Comparison of profile-drag and boundary-layer measurements obtained in flight and in the full-scale wind tunnel

Goett, Harry J Bicknell, Joseph
March 1939

The effect of the existing turbulence in the full scale tunnel was determined from measurements of the profile drag of an N-22 section by the momentum method under corresponding conditions in flight and the tunnel. The transition-point location on the upper surface of the air-foil was also determined from velocity surveys in the boundary layer. The measurements were made at section lift coefficients from 0.480 to 0.635 with a range of Reynolds Numbers from 4,600,000 to 3,900,000. The results show that the end of transition occurs at approximately the same point on the airfoil in flight and in the tunnel. The transition region was somewhat broader in the tunnel and started farther forward than in flight. The laminar profiles in the tunnel had some characteristics of transition profiles in the tunnel and had a much steeper slope near the surface than did the laminar profiles obtained in flight. These differences, however, caused an increase of only 0.0001 in the profile-drag coefficients, as determined by the momentum method.

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