Examples of Three representative types of airfoil section stall at low speeds

George B. McCullough, Donald E. Gault
September 1951

Force, moment, pressure-distribution, and boundary-layer measurements are presented for a series of five airfoil sections. The stalling characteristics of these airfoil sections at low speeds are of three types: 1) Trailing-edge stall (preceded by movement of the turbulent separation point forward from the trailing edge with increasing angle of attack); 2) Leading-edge stall (abrupt flow separation near the leading edge generally without subsequent reattachment); 3) Thin-airfoil stall (preceded by flow separation at the leading edge with reattachment at a point which moves progressively rearward with increasing angle of attack). The role of boundary-layer flow and separation processes in relation to stalling as well as the sensitivity of the stall to factors which influence boundary-layer growth, such as Reynolds number, is discussed.

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