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Downstream evolution of wingtip vortices produced from an inverted wing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2016

P. Kurts
School Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


Counter-rotating vortices form from the opposite edges of lifting surfaces, and gradually move laterally and dissipate as they travel downstream (as seen in a wing-fixed reference frame). Under ground effect conditions, the vortex from a lifting wing – such as that used in an aircraft application – moves laterally outboard from the wingtip as it progresses downstream; for a downforce wing in ground effect – such as that used in an automotive application – the vortex moves laterally inboard. An interesting case is the situation where the inboard moving vortices become in close proximity to each other. The objective of the present study was to investigate counter-rotating vortices produced from a low aspect ratio downforce wing operating in ground effect. The pair of vortices move towards each other and mutually induce an upwards directed motion which in turn reduces the inboard movement driven by the ground effect. Experimental data gained from three-dimensional Laser Doppler Anemometry in a moving ground wind-tunnel was used to validate a Large Eddy Simulation computational result.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal Aeronautical Society 2015

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