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Exercise F - Flow and pressure distribution around a

symmetrical aerofoil at different angles of attack


Objective
To investigate the pressure distribution around a symmetrical aerofoil at different
angles. To investigate the pressure distribution across the wake behind the wing.

Method
By using a symmetrical aerofoil with tappings across the chord on one surface. By
changing the angle of attack of the aerofoil at a range of air velocities. By using a
pressure sensor to investigate the pressures across the wake downstream of the
wing.

Equipment Required
C15-10 Wind Tunnel with IFD7

PC (not supplied) running C15-304 software

C15-21 Pressure Wing

C15-11 Inclined Manometer Bank

or

C15-12 Electronic Manometer Bank

Optional equipment
C15-15 Wake Survey Rake

(or C15-14 Pitot Static Tube if C15-15 is unavailable)

Camera (and tripod) for recording flow visualisation results

Theory
Velocity in the working section is calculated as V = (2 ρ man g Δh / ρ air )0.5

Pressure distribution around an aerofoil

The pressure acting on the surface of an aerofoil in a steady air stream (as in steady
flight) is not uniform across the chord. Taking ‘positive’ to refer to pressure greater
than the static pressure of the surrounding air, there is commonly a region of positive
pressure at the nose of the aerofoil, and another at the tail. The pressure around the
rest of the aerofoil is typically negative, with the minimum pressure on the upper
surface occurring somewhere between the point of maximum chord and the nose.

The pressure distribution also varies depending on the angle of attack of the aerofoil.
The point of minimum pressure tends to shift towards the nose, and the region of
positive pressure at the tail increases in area and magnitude. This is illustrated in the
following diagrams. Arrows pointing towards the aerofoil surface indicate pressures
greater than the overall static pressure. Arrows pointing away from the aerofoil
indicate pressures lower than static. The magnitude of the pressure differential is
indicated by the bold line.

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0° Angle of Attack

10° Angle of Attack

20° Angle of Attack

Stall
Considering the flow of air around the aerofoil as a series of layers, at low angles of
attack the layers wrap smoothly around the aerofoil. As the angle of attack increases,
the decrease in pressure on the upper surface will become greater, until a point is

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Exercise F

reached at which the layers of air separate from the surface. This results in turbulent
air over the upper wing surface after the point of separation, and a corresponding
sudden increase in pressure and a consequent loss of lift and increase in drag. The
point at which separation begins to occur is known as the stall point or point of stall,
and the angle at which this occurs is called the critical angle of attack. At angles of
attack greater than the point at which separation begins to occur, the wing is said to
be stalled or in a stall condition.

For any given wind speed, the point of stall is determined by the angle of attack.
However, the angle of attack at which stall occurs changes with wind speed. It is
common in aviation to consider stall to be dependent on flight speed rather than
angle of attack: aircraft will be described as having a particular stall speed. For a
given air speed, maintaining a constant altitude will require a constant angle of
attack, and maintaining steady flight at lower air speeds will require a greater angle of
attack. Attempting to maintain steady flight by increasing the angle of attack while
reducing the air speed will eventually lead to the critical angle being exceeded- the
‘stall speed’ being reached.

Note that wing stall is completely different to engine stall.

Equipment Set Up
Note: Additional information is available in the Operation section if required.

The tunnel should be set up with the flow visualisation tube fitted to the upstream roof
tapping. Place the arm supporting the thread a little above half height in the working
section (closer to the roof than to the floor). The other two roof tappings should be
fitted with blanking plugs.

The pressure wing should be fitted through the large circular hatch, at an angle of 0°
to the horizontal (i.e. the first tapping should face directly upstream and the second
tapping should face directly downstream). Manually position the flow visualisation
thread over the top of the wing. If available, the wake survey rake may be fitted in the
small hatch. If the wake survey rake is not used then the small hatch should be fitted
with the plain hatch cover. If using the Pitot tube, fit this through the downstream roof
tapping.

