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A Turbofan-Engine Nacelle Shape Design and Optimization Method for Natural Laminar Flow Control

[+] Author Affiliations
Songyang Li, Yongjian Zhong

AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China

Paper No. GT2016-57463, pp. V001T01A027; 9 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2016: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Fans and Blowers; Marine
  • Seoul, South Korea, June 13–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4968-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


A correctly profiled engine nacelle can delay the transition in the boundary layer and allow laminar flow to extend back, resulting in a substantial drag reduction. Therefore, the laminar flow nacelle has lower fuel consumption than current turbulent designs. In this paper, aerodynamic shape optimization of natural laminar flow nacelle has been studied by using a novel nacelle shape design method and transition prediction with CFD. First, the 2D longitudinal profile-line of nacelle is optimized, in order to extend its laminar region and achieve minimum drag coefficient within the design space. Second, the optimized longitudinal profile-line is then circumferentially stacked to construct the 3D nacelle aerodynamic shape. At last, the aerodynamic improvement of the new shape is evaluated by 3D CFD simulation. A nacelle geometry generator has been developed where the deflection angle (related to the curvature) along the cord is controlled by using Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines. It is then analytically integrated to obtain the longitudinal profile-line. And also a leading edge matching function is involved in the generator. This technique improves the smoothness of nacelle profile-line, which ensures the curvature and slope of curvature to be continuous all over the nacelle surface. The pressure distribution over the nacelle surface has been improved with no spikes in Mach number. A transition model coupling with shear stress transport turbulent model is used in solving Navier-Stokes equations for transition prediction. An optimization system has been established in combination with the geometry generator, the transition prediction model with CFD, a Kriging surrogate model and a Multi-Island Genetic Algorithm. As a result, the aerodynamic improvement, with one profile-line optimized, is obvious against the original nacelle shape by CFD validation in 3D simulation. The optimized nacelle can achieve a laminar flow up to 23% and its drag coefficient has reduced by 6.5%. It is indicated that the optimization system is applicable in nacelle aerodynamic shape design.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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