Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The vortex flap
by Buerge, Brandon T., Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2008, 283; 3332070
Abstract (Summary)

The Vortex Flap is a new type of mechanically driven high-lift device consisting of a rotating cylinder placed underneath and near the trailing edge of an airfoil. Wind tunnel tests were designed and conducted in the Washington University Low-Speed Wind Tunnel. Wind tunnel tests indicate that the Vortex Flap produces notable lift coefficient increments and increases maximum lift coefficients, particularly for the low Reynolds number range tested. The best configurations of the configurations investigated (not necessarily optimal) produce lift increments of 300-900% at low-to-moderate angles of attack, and increase the maximum lift coefficient on the order of 200%. The large lift increments found, particularly at low angles of attack, underscore the ability to drive the airfoil to high lift coefficients even at low angles of attack, a potentially useful characteristic for certain flight maneuvers. Regions of fairly high L/D (on the order of 10) as well as low L/D performance were identified. The nondimensional cylinder rotation speed was found to be the most important experimental parameter. Methods for correcting wind tunnel data were developed and outlined, and a Response Surface Method was applied to the corrected data for ease of interpretation. Performance comparisons between the Vortex Flap and other trailing-edge high-lift devices are included. To demonstrate the potential of the device, a Navy mission specification for a VTOL ship-borne UAV, currently filled by a rotary-wing aircraft, is analyzed using a hypothetical fixed wing aircraft and the Vortex Flap. It is demonstrated that, under certain reasonable wind-over-deck conditions, such an aircraft could hypothetically fill a VTOL mission.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Swartwout, Michael
School: Washington University in St. Louis
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-B 69/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Aerospace engineering, Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Aircraft, High-lift devices, Rotating cylinders, Vortex flap
Publication Number: 3332070
ISBN: 978-0-549-83878-4
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