The waving wing experiment is a fully three-dimensional simplification of the flapping wing motion observed in nature. The spanwise velocity gradient and wing starting and stopping acceleration that exist on an insect-like flapping wing are generated by rotational motion of a finite span wing. The flow development around a waving wing at Reynolds number between 10,000 and 60,000 has been studied using flow visualization and high-speed PIV to capture the unsteady velocity field. Lift and drag forces have been measured over a range of angles of attack, and the lift curve shape was similar in all cases. A transient high-lift peak approximately 1.5 times the quasi-steady value occurred in the first chord length of travel, caused by the formation of a strong attached leading edge vortex. This vortex appears to develop and shed more quickly at lower Reynolds numbers. The circulation of the leading edge vortex has been measured and agrees well with force data.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 21, 2011
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