Observations of flow structure changes with aspect ratio for rotating insect wing Planforms

Robert R. Harbig, John Sheridan, Mark C. Thompson, Cem A. Ozen, Donald Rockwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

5 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of wing aspect ratio for flapping and rotating wings in insect-like flight regimes is not well understood. In this study the effect of aspect ratio on the vortex structures formed over altered fly wings has been investigated. A numerical model was employed to simulate the flow over these wings which were rotating at a constant angular velocity. It was found that increasing the wing aspect ratio resulted in the formation of a dual co-rotating vortex structure near the leading-edge of the wing and the strengthening of the spanwise velocity within the core of the downstream vortex. Increasing the wing aspect ratio also resulted in an unsteady region of flow being developed out near the wing tip in which vortex structures are shed from the wing. The formation of this region was found to be due to the interaction of the leading-edge vortex with the vorticity at the trailing edge and not due to leading-edge vortex shedding as the dual leading-edge vortex structure was found to remain attached to the wing for all aspect ratios. This interaction did result in the reduction of the lift and drag coefficients for high aspect ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication42nd AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit 2012
Subtitle of host publication25-28 June, 2012, New Orleans, Louisiana [proceedings]
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781600869334
ISBN (Print)9781600869334
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
EventAIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit 2012 - New Orleans, United States of America
Duration: 25 Jun 201228 Jun 2012
Conference number: 42


ConferenceAIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityNew Orleans

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