The paper is concerned with the prediction and analysis of dynamic stall of flow past a pitching NACA0012 airfoil at 1 million Reynolds number based on the chord length of the airfoil and at reduced frequency of 0.25 in a three dimensional flow field. The turbulence in the flow field is resolved using large eddy simulations with the dynamic Smagorinsky model at the sub grid scale. The development of dynamic stall vortex, shedding and reattachment as predicted by the present study are discussed in detail. This study has shown that the downstroke phase of the pitching motion is strongly three dimensional and is highly complex, whereas the flow is practically two dimensional during the upstroke. The lift coefficient agrees well with the measurements during the upstroke. However, there are differences during the downstroke. The computed lift coefficient undergoes a sharp drop during the start of the downstroke as the convected leading edge vortex moves away from the airfoil surface. This is followed by a recovery of the lift coefficient with the formation of a secondary trailing edge vortex. While these dynamics are clearly reflected in the predicted lift coefficient, the experimental evolution of lift during the downstroke maintains a fairly smooth and monotonic decrease in the lift coefficient with no lift recovery. The simulations also show that the reattachment process of the stalled airfoil is completed before the start of the upstroke in the subsequent cycle due to the high reduced frequency of the pitching cycle.

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