Experimental and numerical studies of wingtip and downwash effects on horizontal tail


Studying wing downwash, which is caused by the wingtip effect, and its influence on horizontal tail is important for aircraft design. In this work, wing downwash was investigated using experimental and numerical methods. Sets of main wings and horizontal tails were fixed in a tunnel test chamber. For determining the wingtip effect and the wing downwash affecting the horizontal tail, experiments were performed, in which the pressure distributions near the main wingtip and on the upper and lower surfaces of the tail were measured. These experimental models were used in numerical calculations by the solving of differential equations for viscous flows and use of a singularity method for potential flows. The singularity method can be applied to determine the wing lift, as indicated by comparisons between the experimental and numerical results of the pressure distribution on the wing. Moreover, the wingtip and wing downwash effects influencing the horizontal tail should be determined with use of experimental and numerical methods that solve differential equations of viscous flow. In addition to the results regarding the pressure distributions near the main wing and on the horizontal tail, the longitudinal velocity, downwash velocity, and downwash angle distributions in the main wing wake were analyzed. We also investigated the kinetic parameters of the flow in mixed zones between the main wing downwash and the tail upwash.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ngoc T. B. Hoang.

Additional information

Recommended by Associate Editor Hyoung-Bum Kim

Hoang Thi Bich Ngoc is Associate Professor at the School of Transportation Engineering, HUST, Vietnam, and acquired her M.A. and Ph.D. in France. Her interests include aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, flight mechanics, turbomachines, and computational calculations.

Bui Vinh Binh received his B.E. in 2012 from the Excellent Engineer Training Program (PFIEV) and his MAs in 2014 from HUST. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at HUST. His interests include aerodynamics and airplane stability.

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Hoang, N.T.B., Bui, B.V. Experimental and numerical studies of wingtip and downwash effects on horizontal tail. J Mech Sci Technol 33, 649–659 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12206-019-0120-9

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  • Wingtip effect
  • Downwash velocities and angles
  • Horizontal tail
  • Experiment
  • Numerical methods