th Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 1991 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Sep 23 1991Sep 25 1991


Other9th Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 1991
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Generalized multi-point inverse airfoil design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this