U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Aerospace Science and Technology 28, 2013


U.S. Government work


The challenges in the modeling of the unsteady lift of a two-dimensional NACA 0012 airfoil oscillating and translating at large incidence angles are investigated in this paper. Forced oscillation motions with two reduced frequency values of 0.1 and 1.0 were used. The CFD results show that a hysteresis loop was developed in the lift variation with angle of attack; shapes of the loops change significantly with reduced frequency value. A dynamic stall vortex was identified in the pitching and plunging motions with k = 0.1. This vortex delays the onset of flow separation over the upper surface to a higher incidence than would occur in steady conditions. The unsteady lift of the very fast motion is enhanced significantly due to the formation of a compression wave on the lower surface and an expansion wave on the upper surface. The results show clear limitations of unsteady aerodynamic theories for modeling motions at high incidences. Also, the CFD solution of indicial functions show a large oscillation at angles of attack beyond the stall angle, but the predictions of a model based on Radial Basis Function matches CFD values quite well.