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Design and implementation of spanwise lift and gust control via arrays of bio-inspired individually actuated pneumatic flaplets

Court, A., Selim, O., Pamment, K. & Bruecker, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-5834-3020 (2023). Design and implementation of spanwise lift and gust control via arrays of bio-inspired individually actuated pneumatic flaplets. International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat and Fluid Flow, 33(4), pp. 1528-1543. doi: 10.1108/hff-01-2023-0046


Purpose: Covert feathers on avian wings can show dynamic pop-up behaviour in rapid succession as a reaction to turbulent gusts. The purpose of this paper is to understand the possible flow control mechanism induced during such dynamic motion cycles. A model aerofoil is designed with suction side spanwise control of rows of bio-inspired flaplets.

Design/methodology/approach: A NACA 0012 aerofoil is equipped with a spanwise row of eight flaplets at 80% chord, connected to pneumatic actuators and can be deployed to max 15° in a prescribed open–hold–close manner. The model is placed in a water tunnel and flow measurements are done in the wake of the flaps during a cycle using particle image velocimetry.

Findings: During opening, boundary layer flow is sucked into the void space between the wing surface and the flaplet, which induces backflow underneath the flaplet and traps the fluid inside. This fluid is expelled downstream during closure, which generates a forward directed jet as seen by the formation of a vortex-ring like structure with higher axial momentum. The entrainment of the jet leads to the re-energising of the boundary layer flow further upstream.

Originality/value: This paper presents a furtherment of understanding of the action of pop-up feathers for separation control. The actuation of the bio-inspired flaplets shows a flow vectorising effect which can be used for active separation and gust control. In the case of incipient separation, flaplet action can act to re-attach the flow because of the jet entrainment effect.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher
Publisher Keywords: Nature inspired, Gust control
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 3AF 2022 paper resubmission without tracked chaanges.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
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