Maneuvering aspects and 3D effects of active airfoil flow control

Itay Timor, Eli Ben-Hamou, Yair Guy, Avi Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An active flow control experiment was conducted on a cropped NACA 0018 airfoil to study 3D effects and maneuverability aspects made possible by a segmented actuation system installed in the airfoil. The 14 piezo-fluidic actuators were installed at the corner of the cropped region, inclined at 30° to the local surface, facing downstream. Operating all actuators at unison significantly increased lift and generated a pitch-down moment. Operating all actuators at the same magnitude but varying the phase along the span generated larger lift-increment, with respect to the uniform phase excitation. Significant rolling moment can be generated when only half-span of the wing is actuated. The latter effect, as indicated by the 3D pressure distribution, persists to the leading edge even though the excitation was introduced close to the trailing edge. When a pair, out of the possible fourteen actuators is not operating, very little of the control authority is lost. This is an important finding when issues like fault tolerance and robustness of fluidic-piezo actuators are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-443
Number of pages15
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Airfoil
  • Flow control
  • Guidance
  • Mild manuvering


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