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Published August 2007 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

A nonlinear theory for a flexible unsteady wing


This paper extends the previous studies by Wu [Wu TY (2001) Adv Appl Mech 38:291–353; Wu TY (2005) Advances in engineering mechanics—reflections and outlooks. World Scientific; Wu TY (2006) Struct Control Health Monit 13:553–560] to present a fully nonlinear theory for the evaluation of the unsteady flow generated by a two-dimensional flexible lifting surface moving in an arbitrary manner through an incompressible and inviscid fluid for modeling bird/insect flight and fish swimming. The original physical concept founded by Theodore von Kármán and William R. Sears [von Kármán T, Sears WR (1938) J Aero Sci 5:379–390] in describing the complete vortex system of a wing and its wake in non-uniform motion for their linear theory is adapted and extended to a fully nonlinear consideration. The new theory employs a joint Eulerian and Lagrangian description of the wing motion to establish a fully nonlinear theory for a flexible wing moving with arbitrary variations in wing shape and trajectory, and obtain a fully nonlinear integral equation for the wake vorticity in generalizing Herbert Wagner's [Wagner H (1925) ZAMM 5:17–35] linear version for an efficient determination of exact solutions in general.

Additional Information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007. Dedicated to The J. N. Newman Honorary Volume of The Journal of Engineering Mathematics. Received 14 November 2006; accepted 24 November 2006 / Published online: 5 April 2007 I am most appreciative for the gracious encouragement from Dr. Chinhua S. Wu and the American-Chinese Scholarship Foundation.

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August 19, 2023
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