Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Tina Jameson


A wind tunnel investigation of an axisymmetric bluff body, known as a Goldschmied propulsor, was completed. This model conceptually combines boundary layer control and boundary layer ingestion into a single complementary system that is intended to use energy to reduce the axial force on the body by eliminating separation and increasing the pressure recovery aft of the body’s maximum thickness. The goal of the current project was to design, fabricate, and fully document the performance of a wind tunnel model incorporating the Goldschmied propulsor concept and complete an examination of its aerodynamic performance. The investigation took place at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in the Aerospace Engineering Department’s subsonic 3ft by 4ft wind tunnel. The model is 38.5 inches in length and 13.5 inches in diameter with a discrete suction slot at 85% of the body length and an embedded propulsor that provides the suction flow, expelling it out of the model’s aft end. The experiment included measurements of surface pressure, total axial force, suction mass flow rate, fan thrust, fan torque, fan speed, and input fan power.

The size of the suction slot and amount of input fan power were the main test variables in the 54 data point test matrix that was completed at a length Reynolds number of 1.34 million and a tunnel speed of 66 ft/s (20 m/s). The model was able to achieve fully attached flow on the aftbody with as little as 100W of input power and a net positive (forward) axial force coefficient of 0.12 with as little as 200W of input power. The model was also able to achieve a peak axial pressure force coefficient of 0.005 in the forward direction with an input power of 500W and a slot gap of 1.6% of the body length. A slightly lower axial pressure force coefficient of 0.0045 was achieved with only 200W of input power and a slot gap of 0.7% of the body length. The peak axial pressure force for most tested slot gaps occurred at about 200W of input power, and a slot gap of 0.7% of the body length resulted in the best overall performance for most input power settings. Two different suction slot configurations, a simple gap and a cusp, were tested, and no significant performance differences were seen between them. The pressure coefficient data showed similar trends as test data from 1956 of a similar model at higher Reynolds number, but it did not show complete agreement. Despite these positive aspects of the investigation, a simple power based comparison between the collected data and a conventional non-integrated propulsor does not show a performance improvement for the Goldschmied propulsor.