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Numerical Simulation of a Passive Control of the Flow Around an Aerofoil Using a Flexible, Self Adaptive Flaplet

Rosti, M. E., Omidyeganeh, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-4140-2810 & Pinelli, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5564-9032 (2018). Numerical Simulation of a Passive Control of the Flow Around an Aerofoil Using a Flexible, Self Adaptive Flaplet. Flow, Turbulence and Combustion, 100(4), pp. 1111-1143. doi: 10.1007/s10494-018-9914-6


© 2018 The Author(s) Self-activated feathers are used by almost all birds to adapt their wing characteristics to delay stall or to moderate its adverse effects (e.g., during landing or sudden increase in angle of attack due to gusts). Some of the feathers are believed to pop up as a consequence of flow separation and to interact with the flow and produce beneficial modifications of the unsteady vorticity field. The use of self adaptive flaplets in aircrafts, inspired by birds feathers, requires the understanding of the physical mechanisms leading to the mentioned aerodynamic benefits and the determination of the characteristics of optimal flaps including their size, positioning and ideal fabrication material. In this framework, this numerical study is divided in two parts. Firstly, in a simplified scenario, we determine the main characteristics that render a flap mounted on an aerofoil at high angle of attack able to deliver increased lift and improved aerodynamic efficiency, by varying its length, position and its natural frequency. Later on, a detailed direct numerical simulation analysis is used to understand the origin of the aerodynamic benefits introduced by the flaplet movement induced by the interaction with the flow field. The parametric study that has been carried out, reveals that an optimal flap can deliver a mean lift increase of about 20% on a NACA0020 aerofoil at an incidence of 20 o degrees. The results obtained from the direct numerical simulation of the flow field around the aerofoil equipped with the optimal flap at a chord Reynolds number of 2 × 10 4 shows that the flaplet movement is mainly induced by a cyclic passage of a large recirculation bubble on the aerofoil suction side. In turns, when the flap is pushed downward, the induced plane jet displaces the trailing edge vortices further downstream, away from the wing, moderating the downforce generated by those vortices and regularising the shedding cycle that appears to be much more organised when the optimal flaplet configuration is selected.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author(s). This is an open access article.
Publisher Keywords: NACA0020 wing, Passive control, Adaptive flap
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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