Experiments and Computations on the Lift of Accelerating Flat Plates at Incidence

23 Aug 2017

This paper discusses the force history and flow topology of accelerating flat-plate wings. The work is a collaborative effort to study fundamental, unsteady low-Reynolds-number flows. The motion kinematics is designed to be relevant to the micro air vehicle flight regime. A combination of experimental and computational techniques is used to obtain data for comparison. There is a striking correlation of lift history data and flow topology from both experimental and computational data sets. It is found that the leading/trailing-edge vortex core separation during the initial part of a surge motion can be reasonably well approximated by c⋅cosα, , and the leading/trailing-edge vortex relative advection velocity is estimated to be 0.5⋅U∞. This leading/trailing-edge vortex relative advection velocity is a useful measure of how quickly the trailing-edge vortex moves away from the leading-edge vortex, which can influence lift for accelerating flat plates at high incidence angles.