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Technical Paper

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.
Technical Paper

Overview of ACSYNT for Light Aircraft Design

The focus of the 5 year long ACSYNT Institute has been to greatly increase the capability of the aircraft synthesis computer program, ACSYNT. The key improvements have followed from the advanced geometric modeling and display technology of current workstations. The higher fidelity model enables more accurate and general aerodynamic propulsion and weight computations with less reliance on regression methods and estimations. This paper focuses on the improvements that can enhance the state of the art in general aviation aircraft synthesis.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Tailoring of the Learjet Model 60 Wing

The wing of the Learjet Model 60 was tailored for improved aerodynamic characteristics using the TRANAIR transonic full-potential CFD code. A root leading edge glove and wing tip fairing were shaped to reduce shock strength, improve cruise drag and extend the buffet limit. The aerodynamic design was validated by wind tunnel test and flight test data.
Technical Paper

NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing Project: Generation N+3 Technology Portfolio

Commercial aviation relies almost entirely on subsonic fixed wing aircraft to constantly move people and goods from one place to another across the globe. While air travel is an effective means of transportation providing an unmatched combination of speed and range, future subsonic aircraft must improve substantially to meet efficiency and environmental targets. The NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing (SFW) Project addresses the comprehensive challenge of enabling revolutionary energy-efficiency improvements in subsonic transport aircraft combined with dramatic reductions in harmful emissions and perceived noise to facilitate sustained growth of the air transportation system. Advanced technologies, and the development of unconventional aircraft systems, offer the potential to achieve these improvements.
Technical Paper

Development of Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap for Performance Adaptive Aeroelastic Wing

This paper summarizes the recent development of an adaptive aeroelastic wing shaping control technology called variable camber continuous trailing edge flap (VCCTEF). As wing flexibility increases, aeroelastic interactions with aerodynamic forces and moments become an increasingly important consideration in aircraft design and aerodynamic performance. Furthermore, aeroelastic interactions with flight dynamics can result in issues with vehicle stability and control. The initial VCCTEF concept was developed in 2010 by NASA under a NASA Innovation Fund study entitled “Elastically Shaped Future Air Vehicle Concept,” which showed that highly flexible wing aerodynamic surfaces can be elastically shaped in-flight by active control of wing twist and bending deflection in order to optimize the spanwise lift distribution for drag reduction. A collaboration between NASA and Boeing Research & Technology was subsequently funded by NASA from 2012 to 2014 to further develop the VCCTEF concept.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Analysis of the Elytron 2S Experimental Tiltwing Aircraft

The Elytron 2S is a prototype aircraft concept to allow VTOL capabilities together with fixed wing aircraft performance. It has a box wing design with a centrally mounted tilt-wing supporting two rotors. This paper explores the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft using computational fluid dynamics in hover and low speed forward flight, as well as analyzing the unique control system in place for hover. The results are then used to build an input set for NASA Design and Analysis if Rotorcraft software allowing trim and flight stability and control estimations to be made with SIMPLI-FLYD.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Drag Reduction of the Underbody of a Class-8 Tractor-Trailer

Experimental measurements of a 1:20-scale tractor-trailer configuration were obtained in the 48- by 32-Inch Subsonic Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center. The model included significant details of the underbody geometries of both the tractor and trailer. In addition, the tractor included a flow-through grill and a simplified engine block to provide an approximation of the flow through the engine compartment. The experiment was conducted at a Reynolds Number of 430,000 for yaw angles between ±14 deg. The measurements included forces and moments and static surface pressures for various underbody configurations. Simple fairings on the underbodies of the tractor and trailer both yielded a reduction in the wind-averaged drag coefficient of 0.018 (2.7%) when tested separately. A horizontal plate designed to block vertical flow in the tractor-trailer gap provided marginally higher drag reduction (0.021, or 3.2%).
Technical Paper

Detailed Experimental Results of Drag-Reduction Concepts on a Generic Tractor-Trailer

