Fuel efficiency and laminar flow control
Kocian, Travis Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Reed, Helen Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
- Boundary layers
- Instabilities and laminar flow control
- Drag budget and benefits
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The International Air Transport Association has reported that 27.5% of the operating budget for a commercial-class aircraft was spent on fuel in 2015. In an effort to reduce this expenditure, research and development have been focusing on new and efficient ways to reduce the overall system drag for these aircraft designs. Two of the pivotal components for drag are (1) skin-friction drag, which is a product of the friction forces created as air passes over the aircraft surface (Fig. 1), and (2) pressure drag, which is generated in cases of flow separation and causes the air pressure on the leading side of a surface to be larger than that on the aft side. The flow conditions of the air as well as the size and shape of the flight vehicle all play important roles in the creation of these drag terms. See also: Aerodynamic force; Airplane; Skin friction
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