Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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TsAGI tests Flying Wing

4 June 2013


At the end of May 2013, specialists from the TsAGI aircraft and rocket aerodynamics department completed the first stage of tests on a model of the Flying Wing concept at cruising speed (up to M=0.88) and at large Reynolds numbers (M=0.2). The research was carried out in TsAGI’s T-106 transonic tunnel and aimed to determine the aerodynamic characteristics of the future aircraft.

A special mathematical model of the Flying Wing was designed with various engine positions and tail geometry and was manufactured in TsAGI in 2011. Last year the model was tested in the T-102 and T-107 subsonic wind tunnels.

“The first experiments have already yielded a number of valuable results. The effectiveness of the elevator on the central wing at all angles of attack was a pleasant surprise for us. However, the interference when the engine nacelle was in the upper position was worse than expected, and so on. There is food for thought, to correctly plan future experimental research and computational work to improve the characteristics of the aircraft,” Anatoly Bolsunovskiy, Head of Unit in the TsAGI aircraft and rocket aerodynamics department, said.

Research on the shape of the Flying Wings long-haul passenger plane has been underway at TsAGI for over 25 years already. Previously, attention was focused on Flying Wing aircraft with super-large passenger capacities — up to 1,000 seats. Currently, researchers are focusing on smaller planes (up to 200 seats). Russia can implement this project on its own, without attracting foreign partners.

The Flying Wing concept is of interest to specialists because of the possibility of achieving very high cruising flight (K~23) aerodynamic characteristics while also significantly reducing environmental noise by shielding the engine with elements of the airframe. Despite the accumulated experience and the enormous amount of literature published internationally, the scientists have yet to determine which of the Flying Wing components have the greatest potential and will be implemented first of all.

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