Turbulence Modeling and Wing Design ``` Name: Kosta Status: student Grade: 9-12 Location: CA Country: USA Date: Winter 2011-2012 ``` Question: I am currently experimenting with different wing designs and a wind tunnel. I found a rigorous text on turbulence modeling which caught my interest and am considering studying it. Would knowing turbulence modeling help in aircraft wing design? Replies: Kosta Turbulence increases the drag on a wing which reduces its performance to produce lift. Turbulence modeling allows you to predict the level of turbulence a wing design will encounter. The goal is to achieve laminar air flow over the wing for the least amount of drag and the most amount of lift for the given airspeed. Sincere regards, Mike Stewart Kosta Turbulence increases the drag on a wing which reduces its performance to produce lift. Turbulence modeling allows you to predict the level of turbulence a wing design will encounter. The goal is to achieve laminar air flow over the wing for the least amount of drag and the most amount of lift for the given airspeed. Sincere regards, Mike Stewart I am sure it would, but be ready for some heavy duty math. Turbulence is some systems is solved numerically, that is, no “formulas”. In some other cases the problem has not even been solved. Vince Calder \ Emphatically yes! It turns out, turbulence is extremely important in aerodynamic (lift and drag -- but especially drag). And unfortunately, turbulence is very poorly understood in fundamental terms. Thus, empirical (computational) fluid dynamics models are critical tools. Just as a couple small examples, you might have noticed little fins on a variety of aircraft -- from F-16s (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/13/F-16Isufa001.jpg/800px-F-16Isufa001.jpg) -- look right in front of the cockpit canopy. to B777s (http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/201005/boeing-777-freighter-8_460x0w.jpg) -- look right where the engine meets the wing. These fins are not control surfaces, and they are not for lift. They guide air over the aircraft to keep in laminar and avoid turbulence. The way these fins are designed is with computational fluid dynamics (turbulence) models. Looking ahead, if you're interested in a career in aerodynamics, I think modeling will likely be in your future... Hope this helps, Burr Zimmerman Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

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