Ensure that the floor is fitted. Check the surroundings to see that there is no
obstruction at the inlet or outlet of the tunnel and that there are no loose objects
nearby which could cause a hazard.

The single tube from the pressure tapping on working section side wall (near the
inlet) should be connected to the 1-way quick-release fitting on the black box fitted to
the tunnel frame.

The 10-way connection from the pressure wing should be fitted to the manometer. If
the wake survey rake is used then this is initially left disconnected.

If using the C15-11 inclined manometer bank, check that the manometer has been
filled and primed, with a convenient water level and no trapped air bubbles. If using
the C15-12 electronic manometer, check that the manometer is connected to a
suitable PC with the USB cable.

Check that the IFD7 is connected to a suitable mains electrical supply and to the
USB socket of a suitable PC. The PC should be switched on and the appropriate
software version run (C15-11 version or C15-12 version depending on the

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manometer used). Select ‘Exercise F’ and ensure that ‘IFD: OK’ is displayed in the
bottom right-hand corner.

Switch on the IFD7 using the mains switch on the front.

Camera setup
If a still or video camera and tripod are available then the camera should be mounted
in front of the round hatch to give a good field of view around the wing. A plain
background behind the wind tunnel is advisable (e.g. a plain sheet of white paper
may be attached to the back of the tunnel, on the outside). Select camera settings
that give the fastest possible shutter speed and then the best possible depth of field
at that speed. The use of flash may cause inconvenient reflections on the working
section sides, so where available use sufficient lighting to avoid the need for flash

For best pictures the flow visualisation thread should be in sharp focus, which can be
difficult to achieve especially if using autofocus. If the camera can be pre-focussed
then it is possible to temporarily insert a focus guide such as the Pitot tube arm or a
similar narrow object, through the roof tapping. Once the camera is focussed on the
guide, the guide should be removed and the blanking plug replaced. If possible, take
a test shot and display the results at a reasonable size to check that images will be
acceptable.

If a tripod is not available then the camera can be hand held, but good results may be
more difficult to obtain. An assistant to the camera operator is suggested who can
make adjustments to the equipment as required, e.g. to position then remove any
focussing guide.

Procedure
Check that the fan is set to 0%, then switch it out of standby mode by selecting the
‘Fan On’ button on the mimic diagram.

Check that the manometer readings are all the same at zero velocity.

Measure the ambient temperature in Celsius and pressure of the laboratory in


Pascals and enter the results in the appropriate boxes on the mimic diagram.

Select ‘No’ in the ‘Rake used?’ box on the mimic diagram.

Gradually set the fan to 10% in 1% increments by using the up arrows. This allows
the fan to start up gradually. Check that all fittings on the tunnel remain secure and
that there is no safety hazard due to the inlet and outlet air streams. Gradually set the
fan to 40% by typing in speed increments of 10% until 40% is reached. Be aware of
the surroundings when operating the wind tunnel, keeping safety in mind at all times.

Allow time for the fan to stabilise at 40%.

Check the wing to see that it is in proper alignment: Adjust the angle of attack of the
wing while observing the head reading for the first tapping (head reading 1, at the
nose). The greatest head should be obtained when the zero reading on the scale is
aligned with the central marker on the tunnel wall. If this is not in exact alignment
then you will need to allow for the slight offset when setting the angle of attack.

Set the wing to 0° angle of attack and enter ‘0 degrees Angle of Attack’ in the ‘Attach
note’ box on the mimic diagram.

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Exercise F

Adjust the height of the flow visualisation tube and the length of the thread to give a
good curve above the wing. Sketch or photograph the curve. Shorten the thread until
the end trails immediately in the wing wake, investigating possible turbulence (it is
difficult to visually record this unless a motion camera is available).

If using the C15-11 inclined manometer, take a reading for the water level in all the
columns and enter the results on the mimic diagram. It is also possible to move the
cursors along the tubes to match the readings, giving a clearer visual representation
of the pressure variation around the cylinder.

