An overview of active flow control enhanced vertical tail technology development

John C. Lin, Marlyn Y. Andino, Michael G. Alexander, Edward A. Whalen, Marc A. Spoor, John T. Tran, Israel J. Wygnanski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

62 Scopus citations


This paper summarizes a joint NASA/Boeing research effort to advance Active Flow Control (AFC) technology to enhance aerodynamic efficiency of a vertical tail. Sweeping jet AFC technology was successfully tested on subscale and full-scale models as well as in flight. The subscale test was performed at Caltech on a ~14% scale model. More than 50% side force enhancement was achieved by the sweeping jet actuation when the momentum coefficient was 1.7%. AFC caused significant increases in suction pressure on the actuator side and associated side force enhancement. Subsequently, a full-scale Boeing 757 vertical tail model equipped with sweeping jets was tested at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center. There, flow separation control optimization was performed at near flight conditions. Greater than 20% increase in side force were achieved for the maximum rudder deflection of 30° at the key sideslip angles (0° and -7.5°) with a 31-actuator AFC configuration. Based on these tests, the momentum coefficient is shown to be a necessary, but not sufficient parameter to use for design and scaling of sweeping jet AFC from subscale tests to full-scale applications. Leveraging the knowledge gained from the wind tunnel tests, the AFC-enhanced vertical tail technology was successfully flown on the Boeing 757 ecoDemonstrator in the spring of 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624103933
StatePublished - 2016
Event54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2016Jan 8 2016

Publication series

Name54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An overview of active flow control enhanced vertical tail technology development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this