Thrust generation caused by flapping airfoils in a biplane configuration

Tuncer I., Kaya M.

JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT, vol.40, no.3, pp.509-515, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.2514/2.3124
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.509-515
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Unsteady, viscous flows over flapping airfoils in a biplane configuration are computed on moving overset grids. The overset grid solutions are obtained in parallel in a distributed memory environment. Unsteady flowfields are described by particle traces: Time-averaged thrust values are obtained from the integration of the unsteady drag coefficient. It is shown that airfoils in a biplane configuration and oscillating in a combined pitch and plunge motion with a proper phase shift between them produce 20-40% more thrust than a single flapping airfoil. Turbulence in the flow further augments the thrust generation. For a maximum thrust at a given flapping frequency, an optimization of the flapping motion parameters is needed.