# Analysis of Low Speed Unsteady Airfoil Flows

**Topics:**Fluid dynamics, Aerodynamics, Reynolds number

**Pages:**3 (818 words)

**Published:**September 8, 2010

We take the opposite view in this book and argue that a full understanding of the physics of lift generation is possible only by considering the unsteady aerodynamics of the starting vortex generation process. Furthermore, certain "steady" flows are inherently unsteady in the presence of flow separation, as for example the unsteady flow caused by the Karman vortex shedding downstream of a cylinder and "static" airfoil stall which is an inherently unsteady flow phenomenon. Therefore, it stands to reason that a unified treatment of aerodynamics that yields steady-state aerodynamics as a special case offers advantages. This reasoning is strengthened by the developments in computational fluid dynamics over the past forty years, which showed that accurate steady-state solutions can be obtained efficiently by solving the unsteady flow equations. We have, however, chosen to concentrate on unsteady low-speed flows over airfoils in order to present a reasonably comprehensive coverage while limiting the size of the book. This implies that the content is restricted to the discussion of two-dimensional incompressible flows and, as a consequence, the book is structured as described in the following paragraphs.

The introductory first chapter describes the physics of unsteady flows by explaining the unsteady flow...

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