Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Pilot-Induced-Oscillation and Pilot Vehicle System Stability Using UAS Flight Experiments
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 42; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040042 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper reports the results of a Pilot-Induced Oscillation (PIO) and human pilot control characterization study performed using flight data collected with a Remotely Controlled (R/C) unmanned research aircraft. The study was carried out on the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. Several existing
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This paper reports the results of a Pilot-Induced Oscillation (PIO) and human pilot control characterization study performed using flight data collected with a Remotely Controlled (R/C) unmanned research aircraft. The study was carried out on the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. Several existing Category 1 and Category 2 PIO criteria developed for manned aircraft are first surveyed and their effectiveness for predicting the PIO susceptibility for the R/C unmanned aircraft is evaluated using several flight experiments. It was found that the Bandwidth/Pitch rate overshoot and open loop onset point (OLOP) criteria prediction results matched flight test observations. However, other criteria failed to provide accurate prediction results. To further characterize the human pilot control behavior during these experiments, a quasi-linear pilot model is used. The parameters of the pilot model estimated using data obtained from flight tests are then used to obtain information about the stability of the Pilot Vehicle System (PVS) for Category 1 PIOs occurred during straight and level flights. The batch estimation technique used to estimate the parameters of the quasi-linear pilot model failed to completely capture the compatibility nature of the human pilot. The estimation results however provided valuable insights into the frequency characteristics of the human pilot commands. Additionally, stability analysis of the Category 2 PIOs for elevator actuator rate limiting is carried out using simulations and the results are compared with actual flight results. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
On the Importance of Morphing Deformation Scheduling for Actuation Force and Energy
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 41; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040041 -
Abstract
Morphing aircraft offer superior properties as compared to non-morphing aircraft. They can achieve this by adapting their shape depending on the requirements of various conflicting flight conditions. These shape changes are often associated with large deformations and strains, and hence dedicated morphing concepts
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Morphing aircraft offer superior properties as compared to non-morphing aircraft. They can achieve this by adapting their shape depending on the requirements of various conflicting flight conditions. These shape changes are often associated with large deformations and strains, and hence dedicated morphing concepts are developed to carry out the required changes in shape. Such intricate mechanisms are often heavy, which reduces, or even completely cancels, the performance increase of the morphing aircraft. Part of this weight penalty is determined by the required actuators and associated batteries, which are mainly driven by the required actuation force and energy. Two underexposed influences on the actuation force and energy are the flight condition at which morphing should take place and the order of the morphing manoeuvres, also called morphing scheduling. This paper aims at highlighting the importance of both influences by using a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with different morphing mechanisms as an example. The results in this paper are generated using a morphing aircraft analysis and design code that was developed at the Delft University of Technology. The importance of the flight condition and a proper morphing schedule is demonstrated by investigating the required actuation forces for various flight conditions and morphing sequences. More importantly, the results show that there is not necessarily one optimal flight condition or morphing schedule and a tradeoff needs to be made. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Recent Advances in Aeroacoustics
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 40; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040040 -
Abstract Acoustics is one of the oldest examples of applied research, long before the term was even coined: [...]
Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Effect of Leading-Edge Slats at Low Reynolds Numbers
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 39; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040039 -
Abstract
One of the most commonly implemented devices for stall control on wings and airfoils is a leading-edge slat. While functioning of slats at high Reynolds number is well documented, this is not the case at the low Reynolds numbers common for small unmanned
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One of the most commonly implemented devices for stall control on wings and airfoils is a leading-edge slat. While functioning of slats at high Reynolds number is well documented, this is not the case at the low Reynolds numbers common for small unmanned aerial vehicles. Consequently, a low-speed wind tunnel investigation was undertaken to elucidate the performance of a slat at Re = 250,000. Force balance measurements accompanied by surface flow visualization images are presented. The slat extension and rotation was varied and documented. The results indicate that for small slat extensions, slat rotation is deleterious to performance, but is required for larger slat extensions for effective lift augmentation. Deployment of the slat was accompanied by a significant drag penalty due to premature localized flow separation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Climate-Compatible Air Transport System—Climate Impact Mitigation Potential for Actual and Future Aircraft
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 38; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040038 -
Abstract
Aviation guarantees mobility, but its emissions also contribute considerably to climate change. Therefore, climate impact mitigation strategies have to be developed based on comprehensive assessments of the different impacting factors. We quantify the climate impact mitigation potential and related costs resulting from changes
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Aviation guarantees mobility, but its emissions also contribute considerably to climate change. Therefore, climate impact mitigation strategies have to be developed based on comprehensive assessments of the different impacting factors. We quantify the climate impact mitigation potential and related costs resulting from changes in aircraft operations and design using a multi-disciplinary model workflow. We first analyze the climate impact mitigation potential and cash operating cost changes of altered cruise altitudes and speeds for all flights globally operated by the Airbus A330-200 fleet in the year 2006. We find that this globally can lead to a 42% reduction in temperature response at a 10% cash operating cost increase. Based on this analysis, new design criteria are derived for future aircraft that are optimized for cruise conditions with reduced climate impact. The newly-optimized aircraft is re-assessed with the developed model workflow. We obtain additional climate mitigation potential with small to moderate cash operating cost changes due to the aircraft design changes of, e.g., a 32% and 54% temperature response reduction for a 0% and 10% cash operating cost increase. Hence, replacing the entire A330-200 fleet by this redesigned aircraft (Macr = 0.72 and initial cruise altitude (ICA) = 8000 m) could reduce the climate impact by 32% without an increase of cash operating cost. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Results of Long-Duration Simulation of Distant Retrograde Orbits
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 37; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040037 -
Abstract
Distant Retrograde Orbits in the Earth–Moon system are gaining in popularity as stable “parking” orbits for various conceptual missions. To investigate the stability of potential Distant Retrograde Orbits, simulations were executed, with propagation running over a thirty-year period. Initial conditions for the vehicle
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Distant Retrograde Orbits in the Earth–Moon system are gaining in popularity as stable “parking” orbits for various conceptual missions. To investigate the stability of potential Distant Retrograde Orbits, simulations were executed, with propagation running over a thirty-year period. Initial conditions for the vehicle state were limited such that the position and velocity vectors were in the Earth–Moon orbital plane, with the velocity oriented such that it would produce retrograde motion about Moon. The resulting trajectories were investigated for stability in an environment that included the eccentric motion of Moon, non-spherical gravity of Earth and Moon, gravitational perturbations from Sun, Jupiter, and Venus, and the effects of radiation pressure. The results indicate that stability may be enhanced at certain resonant states within the Earth–Moon system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Investigation of Effect of Parameters on Hovering Efficiency of an Annular Lift Fan Aircraft
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 35; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040035 -
Abstract
The effects of various parameters on the hovering performance of an annular lift fan aircraft are investigated by using numerical scheme. The pitch angle, thickness, aspect ratio (chord length), number of blades, and radius of duct inlet lip are explored to optimize the
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The effects of various parameters on the hovering performance of an annular lift fan aircraft are investigated by using numerical scheme. The pitch angle, thickness, aspect ratio (chord length), number of blades, and radius of duct inlet lip are explored to optimize the figure of merit. The annular lift fan is also compared with a conventional circular lift fan of the same features with the same disc loading and similar geometry. The simulation results show that the pitch angle of 27°, the thickness of 4% chord length, the aspect ratio of 3.5~4.0, 32 blades, and the radius of inlet lip of 4.7% generate the maximum figure of merit of 0.733. The optimized configuration can be used for further studies of the annular lift fan aircraft. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wing Tip Drag Reduction at Nominal Take-Off Mach Number: An Approach to Local Active Flow Control with a Highly Robust Actuator System
