Unsteady aerodynamics of a wing in a novel small-amplitude transverse gust generator

Fidel Fernandez, David Cleaver, Ismet Gursul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


Abstract: A novel small-amplitude high-frequency gust generator has been developed that works by oscillating a small fence on the wind tunnel wall. The gust generator produces approximately constant local angle of attack in the chordwise direction. Due to the challenges of measuring small and slightly non-uniform gust angles the gust generator was calibrated using direct lift measurements on a symmetric wing set at zero geometric angle of attack. Unsteady lift force measurements and the Theodorsen's theory were used for the dynamic calibration of the gust angle. At nonzero geometric angles of attack, if the wing’s effective angle of attack remains below the stall angle, unsteady lift closely follows the static lift curve with very small hysteresis. Beyond the stall angle, dynamic stall and larger lift hysteresis are observed. Interestingly, in this regime, if flow is separated and a separation bubble is maintained on the wing throughout the cycle then increasing frequency reduces lift hysteresis. The slope of the lift curve, averaged over the cycle, may be greater than that of attached flow. The gust response is more sensitive to maximum effective angle of attack than the reduced frequency or the reduced pitch rate. The normalized lift change is much larger for separated flows than for attached flows. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number1
Early online date23 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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