Active Flow Control on a Nonslender Delta Wing

  • Nathan Williams

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The effects of active flow control by oscillatory blowing at the leading edge of a nonslender delta wing with a Λ=50° sweep angle have been investigated. Pressure measurements and Particle Image Velocimetry measurements were conducted on a half wing to investigate the formation of leading edge vortices for oscillatory blowing, compared to the stalled flow for the no blowing case. Stall has been delayed by up to 8, and significant increases in the upper surface suction force have been observed. Velocity measurements show that shear layer reattachment is promoted with forcing, and a vortex flow pattern develops. The time averaged location of the centre of the vortical region moves outboard with increased excitation. The near-surface flow pattern obtained from the PIV measurements shows reattachment in the forward part of the wing. There is no measurable jet-like axial flow in the vortex core, which seems to break down at or very near the apex. This highlights that unlike slender delta wings, vortex breakdown is not a limiting factor in the generation of lift for nonslender delta wings. Phase averaged measurements reveal the perturbation due to the pulsed blowing, its interaction with the shear layer and vortex, apparent displacement of the vortex core, and relaxation of the reattachment region. The flow in a phase averaged sense is highly three dimensional. Experiments indicate that unsteady blowing at Strouhal numbers in the region of St=0.5 to St=0.75, and in the region of St=1.25 to St=1.5 can be a highly effective. Reattached flow can develop from stalled flow after pulsing has been initiated with a time constant of tU/c=5 for unsteady blowing at St=0.75, and tU/c=7 for St=1.5. Experiments with excitation from finite span slots located in the forward half of the wing show that partial blowing can be more effective at low momentum coefficients. Force measurements of a full delta wing confirmed that the effectiveness of this method of flow control was not only confined to half delta wings.
Date of Award1 Mar 2009
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorIsmet Gursul (Supervisor)


  • aerodynamics
  • Nonslender delta flow control

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