Published in Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Volume 220, Issue 6, January 1, 2006, pages 545-557. Copyright © 2006 Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1243/09544100JAERO71.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Russell Cummings was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Traditionally, computational predictions and experimental evaluations of aerodynamic concepts have been conducted separately, with little collaboration other than post priori comparisons of results. This has led to distrust and even antagonism between the computational and the experimental communities. These difficulties probably began when early computational fluid dynamic practitioners boasted that wind tunnels would become secondary in aerodynamic concept development within a few short years, a prediction that has not come true. On the contrary, it is believed that a great deal of synergy can be cultivated when computational and experimental evaluations are conducted in an integrative fashion. A variety of projects where this has been done will be reviewed, including a pitching Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, a delta wing with periodic suction and blowing for aerodynamic control, a missile with drag brakes that caused excessive unsteady flow, a C-130 aircraft configured for airdrop, and closed-loop flow control. Further evolution of the numerical/experimental collaboration will be discussed showing results from the flow control research where the dividing line between numerical predictions and experimental evaluations is becoming blurred. Suggestions for future directions in collaboration will also be made.