Investigations of Flow Phenomena Over a Flat Plate and NACA0012 Airfoil at High Angles of Attack


In the present study, the flow and aerodynamic features of a sharp trailing edged flat plate airfoil are systematically compared with NACA0012 airfoil. The studies are conducted for three different Reynolds numbers 1.89 × 105, 2.83 × 105 and 3.78 × 105 and angles of attack 20°, 25° and 30°. The present study shows that the occurrence of vortex shedding phenomena for the flat plate is substantially different from NACA0012 airfoil. Further, the re-attachment location of the shed vortices is closer to the trailing edge for the flat plate, whereas for NACA0012 airfoil it occurs at a certain distance upstream of the trailing edge. The NACA0012 airfoil generates higher lift coefficients at a higher Reynolds numbers of 2.83 × 105 and 3.78 × 105, whereas for the flat plate it occurs at a lower Reynolds number of 1.89 × 105. The spectra of lift coefficient reveal that the amplitude of the primary shedding frequency dominates for the flat plate and NACA0012 airfoil at lower and higher Reynolds numbers of 1.89 × 105 and 3.78 × 105, respectively, while it becomes almost same for an intermediate Reynolds number of 2.83 × 105. The present study reveals that the drag coefficient at high Reynolds number (3.78 × 105) is directly proportional to the initial merging point of the two shed vortices for both the flat plate and NACA0012 airfoil.

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c :

Chord length of the foil (m)

c d :

Coefficient of drag

c l :

Coefficient of lift

c p :

Coefficient of pressure

f :

Frequency (Hz)

p :

Pressure (Pascal)

Re :

Reynolds number (ρUc/µ)

St :

Strouhal number (fc/U)

U :

Free stream velocity (m/s)

α :

Angle of attack (AOA) (°)


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The authors gratefully acknowledge that the current work (ECR/2016/000640) has been supported by DST (Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)).

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Correspondence to S. Narayanan.

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Jha, S.K., Gautam, U., Pawar, P. et al. Investigations of Flow Phenomena Over a Flat Plate and NACA0012 Airfoil at High Angles of Attack. Iran J Sci Technol Trans Mech Eng 44, 985–996 (2020).

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  • NACA0012 airfoil
  • Flat plate
  • Sharp trailing edge
  • Lift/drag coefficients