Experimental Characterization of Upper Trailing Edge Flaps for Transonic Buffet Control

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Downloads (Pure)


This experimental study investigates the possibility of controlling transonic buffet by means of a trailing edge flap with an upward deflection (referred to as “upper trailing edge flap”, or: UTEF). Different geometries (straight and serrated) and dimensions of UTEFs (with heights ranging between 1 and 2% of the chord) have been studied with respect to their impact on the buffet behavior. The effectiveness of the UTEFs has been investigated with schlieren and particle image velocimetry (PIV) in the transonic-supersonic wind tunnel of TU Delft at Ma = 0.70, α = 3.5°. The schlieren results demonstrated the efficacy of the use of UTEFs for reducing the range of the buffet oscillations when the height of the UTEF was equal to at least 1.5%c. This result was corroborated by a flow characterization with PIV data and which highlighted that, in presence of a control system, not only the shock oscillation range is reduced but also the intensity of the separated area pulsation. The use of serrated UTEFs, despite having an effect on the local flow field, was found to be ineffective in alleviating buffet oscillations. The adoption of the best behaving UTEF configuration (straight 2%c UTEF) proved to only slightly alter the circulation value compared to the clean configuration, while it also proved to be effective in an off-buffet condition (Ma = 0.74 and α = 2.5°).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-350
Number of pages26
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Control system
  • PIV
  • Serrations
  • Transonic buffet
  • Upper trailing edge flap


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Characterization of Upper Trailing Edge Flaps for Transonic Buffet Control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this