Not All Airfoils Stall The Same, Part 1

Illustration of the airflow along an airfoil that exhibits leading-edge stall behavior. Notice the formation of a “short bubble” at a critical point along the leading edge. When the AOA is increased to a critical value, the bubble “bursts,” causing a separation of airflow over the rest of the airfoil with no aerodynamic warning of the stall. Credit: Clinton Tanner, “The Effect of Wing Leading-Edge Contamination on the Stall Characteristics of Aircraft. ”
Airfoil design has undergone immense changes as manufacturers seek to produce aircraft that can cruise more efficiently at high transonic speeds. In spite of these advances, high-performance airfoils exhibit stall behaviors completely different from low-performance airfoils used on earlier...

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