controlled separated flow
An airflow that lies midway between a steady streamline (laminar) flow and an unsteady (turbulent) flow. The flow separates at sharp leading edges as a result of the boundary-layer effect but does not break down into a turbulent airflow. Instead strong vortices are formed, which generate lift. This kind of flow is prevalent in delta and swept wing plan forms, particularly at high angles of attack. Also known as a leading-edge vortex.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved