Effect of 3D stall‑cells on the pressure distribution of a laminar NACA64‑418 wing

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A 3D stall-cell flow-field has been studied in a 4.8 aspect-ratio wing obtained by linear extrusion of a laminar NACA64-418 airfoil profile. The span-wise change in the velocity and pressure distribution along the wing has been quantified with respect to the development of cellular structures from 8◦ to 20◦ angle of attack. Oil-flow visualizations help localizing the regular cellular pattern in function of the angle of attack. Multi-plane stereoscopic PIV measurements obtained by traversing the entire setup along the wing span show that the flow separation is not spanwise uniform. The combination of different stereoscopic fields into a 3D volume of velocity data allows studying the global effect of the stall-cell pattern on the wing flow. Integration of the experimentally computed pressure gradient from the Navier–Stokes equation is employed to compute the span-wise distribution of the mean surface pressure. Comparison of the results with the ones obtained from pressure taps installed in the wing evidences a span-wise periodic loading on the wing. The periodic loading has maxima confined in the stream-wise direction between the location of the highest airfoil curvature and the one of the airfoil flow separation. Estimation of the periodic loading is found within 2–6 % of the sectional wing lift.
Original languageEnglish
Article number127
Number of pages19
JournalExperiments in Fluids: experimental methods and their applications to fluid flow
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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