In a recent paper, a theory explaining the wake-induced flutter of smooth circular cylinders was developed and vindicated. It was shown that, for moderate spacing of the cylinders (where the aerodynamic coupling between the constituent motions is small), flutter could occur only when the natural frequency, in still air, of vertical oscillations exceeded that of the horizontal motions. The theory, however, took no account of the possibility of mechanical coupling between the constituent motions and, while the results from this theory were corroborated by wind-tunnel tests in which a statically uncoupled mechanical support system was used, no indications were given of the changes in aeroelastic behaviour which might accompany the introduction of simple coupling terms.
In this paper, the class of cases wherein the mechanical support system for the leeward cylinder exhibits static coupling is studied using “undamped flutter theory”. It is demonstrated that the appearance of static coupling terms can lead to quite dramatic changes in the flutter characteristics, and that considerable care must be exercised in the design and operation of wind-tunnel dynamic models if meaningful results are to be obtained.
An Appendix deals with the general problem of mechanical coupling, using the normal coordinates approach, and aspects of the problem which bear on the subconductor oscillation phenomenon experienced on “bundled” overhead power transmission lines are highlighted.