Log the sensor readings by selecting the icon.

If the wake survey rake is available, create a new results sheet using the icon.
Disconnect the pressure cylinder and connect the survey rake. Select ‘Yes’ in the
‘Rake used?’ box. If using the C15-11, enter the new manometer readings on the
mimic diagram. Log the sensor readings by selecting the icon. Disconnect the
wake survey rake and reconnect the pressure wing.

Create a new results sheet using the icon. Select ‘No’ again.

Increase the fan setting to 60%.

Repeat the flow visualisation and pressure sensor logging as before. If using the
wake survey rake, create a new sheet, set the ‘Rake used’ to ‘Yes’ and connect the
survey rake to take a set of readings.

Repeat at 80%. Remember to create a new results sheet and rename it each time,
and to select the correct model for each set of readings. Repeat again at 100%.

Set the fan back to 20%. Adjust the wing to set it at an angle of +2° from the zero
point (i.e. rotated with the nose raised and the tail lowered). Enter ‘2 degrees Angle
of Attack’ in the ‘Attach note’ box.

Repeat the procedure as before, taking readings at 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% and
using a new results sheet for each set of results. Remember to set the Rake used? to
‘Yes’ whenever taking readings using the wake survey rake, and to set it back to ‘No’
afterwards.

Repeat at wing angles of +4°, +6°, and then at 7°, 8°, 9° and so on until 16°. Take
further readings at 18°, 20° etc up to 30°. Note that at high angles of attack the wing
will form a significant obstruction in the working section. This slightly increases the air
speed for a given fan setting. The effect of this on the results obtained is small, but
for accuracy it is possible to adjust the fan speed slightly to match the air velocities
obtained for lower angles of attack.

To obtain corresponding pressures for the underside of the wing, the wing is used at
negative angles of attack. Repeat the procedure for angles of -2°, -4°, -6°, -7° etc. up
to -30°, pairing with the positive angles from earlier. You need not take wake
pressure readings for this part of the exercise, as they may be assumed to be an
inversion of the readings for positive angles of attack.

Gradually shut down the fan: Type in a value of 50% for the fan setting. When the fan
has slowed, type in a value of 20%. Once the fan has slowed again, reduce the fan
speed to 0% by using the arrow keys.

Set the fan to Standby by selecting the ‘Fan On button in the software.

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Save the software results by selecting ‘Save As…’ from the File menu. Give the
results a suitable name for future reference, such as the equipment code, experiment
letter and date.

Switch off the mains switch on the IFD7.

Results
The software records the sensor data and corresponding calculations under the
following headings:

Plot graphs of pressure against tapping position for each fan speed and angle of
attack. Pair together the graphs for positive and negative angles of attack at each fan
speed, as these correspond to the equivalent upper and lower wing surfaces.

If using the wake survey rake, plot the wake pressure against position (taken relative
to the centreline of the wing mounting) for each fan speed at each angle of attack,
and attach each graph to the corresponding wing pressure graph(s) for that fan
speed and angle of attack.

Match the drawings or photographs of the flow over the wing to the corresponding
graphs.

Conclusion
For the graphs at zero angle of attack, compare the results for increasing fan speed.
What happens to the pressure distribution over and under the wing? What happens
to the wake? What happens to the path of the thread?

For a single fan speed, compare the results for graphs and the thread path at
increasing angle of attack. How do the graphs change? Are there any sudden
changes in the wing surface pressure or the wake which could correspond to the stall
condition? If so, describe what happens and at which point the change occurs. How
does the behaviour of the thread change during any pressure changes?

How do the experimentally obtained results compare to the examples given?

Mention any potential inaccuracies that may have been introduced as a result of
using a wing with tappings on one surface only.

Consider additional investigations that could be made using the wing. For example,
discuss possible methods for measuring the air velocity at the aerofoil surface, which
would then allow the dynamic pressure to be calculated.

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Exercise G - Lift and Drag forces on a symmetrical
aerofoil at different angles of attack
Objective
To convert a head measurement using a manometer to an equivalent pressure
reading.

To convert head and pressure readings to alternative engineering units.

To demonstrate the use of a static pressure reading to determine tunnel air velocity.

Method
By measuring the differential static head within the wind tunnel at a range of air
velocities, and then converting this to a pressure figure using the appropriate
equation.

By converting head and pressure values into alternative units using the appropriate
conversion factors.

By calculating the air velocity in the tunnel using the appropriate equation and
compare the result to that generated by the computer.

Equipment Required
C15-10 Wind Tunnel with IFD7

PC (not supplied) running C15-304 software

C15-20 Lift and Drag Aerofoil

C15-11 Inclined Manometer Bank

or

C15-12 Electronic Manometer Bank

Optional equipment
Flow visualisation apparatus

C15-14 Pitot Static Tube

Camera and tripod

Theory
Velocity in the working section is calculated from V = (2 ρ man g Δh / ρ air )0.5

Lift
Lift is the component of force on an aerofoil that acts ‘upwards’. In a three-
dimensional situation, lift must be defined carefully. It is usually defined as acting
perpendicularly to the span and chord of the aerofoil if the chord is taken as a straight
line from the nose to the trailing edge, with a positive value when the force acts in the
direction of the upper surface (or the surface that is most usually upwards with
respect to the ground if the aerofoil can rotate through 180° or more). Lift may have
components in any direction relative to a fixed ground, depending on the orientation

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of the aerofoil and the direction of the airflow. Negative values of lift may be possible
depending on the angle of attack.

When using the C15-20 the span of the wing is fixed parallel to the floor of the
working section, and the lift is assumed to act perpendicularly to the span with no
lateral component towards the tunnel side walls. The lift therefore acts directly
upwards when the aerofoil is at a zero angle of attack, and acts at an angle to the
vertical equal to the angle of attack of the aerofoil.

Drag
Drag is the component of the force on an aerofoil that acts along the direction of the
airflow, and in the same direction (For an aircraft in level flight, drag acts in the
opposite direction to the direction of flight). Drag resists the movement of the aerofoil
through the airstream. Drag is always a positive value or zero (in non-theoretical
situations, drag will only be zero if the air velocity is also zero).

Drag is a combination of the effects of friction on the surface of the aerofoil (form
drag) and the component of lift acting in the drag direction (induced drag). For any
given aerofoil and Reynolds number, a drag coefficient may be found which may then
be used to predict the drag for that aerofoil at any other Reynolds number.

C D = C D0 + C DL

where C D0 is the form drag coefficient, and

C DL is the induced drag coefficient

C DL may be considered as a function of the coefficient of lift, C L (see Lift, later in this
section):

C DL = kC L ²

The drag may be defined as

D = ½V²SC D

= ½V²SC D0 + ½V²S(kC L ²)

where D = total drag,

 = density of air

V = velocity of air flow over aerofoil, and

S = a characteristic dimension, usually the wing area

= plan area of one surface of the wing

= chord x span for the C15-10

When the contribution of lift to drag is zero (k = 0), the value of C D0 may be
calculated directly from the measured value of D using the lift and drag balance.

The combined effect of form drag and induced drag give a characteristic shape to a
graph of total drag against velocity:

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Exercise G

Variation of total drag with air velocity

This curve shows that as velocity increases, drag initially falls, then reaches a
minimum, then rises again. This minimum drag velocity is an important characteristic
in aerodynamics as it indicates the most efficient velocity for the body (e.g. the
aerofoil, wing or aircraft). This is independent of any factors due to propulsion.

