1981-04-01

Full-Scale Study of the Cooling System Aerodynamics of an Operating Piston Engine Installed in a Light Aircraft Wing Panel 810623

Measurements of the drag and of the nacelle internal pressures on a wing and nacelle that housed a horizontally opposed piston engine were made in the 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel at Ames Research Center. These tests are follow-ons to earlier tests made with the same wing and nacelle but in which the engine was replaced with an electric motor and an adjustable orifice plate. In the initial tests the orifice plate was used to control the rate of cooling-air flow through the nacelle and thereby to simulate a range of gasoline engine types. Good agreement was found between the results of those tests and of the test reported here. Also, the upper and lower plenum pressure and cooling-air flow rate were found to be related by conventional equations used to represent the flow through orifices. Tests were run with three cooling air inlet sizes over a free-stream velocity range from 50 to 150 knots, an angle of attack range from 0° to 10°, and a cowl-flap deflection range from 0° to 30°. The data were analyzed by computing a flow coefficient similar to that used in the analysis of orifices. It was found that all of the flow coefficient values fell within a band that varied linearly with inlet area. The linear mean line through this band provides an estimate of the relationship between cooling-air flow rate and upper plenum pressure over a wide range of test conditions.

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