TsAGI is working on a new methodology for aerodynamic research

© Roman Vukolov, romanvukolov.com / TsAGI T-101 wind tunnel. Archival photo

The Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky (TsAGI) continues research in the field of aerodynamic characteristics of aircraft. Under a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, the project team is collaborating with scientists from the S.A. Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences to develop new techniques for studying the unsteady flow of canonical bodies.

The main goal of the project is to study the flight of aircraft under unsteady flow conditions, which arise during manoeuvring, during strong atmospheric turbulence or when getting into a vortex trail. These factors must be taken into account at the early stages of design, so TsAGI scientists develop numerical modelling methods and conduct experiments, the successful validation of which is the key to obtaining accurate data.

At a seminar held at the N.E. Zhukovsky Memorial House-Museum in the Vladimir region, the project team summarised the interim results of this year’s research. They tested the canonical body model in the TsAGI wind tunnel using a comprehensive approach. Unsteady loads, pressure, vibrations and temperature on the surface of the model were measured using optical methods. This approach made it possible to determine the laminar-turbulent transition at different Reynolds numbers.

In addition, the scientists used film thermoanemometers to obtain data on velocity pulsations. Preliminary computational studies helped to properly design the experiment. These new methods and approaches to studying the aerodynamic performance of aircraft will help improve the accuracy of the data obtained and therefore help in the development of more efficient and safer aircraft.

In addition to testing, next year the project team will carry out computational studies using the EWT-CAGI software package for modelling unsteady flow in a transonic wind tunnel, as well as performing a fundamental analysis of the development of the turbulent boundary layer on canonical bodies. The research will help to improve the understanding of unsteady flow and its influence on the flight characteristics of aircraft, laying the foundation for the creation of more efficient and better aircraft.