Which aircraft use NACA 23012

Are NACA wings used in modern aircraft design?

Only three data points: The rear surfaces of the Pilatus PC-12 still use the venerable NACA 0012, although a better alternative (from the Wortmann FX 71 L series) has been suggested. It didn't help that the Wortmann airfoil is used in many small aircraft, more lift and has less drag and a wealth of data: Pilatus (mostly British) engineers were too conservative to use anything newer than a wing profile from the 1920s.

Pilatus PC-12 (image source).

The wing of the Dornier Seastar, designed by a group of senior Dornier engineers in the early 1980s, used the same wings as the venerable Do-17 of the 1930s, namely the NACA 23012. Later flight tests indicated that a leading edge had to be added Slackening on the outer wing, a modification that cost several knots at top speed and would have been completely avoidable with better wings and / or the use of washouts.

Dornier Seastar. Image by Rschider (own work).

The excellent Polish aerobatic glider Swift S-1 does indeed use a 6-digit NACA airfoil, the 641412. As Jerzy Makula explained to me, it provides excellent control over snap roll and spin, and when flying the prototype I was able to control the exit direction from a spin within ± 15 ° with very little practice. Jerzy just took what had worked before.

Fast S-1. Image from TSRL (own work).

In general, small businesses or test aircraft manufacturers sometimes still rely on the NACA series, but generally there are better alternatives. Large companies use bespoke wings supported by computer code that not only model the two-dimensional flow around the isolated wing model, but can also optimize the specific wing section by taking into account the influence of engine nacelles, pylons and fuselage. Well-designed wing roots do not use a single wing profile, but a three-dimensional shape that minimizes interference resistance.

This also applies to glider companies. While Wolf Lemke used his own creations for the early LS series of gliders because of their good looks (and with good success), today's gliders are designed in computer, supported by university departments that enjoy the opportunity to let students work on reality -world designs.

David Richerby

I am still amazed that the German authorities allowed someone to register D-ICKS.


An amusing observation @DavidRicherby, but I doubt it has the same connotation in DE as it does in the US. ;)


This answer gets the check mark because the aircraft mentioned are the newest in all answers (so far). I'm not sure if I would call 1991 "Modern" in 2015, but that could be about as modern as GA planes ...

Peter Kämpf

@ FreeMan: I agree - modern is relative here. The Swift is modern in that it uses fiberglass, but so is the Seastar. In my opinion, however, the Seastar is very old-fashioned as its designers learned their craft in the 1930s and apparently never improved their knowledge later in life. The hull is really a result of studies from the 1920s when heavy, low power engines needed the least amount of water resistance to make the vehicle take off, and at the expense of much less ride comfort. Same goes for the grand piano, which is old-fashioned and obviously well below its potential.