Is There a Relationship Between the Wingtip Vortex and the Shear Layer?

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


PIV experiments were conducted in the wake of an aspect ratio 4 flat plate at the University of Dayton’s Low Speed Wind Tunnel (UD-LSWT) to determine if there was any discernible relationship between the wingtip vortex and the wing’s free shear layer. Several modifications were made to the wing boundary layer to investigate sensitivity to a range of boundary layer conditions. To explore this relationship, the mid semi span free shear layer and the wingtip vortex were interrogated at several chord lengths distance downstream and across an angle of attack range of 1° to 4° around the vicinity of maximum (L/D) lift condition.

The development of the wingtip vortex was examined with three primary fields of view oriented along the three axes (Streamwise, Cross-stream and Spanwise). Then a boundary layer trip was introduced on the upper surface of the flat plate to change the character of the turbulence in the boundary layer. The resulting changes in the turbulence character of the wingtip vortex and free shear layer were interrogated for any evidence of an interaction between the free shear layer and the wingtip vortex. The interrogation resulted in the discovery of significant relationship between the shear layer and the wingtip vortex.




Permission documentation is on file.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Place of Publication

San Diego, CA