At transitional Reynolds numbers, the laminar boundary layer separation and possible reattachment on a smooth airfoil, or wing section, are notoriously sensitive to small variations in geometry or in the fluid environment. We report here on the results of a pilot study that adds to this list of sensitivities. The presence of small holes in the suction surface of an Eppler 387 wing has a transformative effect upon the aerodynamics, by changing the mean chordwise separation line location. These changes are not simply a consequence of the presence of the small cavities, which by themselves have no effect. Acoustic resonance in the backing cavities generates tones that interact with intrinsic flow instabilities. Possible consequences for passive flow control strategies are discussed together with potential problems in measurements through pressure taps in such flow regimes.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 24, 2013
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