The phenomenon on the tubes in a tube row, which vibrate alternately along the row in the transverse and stream-wise directions, will be explained by a vortex model. This model consists of the symmetrical vortex pair trains behind the stream-wisely vibrating tubes, and the Karman vortex streets behind the transversely vibrating tubes. It will be shown in the paper that the coupling between these two groups of vortex systems can excite the tube arrays to perform this fluidelastic vibration. A criterion for the onset of this orbital movement will be given with the expression ξ = R/Sxt. This criterion predicts a strong fluidelastic vibration for tubes with low transverse tube spacings and low natural flexible frequencies in a high speed flow. The theory leading to this criterion is based on the phenomenon of the variation in the position of the separation point for the free shear layer during the cylinder vibration. A switching of the jet for maintaining the fluidelastic vibration is then a result of this variation.

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