The University of Southampton
Courses

SESA3033 Wing Aerodynamics

Module Overview

The Wing Aerodynamics module concerns the application of basic fluid dynamics principles to flow over external aerodynamic surfaces. This includes methods to calculate the potential flow outside the boundary layer as well as method to calculate the boundary layer itself. Understanding and ultimately controlling flow over wings requires understanding laminar and turbulent boundary layers as well as the process of transition to turbulence and these subjects are considered in some detail.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Give students a ‘top-down’ view of external aerodynamics, starting from the governing equations and emphasising the simplifying assumptions of the main approaches. • To enhance students’ understanding of potential flow, beyond the level achieved in Part II Aerodynamics. • To provide a deeper understanding of laminar boundary layer theory, transition to turbulence and turbulent flow, including applications to flow manipulation. • To provide a conceptual overview of how all the different aspects of aerodynamics come together in practical viscous/inviscid interaction and CFD codes.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The key assumptions of potential flow and boundary layer theory.
  • Potential flow over aerofoils and wings, including slender wings.
  • Exact laminar boundary layer solutions.
  • eN method of transition prediction
  • Structure of turbulent boundary layers.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain how panel methods are constructed.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communicate work in written reports.
  • Study and learn independently.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse aerofoil flows using VII codes such as XFoil.
  • Check the accuracy of grids for CFD of wings.

Syllabus

Coursework (e.g. CFD of nozzle flow exercise) and examples sheets Introduction - Review of aerofoil and wing flow regimes, force and moment coefficients. Viscous flow analysis -Newtonian fluid. The Navier-Stokes equations for incompressible flow. Vorticity dynamics. Decomposition of flows into potential and rotational regions. Viscous-inviscid interaction. XFoil. Introduction to high lift airfoils. Calculation of potential flow around aerofoils and wings - Recap of main results for potential flow. Lumped vortex method for thin aerofoils. Source, vortex and doublet panels. Outline of a full panel method for 2D aerofoils. Applications of the complex potential. Slender wing theory including comparisons with real flow over a slender delta wing. Vortex lattice method for wings. Effects of seep, taper, twist. Laminar boundary layer theory - Order of magnitude analysis leading to the boundary layer equations. Pohlhausen’s profiles with pressure gradient parameter. Boundary layer separation Falkner-Skan solutions of the boundary layer equations. Numerical solution of boundary layer equations. Momentum integral equation (MIE). Deductions based on MIE. Thwaites' integral method with examples. Transition to turbulence - Phenomenology of transition to turbulence with an overview of prediction methods based on stability theory. Natural laminar flow and laminar flow control. Swept wing transition. Turbulence and numerical modelling - Characteristics of turbulent flow. Dimensional analysis leading to Kolmogorov energy spectrum. Mean flow structure of a turbulent boundary layer. Mixing length and eddy viscosity modelling. Outline of turbulence prediction methods. Drag reduction techniques. Revision Coursework (e.g. Solution of laminar BLE, XFoil or CFD exercise for flow over aerofoil) and examples sheets.

Special Features

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Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include Lectures (3 per week). Supporting material on Blackboard.

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task15
Revision27
Lecture36
Follow-up work54
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Katz & Plotkin. Low speed aerodynamics. 

Houghton & Carpenter. Aerodynamics for Engineering Students. 

Anderson, J.D. (2011). Introduction to CFD. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Can be repeated externally (100% exam) or internally.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 10%
Exam  (120 minutes) 90%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite module/s: SESA2022 Aerodynamics or equivalent.

Pre-requisites

To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

CodeModule
SESA2022Aerodynamics
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