I watched a youtube video about a propeller-driven bicycle and it brought me back to my university days of designing propellers. In college, we used NACA airfoils and used the publically available data on them to design the propellers. For this project, they used a sheet metal propeller, so I tried to do some back of a napkin computing on what might be the most efficient sheet metal propeller. For my initial guesswork, I used data for a NACA 0006 airfoil since it was the thinnest airfoil I could find data on. However, it has no camber, and I'm not sure how well it would simulate curved sheet metal.

Is there any publically available data on sheet metal airfoils? Or any good formulas for approximating the Cl & Cd of various sheet metal profiles for various angles of attack and Reynold's numbers?

  • $\begingroup$ Airfoil data is airfoil data. Why does the material matter if it's sheet metal? Are you perhaps actually asking for thin, membrane, or plate airfoils? $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Ever made paper planes? Sheet at an angle to flow can create lift. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ for approximation of custom geometry, xfoil isn't bad. it's publically available software and can generate what you need for an angle of attack. just be aware that not everything will converge and you may need to tweak based on your understanding of the boundary layer. $\endgroup$
    – Abel
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 13:36


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