This article focuses on the fact that using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and design of experiments (DOE) software, researchers are in pursuit of aircraft fluidics thrust control without moving component parts. Fluidics’ performance is dictated by complex interactions among approximately two dozen geometric and fluid properties. These complex interactions probably proved overwhelming to early researchers seeking a stable, reliable rocket flight control system. A major advantage of DOE is that it allows all the parameters to vary simultaneously. A single permutation, on the other hand, varies one parameter at a time and cannot deal with interactions among the fixed parameters. There is still more development work to be done, but indications are that CFD and DOE are leading Lockheed Martin to a promising design. Physical testing reinforces the belief that a fluidic nozzle can achieve the performance levels required. The technology that never got off the ground in the early rocket era may find itself flying high in the next generation of high-performance tactical aircraft.
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Advances in Research Tools Reopen and Exploration of Fluidics Thrust Control, Abandoned During the Infancy of the Space Age.
Peggy Chalmers is a freelance writer based in Sunapee, N.H .
Mechanical Engineering. Dec 1999, 121(12): 62-64 (3 pages)
Published Online: December 1, 1999
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Chalmers, P. (December 1, 1999). "Return Flight." ASME. Mechanical Engineering. December 1999; 121(12): 62–64. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1999-DEC-5
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