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Flow Separation Within the Engine Inlet of an Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael J. Brear

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Zachary Warfield

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

John F. Mangus, Jeffry S. Philhower

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Steve Braddom

West Point, West Point, NY

James D. Paduano

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. FEDSM2003-45579, pp. 1035-1042; 8 pages
  • ASME/JSME 2003 4th Joint Fluids Summer Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: Fora, Parts A, B, C, and D
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, July 6–10, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3696-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3673-8
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


This paper discusses the structure of the flow within the engine inlet of an uninhabited combat air vehicle (UCAV). The UCAV features a top-mounted, serpentine inlet leading to an engine buried within the fuselage. The performance of the inlet is found to depend strongly on a flow separation that occurs within the inlet. Both the time-averaged and the unsteady structure of this separation is studied, and an argument relating the inlet performance to the behaviour of this separation is suggested. The results presented in this paper also suggest that there are considerable aerodynamic limitations to further shortening or narrowing of the inlet. Since there are substantial, system level benefits from using a smaller inlet, the case for separated flow control therefore appears clear.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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