Dynamic stall is an incredibly rich fluid dynamics problem that manifests itself on an airfoil during rapid, transient motion in which the angle of incidence surpasses the static stall limit. It is an important element of many manmade and natural flyers, including helicopters and supermaneuverable aircraft, and low–Reynolds number flapping-wing birds and insects. The fluid dynamic attributes that accompany dynamic stall include an eruption of vorticity that organizes into a well-defined dynamic stall vortex and massive excursions in aerodynamic loads that can couple with the airfoil structural dynamics. The dynamic stall process is highly sensitive to surface roughness that can influence turbulent transition and to local compressibility effects that occur at free-stream Mach numbers that are otherwise incompressible. Under some conditions, dynamic stall can result in negative aerodynamic damping that leads to limit-cycle growth of structural vibrations and rapid mechanical failure. The mechanisms leading to negative damping have been a principal interest of recent experiments and analysis. Computational fluid dynamic simulations and low-order models have not been good predictors so far. Large-eddy simulation could be a viable approach although it remains computationally intensive. The topic is technologically important owing to the desire to develop next-generation rotorcraft that employ adaptive rotor dynamic stall control.


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