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 36; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040036 -
Abstract
This paper discusses wind tunnel test results aimed at advancing active flow control technology to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of an aircraft during take-off. A model of the outer section of a representative civil airliner wing was equipped with two-stage fluidic actuators between
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This paper discusses wind tunnel test results aimed at advancing active flow control technology to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of an aircraft during take-off. A model of the outer section of a representative civil airliner wing was equipped with two-stage fluidic actuators between the slat edge and wing tip, where mechanical high-lift devices fail to integrate. The experiments were conducted at a nominal take-off Mach number of M = 0.2. At this incidence velocity, separation on the wing section, accompanied by increased drag, is triggered by the strong slat edge vortex at high angles of attack. On the basis of global force measurements and local static pressure data, the effect of pulsed blowing on the complex flow is evaluated, considering various momentum coefficients and spanwise distributions of the actuation effort. It is shown that through local intensification of forcing, a momentum coefficient of less than cμ=0.6% suffices to offset the stall by 2.4°, increase the maximum lift by more than 10% and reduce the drag by 37% compared to the uncontrolled flow. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Two-Temperature Open-Source CFD Model for Hypersonic Reacting Flows, Part One: Zero-Dimensional Analysis
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 34; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040034 -
Abstract
A two-temperature CFD (computational fluid dynamics) solver is a prerequisite to any spacecraft re-entry numerical study that aims at producing results with a satisfactory level of accuracy within realistic timescales. In this respect, a new two-temperature CFD solver, hy2Foam, has been developed
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A two-temperature CFD (computational fluid dynamics) solver is a prerequisite to any spacecraft re-entry numerical study that aims at producing results with a satisfactory level of accuracy within realistic timescales. In this respect, a new two-temperature CFD solver, hy2Foam, has been developed within the framework of the open-source CFD platform OpenFOAM for the prediction of hypersonic reacting flows. This solver makes the distinct juncture between the trans-rotational and multiple vibrational-electronic temperatures. hy2Foam has the capability to model vibrational-translational and vibrational-vibrational energy exchanges in an eleven-species air mixture. It makes use of either the Park TTv model or the coupled vibration-dissociation-vibration (CVDV) model to handle chemistry-vibration coupling and it can simulate flows with or without electronic energy. Verification of the code for various zero-dimensional adiabatic heat baths of progressive complexity has been carried out. hy2Foam has been shown to produce results in good agreement with those given by the CFD code LeMANS (The Michigan Aerothermodynamic Navier-Stokes solver) and previously published data. A comparison is also performed with the open-source DSMC (direct simulation Monte Carlo) code dsmcFoam. It has been demonstrated that the use of the CVDV model and rates derived from Quantum-Kinetic theory promote a satisfactory consistency between the CFD and DSMC chemistry modules. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Linearized Euler Equations for the Determination of Scattering Matrices for Orifice and Perforated Plate Configurations in the High Mach Number Regime
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 33; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040033 -
Abstract
The interaction of a plane acoustic wave and a sheared flow is numerically investigated for simple orifice and perforated plate configurations in an isolated, non-resonant environment for Mach numbers up to choked conditions in the holes. Analytical derivations found in the literature are
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The interaction of a plane acoustic wave and a sheared flow is numerically investigated for simple orifice and perforated plate configurations in an isolated, non-resonant environment for Mach numbers up to choked conditions in the holes. Analytical derivations found in the literature are not valid in this regime due to restrictions to low Mach numbers and incompressible conditions. To allow for a systematic and detailed parameter study, a low-cost hybrid Computational Fluid Dynamic/Computational Aeroacoustic (CFD/CAA) methodology is used. For the CFD simulations, a standard kϵ Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) model is employed, while the CAA simulations are based on frequency space transformed linearized Euler equations (LEE), which are discretized in a stabilized Finite Element method. Simulation times in the order of seconds per frequency allow for a detailed parameter study. From the application of the Multi Microphone Method together with the two-source location procedure, acoustic scattering matrices are calculated and compared to experimental findings showing very good agreement. The scattering properties are presented in the form of scattering matrices for a frequency range of 500–1500 Hz. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Empirical Study of Overlapping Rotor Interference for a Small Unmanned Aircraft Propulsion System
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 32; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040032 -
Abstract
