An experimental investigation of the evolution of freestream turbulence in flow about an airfoil was conducted in order to ascertain its selective amplification induced by the stretching mechanism according to the vorticity-amplification theory. Significant amplification of the streamwise turbulent energy transpired even in the limiting flow situation studied of a symmetric airfoil at zero angle of attack where the stretching is the least. Substantiation of the stretching effect was provided by the almost 100 percent amplification of turbulence with respect to its background level in the absence of the airfoil. Realization of preferred amplification at scales larger than the neutral scale of the stagnation flow was clearly indicated by the variation of the discrete streamwise turbulent energy. Particularly important was the detection of a most amplified scale which is characteristic of the coherent substructure near the airfoil stagnation zone and, concurrently, commensurate with the boundary-layer thickness.

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