Experimental and numerical study of wing boundary layer behavior in propeller flowfield

  • Hamzeh Aminaei
  • Ali Reza MostofizadehEmail author
  • Mojtaba Dehghan Manshadi
Regular Paper


In this research, the effects of propeller slipstream on wing boundary layer and transition front were studied through wind tunnel tests and numerical analysis. In this respect, the flow around a NACA 6-series airfoil section was simulated in a computational fluid dynamics solver without and with propeller flowfield. The numerical study, presented in this paper, was concerned with the effect of propeller slipstream on both wing aerodynamics and boundary layer treatment. For experimental tests, oil flow visualization technique was used to determine laminar to turbulent transition location, laminar separation bubble with turbulent reattachment and turbulent separation line over the wing surfaces. Existence of propeller slipstream changed pressure and skin friction distribution over the wing surfaces, in both chordwise and spanwise directions and it hence affected on the wing loading distribution. Also upstream propeller affected on boundary layer characteristics including laminar/turbulent transition onset and separation over the wing. The results showed that the transition location moved toward the leading edge, and the separation bubble was washed out due to propeller slipstream.

Graphical abstract


Boundary layer Propeller Surface flow visualization Transition 

List of symbols



Computational fluid dynamics


Revolution per minute


Turbulence intensity

English symbols


Wing span


Chord length


Skin friction coefficient


Lift coefficient


Pressure coefficient


Propeller diameter


Advanced ratio


Rotational speed


Reynolds number


Strain rate




Local velocity


Free stream velocity


Chordwise direction


Spanwise direction


Vertical direction

Greek symbols


Incidence angle


Intermittency coefficient


Momentum thickness


Molecular viscosity


Eddy viscosity







  1. Aminaei H, Dehghan Manshadi M, Mostofizadeh AR (2017) Numerical estimation of the wing boundary layer transition in propeller flowfield. Modares Mech Eng 17(2):157–165 (in Persian) Google Scholar
  2. Aminaei H, Dehghan Manshadi M, Mostofizadeh AR (2018) Experimental investigation of propeller slipstream effects on the wing aerodynamics and boundary layer treatment at low Reynolds number. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part G J Aerosp Eng. Google Scholar
  3. Barlow JB, Rae WH, Pope A (1999) Low speed wind tunnel testing, 3rd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Catalano FM (2004) On the effects of an installed propeller slipstream on wing aerodynamic characteristics. Acta Polytech 44(3):1–8Google Scholar
  5. Dehghan Manshadi M, Hejranfar K, Farajollahi AH (2017) Effect of vortex generators on hydrodynamic behavior of an underwater axisymmetric hull at high angles of attack. J Vis. Google Scholar
  6. Elsaadawy EA, Britcher CP (2000) Experimental investigation of the effect of propeller slipstream on boundary layer behavior at low Reynolds number. In: 18th Applied aerodynamics conference, Denver, CO, USA, pp 267–276Google Scholar
  7. Fratello G, Favier D, Maresca C (1991) Experimental and numerical study of the propeller/fixed wing interaction. J Aircr 28(6):365–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fu W, Li J, Wang H (2012) Numerical simulation of propeller slipstream effect on a propeller-driven unmanned aerial vehicle. In: International conference on advances in computational modeling and simulation. Elsevier, pp 150–155Google Scholar
  9. Fürst J, Straka P, Příhoda J, Šimurda D (2012) Comparison of several models of the laminar/turbulent transition. In: 7th International experimental fluid mechanics conference, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, 20–23 NovemberGoogle Scholar
  10. Menter FR, Langtry RB, Likki SR, Suzen YB, Huang PG, Völker S (2006) A correlation-based transition model using local variables-part I: model formulation. J Turbomach 128(3):413–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Menter FR, Smirnov PE, Liu T, Avancha R (2015) A one-equation local correlation-based transition model. Flow Turbul Combust 95(4):583–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. O’Meara MM, Mueller TJ (1986) Experimental determination of the laminar separation bubble characteristics of an airfoil at low Reynolds numbers. In: AIAA/ASME 4th fluid mechanics, plasma dynamics and lasers conference, 12–14 May, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  13. Reed HL, Saric WS (1989) Stability of three-dimensional boundary layers. Ann Rev Fluid Mech 21:235–284MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. Schroijen MJT, Veldhuis LLM, Slingerland R (2008) Propeller slipstream investigation using the Fokker F27 wind tunnel model with flaps deflected. In: 26th International congress of the aeronautical science, ICASGoogle Scholar
  15. Schroijen MJT, Veldhuis LLM, Slingerland R (2010) Propeller empennage interaction effects on vertical tail design of multiengine aircraft. J Aircr 47(4):1133–1140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Silisteanu PD, Botez RM (2010) Transition-flow-occurrence estimation: a new method. J Aircr 47(2):703–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sohankar A, Mohagheghian S, Dehghan AA, Dehghan Manshadi M (2015) A smoke visualization study of the flow over a square cylinder at incidence and tandem square cylinders. J Vis. Google Scholar
  18. Tyagi H, Liu R, Ting DSK, Johnston CR (2006) Measurement of wake properties of a sphere in free stream turbulence. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 30:587–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Veldhuis LLM (2005) Propeller wing aerodynamic interference. Dissertation, Delft University of Technology, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  20. White F (2006) Viscous fluid flow, 3rd edn. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringMalek Ashtar University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

Personalised recommendations