Postprint version. Published in Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Volume 39, Issue 5, July 1, 2003, pages 369-384. Copyright © 2003 Elsevier. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0376-0421(03)00041-1.
Aircraft aerodynamics have been predicted using computational fluid dynamics for a number of years. While viscous flow computations for cruise conditions have become commonplace, the non-linear effects that take place at high angles of attack are much more difficult to predict. A variety of difficulties arise when performing these computations, including challenges in properly modeling turbulence and transition for vortical and massively separated flows, the need to use appropriate numerical algorithms if flow asymmetry is possible, and the difficulties in creating grids that allow for accurate simulation of the flowfield. These issues are addressed and recommendations are made for further improvements in high angle of attack flow prediction. Current predictive capabilities for high angle of attack flows are reviewed, and solutions based on hybrid turbulence models are presented.