1996-05-01

Aerodynamic Characteristics of Airfoils with Backward-Facing Step Configurations 961297

A computational study of flow developments over airfoils with backward-facing steps is conducted to explore the possibility of enhancing aerodynamic performance of the airfoils by vortex generation. The study focuses on the effects of the separated flow and subsequent vortex formation generated by the step on pressure distributions around two airfoil profiles. Step location and size are varied to determine their effect on lift, drag, and L/D ratio. A discussion of the effects and trends of the various step configurations on airfoil performance is presented along with the results that may serve as a reference for employing a control criteria to optimize airfoil geometries during flight.

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