Effects of three-dimensionality on thrust production by a pitching panel

Melissa A. Green, Alexander J. Smits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


To understand the fluid dynamics of a biologically inspired unsteady low-aspect-ratio propulsor, unsteady pressure distributions were measured and compared with time-averaged thrust performance and wake visualizations. The experiments were performed on rigid rectangular panels with different aspect ratios, pitching in a uniform flow. Panel aspect ratio and pitching amplitude were shown to affect the magnitude and time dependence of the pressure distribution on the panel surface, the vorticity generation on the panel, and thrust production. A new scaling is proposed that includes these parameters and collapses the oscillating pressure magnitude and the thrust coefficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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