The three joint bending propulsion mechanism as a simplified model offish propulsion is investigated. A numerical method for a coupled system of the bending propulsion mechanism and the fluid is developed, based on the two-dimensional discrete vortex method. The characteristics of the propulsive speed of the three joint bending propulsion mechanism are numerically and experimentally investigated. It is found that the propulsive speed has a maximum numerical and experimental value when all the phase differences of the joints are about zero for four amplitude patterns. The experimental propulsive speeds are found to be 65 ∼ 80 percent of the numerical ones.

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