The development of Micro Air Vehicles with flapping wings is inspired from the observation and study of natural flyers such as insects and birds. This article explores the rotational power consumption of a flapping wing using a mechanical flapper at Re ≃ 4,500. This mechanical flapper is simplified to a 2D translation and a rotation in a water tank. Moreover, the wing kinematics are reduced to a linear translation and a rotation for the purpose of our study. We introduce the notion of non-ideal flapper and associated non-ideal rotational power. Such non-ideal devices are defined as consuming power for adding and removing mechanical power to and from the flow, respectively. First, we use a traditional symmetrical wing kinematic which is a simplified kinematic inspired from natural flyers. The lift coefficient of this flapping is about C L ≃ 1.5. This symmetrical wing kinematic is chosen as a reference. Further, wing kinematics with asymmetric rotations are then compared with this one. These new kinematics are built using a differential velocity defined according to the translational kinematics, a time lag and a distance, r kp. The analogy of this distance is discussed as a key point to follow along the chord. First, the wing kinematics are varied keeping a similar shape for the profiles of the angular velocity. It is shown that when compared to the reference wing kinematic, a 10% reduction in the rotational power is obtained whilst the lift is reduced by 9%. Second, we release the limitation to a similar shape for the profiles of the angular velocity leading to a novel shape for the angular velocity profile named here as “double bump” profile. With these new wing kinematics, we show that a 60% reduction in the non-ideal rotational power can be achieved whilst the lift coefficient is only reduced by 1.7%. Such “double bump kinematics” could then be of interest to increase the endurance of Micro Air Vehicles.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 3, 2011
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