Compressible Flow Over an Airfoil


Commercial airliners and private jets let us travel around the world and across oceans in relatively short times. This is possible because of the high speeds at which they can travel through the air. Typically, jet aircraft fly at transonic or nearly-transonic cruise speeds. At these high velocities, the compressibility of the air cannot be neglected anymore. The density is not constant and is linked to the pressure and temperature of the air. Compressible effects, like shock waves, can cause flow separation on portions of the wings and increase the drag that the airplane experiences. Because of this, engineers design the wing profile in such a way as to delay and weaken these negative effects. In this example, you will analyze the effect of compressibility in a transonic flow over an airfoil.


The primary objective of this example is to analyze the airflow over an airfoil at the freestream Mach number of 0.6 and the angle of attack (A0A) of 4 degrees. You will learn to set up this compressible flow problem using Ansys Fluent and understand the flow field. Finally, you will also estimate the lift and drag generated by the airfoil profile.


Download the Mesh file required for setting up the simulation and associated Case and Data files here. Follow the instructions below to set up this simulation in Ansys Fluent starting with the Mesh file. In case you face any issues setting up or running the simulation, refer to the corresponding initial and final Case and Data files.

Results and Discussion

Let us now analyze the simulation and understand the physics of compressible flow over an airfoil.