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Aerofoil flow separation suppression using dimples

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2016

T. J. Barber
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


Flow separation is a source of aerodynamic inefficiency, by using vortex generators flow separation can be controlled. This is of particular benefit to flows around bodies which are susceptible to separated flows, such as bodies in ground effect. Previous studies on the ability of dimples to produce vortices for flow mixing concerned heat transfer applications. Experimental measurements using Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA) were taken in the wake of the Tyrrell026 aerofoil (Rec = 0·5 × 105) with a dimple array machined in the surface. Results for a dimple array of three rows placed forward of x/c = 0·23 with 1·5D dimple to dimple spacing, showed significant flow recovery in the wake. The velocity deficit of u/Uo,min = −0·1 recovered to u/Uo,min = 0·3 with the dimple array and the size of the wake reduced by 50%; at α = 10°, h/c = 0·313. The positive effect of the dimple array on the wing reduced as the wing was brought closer to the ground.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal Aeronautical Society 2011 

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