Technology Developments for Laminar Boundary Layer Control on Subsonic Transport Aircraft,
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION HAMPTON VA LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER
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Since the beginning of the NASA Aircraft Energy Efficiency ACEE program in 1976, significant progress has been made in the development of laminar flow technology for commercial transports. Exploitation of new materials, fabrication methods, analysis techniques, and design concepts is providing convincing evidence that practical laminar flow control LFC systems for future transports could become a reality. Other ACEE program studies indicate that extensive laminar flow might be achieved on small transports with natural laminar flow NLF wings or hybrids of NLF and LFC i.e., leading-edge suction on an NLF type of wing. This paper presents an overview of these laminar flow technology developments and describes future efforts in a broadened NASA program to explore the potential and evaluate the practicality of different laminar flow concepts for commercial transports.