A note on the Kutta condition in Glauert's solution of the thin aerofoil problem

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Glauert's classical solution of the thin aerofoil problem (a coordinate transformation, and splitting the solution into a sum of a singular part and an assumed regular part written as a Fourier sine series) is usually presented in textbooks on aerodynamics without a great deal of attention being paid to the rôle of the Kutta condition. Sometimes the solution is merely stated, apparently satisfying the Kutta condition automatically. Quite often, however, it is misleadingly suggested that it is by the choice of a sine series that the Kutta condition is satisfied. It is shown here that if Glauert's approach is interpreted in the context of generalised functions, (1) the whole solution, i.e. both the singular part and any non-Kutta condition solution, can be written as a sine-series, and (2) it is really the coordinate transformation which compels the Kutta condition to be satisfied, as it enhances the edge singularities from integrable to non-integrable, and so sifts out solutions not normally representable by a Fourier series. Furthermore, the present method provides a very direct way to construct other, more singular solutions. A practical consequence is that (at least, in principle) in numerical solutions based on Glauert's method, more is needed for the Kutta condition than a sine series expansion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Engineering Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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