Date of Defense


First Advisor

Dr. Tianshu Liu

Second Advisor

Dr. Ho Sung Lee


This project researched reduction of drag, which can be considered the most critical factor pertaining to aircraft performance. The aircraft industry is always looking to reduce the drag, which ultimately leads to cost reduction due to less thrust required. A circular cylinder is the simplest geometric shape for the study of flow control and drag reduction characteristics. Extensive research has been completed regarding the drag behind a circular cylinder, but very minimal, if any, research has been done regarding the addition of a flexible trailing edge. This trailing edge was predicted to significantly reduce drag. The cylinder along with the added flexible piece was tested in a small wind tunnel located. The group collected the data needed to assess the total drag and the effect of the flexible trailing edge on the drag. The goal of this project was to find the optimal flexibility and length of the trailing edge to obtain maximum drag reduction. The flexible trailing edge reduced the total drag on average by 12%, with the 0.006 inch thick Mylar performing the best with 24% reduction.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only