A preliminary investigation of boundary-layer transition along a flat plate with adverse pressure gradient

Von Doenhoff, Albert E
March 1938

Boundary-layer surveys were made throughout the transition region along a smooth flat plate placed in an airstream of practically zero turbulence and with an adverse pressure gradient. The boundary-layer Reynolds number at the laminar separation point was varied from 1,800 to 2,600. The test data, when considered in the light of certain theoretical deductions, indicated that transition probably began with separation of the laminar boundary layer. The extent of the transition region, defined as the distance from a calculated laminar separation point to the position of the first fully developed turbulent boundary-layer profile, could be expressed as a constant Reynolds number run of approximately 70,000. Some speculations are presented concerning the application of the foregoing concepts, after certain assumptions have been made, to the problem of the connection between transition on the upper surface of an airfoil at high angles of attack and the maximum lift.

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