Lift and drag characteristics of an aerofoil


The lift and drag produced or experienced by an aerofoil varies with the air velocity
and with the angle of attack. For a given angle of attack, an increase in air speed will
tend to increase the magnitude of both lift and drag until the air speed is sufficiently
high that compression effects become noticeable (i.e. close to supersonic speeds-
the C15-10 is designed so that air speed can never reach this point). For a given air
speed, the relationship between lift, and angle of attack is more complex, as
illustrated below:

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Lift against  for symmetrical aerofoil

The lift generated increases until a critical angle or stall angle is reached. The lift then
falls sharply until it begins to stabilise again at an even greater angle of attack; at this
point the drag will be very significant.

Note: It is more common in aviation to find references to ‘stall speed’ than to ‘stall
angle’. The angle at which stall occurs varies depending on the velocity of the aircraft
relative to the air. However, for a given aircraft at approximately constant weight and
angle of attack- as occurs in level flight- stall will always occur at the same indicated
air speed (as measured by pressure sensors on the aircraft, which will differ from the
true air speed at altitudes above sea level as the density of the air affects the
reading). This single value provides an easy figure to remember. Aircraft may have
multiple stall speeds, however, depending on factors such as the undercarriage
being retracted or extended, slat and flap positions, and so on.

Lift
For a given aerofoil and Reynolds number, a lift coefficient may be found which may
then be used to predict the lift for that aerofoil at any other Reynolds number.

C L = L / ½V²S

where L = lift,

 = density of fluid

V = velocity of air flow over aerofoil, and

S = a characteristic dimension

The characteristic dimension is taken as the chord, where the model under test is an
aerofoil occupying the full width of the working section.

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Exercise G

The lift and drag balance measures the vertical lift component (the lift acting
perpendicular to the tunnel floor). This may not be the total lift, as illustrated below:

Using geometry the total lift, L, may be calculated as

L = lcos

where

l is the vertical lift component measured by the lift and drag balance,
and

 is the angle of attack

The lift coefficient, C L , is then calculated as

C L = lcos / ½V²S

It may be seen that when  = 0, l = L, and thus the total lift on a symmetrical aerofoil
at zero angle of attack will be the lift measured using the lift and drag balance. (N.B.
this differs for an asymmetric aerofoil, which may generate a positive value of lift at
zero angle of attack).

The component of drag due to lift may be calculated as ltan.

Now ltan = ½V²S(kC L ²)

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It is therefore possible to find kC L ² for any given velocity and angle of attack, and
thus to find the value of k.

Equipment Set Up
Note: Additional information is available in the Operation section if required.

Note: If Exercise F using the Pressure Wing has been performed, then the flow
visualisation relevant to this exercise has already been performed. In the even that
Exercise F is not available, the same flow visualisation described in that exercise
may be performed here instead. Refer to the Set Up and Procedure in Exercise F
that are relevant to the use of the flow visualisation equipment and to the use of a
camera for recording purposes.

The tunnel should be set up with the blanking plugs fitted to all three roof tappings
(except as in the note above).

The lift and drag aerofoil should be fitted to the lift and drag balance, and the balance
should then be fitted into the large circular hatch. The small hatch should be fitted
with the plain hatch cover. The cable from the lift and drag balance should be
connected to the socket on the front of the IFD7.

Ensure that the floor is fitted. Check the surroundings to see that there is no
obstruction at the inlet or outlet of the tunnel and that there are no loose objects
nearby which could cause a hazard.

The single tube from the pressure tapping on working section side wall (near the
inlet) should be connected to the 1-way quick-release fitting on the black box fitted to
the tunnel frame. Connect the cable from the lift and drag balance to the front of the
IFD7.

Check that the IFD7 is connected to a suitable mains electrical supply and to the
USB socket of a suitable PC. The PC should be switched on and the appropriate
software version run (C15-11 version or C15-12 version depending on the
manometer used). Select ‘Exercise G’ and ensure that ‘IFD: OK’ is displayed in the
bottom right-hand corner.

Switch on the IFD7 using the mains switch on the front.

