Numerical investigations on aerodynamic forces of deformable foils in hovering motions

Xiaohui Su, Zhen Yin, Yuanwei Cao, Yong Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, the aerodynamic forces of deformable foils for hovering flight are numerically investigated by a two-dimensional finite-volume arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian Navier-Stokes solver. The effects of deformation on the lift force generation mechanisms of deformable wings in hovering flight are studied by comparison and analysis of deformable and rigid wing results. The prescribed deformation of the wings changes their morphing during hovering motion in both camber and angle of incidence. The effects of deflection amplitude, deflection phase, and rotation location on the aerodynamic performances of the foils, as well as the associated flow structures, are investigated in details, respectively. Results obtained show that foil morphing changes both Leading Edge Vortex (LEV) and Trailing EdgeVortex (TEV) generation and development processes. Consequently, the lift force generation mechanisms of deformable wings differ from those of rigid foil models. For the full deformation foil model studied, the effect of foil deformation enhances its lift force during both wake capture and delayed stall. There is an optimized camber amplitude, which was found to be 0.1*chord among those cases simulated. Partial deformation in the foil does not enhance its lift force due to unfavorable foil camber. TEV is significantly changed by the local angle of attack due to the foil deformation. On the other hand, Trailing Edge Flap (TEF) deflection in the hinge connected two-rigid-plate model directly affects the strength of both the LEV and TEV, thus influencing the entire vortex shedding process. It was found that lift enhancement can reach up to 33.5% just by the TEF deflection alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041902
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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