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Supersonic transition control


Skin friction drag on an aircraft wing has a significant impact on specific fuel consumption, pollution and noise emission. The objective of the SUPERTRAC project is to explore the possibilities of viscous drag reduction on supersonic aircraft wings by del aying TRAnsition. The problem has been widely studied for subsonic and transonic flows but little is known about the feasibility of laminar flow control techniques at supersonic speeds. The project has 9 partners including 2 European aircraft manufacturers . All the partners have been involved in previous EU-projects devoted to transonic aircraft laminarisation (ELFIN, HYLDA, HYLTEC, EUROTRANS, ALTTA). It is scheduled for 36 months and includes numerical and experimental activities. The total budget is 2 929 857 euros. The project consists of 6 Workpackages (WP). A preparatory work is done in WP1. It includes a review of the available supersonic TRAnsition data as well as the definition of specifications for a three-dimensional geometry (wing or fin), which will be used for a numerical application of the laminarisation techniques. The applicability of several techniques will be investigated in WP2 and WP3, at first from a numerical point of view. This work will result in the manufacturing of 2 simple wind tun nel models; one equipped with micron-sized roughness elements and an anti-contamination passive device (WP2), the other equipped with a suction system (WP3). Wind tunnel experiments will allow to characterise the efficiency of these TRAnsition control tech niques. The concept of Natural Laminar Flow by pressure gradient optimisation is studied in WP4; it is applied to the 3D shape considered in WP1. Here the work is purely numerical. Then the compatibility of natural laminar flow with the techniques investig ated in WP2 and WP3 will be analysed and the performances of the different approaches will be compared.

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