The present invention involves a system for altering the aerodynamic shape and/or fluid flow field about a solid body. The preferred embodiment comprises a synthetic jet actuator embedded in a solid body, with the jet orifice built into the body surface. The synthetic jet actuator generates a series of fluid vortices emanating from the orifice so as to entrain fluid external to the actuator chamber and form a synthetic jet stream. A recirculating flow region is formed along the solid body surface about the synthetic jet orifice. As a result the apparent aerodynamic shape of the body is altered. Consequently, if the solid body is placed in a fluid flow field, the entire fluid flow field is altered by the operation of the synthetic jet actuator.