Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Isaac Choutapalli

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen W. Crown

Third Advisor

Dr. Nicolas Pereyra


Recently, much focus has been on comprehending the aerodynamic properties associated with the humpback whales pectoral fin. The perturbations found on its leading edge are believed to attribute to the humpbacks maneuverability significantly. These tubercles are assumed to be analogous to strakes on an aircraft, which generate large-scale vortices. More specifically, the vortices prompted by the leading edge increase the momentum exchange within the boundary layer, allowing the flow to remain attached at higher angles of attack, thus delaying stall and in turn increase lift by a passive means of reducing drag. The focus of this investigation is on characterizing the aerodynamics associated with two-dimensional tubercle treated airfoils. Experiments were conducted over a range of angles of attack with incoming Reynolds number varying from 200,000 – 2,400,000. Flow visualization images are presented along with wake velocity profiles, drag coefficients, and theoretical lift coefficient related to the test models under investigation.


Copyright 2015 Oscar Hernandez. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American