1994-12-01

Two-Dimensional Airfoil in Ground Effect, An Experimental and Computational Study 942509

A critical aspect of the performance of the front wing of a Formula One or Indy race car is studied by idealizing them as a symmetric two-dimensional airfoil operating in ground effect. When such an airfoil operates at heights roughly equal to the airfoil thickness and lower, measurable amounts of negative force are generated. As the height continues to decrease, there is an expected force reversal.
There are two objectives of the study reported in this paper. The first is the adequate verification of the Finite-Analytic Navier-Stokes computational approach by comparing computational results for the case of a stationary airfoil at various heights above ground to experimental results. The second is to elucidate the force reversal phenomena for the specific case of a NACA 0015 airfoil traveling at high Reynolds number above stationary ground in still air by utilizing the validated code.

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