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Aeronautical Research


Aerodynamics Research and Technology

RHRC's earlier work in aerodynamic research concentrated on high-angle-of-attack fighter aircraft configurations. RHRC developed an advanced, low turbulence, horizontal flow water tunnel specifically to fill the need for low cost aerodynamic research and preliminary aircraft design.


Over the past several years, RHRC has increased the capabilities of the water tunnel beyond flow visualization. RHRC developed a five component force and moment balance system that provides correlation and simultaneous display of both flow visualization and the underlying forces and moments. In addition, a computerized model support system provides not only remote movement of the model but also performs dynamic experiments with rotation (rotary balance), plunging and oscillatory motions alone or in combination.


RHRC has substantial testing expertise in utilizing water tunnels, several different wind tunnels, and flight tests to perform aerodynamic research on configurations ranging from fighter aircraft, such as the F-16, F/A-18, and F-5 to large transport class aircraft such as the C-17. Many of these projects have been reported in AIAA, AGARD and ICAS papers and journals.


This expertise has led to the development of many new and exciting technologies, such as:

  • Forebody Vortex Control

  • Active and Passive Drag Reduction Techniques

  • Dynamic Lift Enhancements

  • Non-Linear Aerodynamic Modeling

  • Unsteady and High Angle of Attack Aerodynamics

  • Departure Criteria

  • Experimental Measurements and Modeling

  • Advanced Flight Controls

Current Research Programs


Phase III SBIR to measure the non-linear aerodynamics of the F-16XL for NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC).


NASA Research Announcement (NRA) to investigate non-linear aerodynamic modeling of complex flow-fields.


Phase II SBIR to develop new helicopter blade technology to alleviate dynamic stall and enhance helicopter performance.


Phase II SBIR to develop and validate a robust flow control design approach for natural laminar flow airfoils that vastly improves performance with minimal power requirements.



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