A method of rapidly estimating the position of the laminar separation point

Von Doenhoff, Albert E
naca-tn-671
October 1938


A method is described of rapidly estimating the position of the laminar separation point from the given pressure distribution along a body; the method is applicable to a fairly wide variety of cases. The laminar separation point is found by the von Karman-Millikan method for a series of velocity distributions along a flat plate, which consist of a region of uniform velocity followed by a region of uniform decreased velocity. It is shown that such a velocity distribution can frequently replace the actual velocity distribution along a body insofar as the effects on laminar separation are concerned. An example of the application of the method is given by using it to calculate the position of the laminar separation point on the NACA 0012 airfoil section at zero lift. The agreement between the position of the separation point calculated according to the present method and that found from more elaborate computations is very good.

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