Department of Fluid Mechanics

Department of Fluid Mechanics

The Department of Fluid Mechanics has nearly 60 faculty members, including 14 professors and 16 associate professors. There are 13 wind tunnels in total in the department, including 5 scientific research wind tunnels and 7 teaching wind tunnels. Two of them are larger, one is the NF-3 low-speed wind tunnel, and the other is the NF-6 high-speed wind tunnel.

The research activities in the department include CFD Applications, Flow control, Design of Airfoils and Wings, and aeroelasticity.

The activities of CFD mainly focus on the industry application. Most of the financial supports come from the aeronautical and astronautical industries, as well as the fund from natural science foundations. Different types of codes have been developed in-house, such as codes based on the panel method, full potential equations, and Euler/NS Eqs. Many up-to-date turbulence models have been adopted for the simulation of viscous effects.

The aerodynamic design includes design of engineering application and the study of design approaches. The design approaches of airfoils and wings are mainly adjoint method and response surface methodology.

The research work on flow control includes plasma flow control, vortex generator, fluidic vector thrusting and micro zero-mass-flux jet.

The research work on aeroacoustics includes aeroacoustic noise prediction of subsonic and transonic helicopter rotors in hover and in forward flight, and preliminary study on airframe noise prediction based on CFD simulation.

The research work on aeroelasticity include static response of wings, aircraft flutter, buzz of control surface, ROM (Reduced Order Model) of unsteady aerodynamic loads based on CFD, active control on the transonic flutter suppression.

Main research fields

Theoretical aerodynamic


Aerodynamic design

Experimental aerodynamic

Flow control



Famous professors



Professor Gao Zhenghong

Professor Ye Zhengyin




Professor Zhang Binqian

Professor Cai Jinsheng




Professor Li Dong

Professor Song Wenping




Professor Bai Cunru

Professor Gao Chao




Professor Zhang Zhengke

Professor Zhong Chengwen




Professor Liu Feng


NF-3 low-speed wind tunnel is a direct flow type wind tunnel, established in 1988. The wind tunnel can carry out force test for complete model, pressure distribution measurement of model surface, and half model test, and test for model propeller and airplane model with propeller, etc. NF-6 wind tunnel With 2 changeable test sections: 2-D test section, 3-D test section. Ma=0.31.2Remax=1.5×107 .




NF-3 low speed wind tunnel

NF-6 transonic wind tunnel


Main research results

1.    Theoretical aerodynamics

Stability prediction vortices


Vortex instability prediction over a wing-body combination



Pressure contours for 2D models

2.    Computational fluid dynamics

Meshing methods

Computational methods



Aerodynamic design and analysis for transport airplane

Airfoil and Wing Design for Flying Wing UAV




Aerodynamic Design of Propeller

Propeller Slipstream Effect Analysis for UAV


Turbulence flow simulation by IDDES method


Numerical Analysis of Flowfield for Helicopter Rotors


The flow around a fighter at high angle of attack and Mach number contour of hypersonic base flow computed by SAS and LES


Coherent structures predicted by implicit LES for the incompressible flow over a shallow bump


Computational Schlieren image of the high subsonic flow over a deep cavity

3.    Aerodynamic design methodologies

Optimization methods


Design result of airfoil at transonic condition (the shock wave moves backward and is weaker after optimization)


Inverse design of a transonic airfoil (from NACA 0012 to RAE 2822)


Design of transonic wing (After design the shock waves is removed)

4.    Aeroelastic analysis


Cropped delta wing model shapes


Meshes distribution on the upper surface and lower surface AD Slice of the body meshes at x=0.6


Slices of pressures at different locations


Aeroelastic response of wing 

5. Aeroacoustics


Aeroacoustic noise prediction using CFD/FW-H methods for helicopter rotors, wind turbine airfoils and tandem cylinders


6. Experimental aerodynamics


Instantaneous laser-sheet image at x/c0 = 0.54, α = 29.09 deg, U∞ = 4.5 m/s for Wing alone (Left), Wing + 0.75s fin (Middle), Wing + 1.50s fin (Right).


Time-averaged velocity distribution based on PIV technique of vortex over a conical cone, α = 45 deg.


Research in 3-D boundary layer transition mechanism

7. Flow control

VGS (vortex generator systems)

Plasma flow control

Separation control by synthetic jet


VGS design for separation control


Ensemble-averaged PIV contours of AC DBD plasma duty cycle control, (Left) t  = 1%, (Middle) t  = 50%, (Right) t  = 99%


Time-averaged local side force vs. reduced frequency by using AC plasma DBD actuation, α = 45°, U∞ = 5 m/s.


Pressure distributions under steady NS plasma DBD actuation , Vmax=14.6 kV, α = 45°, U∞ = 42m/s.


Wave structures induced by NSDBD


Predicted wave positions compared with experimental data


Coherent structures without/with control indicated by iso-value of Q at low Reynolds number


Vorticity contours without/with control at high Reynolds number


Synthetic jet flow control

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