Aerodynamic Performance of an Aircraft with Aft-Fuselage Boundary-Layer-Ingestion Propulsion

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Boundary-layer ingestion (BLI) is a propulsor–airframe integration technology that promises substantial fuel consumption benefits for future civil aircraft. This paper discusses an experimental study, conducted within the European Union–funded Horizon 2020 CENTRELINE project, on the aerodynamic performance of an aircraft with a BLI propulsor integrated at the aft-fuselage section (known as the Propulsive Fuselage Concept). The low-speed wind-tunnel experiments were carried out at Reynolds and Mach numbers of 460,000 and 0.12, whereas the Reynolds and Mach numbers are 40,000,000 and 0.82 at full-flight scale. Aerodynamic loads measurements show that the BLI propulsor affects the longitudinal and lateral-directional equilibrium of the aircraft in off-cruise conditions. Moreover, velocity and total pressure measurements characterize the flowfield around the BLI propulsor in cruise and off-cruise conditions. The analysis of the momentum and power fluxes in the flowfield shows that, while around 20% of the total aircraft drag is due to the fuselage body, only less than 5% of the total aircraft drag power is dissipated in the fuselage wake. Furthermore, the BLI propulsor recovers around 50% the axial kinetic energy flux in the fuselage boundary layer (the so-called wake-filling effect), suggesting an increased propulsive efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1070
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aircraft: devoted to aeronautical science and technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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