Test Techniques for STOVL Large-Scale Powered Models
Predicting and testing for hover performance, both in and out of ground effect, and transition performance, from jet- to wing-borne flight and back, for vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) configurations can be a difficult task. Large-scale testing of these configurations can provide for a better representation of the flow physics than small-scale testing. This paper will discuss some of the advantages in testing at large-scale and some test techniques and issues involved with testing large-scale STOVL models. The two premier test facilities for testing large- to full-scale STOVL configurations are the Outdoor Aerodynamic Research Facility (OARF) and the 80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnel of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC). Other items of discussion will include force and moment measurements, jet efflux decay, wall effects, tunnel flow breakdown, strut interference, and flow visualization options.