An investigation into the aerodynamics of wings in ground effect
The aerodynamics of wings in ground effect has been studied using experimental and computational methods. Wind tunnel tests were used to quantify the effect of the ground on the aerodynamic performance of a wing, with the suction surface nearest to the ground. Features of the flowfield around the wing were investigated using Laser Doppler Anemometry and Particle Image Velocimetry to map the wake at the centre of the wing, and the state of the tip vortex. Initially, a single element configuration was used, both under transition free and transition fixed conditions. The application of Gurney flaps was then examined. The experimental study was completed using a double element configuration. The performance is discussed together with the flowfield results. Wind Tunnel testing was performed at a Reynolds number of approximately 0.75x10(6) based on the chord of the double element wing. The application of a computational technique has been examined using a Reynolds averaged Navier Stokes solver. Trends in the aerodynamic performance of a single element aerofoil in ground effect were predicted well using a Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model.