Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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Scientists at TsAGI do a visualization study of a “convertoplane”-type unmanned aircraft

17 March 2016

TsAGI scientists finished yet another series of tests for a “convertoplane”-type unmanned aircraft. In their work, the specialists studied flow fields on the aircraft surface using two visualization methods; the tuft and colored oil film.

In the first visualization scenario, thin (tuft) threads were glued onto the model to then align along the velocity vector to separate and oscillate in the surface flow separation areas. The colored oil film method consists in the application of differently colored oil layers on various model parts. Affected by the flow and due to the surface friction, the liquid starts flowing, which allows observers to visually track the motion of air particles.

By means of applying these methods one after another, zones of local flow separation, divergent separation areas, and unfavorable flow migration locations have been determined. This study provided explanations for effects obtained in the course of weighted aerodynamic research. The scientists determined that the convertoplane has a more favorable distribution of the lifting strength for angles of attack than that of other unmanned aircraft.

The Institute specialists have defined the flow visualization picture of the airframe elements for a wide range of angles of attack and sideslip. This study has enabled the scientists to decrease the flow divergent separation zone dorsal wing part, thus enhancing the aerodynamic configuration.

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