Aerodynamic feasibility study of an integrated wing-in-ground-effect hovercraft

Agbada, Darius Dafe (2022) Aerodynamic feasibility study of an integrated wing-in-ground-effect hovercraft. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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Wings operating close to a boundary surface are referred to as (WIGs) Wing in Ground Effect Vehicle, and this type of flight has been recognised to be more aerodynamically efficient than freestream flight from the literature. This has led to the design and construction of craft specifically intended to operate close to the ground and fly 'in ground effect'. A wide variety of Wing in Ground effect vehicle (WIGs) have been manufactured ranging from 2 seat recreational vehicles to ekranoplan. This paper investigates if WIG technology is a viable solution to improve the aerodynamic performance of an amphibious hovercraft which can be used in maritime search and rescue operations to save lives more quickly. As WIGs cruise over the surface of a boundary at height up to 7m, using the wings to generate lift. They operate over flat areas and rely on the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and a boundary surface.

A parametric study was conducted by using computational fluid dynamic analysis (CFD) to determine the feasibility of using an aerodynamic wing mounted on a hovercraft. The effects at various operating conditions such as the height above the ground ‘h’, the angle of attack, and the effect of the aerofoil geometry were studied in order to attain whether the ground effect provides significant performance gains. A computational strategy was developed and validated for the numerical investigation of aerofoils in ground effect. The detailed design of the integrated wing and hovercraft was analysed, and the flow characteristics were observed. Based on the feasibility assessment of the current study, the WIG hovercraft was found to improve the aerodynamic performance by increasing the lift coefficient of a WIG hovercraft due to it flying in ground effect.

This study provides a detailed procedure for the preliminary design of a wing-in-ground effect hovercraft and explores the performance that can be obtained by improving a marine search and rescue hovercraft with WIG technology. As a result, combining the ground effect phenomena with a search and rescue hovercraft would save lives more quickly.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: aerofoil, angle of attack, NACA 4412, lift coefficient, drag coefficient
Subjects: H300 Mechanical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
University Services > Graduate School > Master of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 04 May 2023 08:13
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 08:30

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