Graphs of small-scale vortices in the airfoil flow field.
Visualization of small-scale vortices in the airfoil flow field, demonstrating the role of these structures in the formation of the dynamic stall vortex.

University of Illinois researchers are studying the physics of dynamic stall so that it can be used beneficially and reliably by aircraft. The problem has been studied at low speeds but at higher speeds, the process becomes significantly disorganized and difficult to understand.

In understanding the physics of dynamic stall, researchers can interact with and control it in order to get desirable characteristics out on a larger scale and use it beneficially. One application might be to land an aircraft on a shorter airstrip.