Summary: Low Reynolds Number Aerodynamics of Leading Edge Flaps
A. R. Jones
£, N. M. Bakhtian
y, and H. Babinsky
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, United Kingdom
Recent eorts to develop MAVs have renewed interest in improving airfoil performance at low Reynolds numbers.
Taking inspiration from birds, naturally maneuverable and ecient low Reynolds number
iers, the eects of a
ap are investigated using a force balance and oil
ow visualization. The avian leading edge
modeled using both a leading edge
ap and a leading edge wire. It was found that the leading edge
ap functions as
a boundary layer trip rather than as a conventional high-lift device. Leading edge
ap performance is compared to
that of conventional surface-mounted transition trips over a range of Reynolds numbers from 4:0 ¢104 to 1:2 ¢105.
It was found that while surface-mounted tape and wire trips are ineective at high angles of attack, leading edge
aps and wires can greatly improve lift, even at the lowest Reynolds number. The leading edge devices were found
to introduce disturbances to the
ow which, at high angles of attack, propagate over the airfoil surface and prevent
the formation of laminar separation bubbles.
Recent eorts to develop micro air vehicles (MAVs) have renewed interest in low Reynolds number aerodynamics
[1, 2, 3]. MAVs must be capable of executing precision maneuvers requiring high lift coecients at low