In this paper, a novel global optimization algorithm has been developed, which is named as particle swarm optimization combined with particle generator (PSO–PG). In PSO–PG, a PG was introduced to iteratively generate the initial particles for PSO. Based on a series of comparable numerical experiments, it was convinced that the calculation accuracy of the new algorithm as well as its optimization efficiency was greatly improved in comparison with those of the standard PSO. It was also observed that the optimization results obtained from PSO–PG were almost independent of some critical coefficients employed in the algorithm. Additionally, the novel optimization algorithm was adopted in the airfoil optimization. A special fitness function was designed and its elements were carefully selected for the low-velocity airfoil. To testify the accuracy of the optimization method, the comparative experiments were also carried out to illustrate the difference of the aerodynamic performance between the optimized and its initial airfoil.

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