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Analysis of a civil aircraft wing transonic shock buffet experiment. (English) Zbl 07150040
Summary: The physical mechanism governing the onset of transonic shock buffet on swept wings remains elusive, with no unequivocal description forthcoming despite over half a century of research. This paper elucidates the fundamental flow physics on a civil aircraft wing using an extensive experimental database from a transonic wind tunnel facility. The analysis covers a wide range of flow conditions at a Reynolds number of around \(3.6\times 10^6\). Data at pre-buffet conditions and beyond onset are assessed for Mach numbers between 0.70 and 0.84. Critically, unsteady surface pressure data of high spatial and temporal resolution acquired by dynamic pressure-sensitive paint is analysed, in addition to conventional data from pressure transducers and a root strain gauge. We identify two distinct phenomena in shock buffet conditions. First, we highlight a low-frequency shock unsteadiness for Strouhal numbers between 0.05 and 0.15, based on mean aerodynamic chord and reference free stream velocity. This has a characteristic wavelength of approximately 0.8 semi-span lengths (equivalent to three mean aerodynamic chords). Such shock unsteadiness is already observed at low-incidence conditions, below the buffet onset defined by traditional indicators. This has the effect of propagating disturbances predominantly in the inboard direction, depending on localised separation, with a dimensionless convection speed of approximately 0.26 for a Strouhal number of 0.09. Second, we describe a broadband higher-frequency behaviour for Strouhal numbers between 0.2 and 0.5 with a wavelength of 0.2 to 0.3 semi-span lengths (0.6 to 1.2 mean aerodynamic chords). This outboard propagation is confined to the tip region, similar to previously reported buffet cells believed to constitute the shock buffet instability on conventional swept wings. Interestingly, a dimensionless outboard convection speed of approximately 0.26, coinciding with the low-frequency shock unsteadiness, is found to be nearly independent of frequency. We characterise these coexisting phenomena by use of signal processing tools and modal analysis of the dynamic pressure-sensitive paint data, specifically proper orthogonal and dynamic mode decomposition. The results are scrutinised within the context of a broader research effort, including numerical simulation, and viewed alongside other experiments. We anticipate our findings will help to clarify experimental and numerical observations in edge-of-the-envelope conditions and to ultimately inform buffet-control strategies.

76 Fluid mechanics
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