Drag Decomposition Using Partial-Pressure Fields: Ventus-3 and NASA Common Research Model

Pierce L. Hart, Christopher J. Axten, Mark D. Maughmer, Sven Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of partial-pressure field (PPF) theory (Schmitz, S “Drag Decomposition Using Partial-Pressure Fields in the Compressible Navier–Stokes Equations,” AIAA Journal, Vol. 57, No. 5, 2019, pp. 2030–2038) and the application of the concept to conditions relevant to commercial transport aircraft, operating in both the subsonic and transonic regimes (Hart, P. L., and Schmitz, S., “Drag Decomposition using Partial-Pressure Fields: ONERA M6 Wing,” AIAA Journal, Vol. 60, No. 5, 2022 pp. 2941–2951), have shown promise as complements to classical far-field methods. In the present work, a further comprehensive analysis of drag decomposition methods is applied to wing and aircraft configurations. First, the Ventus-3 sailplane wing case demonstrates the ability of PPFs to successfully deconstruct drag on industry-relevant cases including transition modeling and winglets. A quantitative comparison to classical aerodynamic theory and far-field methods supports PPF theory and provides additional insight to viscous–inviscid interaction by means of a viscous interactional aerodynamics term in PPF theory. Second, the NASA Common Research Model is simulated in transonic flow to showcase drag decomposition of full aircraft configurations where PPF applications are used to provide further insight into wave drag sources acting on the aircraft in comparison to classical far-field decomposition methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1798-1810
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering

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