Wing-Body circulation control by means of a fuselage trailing edge

R. J. Huyssen, G. R. Spedding, E. H. Mathews, L. Liebenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ideal flight sheds the least amount of kinetic energy into a wake while imparting momentum sufficient to balance the vehicle weight. This combination defines a unique downwash distribution for the wake, which an aircraft designer should provide for.Acentral fuselage, as required for the typical flight objective, presents an obstacle to this intent. A wing interrupted by a prominent fuselage is expected to shed inboard trailing vortices with central upwash harmful to the span efficiency of the aircraft. It is proposed here that a trailing edge on the fuselage can be used to control the circulation in the central region of the aircraft so that the central downwash deficiency can be avoided. Such a Kutta edge can further be applied as part of a high-lift system to increase central downwash by increasing the loading on the wing root and lift over the fuselage itself. Time-averaged flowfields behind a wing-body combination with and without a Kutta edge have been measured in wind-tunnel experiments. The results show that an edged aft-body does influence central circulation, as predicted. Flight with ideal wakes may be more readily attained than hitherto realized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1289
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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