The modern wingsuit has been the subject of few scientific studies to date, and the prevailing design process remains the dangerous “guess-and-check” method. This study employed the commercial flow solver ANSYS Fluent to solve the steady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations with turbulence models. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) results provided information on the flow about a wingsuit designed with an airfoil cross section and large planform. The CFD simulation was performed using the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model for the 3D wingsuit case and the k‑kl‑ω Transition model for the 2D airfoil case. Although the lack of experimental data available on wingsuit flight makes true validation difficult, the results of the 3D case were analyzed and compared to the 2D case, which was validated against data from the airfoil/wing management software Profili 2.0. The chosen airfoil had a stall angle of 13° and the wingsuit reached a stall angle of 48°, which appears higher than the actual effective angle of attack due to induced drag. This preliminary data indicates that the wingsuit as designed shows promise and could likely perform well under typical wingsuit flying conditions.
Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study
Date of Submission
Ferguson, Maria E. and Agarwal, Ramesh K., "Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of an Idealized Modern Wingsuit" (2016). Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Independent Study. 28.