CEAS Aeronautical Journal

, Volume 3, Issue 2–4, pp 145–164 | Cite as

Multidisciplinary conceptual design for aircraft with circulation control high-lift systems

  • Christian Werner-SpatzEmail author
  • Wolfgang Heinze
  • Peter Horst
  • Rolf Radespiel
Original Paper


Active high-lift technologies have often proven their potential in aerodynamic analyses and wind tunnel tests, but have so far played only a minute role in civil production aircraft. This is expected to change in the future only if such technologies can be accounted for early in the aircraft design process. In this paper, the adaptation of a conceptual design process is presented, enabling it to consider circulation control as a high-lift technology. It is shown that the main aerodynamic effects of a blown flap in the boundary layer control regime can be satisfactorily modeled with a potential theory method. Some sample results of the design process indicate a potential for significant reductions of required field length in comparison with today’s aircraft, creating the potential to increase the capacity of the air transportation system, without increasing overall aircraft mass or direct operating cost.


Aircraft conceptual design Active high-lift Circulation control Multisiciplinary design High-lift aerodynamics 

List of symbols


Cross-section area of BLC exit slot, in m²


Speed of sound, in m/s


Width, in m


3D zero-lift drag coefficient


3D induced drag coefficient


2D drag coefficient with flap extended


2D drag coefficient without flap extension


3D lift coefficient


2D lift coefficient


3D pitching moment coefficient

\( C_{{{\upmu}}} \)

3D blowing momentum coefficient

\( c_{{{\upmu}}} \)

2D blowing momentum coefficient


Pressure coefficient


Wing reference area, in m²


Counter over wing sections


Index denoting parameters of the BLC jet


Relation of lift to drag

\( \dot{m} \)

Mass flow, in kg/s


Mach number


Static pressure, in Pa

\( p_{\text{T}} \)

Total pressure, in Pa


Dynamic pressure, in Pa


Static temperature, in K


Total temperature, in K


Chord length normal to the wing leading edge, in m


Velocity, in m/s

\( \alpha \)

Angle of attack, in degrees

\( \gamma \)

Dimensionless circulation

\( \varphi_{ 2 5} \)

Wing sweep angle at quarter-chord, in degrees

\( \eta \)

Dimensionless span coordinate

\( \kappa \)

Ideal gas coefficient

\( \Uplambda \)

Wing aspect ratio

\( \rho \)

Density, in kg/m³



The authors wish to thank K.-H. Horstmann and C. Liersch of the Institute Aerodynamics and Flow Technology at the DLR (German Aerospace Center), for providing the LIFTING_LINE code, as well as K. Pfingsten and C. Jensch at TUBS (Braunschweig University) for providing IBF airfoil data.


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Copyright information

© Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Werner-Spatz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wolfgang Heinze
    • 1
  • Peter Horst
    • 1
  • Rolf Radespiel
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Aircraft Design and Lightweight StructuresTechnische Universitaet BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Fluid MechanicsTechnische Universitaet BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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