Wavelike Characteristics of Low Reynolds Number Aerodynamics

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

22nd Applied Aerodynamics Conference and Exhibit


Experimental results reveal variance in drag along the span of an airfoil in low Reynolds number flow. This investigation hypothesized that wave theory could describe these spanwise variations. A mathematical model of this spanwise variation was developed from an assumed spanwise velocity profile and conventional gravity wave velocity.

This mathematical model was applied to a known experimental investigation and compared to those results. The results of these calculations demonstrated that using wave theory, a spanwise velocity results in measured spanwise drag variations similar to experimental results. This investigation showed strong evidence that spanwise variation in velocity profile demonstrate wavelike characteristics.




Permission documentation is on file.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Place of Publication

Providence, RI