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A Computational And Experimental Investigation Of Flapping-Wing Propulsion
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Flapping-wing propulsion is studied experimentally and numerically. The objective of the research is to provide further insight into the aerodynamics of flapping-wing air vehicles. Experimental work is conducted in the NPS 1.5 m x 1.5 m 5 ft x 5 ft in-draft wind tunnel. A previously constructed long-span flapping-wing model suspended by cables is used to approximate the two-dimensional nature of the numerical simulation. For this experiment, the model is configured with two wings executing plunge-only motion. Thrust is indirectly determined by using a laser rangefinder to measure streamwise displacement of the model. Results are compared with previous experimental tests. A numerical analysis is conducted using USPOT, a locally developed unsteady panel code that models two independently moving airfoils with three degrees of freedom and non-linear deforming wakes. Thrust and efficiencies are computed for harmonically oscillating airfoils. Direct comparison is made between experimental and numerical thrust measurements.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE