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Active Reduction of Skin Friction Drag


Aircraft range is limited by aerodynamic drag and even a modest reduction of the drag provides significant fuel savings. Recent advances in electronics and control technologies make active boundary layer control practical. The integration of modern control systems with aerodynamic boundary layer control allows a major reduction in skin friction drag.


RHRC has achieved significant results by providing a reduction in turbulent boundary layer drag using active flow control devices without offsetting aerodynamic penalties or excessive power requirements. Flow sensors and a control system create a practical turbulent drag reduction system. The system performance has been demonstrated during wind tunnel tests with fuselage and wing models. In comparison with passive techniques, the active device offers the benefits of smaller size, less device drag, greater effectiveness and flexible control over a wide range of operating conditions.



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