Dynamic Vortex Generators

Project Sponsor: 
Focus Area: 
Aerodynamics Research
Principal Investigator: 

Currently many vertical tails on commercial aircraft are oversized in order to compensate for an extremely rare and specific emergency scenario: A single engine out in high crosswind during takeoff and landing. Our goal is to improve the performance of a smaller vertical tail, which would allow for higher deflection angles, and therefore higher sideforce, in order to compensate for the high yaw produced during these emergency scenarios. This would allow for a significant decrease in weight and drag, since the majority of an airplanes flight time is spent at cruise conditions. The flow control device used for this project is the dynamic vortex generator. This device works off the tried and tested mechanisms as a traditional vortex generator, but have the potential to be completely retracted during cruise conditions in addition to oscillating at certain frequencies in the flow which would enhance performance.

The dynamic vortex generators placed at a mean height of 2mm on the experimental test piece


Image of the dynamic vortex generators reattaching the flow over the deflected rudder


Related Publication:

  • Rice, T., Cummings, R., Clingman, D.J., Sahni, O., and Amitay, M., "Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Satic and Dynamice Vortex Generators on an Airfoil with a Deflected Flap, " 8th AIAA Flow Control Conference Proceedings, AIAA Aviation, Vol. 2016-4087, June 2016.