Wings: The Aerodynamics of Lift on Various Wing Designs

The purpose of Cross and Grifka's experiment with wings was to test different wing designs for lift and to determine the best design overall. Cross and Grifka also created a self-designed wing with two bumps on the top to determine if it had any advantages or disadvantages over more traditional wing designs.

To conduct the experiment, Cross and Grifka constructed eight seperate wings made out of balsa wood, each with a different design. They then tested each of these wings in the wind tunnel for lift, changing the variables and factors for each trial. These factors included wing design, angle of attack, wing speed, and vortex generator attachment. Once the experiment was concluded, Cross and Grifka had a total of 144 trials, 18 for each design.

Very little lift was produced at a zero degree angle of attack. The inverse bottom wings, four and eight, generated the most lift. When the vortex generator was attached to each design, the lift was decreased greatly. Also observed was more lift at higher air speeds and higher angles of attack. Overall, Cross and Grifka produced data that was consistent with what they expected and some results that were unexpected as well.

Research Done By:

Jonathon Cross
Warren Mott

Christopher Grifka
Warren Mott