Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2005). All Rights Reserved.

Propulsion Systems

Powered Lift Systems

A number of powered lift systems has been developed for VSTOL and STOL aircraft. These systems yield maximum lift coefficients of 10 and above (for example, NASA’s research aircraft QSRA). A good review was published by Gratzer and Goodmandson (1973), and Nelms and Anderson (1984).

One recent, yet very effective idea of producing additional lift is to use the airflow from a turbojet engine (exaust gas). This flow must be diverted downwards. There are several means to achieve this. Some examples:

  • Externally Blown Flaps (EBF)
  • Over-the-wing Blowing (OWB)
  • Under-the-wing Blowing (UWB)
  • Jet-Augmented Wing (JAW)
Other, more exotic, systems include
  • Tilt rotors (Bell XV-3, XV-15; Bell-Boeing V-22)
  • Tilt wings (Boeing-Vertol VZ-2)
  • Augmentor flaps (Lockheed XV-4A)
  • Tilt props (Curtiss-Wright X-19A)

The systems sketched below (elaborated from Boeing studies, 1975) are among the most efficient. They use at least part of the thrust generated by a jet engine. This can be done through auxiliary pressure (internally or externally blown flaps, augmentor flaps), or by direct use of the jet thrust (vectored thrust), as in Fig. 3.

Circulation control can be achieved both at the leading edge (with a rotating cylinder) or ar the trailing edge with a similar device, using the so-called Coanda effect (not shown).

Figure 1: Augmentor Flap

Internally Blown Flap
Figure 2: Internally Blown Flap

Vectored Thrust
Figure 3: Vectored Thrust

Some current applications include the cargo aircraft C-17 Globemaster (design based on McDonnell-Douglas YC-15), which has externally blown flaps; the Antonov An 72/74 (various versions), that has over-the-wing blowing; the BAe Sea Harrier, that uses vectored thrust.

Related Material

Selected References

  • Kuethe, AM, Chow CY. Foundations of Aerodynamics, John Wiley, 1997 (fifth edition).

  • McCormick BW. Aerodynamics, Aeronautics and Flight Mechanics, John Wiley, 1994.

  • Mair WA, Birdsall DL. Aircraft Performance, Cambridge Aerospace Series, 5, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992. (Chapter 9).

  • Gunston WT. Flight Handbook (Chapter 5), Iliffe Books Ltd, 1962.

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Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2005). All Rights Reserved.