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Kutta Condition Thought Experiment1 Suppose we model the flow around an airfoil using a potential flow approach.

L' V We know the following: u = L = V D = 0 =0 u in = 0 Bernoulli applies

Question: Answer: For example:

How many potential flow solutions are possible? Infinitely many!

Flow #1 Both of these flows have circulation which are not all equal

Flow #2

1 2 L1 L2

Anderson, Sec. 4.5

Kutta Condition

Another difference can be observed at the trailing edge: Flow #1 Flow leaves t.e. smoothly. Velocity is not infinite.

Flow #2 Flow turning around a sharp corner has infinite velocity at corner for potential flow.

As a result of this and the physical evidence, Kutta hypothesized: In a physical flow (i.e. having viscous effects), the flow will smoothly leave a sharp trailing edge. -Kutta Condition

Flow #1 is physically correct!


Lets look at Flow #1 a little more closely: Finite angle T.E. ( te > 0)

Vlower t.e. T.E. Vupper

Upper and lower surface velocities must still be tangent to their respective surfaces. This implies 2 different velocities at TE.

16.100 2002

Kutta Condition

Only realistic option:

Vlower = Vupper = 0 for finite angle T.E.


Note: from Bernoulli, this implies

pt .e. = p +

1 1 V2 Vt .2e. 2 2 =0

1 V2 2 TE is a stagnation point with pt .e. total pressure

pt .e. = p +

Cusped TE ( te = 0)

Vupper T.E. Vlower

In this case, velocities from upper and lower surface are aligned.

In order for the pressure at the TE to be unique:

Vupper = Vlower

16.100 2002