, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1551-1556
Date: 23 Nov 2012

Numerical analysis on transitions and symmetry-breaking in the wake of a flapping foil

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Flying and marine animals often use flapping wings or tails to generate thrust. In this paper, we will use the simplest flapping model with a sinusoidal pitching motion over a range of frequency and amplitude to investigate the mechanism of thrust generation. Previous work focuses on the Karman vortex street and the reversed Karman vortex street but the transition between two states remains unknown. The present numerical simulation provides a complete scenario of flow patterns from the Karman vortex street to reversed Karman vortex street via aligned vortices and the ultimate state is the deflected Karman vortex street, as the parameters of flapping motions change. The results are in agreement with the previous experiment. We make further discussion on the relationship of the observed states with drag and thrust coefficients and explore the mechanism of enhanced thrust generation using flapping motions.

The project was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province (2010GZC0162).