Procedure
Check that the fan is set to 0%, then switch it out of standby mode by selecting the
‘Fan On’ button on the mimic diagram.

Check that the manometer readings are all the same at zero velocity.

Measure the ambient temperature in Celsius and pressure of the laboratory in


Pascals and enter the results in the appropriate boxes on the mimic diagram.

In the software, select the ‘Zero’ button beside the ‘Lift’ data display box. This sets
the datum point for zero lift (no air velocity).

Gradually set the fan to 20% in 1% increments by using the up arrows. This allows
the fan to start up gradually. Check that all fittings on the tunnel remain secure and
that there is no safety hazard due to the inlet and outlet air streams. Be aware of the
surroundings when operating the wind tunnel, keeping safety in mind at all times.

Allow time for the fan to stabilise at 20%.

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Exercise G

Check the wing to see that it is in proper alignment: Adjust the angle of attack of the
wing while observing the head reading for the first tapping (head reading 1, at the
nose). The greatest head should be obtained when the zero reading on the scale is
aligned with the central marker on the tunnel wall. If this is not in exact alignment
then you will need to allow for the slight offset when setting the angle of attack.

Conduct an initial investigation of the variation of lift and drag with velocity at
zero angle of attack:

Set the wing to 0° angle of attack and check that ‘0°’ is displayed in the ‘Angle of
Attack’ box on the mimic diagram.

Log the sensor readings by selecting the icon.

Increase the fan setting to 30%. Select the icon again.

Repeat at 40%, 50%, etc up to 100%, logging the data each time with the icon.

Investigate the effect of changing angle of attack:

Set the fan back to 20%. Create a new results table using the icon.

Log the sensor readings by selecting the icon.

Adjust the wing to set it at an angle of +2° from the zero point (i.e. rotated with the
nose raised and the tail lowered). Check for ‘2°’ in the ‘Angle of Attack’ box. Select
the icon again.

Repeat at wing angles of +4°, +6°, and then at +7°, +8°, +9° and so on until +16°,
using the icon to save each set of data. Take further readings at +18°, +20° etc
up to +30°. Note that at high angles of attack the wing will form a significant
obstruction in the working section. This slightly increases the air speed for a given
fan setting. The effect of this on the results obtained is small, but for accuracy it is
possible to adjust the fan speed slightly to match the air velocities obtained for lower
angles of attack.

Repeat the investigation of angle of attack as before for fan speeds of 50% and
100%, using a new results sheet for each set of results.

If time permits, the exercise may be repeated for negative angles of attack (-2°, -4°
etc).

Gradually shut down the fan: Type in a value of 50% for the fan setting. When the fan
has slowed, type in a value of 20%. Once the fan has slowed again, reduce the fan
speed to 0% by using the arrow keys.

Set the fan to Standby by selecting the ‘Fan On button in the software.

Save the software results by selecting ‘Save As…’ from the File menu. Give the
results a suitable name for future reference, such as the equipment code, experiment
letter and date.

Switch off the mains switch on the IFD7.

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Results
The software records the sensor data and corresponding calculations under the
following headings:

For the first set of results (at zero angle of attack with varying velocity), plot a graph
of lift against velocity. On a second y-axis, plot the coefficient of lift C L .

On another graph plot C D , C D0 and C DL against velocity. Plot the drag on the second
Y axis.

For the other sets of results (with varying angle of attack at constant velocity), on the
same graph plot lift coefficient against angle of attack for every velocity.

Plot a graph of k against angle of attack for two sample velocities.

Conclusion
Describe the variation of coefficient of lift with velocity for the aerofoil at zero angle of
attack.

Describe the graph of C D . C D0 and C DL . Does it match the example given? What
variation can be noted, if any? Mark the minimum drag and determine the velocity at
which this occurs.

Describe the general shape of the graphs of lift coefficient against angle of attack.
Describe how the graphs vary with velocity. For each velocity, determine the
maximum lift and the critical angle of attack.

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