Abstract

The ground proximity is known to induce an outboard movement and suppression of the wingtip vortices, leading to a reduced lift-induced drag. Depending on the ground boundary condition, a large scatter exists in the published lift-induced drag and vortex trajectory. In this experiment, the ground boundary condition-produced disparity in the vortex strength and induced drag were evaluated. No significant discrepancy appeared for a ground distance or clearance larger than 30% chord. As the stationary ground was further approached, there was the appearance of a corotating ground vortex (GV), originated from the downstream progression of a spanwise ground vortex filament, which added vorticity to the tip vortex, leading to a stronger tip vortex and a larger lift-induced drag compared to the moving ground. For the moving ground, the ground vortex was absent. In close ground proximity, the rollup of the high-pressure fluid flow escaped from the wing's tip always caused the formation of a counter-rotating secondary vortex, which dramatically weakened the tip vortex strength and produced a large induced-drag reduction. The moving ground effect, however, induced a stronger secondary vortex, leading to a smaller lift-induced drag and a larger outboard movement of the tip vortex as compared to the stationary ground effect.

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