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NRC tests confirm improvement of Boeing C-17 lift aerodynamics
Article Type: Mini features From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 81, Issue 6
The National Research Council Canada (NRC) recently announced the successful completion of a series of tests in its 9×9 m low-speed wind tunnel to evaluate the aerodynamics of different wing flap configurations on the Boeing C-17 transport aircraft. By making subtle changes to the wing flaps to improve lift, Boeing intends to reduce the runway length required for this large aircraft.
“We have a long history with Boeing aircraft, so we were happy to have them back to take full advantage of our large facility,” says Dr Steve Zan, Director of the Aerodynamics Laboratory in NRC Aerospace. “We accommodated a 4.8 per cent ejector-powered model of the C-17 and collected a substantial amount of high lift aerodynamic data. The data will be used to verify that Boeing's proposed wing flap changes would deliver the desired improvements.”
A high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military-transport aircraft, the multi-service Boeing C-17 can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world day or night. The massive, sturdy, long-haul aircraft tackles distance, destination and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s.
NRC's 9×9 m wind tunnel is located adjacent to MacDonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa. It is a horizontal closed circuit atmospheric facility with a large test section. Its speed may be varied and set at any value from 0 to 230 rpm and can be maintained within ±0.1 rpm. The maximum wind speed is about 55 m/s (180 ft/s).