An experimental investigation of blunt trailing-edge or flatback airfoils was conducted in the University of California, Davis aeronautical wind tunnel. The blunt trailing-edge airfoil is created by symmetrically adding thickness to both sides of the camber line of the FB-3500 airfoil, while maintaining the maximum thickness-to-chord ratio of 35%. Three airfoils of various trailing-edge thicknesses (0.5%, 8.75%, and 17.5% chord) are discussed in this paper. In the present study, each airfoil was tested under free and fixed boundary layer transition flow conditions at Reynolds numbers of 333,000 and 666,000. The fixed transition conditions were used to simulate surface soiling effects by placing artificial tripping devices at 2% chord on the suction surface and 5% chord on the pressure surface of each airfoil. The results of this investigation show that lift increases and the well-documented thick airfoil sensitivity to leading-edge transition reduces with increasing trailing-edge thickness. The flatback airfoils yield increased drag coefficients over the sharp trailing-edge airfoil due to an increase in base drag. The experimental results are compared against numerical predictions obtained with two different computational aerodynamics methods. Computations at bounded and unbounded conditions are used to quantify the wind tunnel wall corrections for the wind tunnel tests.

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