Numerical study on effect of leading‐edge tubercles

Zhang Xingwei (College of Engineering Shantou University, Shantou University, Shantou, China and Shenzhen Graduate School, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China)
Zhou Chaoying (Shenzhen Graduate School, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China)
Zhang Tao (Shenzhen Graduate School, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China)
Ji Wenying (Shenzhen Graduate School, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 28 June 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of spanwise shape of the leading edge on unsteady aerodynamic characteristics of wings during forward flapping and gliding flight.

Design/methodology/approach

A computational fluid dynamics approach was conducted to analyze the flow around airfoils with sinusoidal‐like protuberances at a Reynolds number of 104. Three‐dimensional time‐dependent incompressible Navier‐Stokes equations are numerically solved by using finite volume method. A multigrid mesh method, which was applied to the situation of fluid across the heaving models is used to simulate this type of flow. The simulations are performed for the wavelength between neighbouring peaks of 0.25c and 0.5c. For each wavelength, two heights of the tubercles which are 5 per cent and 10 per cent of the chordwise length of wing, are employed on the leading edge of wings. The aerodynamic forces and flow structure around airfoils are presented and compared in detail. Special attention is paid to investigate the effect of leading‐edge shape on the fluid dynamic forces.

Findings

Present results reveal that the wings with leading‐edge tubercles have an aerodynamic advantage during gliding flight and also have the potential advantages during flapping forward flight.

Originality/value

On the basis of computational study, an improved scenario for flapping wing microaviation vehicle has been originally proposed.

Keywords

Citation

Xingwei, Z., Chaoying, Z., Tao, Z. and Wenying, J. (2013), "Numerical study on effect of leading‐edge tubercles", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 85 No. 4, pp. 247-257. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-Feb-2012-0027

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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