Evolution of the leading-edge vortex over a flapping wing mechanism
Leading-edge vortex governs the aerodynamic force production of flapping wing flyers. The primary factor for lift enhancement is the leading-edge vortex (LEV) that allows for stall delay that is associated with unsteady fluid flow and thus generating extra lift during flapping flight. To access the effects of LEV to the aerodynamic performance of flapping wing, the three-dimensional numerical analysis of flow solver (FLUENT) are fully applied to simulate the flow pattern. The time-averaged aerodynamic performance (i.e., lift and drag) based on the effect of the advance ratio to the unsteadiness of the flapping wing will result in the flow regime of the flapping wing to be divided into two-state, unsteady state (J<1) and quasi-steady-state(J>1). To access the benefits of aerodynamic to the flapping wing, both set of parameters of velocities 2m/s to 8m/s at a high flapping frequency of 3 to 9 Hz corresponding to three angles of attacks of α = 0o to α = 30o. The result shows that as the advance ratio increases the generated lift and generated decreases until advance ratio, J =3 then the generated lift and drag does not change with increasing advance ratio. It is also found that the change of lift and drag with changing angle of attack changes with increasing advance ratio. At low advance ratio, the lift increase by 61% and the drag increase by 98% between α =100 and α =200. The lift increase by 28% and drag increase by 68% between α = 200 and α = 300. However, at high advance ratio, the lift increase by 59% and the drag increase by 80% between α =100 and α = 200, while between α =200 and α =300 the lift increase by 20% and drag increase by 64%. This suggest that the lift and drag slope decreases with increasing advance ratio. In this research, the results had shown that in the unsteady state flow, the LEV formation can be indicated during both strokes. The LEV is the main factor to the lift enhancement where it generated the lower suction of negative pressure. For unsteady state, the LEV was formed on the upper surface that increases the lift enhancement during downstroke while LEV was formed on the lower surface of the wing that generated the negative lift enhancement. The LEV seem to breakdown at the as the wing flap toward the ends on both strokes.
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