Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Osama A. Kandil

Committee Member

Robert L. Ash

Committee Member

Woodrow Whitlow, Jr.

Committee Member

Samuel R. Bland

Committee Member

Colin P. Britcher


Unsteady flows around rigid or flexible delta wings with and without oscillating leading-edge flaps are considered. These unsteady flow problems are categorized under two classes of problems. In the first class, the wing motion is prescribed a priori and in the second class, the wing motion is obtained as a part of the solution. The formulation of the first class includes either the unsteady Euler or unsteady Navier-Stokes equations for the fluid dynamics and the unsteady linearized Navier-displacement (ND) equations for the grid deformation.

The problem of unsteady transonic flow past a bicircular-arc airfoil undergoing prescribed thickening-thinning oscillation is studied using the CFL2D code. This code is used to solve the Navier-Stokes equations using an implicit, flux-difference splitting, finite-volume scheme.

For the unsteady supersonic flows around flexible delta wings with prescribed oscillating deformation and rigid delta wings with leading-edge-flap oscillations, the conservative, unsteady Euler and thin-layer Navier-Stokes equations in a moving frame-of-reference, along with the linearized ND equations, have been used. Two main problems are solved to demonstrate the validity of the developed schemes. The first problem is that of a flexible delta wing undergoing a prescribed bending-mode oscillation. In the second problem, a rigid-delta wing with symmetric and anti-symmetric flap oscillations is considered. These applications fall under the first class of problems.

For the unsteady flow applications, where the wing motion is not prescribed a priori (second class of problems), either the unsteady Euler or thin-layer Navier-Stokes equations and the rigid-body dynamics equations, in a moving frame of reference, are solved sequentially to obtain the flow behavior and the wing motion. The main application for this class of unsteady flow phenomena, is the wing-rock problem. Using the locally-conical flow assumption, three problems are solved. The first is that of a delta wing undergoing a damped rolling oscillation. The second is that of a delta wing undergoing a limit-cycle, wing-rock motion. In the third problem, suppression of the wing-rock motion is demonstrated using a tuned anti-symmetric oscillation of the leading-edge flaps