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Title: Tangential leading edge blowing for flow control on non-slender delta wings
Author: Chard, James
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2018
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In the military arena there is an increase in demand for Low Observable (LO) flight vehicles. This drive for low observability imposes limits on Leading Edge (LE) sweep angles and prohibits the use of a tailplane/fin resulting in unconventional configurations; a typical example of which are Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs). This class of aircraft poses stability and control problems due to the early onset of flow separation. The focus of this project is on the on the use of Tangential Leading Edge Blowing (TLEB) as a means of separation suppression on such vehicles. This project is unique in that the TLEB slot is positioned on the wing lower surface facing the oncoming freestream. Also, the model in this project is representative of the outboard panel of a UCAV wing, a geometry on which TLEB has not been explored in the past. A swept wing model (LE sweep = 47 degrees, AR = 3) was designed. The model has a TLEB nozzle with a slot on the lower surface at approx. 1% yawed chord that spans 0.58 m (approx. 70% LE length). Baseline wing characteristics were obtained with the full slot exposed. The wing showed a variation in pitch between CL = 0 and 0.6 which from oil flow visualisation is believed to be due to laminar separation. At CL = 0.6 there is a positive pitch break which flow visualisation suggests is due to the occurrence of a LE vortex. Sensitivity studies for slot configuration, Re number and transition fixing were carried out. The blowing rates 0.0025, 0.005, 0.025, 0.05 were tested for two slot lengths; one full span (0.58 m) and another third span positioned at the midpoint of the full slot. All blowing rates show some suppression of the LE vortex and therefore reduction in severity of the pitch break at CL = 0.6. High blowing rates produce a negative shift in CM, which CFD suggests is due to a large amount of suction produced on the lower wing surface adjacent to the slot exit. This means the available trim power is less than for the lower blowing rates. Wool tuft results for high blowing rates from the middle slot show an increase in streamwise flow at the TE suggesting TLEB is capable of improving the effectiveness of TE devices. The effectiveness of TLEB at low blowing rates has been shown to be high compared to that found in literature. A 1st order analysis of the impact of TLEB on a full scale system shows realistic options.
Supervisor: Crowther, William ; Smith, Katharine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Leading edge separation ; Delta wing ; UCAV ; Tangential blowing ; Swept wing ; Flow control ; Leading edge blowing ; Fluidic control