On the Effects of an Installed Propeller Slipstream on Wing Aerodynamic Characteristics

F. M. Catalano


This work presents an experimental study of the effect of an installed propeller slipstream on a wing boundary layer. The main objective was to analyse through wind tunnel experiments the effect of the propeller slipstream on the wing boundary layer characteristics such as: laminar flow extension and transition, laminar separation bubbles and reattachment and turbulent separation. Two propeller/wing configurations were studied: pusher and tractor. Experimental work was performed using two different models: a two-dimensional wing with a central cylindrical nacelle for the tractor configuration, and a simple two-dimensional wing with a downstream propeller for the pusher tests. The relative position between propeller and wing could be changed in the pusher model, and a total of 7 positions were analysed. For the tractor tests the relative propeller/wing was fixed, but three different propellers: two, three and four bladed were tested. Measurements included pressure distribution, hot wire anemometry and boundary layer characteristics by flow visualisation. The results showed that the pusher propeller inflow affects the wing characteristics by changing the lift, drag, and also delays the boundary layer transition and separation. These effects are highly dependent on the relative position of the wing/propeller. On the other hand, the tractor propeller slipstream induces transition and its effect is dependent on the number of blades.


Wing /propeller interference; propeller slipstream; boundary layer

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