Force measurements of flexible tandem wings in hovering and forward flights

Yingying Zheng, Yanhua Wu, Hui Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


� 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd. Aerodynamic forces, power consumptions and efficiencies of flexible and rigid tandem wings undergoing combined plunging/pitching motion were measured in a hovering flight and two forward flights with Strouhal numbers of 0.6 and 0.3. Three flexible dragonfly-like tandem wing models termed Wing I, Wing II, and Wing III which are progressively less flexible, as well as a pair of rigid wings as the reference were operated at three phase differences of 0�, 90� and 180�. The results showed that both the flexibility and phase difference have significant effects on the aerodynamic performances. In both hovering and forward flights at a higher oscillation frequency of 1 Hz (St = 0.6), the Wing III model outperformed the other wing models with larger total horizontal force coefficient and efficiency. In forward flight at the lower frequency of 0.5 Hz (St = 0.3), Wing III, rigid wings and Wing II models performed best at 0�, 90� and 180� phase difference, respectively. From the time histories of force coefficients of fore- and hind-wings, different peak values, phase lags, and secondary peaks were found to be the important reasons to cause the differences in the average horizontal force coefficients. Particle image velocimetry and deformation measurements were performed to provide the insights into how the flexibility affects the aerodynamic performance of the tandem wings. The spanwise bending deformation was found to contribute to the horizontal force, by offering a more beneficial position to make LEV more attached to the wing model in both hovering and forward flights, and inducing a higher-velocity region in forward flight.
Original languageEnglish
Article number016021
JournalBioinspiration and Biomimetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • aerodynamics of flapping wings
  • flexible and tandem wings
  • forward flight
  • hovering flight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Force measurements of flexible tandem wings in hovering and forward flights'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this