Computational Mechanics

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 1221–1242 | Cite as

On numerical modeling of animal swimming and flight

  • Hong-Bin Deng
  • Yuan-Qing Xu
  • Duan-Duan Chen
  • Hu Dai
  • Jian Wu
  • Fang-Bao TianEmail author
Review Paper


Aquatic and aerial animals have developed their superior and complete mechanisms of swimming and flight. These mechanisms bring excellent locomotion performances to natural creatures, including high efficiency, long endurance ability, high maneuverability and low noise, and can potentially provide inspiration for the design of the man-made vehicles. As an efficient research approach, numerical modeling becomes more and more important in studying the mechanisms of swimming and flight. This review is focused on assessing the recent progress in numerical techniques of solving animal swimming and flight problems. According to the complexity of the problems considered, numerical studies are classified into five stages, of which the main characteristics and the numerical strategies are described and discussed. In addition, the body-conformal mesh, Cartesian-mesh, overset-grid, and meshfree methods are briefly introduced. Finally, several open issues in numerical modeling in this field are highlighted.


Swimming and flight Numerical simulation Body-conformal mesh method Cartesian mesh method Overset-grid method Meshfree method 



This work was supported by the National Basic Scientific Research Program of China (No. B2220132013), the Fund for Basic Research of the Beijing Institute of Technology (No. 3160012211 305), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31200704).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong-Bin Deng
    • 1
  • Yuan-Qing Xu
    • 2
  • Duan-Duan Chen
    • 2
  • Hu Dai
    • 3
  • Jian Wu
    • 4
  • Fang-Bao Tian
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Mechatronical EngineeringBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Life ScienceBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Département Fluide-Thermique-CombustionInstitut PPRIMEFuturoscope-ChasseneuilFrance

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