The majority of research into full-sized helicopter overlapping propulsion systems involves co-axial setups (fully overlapped). Partially overlapping rotor setups (tandem, multirotor) have received less attention, and empirical data produced over the years is limited. The increase in demand for compact small unmanned aircraft
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The majority of research into full-sized helicopter overlapping propulsion systems involves co-axial setups (fully overlapped). Partially overlapping rotor setups (tandem, multirotor) have received less attention, and empirical data produced over the years is limited. The increase in demand for compact small unmanned aircraft has exposed the need for empirical investigations of overlapping propulsion systems at a small scale (Reynolds Number < 250,000). Rotor-to-rotor interference at the static state in various overlapping propulsion system configurations was empirically measured using off the shelf T-Motor 16 inch × 5.4 inch rotors. A purpose-built test rig was manufactured allowing various overlapping rotor configurations to be tested. First, single rotor data was gathered, then performance measurements were taken at different thrust and tip speeds on a range of overlap configurations. The studies were conducted in a system torque balance mode. Overlapping rotor performance was compared to an isolated dual rotor propulsion system revealing interference factors which were compared to the momentum theory. Tests revealed that in the co-axial torque-balanced propulsion system the upper rotor outperforms the lower rotor at axial separation ratios between 0.05 and 0.85. Additionally, in the same region, thrust sharing between the two rotors changed by 21%; the upper rotor produced more thrust than the lower rotor at all times. Peak performance was recorded as a 22% efficiency loss when the axial separation ratio was greater than 0.25. The performance of a co-axial torque-balanced system reached a 27% efficiency loss when the axial separation ratio was equal to 0.05. The co-axial system swirl recovery effect was recorded to have a 4% efficiency gain in the axial separation ratio region between 0.05 and 0.85. The smallest efficiency loss (3%) was recorded when the rotor separation ratio was between 0.95 and 1 (axial separation ratio was kept at 0.05). Tests conducted at a rotor separation ratio of 0.85 showed that the efficiency loss decreased when the axial separation ratio was greater than 0.25. The lower rotor outperformed the upper rotor in the rotor separation ratio region from 0.95 to 1 (axial separation ratio was kept at 0.05) at an overall system thrust of 8 N, and matched the upper rotor performance at the tested overall thrust of 15 N. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Power Requirements: Flapping vs. Fixed Wing Vehicles
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 31; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040031 -
Abstract
The power required by flapping and fixed wing vehicles in level flight is determined and compared. Based on a new modelling approach, the effects of flapping on the induced drag in flapping wing vehicles are mathematically described. It is shown that flapping causes
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The power required by flapping and fixed wing vehicles in level flight is determined and compared. Based on a new modelling approach, the effects of flapping on the induced drag in flapping wing vehicles are mathematically described. It is shown that flapping causes a significant increase in the induced drag when compared with a non-flapping, fixed wing vehicle. There are two effects for that induced drag increase; one is due to tilting of the lift vector caused by flapping the wings and the other results from changes in the amount of the lift vector during flapping. The induced drag increase yields a significant contribution to the power required by flapping wing vehicles. Furthermore, the power characteristics of fixed wing vehicles are dealt with. It is shown that, for this vehicle type, the propeller efficiency plays a major role. This is because there are considerable differences in the propeller efficiency when taking the size of vehicles into account. Comparing flapping and fixed wing vehicles, the conditions are shown where flapping wing vehicles have a lower power demand and where fixed wing vehicles are superior regarding the required power. There is a tendency such that fixed wing vehicles have an advantage in the case of larger size vehicles and flapping wing vehicles have an advantage in the case of smaller size ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Study of Transition of an Annular Lift Fan Aircraft
Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 30; doi:10.3390/aerospace3040030 -
Abstract
The present study aimed at studying the transition of annular lift fan aircraft through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The oscillations of lift and drag, the optimization for the figure of merit, and the characteristics of drag, yawing, rolling and pitching moments in
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The present study aimed at studying the transition of annular lift fan aircraft through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The oscillations of lift and drag, the optimization for the figure of merit, and the characteristics of drag, yawing, rolling and pitching moments in transition are studied. The results show that a two-stage upper and lower fan lift system can generate oscillations of lift and drag in transition, while a single-stage inner and outer fan lift system can eliminate the oscillations. The characteristics of momentum drag of the single-stage fans in transition are similar to that of the two-stage fans, but with the peak of drag lowered from 0.63 to 0.4 of the aircraft weight. The strategy to start transition from a negative angle of attack −21° further reduces the peak of drag to 0.29 of the weight. The strategy also reduces the peak of pitching torque, which needs upward extra thrusts of 0.39 of the weight to eliminate. The peak of rolling moment in transition needs differential upward thrusts of 0.04 of the weight to eliminate. The requirements for extra thrusts in transition lead to a total thrust–weight ratio of 0.7, which makes the aircraft more efficient for high speed cruise flight (higher than 0.7 Ma). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Separation of Tone and Broadband Noise Components from Open Rotor Acoustic Data
