About: Flapping is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 4278 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 68323 citation(s). The topic is also known as: tapping & alveolar flapping.
26 Dec 1996-Nature
Abstract: INSECTS cannot fly, according to the conventional laws of aerodynamics: during flapping flight, their wings produce more lift than during steady motion at the same velocities and angles of attack1–5. Measured instantaneous lift forces also show qualitative and quantitative disagreement with the forces predicted by conventional aerodynamic theories6–9. The importance of high-life aerodynamic mechanisms is now widely recognized but, except for the specialized fling mechanism used by some insect species1,10–13, the source of extra lift remains unknown. We have now visualized the airflow around the wings of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta and a 'hovering' large mechanical model—the flapper. An intense leading-edge vortex was found on the down-stroke, of sufficient strength to explain the high-lift forces. The vortex is created by dynamic stall, and not by the rotational lift mechanisms that have been postulated for insect flight14–16. The vortex spirals out towards the wingtip with a spanwise velocity comparable to the flapping velocity. The three-dimensional flow is similar to the conical leading-edge vortex found on delta wings, with the spanwise flow stabilizing the vortex.
01 Oct 2010-Progress in Aerospace Sciences
Abstract: Micro air vehicles (MAVs) have the potential to revolutionize our sensing and information gathering capabilities in areas such as environmental monitoring and homeland security. Flapping wings with suitable wing kinematics, wing shapes, and flexible structures can enhance lift as well as thrust by exploiting large-scale vortical flow structures under various conditions. However, the scaling invariance of both fluid dynamics and structural dynamics as the size changes is fundamentally difficult. The focus of this review is to assess the recent progress in flapping wing aerodynamics and aeroelasticity. It is realized that a variation of the Reynolds number (wing sizing, flapping frequency, etc.) leads to a change in the leading edge vortex (LEV) and spanwise flow structures, which impacts the aerodynamic force generation. While in classical stationary wing theory, the tip vortices (TiVs) are seen as wasted energy, in flapping flight, they can interact with the LEV to enhance lift without increasing the power requirements. Surrogate modeling techniques can assess the aerodynamic outcomes between two- and three-dimensional wing. The combined effect of the TiVs, the LEV, and jet can improve the aerodynamics of a flapping wing. Regarding aeroelasticity, chordwise flexibility in the forward flight can substantially adjust the projected area normal to the flight trajectory via shape deformation, hence redistributing thrust and lift. Spanwise flexibility in the forward flight creates shape deformation from the wing root to the wing tip resulting in varied phase shift and effective angle of attack distribution along the wing span. Numerous open issues in flapping wing aerodynamics are highlighted.
Charles P. Ellington1•Institutions (1)
01 Dec 1999-The Journal of Experimental Biology
TL;DR: Design characteristics of insect-based flying machines are presented, along with estimates of the mass supported, the mechanical power requirement and maximum flight speeds over a wide range of sizes and frequencies.
Abstract: The wing motion in free flight has been described for insects ranging from 1 to 100 mm in wingspan. To support the body weight, the wings typically produce 2–3 times more lift than can be accounted for by conventional aerodynamics. Some insects use the fling mechanism: the wings are clapped together and then flung open before the start of the downstroke, creating a lift-enhancing vortex around each wing. Most insects, however, rely on a leading-edge vortex (LEV) created by dynamic stall during flapping; a strong spanwise flow is also generated by the pressure gradients on the flapping wing, causing the LEV to spiral out to the wingtip. Technical applications of the fling are limited by the mechanical damage that accompanies repeated clapping of the wings, but the spiral LEV can be used to augment the lift production of propellers, rotors and micro-air vehicles (MAVs). Design characteristics of insect-based flying machines are presented, along with estimates of the mass supported, the mechanical power requirement and maximum flight speeds over a wide range of sizes and frequencies. To support a given mass, larger machines need less power, but smaller ones operating at higher frequencies will reach faster speeds.
01 Jul 1999-Progress in Aerospace Sciences
Abstract: Micro air vehicles (MAVs) with wing spans of 15 cm or less, and flight speed of 30–60 kph are of interest for military and civilian applications. There are two prominent features of MAV flight: (i) low Reynolds number (10 4 –10 5 ), resulting in unfavorable aerodynamic conditions to support controlled flight, and (ii) small physical dimensions, resulting in certain favorable scaling characteristics including structural strength, reduced stall speed, and low inertia. Based on observations of biological flight vehicles, it appears that wing motion and flexible airfoils are two key attributes for flight at low Reynolds number. The small size of MAVs corresponds in nature to small birds, which do not glide like large birds, but instead flap with considerable change of wing shape during a single flapping cycle. With flapping and flexible wings, birds overcome the deteriorating aerodynamic performance under steady flow conditions by employing unsteady mechanisms. In this article, we review both biological and aeronautical literatures to present salient features relevant to MAVs. We first summarize scaling laws of biological and micro air vehicles involving wing span, wing loading, vehicle mass, cruising speed, flapping frequency, and power. Next we discuss kinematics of flapping wings and aerodynamic models for analyzing lift, drag and power. Then we present issues related to low Reynolds number flows and airfoil shape selection. Recent work on flexible structures capable of adjusting the airfoil shape in response to freestream variations is also discussed.
16 Aug 2001-Nature
TL;DR: It is reported that, at the Reynolds numbers matching the flows relevant for most insects, flapping wings do not generate a spiral vortex akin to that produced by delta-wing aircraft, and it is found that limiting spanwise flow with fences and edge baffles does not cause detachment of the leading-edge vortex.
Abstract: The flow structure that is largely responsible for the good performance of insect wings has recently been identified as a leading-edge vortex. But because such vortices become detached from a wing in two-dimensional flow, an unknown mechanism must keep them attached to (three-dimensional) flapping wings. The current explanation, analogous to a mechanism operating on delta-wing aircraft, is that spanwise flow through a spiral vortex drains energy from the vortex core. We have tested this hypothesis by systematically mapping the flow generated by a dynamically scaled model insect while simultaneously measuring the resulting aerodynamic forces. Here we report that, at the Reynolds numbers matching the flows relevant for most insects, flapping wings do not generate a spiral vortex akin to that produced by delta-wing aircraft. We also find that limiting spanwise flow with fences and edge baffles does not cause detachment of the leading-edge vortex. The data support an alternative hypothesis-that downward flow induced by tip vortices limits the growth of the leading-edge vortex.