All animals flap their wings in powered flight to provide both lift and thrust, yet few human-engineered designs do so. When combined with flexible wing surfaces, the resulting unsteady fluid flows and interactions in flapping flight can be complex to describe, understand, and model. Here, a simple modified actuator disk is used in a quasi-steady description of the net aerodynamic lift forces on several species of bat whose wakes are measured with time-resolved PIV. The model appears to capture the time-averaged and instantaneous lift forces on the wings and body, and could be used as basis for comparing flapping flight efficiency of different animal species and micro air vehicle designs.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 23, 2011
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