Abstract

Flapping, flexible wings deform under both aerodynamic and inertial loads. However, the fluid-structure interaction (FSI) governing flapping wing dynamics is not well understood. Conventional FSI models require excessive computational resources and are not conducive to parameter studies that consider variable wing kinematics or geometry. Here, we present a simple two-way coupled FSI model for a wing subjected to single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) rotation. The model is reduced-order and can be solved several orders of magnitude faster than direct computational methods. We construct a SDOF rotation stage and measure basal strain of a flapping wing in-air and in-vacuum to study our model experimentally. Overall, agreement between theory and experiment is excellent. In-vacuum, the wing has a large 3ω response when flapping at approximately 1/3 its natural frequency. This response is attenuated substantially when flapping in-air as a result of aerodynamic damping. These results highlight the importance of two-way coupling between the fluid and structure, since one-way coupled approaches cannot describe such phenomena. Moving forward, our model enables advanced studies of biological flight and facilitates bio-inspired design of flapping wing technologies.

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