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AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum


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A general numerical lifting-line method provides corrections to overcome the singularities inherent in the lifting-line downwash integrals in certain cases. These singularities have previously limited the scope of lifting-line theory to straight wings not in sideslip; in all other cases, more traditional numerical approaches to solving Prandtl's hypothesis fail to grid converge. However, this general numerical lifting-line method grid converges even for swept wings and wings in sideslip. In the current work, we apply the general numerical lifting-line method to any number of wings with arbitrary geometry. We also provide a dimensional derivation of the basic general numerical lifting-line equations and discuss how airfoil section properties can be corrected for sweep. We develop a linearized system of equations and a nonlinear improvement method to solve the general numerical lifting-line equations. Results show that placing the lifting-line on the wing locus of aerodynamic centers, as done by others, may not yield the most accurate results. Comparisons with published data reveal that the general numerical lifting-line method can accurately predict the lift distribution for swept wings.