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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Experimental investigation of the tolerant wind tunnel for unsteady airfoil motion testing Kong, Lingzhe


Previously, the concept of the tolerant wind tunnel, developed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, U. B. C., was tested only for stationary models. In the present study, the concept is investigated for unsteady airfoil motion. The new wind tunnel test section, using the opposite effects of solid and open boundaries, is a new approach to reduce wall blockage effects. Consisting of vertical airfoil slats uniformly spaced on both side walls in the test section, it is designed to produce a nearly free-air test environment for the test model, which leads to negligible or small corrections to the experimental results. The performance of this wind tunnel for unsteady model testing is examined experimentally with a two-dimensional NACA 0015 airfoil in a simple plunging sinusoidal motion. The airfoil is mounted vertically in the center plane of the test section between solid ceiling and floor. An oscillating table is designed to give the airfoil an accurate plunging sinusoidal motion. A full range of open area ratio is tested by varying the number of slats mounted inside the side walls. Pressure distribution along the airfoil surface and displacement of the airfoil are measured as functions of time by a data acquisition system designed for this research. Lift and moment are obtained by integration of the pressure distribution at every time increment. Using a numerical model based on the singularity distribution method, the free air case results for a NACA 0015 airfoil in the same unsteady motion are obtained. Comparison with the linear theory results by Sears¹ are discussed. Comparing with the numerical and the linear theory results, the experimental investigation shows that the new test section produces low-correction data.

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