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Trailing-edge stall

  • S. N. Brown (a1) and K. Stewartson (a1)


A study is made of the laminar flow in the neighbourhood of the trailing edge of an aerofoil at incidence. The aerofoil is replaced by a flat plate on the assumption that leading-edge stall has not taken place. It is shown that the critical order of magnitude of the angle of incidence α* for the occurrence of separation on one side of the plate is $\alpha^{*} = O(R^{\frac{1}{16}})$, where R is a representative Reynolds number, for incompressible flow, and α* = O(R−¼) for supersonic flow. The structure of the flow is determined by the incompressible boundary-layer equations but with unconventional boundary conditions. The complete solution of these fundamental equations requires a numerical investigation of considerable complexity which has not been undertaken. The only solutions available are asymptotic solutions valid at distances from the trailing edge that are large in terms of the scaled variable of order R−⅜, and a linearized solution for the boundary layer over the plate which gives the antisymmetric properties of the aerofoil at incidence. The value of α* for which separation occurs is the trailing-edge stall angle and an estimate is obtained from the asymptotic solutions. The linearized solution yields an estimate for the viscous correction to the circulation determined by the Kutta condition.



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