Laminar Flow Control

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Drag reduction constitutes an important element for the development of the next generation of transport aircraft. Since the skin-friction drag represents close to half of the total aircraft drag, maintaining the boundary layer laminar by removing a small quantity of air through suction from the surface of the wing will translate into a substantial reduction of the total drag. The drag reduction that results will entail in turn a reduction in the fuel consumption which can also be seen as a reduction in polluting emissions. The present state of the technology permits drag reduction of the order of 10 % on wings and close to 5 % on empennages and nacelles.

Under the direction of Professor Ion Paraschivoiu, researches completed under the J.-A. Bombardier Aeronautical Chair (now known as the Aerodynamic Laboratory) of École Polytechnique de Montréal (Canada), developped numerical tools that can quantify the impact of Laminar Flow Control on the skin-friction drag of a wing for an incompressible or compressible flow.