1996-02-01

Cambered Airfoil in Ground Effect - An Experimental and Computational Study 960909

A critical aspect of the performance of the front wing of a Formula One or Indy race car is studied by idealizing it as a negatively cambered two-dimensional airfoil operating in ground effect and determining the fiowfield at various heights. When the airfoil operates at heights roughly equal to the airfoil thickness, significant negative lift is generated. As the height is decreased, there is an expected downforce reduction.
The primary objective of this work is to elucidate the force reduction phenomena for the specific case of an inverted NACA 4412 airfoil traveling at high Reynolds number above ground in still air. This is the road condition. The secondary objective is to compare and contrast the fiowfield about this airfoil in road conditions and when operating in the wind tunnel environment, i.e. when the airfoil and the ground are not moving relative to each other.

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