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Thrust generation due to airfoil flapping

Thrust generation on a single flapping airfoil and a flapping/stationary airfoil combination in tandem is studied parametrically. A multiblock Navier-Stokes solver is employed to compute unsteady flowfields. The unsteady flow-field around a single flapping airfoil is also computed by an unsteady potential how code, The numerical solutions predict thrust generation in flapping airfoils and a significant augmentation of thrust in flapping/stationary airfoil combinations in tandem. The propulsive efficiency is found to be a strong function of reduced frequency and the amplitude of the flapping motion. At a flapping amplitude of 0.40 chord lengths and a reduced frequency of 0.10, the propulsive efficiency of a single NACA 0012 airfoil was computed to be more than 70%. For the airfoil combination in tandem, the propulsive efficiency was augmented more than 40% at a reduced frequency of 0.75 and a flapping amplitude of 0.20 chord lengths when the airfoils are separated by about two chord lengths.