Unsteady Aerodynamic Characteristics depending on Reduced Frequency for a Pitching NACA0012 Airfoil at Rec=2.3×104

  • Kim, Dong-Ha (Korean Air R&D Center) ;
  • Chang, Jo-Won (Department of Aeronautical Science and Flight Operations, Korea Aerospace University) ;
  • Sohn, Myong Hwan (Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Cheongju University)
  • Received : 2016.04.10
  • Accepted : 2017.02.06
  • Published : 2017.03.30


Most of small air vehicles with moving wing fly at low Reynolds number condition and the reduced frequency of the moving wing ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. The physical phenomena over the wing dramatically vary with the reduced frequency. This study examines experimentally the effect of the reduced frequency at low Reynolds number. The NACA0012 airfoil performs sinusoidal pitching motion with respect to the quarter chord with the four reduced frequencies of 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.76 at the Reynolds number $2.3{\times}10^4$. Smoke-wire flow visualization, unsteady surface pressure measurement, and unsteady force calculation are conducted. At the reduced frequency of 0.1 and 0.2, various boundary layer events such as reverse flow, discrete vortices, separation and reattachment change the amplitude and the rotation direction of the unsteady force hysteresis. However, the boundary layer events abruptly disappear at the reduced frequency of 0.4 and 0.76. Especially at the reduced frequency of 0.76, the local variation of the unsteady force with respect to the angle of attack completely vanishes. These results lead us to the conclusion that the unsteady aerodynamic characteristics of the reduced frequency of 0.2 and 0.4 are clearly distinguishable and the unsteady aerodynamic characteristics below the reduced frequency of 0.2 are governed by the boundary layer events.


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