The influence of Reynolds number on the aerodynamic characteristics of various wing geometries was investigated through wind-tunnel experimentation. The test models represented racing car front wings of varying complexity: from a simple single-element wing to a highly complex 2009-specification formula-one wing. The aim was to investigate the influence of boundary-layer transition and Reynolds-number dependency of each wing configuration. The single-element wing showed significant Reynolds-number dependency, with up to 320% and 35% difference in downforce and drag, respectively, for a chordwise Reynolds number difference of 0.81 × 105. Across the same test range, the multi-element configuration of the same wing and the F1 wing displayed less than 6% difference in downforce and drag. Surface-flow visualization conducted at various Reynolds numbers and ground clearances showed that the separation bubble that forms on the suction surface of the wing changes in both size and location. As Reynolds number decreased, the bubble moved upstream and increased in size, while reducing ground clearance caused the bubble to move upstream and decrease in size. The fundamental characteristics of boundary layer transition on the front wing of a monoposto racing car have been established.
Characteristics of Boundary-Layer Transition and Reynolds-Number Sensitivity of Three-Dimensional Wings of Varying Complexity Operating in Ground Effect
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 6, 2015; final manuscript received March 10, 2016; published online June 3, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Feng Liu.
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Roberts, L. S., Finnis, M. V., and Knowles, K. (June 3, 2016). "Characteristics of Boundary-Layer Transition and Reynolds-Number Sensitivity of Three-Dimensional Wings of Varying Complexity Operating in Ground Effect." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. September 2016; 138(9): 091106. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4033299
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