Numerical Investigation of RAE M2129 Air Intake Performance With Different Mesh Quality and Turbulence Models

Gemici Z., Meydan H. Y.

12th International Congress on Engineering, Architecture and Design, İstanbul, Turkey, 23 - 25 December 2023, pp.1-8

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-8
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Air intakes are a crucial component of aircraft propulsion systems as they deliver the air required for the engine to function optimally. To ensure the engine provides the highest thrust to the aircraft, these ducts must transmit air to the engine with minimal pressure loss, appropriate velocity, and a homogeneous total pressure distribution. Therefore, the aim is to design air inlet ducts with high performance to meet these requirements. The design procedure for these systems commonly utilises the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method. This study presents a validated numerical analysis method for evaluating the performance of the RAE M2129 air intake geometry, which has experimental data in the literature. The analysis was conducted using different grids with coarse, medium, and fine mesh quality, and different turbulence models, namely the k-w SST, RNG k-e, and Spalart Allmaras. The polyhedral mesh type was selected for its ability to achieve good convergence and produce more accurate results with fewer cells. The analysis outputs include the pressure recovery (PR) of the air intake, the total pressure distribution, and the air flow velocity at the Aerodynamic Interface Plane (AIP) of the engine. The numerical results, obtained using a medium mesh quality and all the turbulence models, are in good agreement with the experimental data. The Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model produced the most accurate inlet performance results, with only a 0.3% error in the PR coefficient and a 3.9% error in the engine inlet Mach number.