Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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TsAGI experts explore new promising ways to improve aerodynamic performance of aircraft

11 June 2015

The scientists of the Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute named after Prof. N.E. Zhukovsky are exploring the methods of active influence on the flow around the airplane wing. The work is being conducted within the framework of the multi-disciplinary program "Multiplex." Experiments ar TsAGI are focused on studying the impact of various types of plasma actuators on the aerodynamic characteristics of the wing. "Improvement of aerodynamic performance of aircraft remains an important issue, because this parameter affects fuel consumption and, consequently, cost effectiveness. One promising area of development in this field is the application of methods of energy on the flow around the wing using plasma actuators. These devices are simple in design and they directly convert electrical energy into mechanical energy," explained leading researcher at the Aircraft and Rocket Aerodynamics Department of TSAGI Alexander Petrov, DSc in Physical and Mathematical Sciences. To date, the scientists have conducted force tests of a rectangular wing model with mounted corona discharge plasma actuators. The experiments were conducted in a wind tunnel designed for research in takeoff and landing modes and at low speeds. Alexander Petrov commented on the preliminary results: "The tests have shown that actuators provide extra traction; in fact, they work as a small jet engine. Coefficient of resistance is reduced, and, therefore, aerodynamic efficiency improves." In addition to experimental studies, experts from the Institute are conducting mathematical calculation of the effect of plasma actuators on the aerodynamic performance of aircraft. According to Alexander Petrov, "No similar work has been carried out ever in TsAGI. This means that at the same time we will be able to improve the calculation methods used. " The scientists of the Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute plan to continue the tests. In the future, experiments are planned with different types of plasma actuators.

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