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Flight Test and Refinement of a Nacelle Ventilation Inlet Partially Submerged in Boundary Layer

[+] Author Affiliations
Brian F. Lundy, Thomas G. Sylvester, Jeffrey A. Catt

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX

Paper No. 2001-GT-0453, pp. V001T01A010; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2001: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Marine; Turbomachinery; Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, June 4–7, 2001
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7850-7
  • Copyright © 2001 by ASME


Efforts to develop, test, and refine a nacelle ventilation inlet for the F-16 Fighting Falcon are presented in this work. The nacelle inlet was developed to support retrofit of existing F-16 aircraft with an ejector nozzle.

The F-16 is equipped with a ventilated nacelle that inhibits ignition sources and accumulation of flammable vapors in the engine bay. When integrating the ejector nozzle, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (LM Aero) and GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) took advantage of this feature to redirect nacelle ventilation air (which is typically dumped overboard) to the exhaust nozzle for cooling. This system dramatically extends nozzle divergent flap and seal life and reduces operational and support (O&S) costs.

GEAE’s ejector nozzle produces higher nacelle ventilation exhaust pressures than the existing system, prompting the need to redesign the nacelle inlet to maintain nacelle ventilation capability. Fire protection and nozzle cooling goals drove the need for higher nacelle pressure, while structural design limited the maximum pressure within the nacelle. The design space was bound by these contrasting requirements. To complicate matters, the nacelle inlet also had to manage the thick boundary layer generated by the aircraft fuselage.

A flight test was performed to manage uncertainties in the system and mitigate the risks of installing a new nacelle inlet on the F-16. The flight test revealed the influence of shock wave / boundary layer interaction (viscous interaction) on inlet pressure recovery. These findings resulted in several recommendations for improving the inlet design, the most significant being the inclusion of a boundary layer diverter. An overview of inlet development and the results obtained from the risk management tasks are presented in this work.

Copyright © 2001 by ASME



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