An experimental investigation of jet-induced ground effects and support strut interference on a STOVL configuration in hover
Platzer, Max F.
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A small-scale ground-effect test rig was designed and fabricated to study the ground-plane flow field generated by a STOVL aircraft in hover. The objective of the research was to support NASA Ames Research Center's planning for the upcoming large-scale powered model hover tests for the ARPA sponsored ASTOVL program. Specifically, small-scale oil-flow visualization studies were conducted to make a relative assessment of the aerodynamic interference of two proposed support-strut configurations on the ground-plane stagnation line. A simplified flat-plane model representative of a generic jet-powered STOVL aircraft with both the lift fan and the main engine simulated by air jets, with nozzle pressure ratios closely matching those of the large scale tests, was utilized. The flow visualization data clearly identified an aft shift in the stagnation line location for both strut configurations. Although the data indicated a slight reduction in the aft shift for the wider strut configuration, considering the experimental uncertainties involved it was concluded that either of the strut configurations caused only a minor aerodynamic interference.
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