Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Richard Wlezien


Fuel costs represent a large fraction of aircraft operating costs. Increased aircraft fuel efficiency is thus desirable. Laminar airfoils have the advantage of reduced cruise drag and increased fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, they cannot perform adequately during high-lift situations (i.e. takeoff and landing) due to low stall angles and low maximum lift caused by flow separation. Active flow control has shown the ability to prevent or mitigate separation effects, and increase maximum lift. This fact makes AFC technology a fitting solution for improving high-lift systems and reducing the need for slats and flap elements.

This study focused on experimentally investigating the effects of steady active flow control from three slots, located at 1%, 10%, and 80% chord, respectively, over a laminar airfoil with 45 degree deflected flap. A 30-inch-span airfoil model was designed, fabricated, and then tested in the Bill James 2.5'x3' Wind Tunnel at Iowa State University. Pressure data were collected along the mid-span of the airfoil, and lift and drag were calculated.

Five test cases with varying injection locations and varying Cμ were chosen: baseline, blown flap, leading edge blowing, equal blowing, and unequal blowing. Of these cases, unequal blowing achieved the greatest lift enhancement over the baseline. All cases were able to increase lift; however, gains were less than anticipated.


Copyright Owner

Patrick Clayton



File Format


File Size

74 pages