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Boundary-Layer-Transition Measurements in Full-Scale Flight

Description: Chemical sublimation has been employed for boundary-layer-flow visualization on the wings of a supersonic fighter airplane in level flight at speeds near a Mach number of 2.0. The tests have shown that laminar flow can be obtained over extensive areas of the wing with practical wing-surface conditions. In addition to the flow visualization tests, a method of continuously monitoring the conditions of the boundary layer has been applied to flight testing, using heated temperature resistance gages installed in a Fiberglas "glove" installation on one wing. Tests were conducted at speeds from a Mach number of 1.2 to a Mach number of 2.0, at altitudes from 35,000 feet to 56,000 feet. Data obtained at all angles of attack, from near 0 deg to near 10 deg, have shown that the maximum transition Reynolds number on the upper surface of the wing varies from about 2.5 x 10(exp 6) at a Mach number of 1.2 to about 4 x 10(exp 6) at a Mach number of 2.0. On the lower surface, the maximum transition Reynolds number varies from about 2 x 10(exp 6) at a Mach number of 1.2 to about 8 x 10(exp 6) at a Mach number of 2.0.
Date: July 28, 1958
Creator: Banner, Richard D.; McTigue, John G. & Petty, Gilbert, Jr.