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Aerospace 2017, 4(3), 39; doi:10.3390/aerospace4030039

Numerical and Experimental Investigations of an Elasto-Flexible Membrane Wing at a Reynolds Number of 280,000

Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Munich, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
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Abstract

This work presents numerical and experimental investigations of an elasto-flexible membrane wing at a Reynolds number of 280,000. Such a concept has the capacity to adapt itself to the incoming flow offering a wider range of the flight envelope. This adaptation is clearly observed in the numerical study: the camber of the airfoil changes with the dynamic pressure and the angle of attack, which permits a smoother and delayed stall. The numerical results, obtained from Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) simulations, also show that the laminar-turbulent transition influences the aerodynamic characteristics of the wing, as it directly affects the pressure distribution on the membrane and the geometry of the airfoil. Two different turbulence models were therefore tested. Furthermore, experimental investigations are considered in this paper to estimate the precision of the FSI simulations. It appears that the FSI study overestimates the lift coefficient, and the drag coefficient is undervalued, which can be explained by dynamic calibration of the model. Nevertheless, the velocity field obtained with the hot-wire anemometry system shows good agreement on the upper side of the model. The membrane deflection measurements also appear to be consistent with the expected geometry of the deformed airfoil from the FSI simulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: camber morphing; fluid structure interaction; laminar-turbulent transition; experimental aerodynamics camber morphing; fluid structure interaction; laminar-turbulent transition; experimental aerodynamics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Piquee, J.; Breitsamter, C. Numerical and Experimental Investigations of an Elasto-Flexible Membrane Wing at a Reynolds Number of 280,000. Aerospace 2017, 4, 39.

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