Determination of boundary-layer transition on three symmetrical airfoils in the NACA full-scale wind tunnel

Silverstein, Abe Becker, John V

For the purpose of studying the transition from laminar to turbulent flow, boundary-layer measurements were made in the NACA full-scale wind tunnel on three symmetrical airfoils of NACA 0009, 0012, and 0018 sections. The effects of variations in lift coefficient, Reynolds number, and airfoil thickness on transition were investigated. Air speed in the boundary layer was measured by total-head tubes and by hot wires; a comparison of transition as indicated by the two techniques was obtained. The results indicate no unique value of Reynolds number for the transition, whether the Reynolds number is based upon the distance along the chord or upon the thickness of the boundary layer at the transition point. In general, the transition is not abrupt and occurs in a region that varies in length as a function of the test conditions.

An Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file of the entire report: