Traditional uses of circulation control have been studied since the early 1960’s and have been developed primarily using trailing edge slots over a rounded trailing edge in order to take advantage of the Coanda˘ effect. The leading edge activated slots allow jets of air to enter the freestream flowing around the airfoil thus enhancing the energy of the lift force. The main purpose of circulation control for fixed wing aircraft is to increase the lifting force when large lifting forces and/or slow speeds are required, such as at take-off and landing. While there is a significant increase in the lifting forces achievable through the use of circulation control, there is also an inherent increase in the drag force on the airfoil (Abramson, 2004, Loth, 1976, 1984). Current effects of circulation control on stall angles of airfoils are not well documented and thus needs to be studied. Stall occurs when a sudden reduction in lift occurs caused by a flow separation between the incoming air flow and the lifting surface. The angle at which this happens is commonly called the critical angle of attack, and is typically between eight and twenty degrees depending on the wing profile, aspect ratio, camber, and planform area. For this study, a 10:1 aspect ratio elliptical airfoil with a chord length of 11.8 inches and a span of 31.5 inches was inserted into the West Virginia University Closed Loop Wind Tunnel and was tested at varying wind speeds (80, 100, and 120 feet per second), angle of attack (zero to sixteen degrees), and blowing coefficients, ranging from 0.0006 to 0.0127 depending on internal plenum pressure. By comparing the non-circulation controlled wing with the active leading edge slot circulation control data, a trend was found as to the influence of the circulation control exit jet on the stall characteristics of the wing. For this specific case, when the circulation control is in use on the 10:1 elliptical airfoil, the stall angle decreases, from eight degrees to six degrees, while providing up to a 46% increase in lift coefficient.

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