Enabling a leading-edge vortex (LEV) is a possible mechanism to significantly increase the lift on wings. This is well known for slender delta wings, for which various analytical models were developed and show accurate predictions of the lift enhancement. This paper shows that, when suitably designing the wing planform, LEVs can also exist on high-aspect-ratio (high-AR) wings. In this study, a quasi-three-dimensional flow model is presented for solving the stationary LEV phenomenon over a high-AR swept back wing, with sweep increasing toward the wingtip. Our model captures the three-dimensional phenomenon by satisfying conservation of mass and vorticity within the LEV, and using a combination of strip theory and the lifting-line theory. Our model predictions are compared with flow visualization data on a parabolic swept back wing. Results confirm that suitable sweep wing geometry can fix an LEV steadily over the upper wing surface, resulting in significant lift enhancement of up to 70%.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering