C-17 Globemaster III Vortex Control Finlets simulation and wind tunnel testing

DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.2514/6.2017-4227
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Proceedings title35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
Conference35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, June 509, 2017, Denver, Colorado, USA
AbstractIn 2013, Defence Research and Development Canada, in collaboration with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory and the Australian Defence Science Technical Group, embarked on an ambitious development and evaluation program to assess the performance benefits of Vortex Contol (VC) FinletsTM installed on the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. This paper will discuss three wind tunnel tests and significant complementary computational fluid dynamics analyses that occurred over the course of a year and across international borders. Since the primary role of the Finlets is to reduce drag and hence reduce fuel consumption, or increase range and endurance, the primary objective of this work was to achieve the greatest drag decrement by understanding the flow around the C-17’s tail and the mechanism(s) by which the devices control that flow. The secondary objectives were to determine the effect of the devices on air-drop and stability and control, albeit the latter assessment was limited. The wind tunnel tests demonstrated a maximum reduction in drag of 1.8% with no significant side-effects. Since the devices provide small decrements in drag by changing the complex flow around the empennage, several challenges in testing and simulation were encountered and were generally addressed with inexpensive solutions. To that end, classic and advanced techniques were used during testing with positive success.
Publication date
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
AffiliationAerospace; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number23002623
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Record identifier3e9fc9e3-7e21-44f6-a167-bb97d4cd9336
Record created2017-12-07
Record modified2017-12-07
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