Journal article

Computational analysis of the effects of a boundary layer ingesting propulsion system in transonic flow

Continuous requirements for more efficient aircrafts lead to the design and analysis of novel propulsion configurations, with an example being the boundary layer ingestion. The complexity and integration challenges in such aircraft synergistic propulsion system characterize the research in this field, driven by the potential benefits. The aim of this article is to investigate the effects of boundary layer ingestion on the aerodynamics of a transonic wing, together with the quality of the flow ingested by the propulsion system. A two-dimensional computational model of a transonic airfoil with boundary layer ingesting propulsion system is developed in order to assess boundary layer ingestion for a commercial air transport at cruise conditions and highlight the complex integration issues arising from such configuration. A parametric analysis of the effects of flight conditions, nacelle geometry and engine operating point, on lift, pressure recovery, distortion, total pressure and velocity distribution at the intake, comes to enhance understanding of the performance of this configuration. The pressure distribution around the airfoil and the boundary layer growth are both substantially affected by the engine operating condition, which is represented by the mass flow ratio, with a direct impact on pressure recovery and lift. Mach number and angle of attack influences on lift and drag ingested are also investigated. Intake size and position on the airfoil appear to have significant effects on lift and losses ingested. In general, the results of this study include several aspects related to wing aerodynamics and ingested flow quality, which may facilitate design and integration of the boundary layer ingestion propulsion system for future commercial aircraft.


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