Laminar-Turbulent Transition on a Swept Wing Academic Article uri icon


  • Three-dimensional boundary-layer transition experiments are currently being conducted on a 45 swept wing in the Arizona State University Unsteady Wind Tunnel. Crossflow-dominated transition is produced via a model with contoured end liners to simulate infinite swept-wing flow. Fixed-wavelength, stationary and traveling crossflow vortices are observed. The frequencies of the most amplified traveling waves are in agreement with linear-stability theory; however, traveling waves at frequencies an order of magnitude higher than predicted are also observed near transition. Boundary-layer profiles measured at several spanwise locations show streamwise disturbance profiles characteristic of the crossflow instability. Near the transition location, severe distortions of the steady boundary-layer profiles are observed in the form of multiple inflection points. This distorted boundary layer is due to the stationary crossflow vortex and is subject to a Rayleigh-type instability in the stream direction. As a result, a high-frequency secondary instability is detected in the transition region, and spatial relations of the process are well documented by the coupled use of flow visualization and hot-wire measuremests. In all cases, we observe a transition due to this high-frequency Rayleigh instability induced by the stationary crossflow vortex. 1992, The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • KOHAMA, Y., SARIC, W. S., & HOOS, J. A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • KOHAMA, Yasuyuki||SARIC, William S||HOOS, Jon A

publication date

  • January 1992