Computational Investigation of Flows in Diffusing S-shaped Intakes

R. Menzies


This paper examines the flow in a diffusing s-shaped aircraft air intake using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Diffusing s-shaped ducts such as the RAE intake model 2129 (M2129) give rise to complex flow patterns that develop as a result of the offset between the intake cowl plane and engine face plane. Euler results compare favourably with experiment and previous calculations for a low mass flow case. For a high mass flow case a converged steady solution was not found and the problem was then simulated using an unsteady flow solver. A choked flow at the intake throat and complex shock reflection system, together with a highly unsteady flow downstream of the first bend, yielded results that did not compare well with previous experimental data. Previous work had also experienced this problem and a modification to the geometry to account for flow separation was required to obtain a steady flow.RANS results utilising a selection of turbulence models were more satisfactory. The low mass flow case showed good comparison with experiment and previous calculations. A problem of the low mass flow case is the prediction of secondary flow. It was found that the SST turbulence model best predicted this feature. Fully converged high mass flow results were obtained. Once more, SST results proved to match experiment and previous computations the best. Problems with the prediction of the flow in the cowl region of the duct were experienced with the S-A and k-w models. One of the main problems of turbulence closures in intake flows is the transition of the freestream from laminar to turbulent over the intake cowl region. It is likely that the improvement in this prediction using the SST turbulence model will lead to more satisfactory results for both high and low mass flow rates.


aerodynamics; computational fluid dynamics; internal flows; turbulence models

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague