Contributions on the mechanics of boundary-layer transition

G. B. Schubauer, P. S. Klebanoff
naca-report-1289
Jan 1956


The manner in which flow in a boundary layer becomes turbulent was investigated on a flat plate at wind speeds generally below 100 feet per second. Hot-wire techniques were used, and many of the results are derived from oscillograms of velocity fluctuations in the transition region. Following a presentation of the more familiar aspects of transition, there are presented the very revealing facts discovered while studying the characteristics of artificially produced turbulent spots. These are: (1) oscillograms of natural transition are identical to oscillograms of spot passage; (2) transition starts from perturbations in the laminar flow as spots which then grow in accordance with the general concept proposed by Emmons. (3) Turbulence always moves downstream followed by laminar flow; (4) the following flow is in a state of calm for a period during which transition will not occur.

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