Conference paper Open Access

Effect of the body curvature on aircraft ditching hydrodynamics

A. Iafrati

An experimental investigation on the role played by the curvature of the body surface on the hydrodynamics of water entry with high horizontal velocity component will be presented. The effect of the longitudinal curvature was a part of the investigation done within the FP7-SMAES project. Some preliminary results concerning double curvature effects, which are part of the H2020-SARAH ongoing project, will be presented at the Workshop. In order to avoid scaling effects which may prevent the development of ventilation/cavitation phenomena, the study is carried out at full scale velocity. Measurements are presented in terms of pressures and loads whereas some underwater visualization are used for the interpretation of the data. Both a convex and concave body surface are considered and comparisons with the flat plate case are established. In the case of a concave shape a quite complicated flow with large air entrainment develops beneath the plate. The air entrainment causes a general reduction of the pressure at the middle, whereas the pressure peaks recorded at the side probes are about in line with those found in the flat plate case tested in the same conditions. The total hydrodynamic loads acting normal to the plate are more regular but the maximum load is almost comparable to that measured in the flat plate case. For the convex shape the pressure probes located at the middle of the plate get wetted well before the ones at the side and the pressure peaks recorded at the side are much lower than those at the middle which is in line with what happens in the vertical impact of a circular cylinder. The lower pressure at the sides causes a reduction of the total loading in the normal direction compared with both flat and concave plate.

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