Optimization of flapping motion of airfoils in biplane configuration for maximum thrust and/or efficiency

Kaya M., TUNCER İ. H. , Jones K. D. , Platzer M. F.

45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting 2007, Reno, NV, United States Of America, 8 - 11 January 2007, vol.9, pp.5812-5822 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 9
  • Doi Number: 10.2514/6.2007-484
  • City: Reno, NV
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.5812-5822


Flapping motion of airfoils in a biplane configuration are optimized for maximizing the thrust and propulsive efficiency. Unsteady flowfields over airfoils flapping in a combined plunge and pitch are computed with a parallel viscous flow solver on moving and deforming overset grids. The amplitudes of the sinusoidal pitch and plunge motions and the phase shift between them are optimized at a fixed flapping frequency and average distance between two airfoils. A gradient based optimization algorithm is implemented in a parallel computing environment. The deforming overset grids remove the restrictions on the flapping motion, and improve the optimization results obtained earlier. At low flapping frequencies, an airfoil in a biplane configuration produces more thrust than a single airfoil. Yet, at high frequencies the airfoil in biplane configuration produced less thrust at a significantly lower efficiency than the single airfoil.