Detailed Numerical Study on the Aerodynamic Behavior of a Gurney Flapped Airfoil in the Ultra-low Reynolds Regime


  • Mahzad Khoshlessan
  • Seyed Mohammad Hossein Karimian


Gurney flap, Ultra-low Reynolds number, NACA 0008 airfoil, Transient behavior, Incompressible flow, Laminar flow.


The addition of Gurney flap changes the nature of flow around airfoil by producing asymmetric Von- Karman vortex in its wake. Most of the investigations on Gurney flapped airfoils have modeled the flow using a quasisteady approach, resulting in time-averaged values with no information on the unsteady features of the flow. Among these, some investigations have shown that quasi-steady approach does a good job on predicting the aerodynamic coefficients and physics of flow. Previous studies on Gurney flap have shown that the calculated aerodynamic coefficients such as lift and drag coefficients from quasi-steady approach are in good agreement with the time averaged values of these quantities in time accurate computations. However, these investigations were conducted in regimes of medium to high Reynolds numbers where the flow is turbulent. Whether this is true for the regime of ultra-low Reynolds number is open to question. Therefore, it is deemed necessary to examine the previous investigations in the regime of ultra-low Reynolds numbers. The unsteady incompressible laminar flow over a Gurney flapped airfoil is investigated using three approaches; namely unsteady accurate, unsteady inaccurate, and quasisteady. Overall, all the simulations showed that at ultra-low Reynolds numbers quasi-steady solution does not necessarily have the same correlation with the time averaged results over the unsteady accurate solution. In addition, it was observed that results of unsteady inaccurate approach with very small time steps can be used to predict time-averaged quantities fairly accurate with less computational cost.






Original Papers