Title page for ETD etd-08182009-141222


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Walker, William Paul
Author's Email Address wiwalker@vt.edu
URN etd-08182009-141222
Title Unsteady Aerodynamics of Deformable Thin Airfoils
Degree Master of Science
Department Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Patil, Mayuresh J. Committee Chair
Canfield, Robert A. Committee Member
Devenport, William J. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Unsteady Aerodynamics
  • Deformable Airfoils
Date of Defense 2009-08-05
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Unsteady aerodynamic theories are essential in the analysis of bird and insect flight. The study of these types of locomotion is vital in the development of flapping wing aircraft. This paper uses potential flow aerodynamics to extend the unsteady aerodynamic theory of Theodorsen and Garrick (which is restricted to rigid airfoil motion) to deformable thin airfoils. Frequency-domain lift, pitching moment and thrust expressions are derived for an airfoil undergoing harmonic oscillations and deformation in the form of Chebychev polynomials. The results are validated against the time-domain unsteady aerodynamic theory of Peters. A case study is presented which analyzes several combinations of airfoil motion at different phases and identifies various possibilities for thrust generation using a deformable airfoil.
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