Visualizing F-18 Flow

Flow visualization techniques are helpful outside of wind and water tunnels, too. The photo above comes from the  F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) program in which techniques like smoke and dye visualization were used in-flight to visualize airflow around an F-18 at large angles of attack. During flight a glycol-based liquid dye was released from tiny holes along the plane’s forebody, creating the pattern seen here later on the ground. This particular test corresponded to about 26 degrees angle of attack. (Photo credit: NASA Dryden)

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