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Influence of self-adaptive hairy flaps on the stall delay of an airfoil in ramp-up motion

Brücker, C. & Weidner, C. (2014). Influence of self-adaptive hairy flaps on the stall delay of an airfoil in ramp-up motion. Journal of Fluids and Structures, 47, pp. 31-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2014.02.014


It is known in the case of some birds that the coverts on the upper side of their wings pop-up under critical flight conditions such as the landing approach, thus acting like a brake on the spread of flow separation. Taking experimental investigations as its basis, this paper deals with the influence of various configurations of self-adaptable hairy flaplets located on the lower half of the wing and with chord-length c (dense rows of slender elastomeric flaps, L=0.05c, 0.1c, 0.2c) on the flow around an NACA0020 airfoil at low Reynolds number flow (Re=77×103). Flow evolution along the airfoil when in ramp-up motion (α0=0, αs=20°, reduced frequency k=0.12) was measured with and without hairy flaps, with growth in the chord-normal thickness of the separation region above the airfoil investigated in order to determine stall onset time Ts. Whereas small flaps with L=0.05c do not change the overall stall process, it was possible to use configurations with L=0.1c (double-row, triple-row configuration) to delay stall onset Ts by a factor of around 2-4 when compared with the clean airfoil. The motion of the flaps and the flow field were measured simultaneously at high temporal resolution using high-speed PIV. Correlation between flap motion and velocity distribution showed that backflow induced by vortex structures is indeed prevented by the hairy flaps. A significant difference was identified in the shear-layer roll-up process, which was almost regular and locked with the fundamental frequency on the covered airfoil with no signs of non-linear growth over longer periods. By way of contrast, in the case of the clean airfoil the early merging of the shear-layer vortices and a rapid increase in the thickness of the separation region were observed. It is therefore concluded that mode locking is achieved between flap rows with an interspacing of 0.15c-0.2c, while the fundamental shear-layer roll-up wavelength measured (λ0≈0.15c-0.2c) indicates the relevance of flap row arrangement at the specific Reynolds number. Furthermore, interaction between shear-layer vortices and flaps in the row furthest downstream leads to the beneficial modification of the trailing edge flow in a way which increases bound circulation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Separation control; Stall delay; Hairy flaps; Mode locking
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Bruecker_2013_JFS_V4_corrected_final.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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