The 1/8-scale Generic Conventional Model was studied experimentally in two wind tunnels at NASA Ames Research Center. The investigation was conducted at a Mach number of 0.15 over a Reynolds number range from 1 to 6 million. The experimental measurements included total and component forces and moments, surface pressures, and 3-D particle image velocimetry. Two configurations (trailer base flaps and skirts) were compared to a baseline representative of a modern tractor aero package. Details of each configuration provide insight into the complex flow field and the resulting drag reduction was found to be sensitive to Reynolds number.
Technical Paper

DOE's Effort to Reduce Truck Aerodynamic Drag Through Joint Experiments and Computations

At 70 miles per hour, overcoming aerodynamic drag represents about 65% of the total energy expenditure for a typical heavy truck vehicle. The goal of this US Department of Energy supported consortium is to establish a clear understanding of the drag producing flow phenomena. This is being accomplished through joint experiments and computations, leading to the intelligent design of drag reducing devices. This paper will describe our objective and approach, provide an overview of our efforts and accomplishments related to drag reduction devices, and offer a brief discussion of our future direction.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Drag of Heavy Vehicles (Class 7-8): Simulation and Benchmarking

This paper describes research and development for reducing the aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles by demonstrating new approaches for the numerical simulation and analysis of aerodynamic flow. Experimental validation of new computational fluid dynamics methods are also an important part of this approach. Experiments on a model of an integrated tractor-trailer are underway at NASA Ames Research Center and the University of Southern California (USC). Companion computer simulations are being performed by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) using state-of-the-art techniques.
Technical Paper

Progress in Reducing Aerodynamic Drag for Higher Efficiency of Heavy Duty Trucks (Class 7-8)

This paper describes research and development for reducing the aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles by demonstrating new approaches for the numerical simulation and analysis of aerodynamic flow. In addition, greater use of newly developed computational tools holds promise for reducing the number of prototype tests, for cutting manufacturing costs, and for reducing overall time to market. Experimental verification and validation of new computational fluid dynamics methods are also an important part of this approach. Experiments on a model of an integrated tractor-trailer are underway at NASA Ames Research Center and the University of Southern California. Companion computer simulations are being performed by Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and California Institute of Technology using state-of- the-art techniques, with the intention of implementing more complex methods in the future.
Technical Paper

Force and Moment Measurements with Pressure-Sensitive Paint

The desire to provide integrated surface pressures for aerodynamic loads measurements has been a driving force behind the development of pressure-sensitive paint (PSP). To demonstrate the suitability of PSP for this purpose, it is not sufficient to simply show that PSP is accurate as compared to pressure taps. PSP errors due to misregistration or temperature sensitivity may be high near model edges, where pressure taps are rarely installed. Thus, PSP results will appear good compared to the taps, but will yield inaccurate results when integrated. A more stringent technique is to compare integrated PSP data over the entire model surface with balance and/or CFD results. This paper describes a simple integration method for PSP data and presents comparisons of balance and PSP results for three experiments. PSP is shown quite accurate for normal force measurements, but less effective at determining axial force and moments.
Journal Article

Time-Varying Loads of Co-Axial Rotor Blade Crossings

The blade crossing event of a coaxial counter-rotating rotor is a potential source of noise and impulsive blade loads. Blade crossings occur many times during each rotor revolution. In previous research by the authors, this phenomenon was analyzed by simulating two airfoils passing each other at specified speeds and vertical separation distances, using the compressible Navier-Stokes solver OVERFLOW. The simulations explored mutual aerodynamic interactions associated with thickness, circulation, and compressibility effects. Results revealed the complex nature of the aerodynamic impulses generated by upper/lower airfoil interactions. In this paper, the coaxial rotor system is simulated using two trains of airfoils, vertically offset, and traveling in opposite directions. The simulation represents multiple blade crossings in a rotor revolution by specifying horizontal distances between each airfoil in the train based on the circumferential distance between blade tips.