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Flapping wing propulsion: Comparison between discrete vortex method and other models

  • Faure, Thierry
  • RONCIN, K.
  • Viaud, B.
  • SIMONET, Théo
  • Daridon, Loïc
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2022
DOI: 10.1063/5.0083158
OAI: oai:HAL:hal-03601448v1
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Cetacean propulsion by a periodic flapping motion of their fluke is considered and studied on a benchmark flexible straight wing. The aim of the study was to validate low-order models for this configuration. First, the two-dimensional rigid case is investigated, comparing the aerodynamic performance of the airfoil periodic motion vs the reduced frequency, with published data and unsteady Reynolds-averaged numerical simulation results. It appears that viscous drag modeling must be added to the discrete vortex method, in order to obtain sensible thrust results, for Garrick frequencies below 2. All high- and low-order models agree at the remarkable Garrick frequency of 1.82, although the experiment shows a lower efficiency of about 25%. The positions of the shed vortices match comparing the unsteady Reynolds-averaged numerical simulation and the discrete vortex method. Then, the three-dimensional leading-edge-suction-parameter modulated discrete vortex method is extended, by means of a lifting line theory. A modification of the method is proposed in order to consider wing dihedral, resulting from the spanwise flexibility. The configuration considers a reduced frequency of 1.82. Three types of spanwise wing flexibility are examined. For the inflexible and flexible cases, a reasonable agreement is observed between the different methods for each coefficient. The intermediate flexible wing provides a better thrust coefficient, while excessive flexibility proves to be detrimental. Vorticity fields are compared with previously published data for the three wings. For the highly flexible wing and the right choice of deformation parameters, the discrete vortex method produces reliable results.

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