Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 50, Issue 9, pp 1361–1366 | Cite as

A Unified Introduction to Fluid Mechanics of Flying and Swimming at High Reynolds Number

  • C. EloyEmail author
  • O. Doaré
  • L. Duchemin
  • L. Schouveiler


Modeling the flow around a deformable and moving surface is required to calculate the forces exerted by a swimming or flying animal on the surrounding fluid. Assuming that viscosity plays a minor role, linear potential models can be used. These models derived from unsteady airfoil theory are usually divided in two categories depending on the aspect ratio of the moving surface: for small aspect ratios, slender-body theory applies while for large aspect ratios two-dimensional or lifting-line theory is used. This paper aims at presenting these models with a unified approach. These potential models being analytical, they allow fast computations and can therefore be used for optimization or control.


Potential flow Unsteady airfoil theory Slender-body theory Lifting-line theory Lifting-surface integral Asymptotic methods 



This work was sponsored by the French ANR under the project ANR-06-JCJC-0087.


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Eloy
    • 1
    Email author
  • O. Doaré
    • 2
  • L. Duchemin
    • 1
  • L. Schouveiler
    • 1
  1. 1.IRPHECNRS & Aix-Marseille UniversitéMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.UME, ENSTAPalaiseauFrance

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