Effects of structural motion on the aerodynamics of the X-56A airfoil

Christoph Mertens, Stephen Pineda, Mark Agate, Jesse Little, Hermann Fasel, Andreas Gross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


This work presents experimental and computational results related to the effects of structural motion on the aerodynamics of the X-56A airfoil. An oscillatory plunging mechanism has been fabricated and installed in a subsonic wind tunnel. The static characteristics of the X-56A were verified before focusing on the unsteady behavior at Re=200k (based on airfoil chord). Some instantaneous angles of attack during the airfoil oscillations are beyond the linear CL-alpha regime (for a nominal angle of 10 degrees). At a nominal angle of 12 degrees, the instantaneous angles of attack due to oscillations extend past those associated with CLmax. Focus is placed on oscillations with dimensionless amplitude and frequency that extend well into the range of CL values that are unattainable for static tests even at higher Re. A comparison with unsteady theory (Theodorsen18) is very good for the lower angle of attack (10 degrees), but unwarranted at the higher angle (12 degrees) as nonlinear effects become prominent. The lower angle of attack is also supported by CFD which reveals more detailed information on the laminar separation bubble near the leading edge and turbulent flow downstream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624103933
StatePublished - 2016
Event54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2016Jan 8 2016

Publication series

Name54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other54th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of structural motion on the aerodynamics of the X-56A airfoil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this