Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of spanwise shape of the leading edge on unsteady aerodynamic characteristics of wings during forward flapping and gliding flight.Designmethodologyapproach A computational fluid dynamics approach was conducted to analyze the flow around airfoils with sinusoidallike protuberances at a Reynolds number of 104. Threedimensional timedependent incompressible NavierStokes equations are numerically solved by using finite volume method. A multigrid mesh method, which was applied to the situation of fluid across the heaving models is used to simulate this type of flow. The simulations are performed for the wavelength between neighbouring peaks of 0.25c and 0.5c. For each wavelength, two heights of the tubercles which are 5 per cent and 10 per cent of the chordwise length of wing, are employed on the leading edge of wings. The aerodynamic forces and flow structure around airfoils are presented and compared in detail. Special attention is paid to investigate the effect of leadingedge shape on the fluid dynamic forces.Findings Present results reveal that the wings with leadingedge tubercles have an aerodynamic advantage during gliding flight and also have the potential advantages during flapping forward flight.Originalityvalue On the basis of computational study, an improved scenario for flapping wing microaviation vehicle has been originally proposed.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 28, 2013
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