Some Challenges in High-Alpha Vehicle Dynamics

  • L. E. Ericsson
Conference paper
Part of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics book series (IUTAM)


The evolution of aerospace vehicles towards ever-increasing maneuverability and agility, including flight at high angles of attack and vehicle motions of large amplitudes and high angular rates, has led to the need for prediction of vehicle aerodynamics that are dominated by unsteady separated flow effects. The existing data base is reviewed to determine to what degree the following critical issues are understood. 1. Cause and effect of asymmetric forebody flow separation with associated vortices. 2. Effect of asymmetry and breakdown of leading edge vortices, 3. Effect of vehicle motion on dynamic airfoil stall. The challenge is to extend the present knowledge to include the coupling existing between novel aerodynamic controls and the vehicle dynamics of agile aircraft operating at high angles of attack



wing span


reference length, wing chord or diameter (d) for circular cylinder and body alone


cylinder diameter




dimensionless roll rate, k = ωb/2U,


sectional lift, coefficient cl = l /qc

rolling moment: coefficient C = ℓ /qS b


sectional pitching moment, coefficient cm = mp/qc2


free stream Mach number


yawing moment, coefficient Cn = n/q Sb


roll rate


static pressure, coefficient Cp = (p-p)/q


dynamic pressure, q = pU 2/2


Reynolds number, Re = Uc/v


reference area, = πd2/4 for body alone, = projected wing area for aircraft




wall velocity


freestream velocity


axial distance from leading edge or body apex


side force, coefficient CY = Y/qS


translatory coordinate


angle of attack


effective angular amplitude


angle of sideslip


increment or amplitude


purturbation in pitch


apex half angle


complimentary angle to the leading edge sweep, θLE = n/2-A


leading edge sweep angle


dimensionless x-coordinate, ξ= x/c


air density


inclination of roll axis


roll angle


dimensionless roll rate, φ= φb/2U


coning angle


kinematic viscosity

ω, ϖ

angular frequency, ω = 2nf, ϖ = ωC/U




enter of gravity or rotation center


leading edge


limit cycle










initial or time-average value

freestream condition


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. E. Ericsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, Inc.SunnyvaleUSA

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