Aerospace 2016, 3(3), 29; doi:10.3390/aerospace3030029 -
Abstract
The term “open rotor” refers to unducted counter-rotating dual rotors or propellers used for propulsion. The noise generated by an open rotor is very complicated and requires special techniques for its analysis. The determination of its tone and broadband components is vital for
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The term “open rotor” refers to unducted counter-rotating dual rotors or propellers used for propulsion. The noise generated by an open rotor is very complicated and requires special techniques for its analysis. The determination of its tone and broadband components is vital for properly assessing the noise control parameters and also for validating open rotor noise prediction codes. The data analysis technique developed by Sree for processing raw acoustic data of open rotors has been modified to yield much better results of tone and broadband separation particularly for the case when the two rotor speeds are approximately the same. The modified algorithm is found to eliminate most or all of the “spikes” previously observed in the broadband spectra computed from the original algorithm. A full description of the modified algorithm and examples of improved results from its application are presented in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Implementation of Real-Time Phased Array Radar Fundamental Functions on a DSP-Focused, High-Performance, Embedded Computing Platform
Aerospace 2016, 3(3), 28; doi:10.3390/aerospace3030028 -
Abstract
This paper investigates the feasibility of a backend design for real-time, multiple-channel processing digital phased array system, particularly for high-performance embedded computing platforms constructed of general purpose digital signal processors. First, we obtained the lab-scale backend performance benchmark from simulating beamforming, pulse compression,
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This paper investigates the feasibility of a backend design for real-time, multiple-channel processing digital phased array system, particularly for high-performance embedded computing platforms constructed of general purpose digital signal processors. First, we obtained the lab-scale backend performance benchmark from simulating beamforming, pulse compression, and Doppler filtering based on a Micro Telecom Computing Architecture (MTCA) chassis using the Serial RapidIO protocol in backplane communication. Next, a field-scale demonstrator of a multifunctional phased array radar is emulated by using the similar configuration. Interestingly, the performance of a barebones design is compared to that of emerging tools that systematically take advantage of parallelism and multicore capabilities, including the Open Computing Language. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aerodynamic Modeling of NREL 5-MW Wind Turbine for Nonlinear Control System Design: A Case Study Based on Real-Time Nonlinear Receding Horizon Control
Aerospace 2016, 3(3), 27; doi:10.3390/aerospace3030027 -
Abstract
The work presented in this paper has two major aspects: (i) investigation of a simple, yet efficient model of the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) 5-MW reference wind turbine; (ii) nonlinear control system development through a real-time nonlinear receding horizon control methodology with
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The work presented in this paper has two major aspects: (i) investigation of a simple, yet efficient model of the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) 5-MW reference wind turbine; (ii) nonlinear control system development through a real-time nonlinear receding horizon control methodology with application to wind turbine control dynamics. In this paper, the results of our simple wind turbine model and a real-time nonlinear control system implementation are shown in comparison with conventional control methods. For this purpose, the wind turbine control problem is converted into an optimization problem and is directly solved by the nonlinear backwards sweep Riccati method to generate the control protocol, which results in a non-iterative algorithm. One main contribution of this paper is that we provide evidence through simulations, that such an advanced control strategy can be used for real-time control of wind turbine dynamics. Examples are provided to validate and demonstrate the effectiveness of the presented scheme. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of a Human-Powered Aircraft Using Fluid–Structure Interaction Simulations
Aerospace 2016, 3(3), 26; doi:10.3390/aerospace3030026 -
Abstract
The special type of aircrafts in which the human power of the pilot is sufficient to take off and sustain flight are known as Human-Powered Aircrafts (HPAs). To explore the peculiarities of these aircrafts, the aerodynamic performance of an existing design is evaluated
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The special type of aircrafts in which the human power of the pilot is sufficient to take off and sustain flight are known as Human-Powered Aircrafts (HPAs). To explore the peculiarities of these aircrafts, the aerodynamic performance of an existing design is evaluated first, using both the vortex lattice method and computational fluid dynamics. In a second step, it is attempted to design and optimize a new HPA capable of winning the Kremer International Marathon Competition. The design will be special in that it allows one to include a second pilot on board the aircraft. As the structural deflection of the wing is found to be a key aspect during design, fluid–structure interaction simulations are performed and included in the optimization procedure. To assess the feasibility of winning the competition, the physical performance of candidate pilots is measured and compared with the predicted required power. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Backward-Facing Step Location on the Aerodynamics of a Morphing Wing
Aerospace 2016, 3(3), 25; doi:10.3390/aerospace3030025 -
Abstract
Over the last decade, aircraft morphing technology has drawn a lot of attention in the aerospace community, because it is likely to improve the aerodynamic performance and the versatility of aircraft at different flight regimes. With the fast paced advancements in this field,
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Over the last decade, aircraft morphing technology has drawn a lot of attention in the aerospace community, because it is likely to improve the aerodynamic performance and the versatility of aircraft at different flight regimes. With the fast paced advancements in this field, a parallel stream of research is studying different materials and designs to develop reliable morphing skins. A promising candidate for a viable morphing skin is the sliding skin, where two or more rigid surfaces remain in contact and slide against each other during morphing. The overlapping between each two panels create a backward-facing step on the airfoil surface which has a critical effect on the aerodynamics of the wing. This paper presents a numerical study of the effect of employing a backward-facing step on the suction side of a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) 2412 airfoil at a high Reynolds number of 5.9 × 106. The effects of the step location on the lift coefficient, drag coefficient and critical angle of attack are studied to find a favorable location for the step along the chord-wise direction. Results showed that employing a step on the suction side of the NACA 2412 airfoil can adversely affect the aforementioned aerodynamic properties. A drop of 21.1% in value of the lift coefficient and an increase of 120.8% in the drag coefficient were observed in case of a step located at 25% of the chord length. However, these effects are mitigated by shifting the step location towards the trailing edge. Introducing a step on the airfoil caused the airfoil’s thickness to change, which in turn has affected the transition point of the viscous boundary layer from laminar to turbulent. The location of the step, prior or post the transition point, has a noteworthy effect on the pressure and shear stress distribution, and consequently on the values of the lift and drag coefficients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Average Lift Coefficient ͞CL and Normalized Lift ͞ηL for Evaluating Hovering and Forward Flapping Flight
Aerospace 2016, 3(3), 24; doi:10.3390/aerospace3030024 -
Abstract
The capability of flapping wings to generate lift is currently evaluated by using the lift coefficient C¯L, a dimensionless number that is derived from the basal equation that calculates the steady-state lift coefficient CL for fixed wings. In contrast
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The capability of flapping wings to generate lift is currently evaluated by using the lift coefficient C¯L, a dimensionless number that is derived from the basal equation that calculates the steady-state lift coefficient CL for fixed wings. In contrast to its simple and direct application to fixed wings, the equation for C¯L requires prior knowledge of the flow field along the wing span, which results in two integrations: along the wing span and over time. This paper proposes an alternate average normalized lift η¯L that is easy to apply to hovering and forward flapping flight, does not require prior knowledge of the flow field, does not resort to calculus for its solution, and its lineage is close to the basal equation for steady state CL. Furthermore, the average normalized lift η¯L converges to the legacy CL as the flapping frequency is reduced to zero (gliding flight). Its ease of use is illustrated by applying the average normalized lift η¯L to the hovering and translating flapping flight of bumblebees. This application of the normalized lift is compared to the same application using two widely-accepted legacy average lift coefficients: the first C¯L as defined by Dudley and Ellington, and the second lift coefficient by Weis-Fogh. Furthermore, it is shown that the average normalized lift η¯L has a physical meaning: that of the ratio of work exerted by the flapping wings onto the surrounding flow field and the kinetic energy available at the aerodynamic surfaces during the generation of lift. The working equation for the average normalized lift η¯L is derived and is presented as a function of Strouhal number, St. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Kinematics of Flapping Wing UAV Using OptiTrack Systems
Aerospace 2016, 3(3), 23; doi:10.3390/aerospace3030023 -
Abstract
An analysis of the kinematics of a flapping membrane wing using experimental kinematic data is presented. This motion capture technique tracks the positon of the retroreflective marker(s) placed on the left wing of a 1.3-m-wingspan ornithopter. The time-varying three-dimensional data of the wing
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An analysis of the kinematics of a flapping membrane wing using experimental kinematic data is presented. This motion capture technique tracks the positon of the retroreflective marker(s) placed on the left wing of a 1.3-m-wingspan ornithopter. The time-varying three-dimensional data of the wing kinematics were recorded for a single frequency. The wing shape data was then plotted on a two-dimensional plane to understand the wing dynamic behaviour of an ornithopter. Specifically, the wing tip path, leading edge bending, wing membrane shape, local twist, stroke angle and wing velocity were analyzed. As the three characteristic angles can be expressed in the Fourier series as a function of time, the kinematics of the wing can be computationally generated for the aerodynamic study of flapping flight through the Fourier coefficients presented. Analysis of the ornithopter wing showed how the ornithopter closely mimics the flight motions of birds despite several physical limitations. Full article
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