Raj ArondekarAerospace Engineering BEng
Leading edge rotational cylinder airfoil
Modifying an airfoil using a rotational cylinder
The project objective is to use CFD simulations to investigate a simple modification to an airfoil (i.e. aircraft wing cross-section profile) by means of replacing its leading edge with a rotational cylinder. The project deliverable was to examine aerodynamics using graphics, analysing performance parameters as well as substantiating existing wind tunnel studies on similar cases. The rotational motion of the cylinder accelerates air flow on the upper side of the airfoil generating lower pressure which results in a greater lift force and also delays flow separation which reduces the turbulent wake region behind the airfoil, hence giving lower drag force and virtually prevents stall. The lift is increased by 35-50% and the drag reduced by the same percentage. Moreover, such high aerodynamic performance of an aircraft wing can bring substantial benefits to the aviation industry such as a non-stalling wing providing enhanced flight safety, drag reduction contributing to massive annual fuel savings, increased aircraft payload, improved landing gear service life due to shorter rolling distances during take-off or landings and improved manoeuvrability.