Applied Mathematics and Mechanics

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 1222–1229 | Cite as

Aerodynamic forces acting on an albatross flying above sea-waves

  • Sheng Qi-hu
  • Wu De-ming
  • Zhang Liang


Numerical investigation on the dynamic mechanism has been made for an albatross to fly effectively near sea surface. Emphasizing on the effect of the sea wave, the albatross is simplified as a two-dimensional airfoil and the panel method based on the potential flow theory is employed to calculate the wave effect on the aerodynamic forces. The numerical results have been presented for the states of flying at different constant speeds with constant heights above sea level, and flying at different constant speeds with the combined oscillations of pitching and free heaving. It is shown that the albatross flight efficiency depends on not only the speed and height of flight but also the wave amplitude and the wavelength. The albatross benefits by wave effect to get thrust, so as to reduce the resistance in the circumstances of rough sea.

Key words

unsteady aerodynamics panel method wave effect albatross 

Chinese Library Classification


2000 Mathematics Subject Classification



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Copyright information

© Editorial Committee of Appl. Math. Mech 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Shipbuilding EngineeringHarbin Engineering UniversityHarbinP. R. China

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