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Technical Paper

Boundary-Layer Control for Drag Reduction

Although the number of possible applications of boundary-layer control is large, a discussion is given only of those that have received the most attention recently at NASA Langley Research Center to improve airfoil drag characteristics. This research concerns stabilizing the laminar boundary layer through geometric shaping (natural laminar flow, NLF) and active control involving the removal of a portion of the laminar boundary layer (laminar flow control, LFC) either through discrete slots or a perforated surface. At low Reynolds numbers, a combination of shaping and forced transition has been used to achieve the desired run of laminar flow and control of laminar separation. In the design of both natural laminar flow and laminar flow control airfoils and wings, boundary layer stability codes play an important role. A discussion of some recent stability calculations using both incompressible and compressible codes is given.
Technical Paper

Unique Research Challenges for High-Speed Civil Transports

Market growth and technological advances are expected to lead to a new generation of long-range transports that cruise at supersonic or even hypersonic speeds. Current NASA/industry studies will define the market windows in terms of time frame, Mach number, and technology requirements for these aircraft. Initial results indicate that, for the years 2000 to 2020, economically attractive vehicles could have a cruise speed up to Mach 6. The resulting research challenges are unique. They must be met with new technologies that will produce commercially successful and environmentally compatible vehicles where none have existed. Several important areas of research have been identified for the high-speed civil transports. Among these are sonic boom, takeoff noise, thermal management, lightweight structures with long life, unique propulsion concepts, unconventional fuels, and supersonic laminar flow.
Technical Paper

Stability Characteristics of a Conical Aerospace Plane Concept

Wind tunnel investigations were conducted as part of an effort to develop a stability and control database for an aerospace plane concept across a broad range of Mach numbers. The generic conical design used in these studies represents one of a number of concepts being studied for this class of vehicle. The baseline configuration incorporated a 5° cone forebody, a 75.96° delta wing, a 16°leading-edge sweep deployable canard and a centerline vertical tail. Tests were conducted in the following NASA-Langley facilities spanning a Mach range of 0.1 to 6:30- by 60-Foot Tunnel,14- by 22-Foot Subsonic Tunnel, Low Turbulence Pressure Tunnel, National Transonic Facility, Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel, and the 20 Inch Mach 6 Tunnel. Data were collected for a number of model geometry variations and test conditions in each facility. This paper highlights some of the key results of these investigations pertinent to stability considerations about all three axes.
Technical Paper

Low-Speed Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Powered Nasp-Like Configuration in Ground Effect

An investigation was conducted in the Langley 14- By 22-Foot Subsonic Tunnel to determine the low-speed aerodynamic characteristics of a powered generic NASP-like configuration in ground effect. The model was a simplified configuration consisting of a triangular wedge forebody, a rectangular mid-section which housed the propulsion simulation system, and a rectangular wedge aftbody. Additional model components included a delta wing, exhaust flow deflectors, and aftbody fences. Six-component force and moment data were obtained over an angle of attack range from −4° to 18° while model height above the tunnel floor was varied from 1/4 inch to 6 feet. Variations in freestream dynamic pressure, from 10 psf to 80 psf, and engine ejector pressure yielded a range of thrust coefficients from 0 to 0.8. Flow visualization was obtained by injecting water into the engine simulator inlets and using a laser light sheet to illuminate the resulting exhaust flow.
Technical Paper

Theoretical Investigation for the Effects of Sweep, Leading-Edge Geometry, and Spanwise Pressure Gradients on Transition and Wave Drag at Transonic, and Supersonic Speed with Experimental Correlations

The results of a design study of a Hybrid Laminar Flow Control (HLFC) wing at transonic speed and correlative studies for finite, swept supersonic wings are discussed in this paper. Transonic HLFC wing was designed such as to obtain laminar laminar flow on the the wing upper surface for X/C of 0.6 and with suction applied from the leading edge to 60% of the chord and with suction applied from just aft of the leading edge to twenty-five percent of the chord. New theoretical methods have been recently developed for predicting pressure distributions, supersonic wave drag and transition location for finite swept wings at transonic and supersonic Mach number conditions and are illustrative computations are given. Results for laminar and turbulent boundary-layer parameters consisting of the displacement effects and skin friction drag are also presented.
Technical Paper

Leading-Edge Design for improved Spin Resistance of Wings Incorporating Conventional and Advanced Airfoils

Discontinuous wing leading-edge droop designs have been evaluated as a means of modifying wing autorotative characteristics and thus improving airplane spin resistance. Addition of a discontinuous outboard wing leading-edge droop to three typical light airplanes having NACA 6-series wing sections produced significant improvements in stall characteristics and spin resistance. Wind tunnel tests of two wings having advanced natural laminar flow airfoil sections indicated that a discontinuous leading-edge droop can delay the onset of autorotation at high angles of attack without adversely affecting the development of laminar flow at cruise angles of attack.
Technical Paper

Laser Velocimeter Measurements of the Flow Fields Around Single- and Counter-Rotation Propeller Models

A two-component LV system was used to make detailed measurements of the flowfield around both a single-rotation and a counter-rotation propeller/nacelle. The conditions measured for the single-rotation tractor configuration include two different blade angles and two propeller advance ratios, and for the counter-rotation propeller configuration include both pusher and tractor mounts. The measurements show the increasing slipstream velocities and contraction with increasing blade angle and with decreasing advance ratio. Data for the counter-rotation system show that the aft propeller turns the flow in the opposite direction from the front propeller. Additionally, the LV system was used as a diagnostic tool to provide data to explain the large side force measured on the propeller/nacelle at angle-of-attack.