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Experimental and numerical study of the flight of geese

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2016

G. Dimitriadis*
Affiliation:
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Liège, Liege, Belgium
J. D. Gardiner
Affiliation:
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Liège, Liege, Belgium
P. G. Tickle
Affiliation:
Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
J. Codd
Affiliation:
Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
R. L. Nudds
Affiliation:
Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Abstract

The flight of barnacle geese at airspeeds representing high-speed migrating flight is investigated using experiments and simulations. The experimental part of the work involved the filming of three barnacle geese (Branta Leucopsis) flying at different airspeeds in a wind tunnel. The video footage was analysed in order to extract the wing kinematics. Additional information, such as wing geometry and camber was obtained from a 3D scan of a dried wing. An unsteady vortex lattice method was used to simulate the aerodynamics of the measured flapping motion. The simulations were used in order to successfully reproduce the measured body motion and thus obtain estimates of the aerodynamic forces acting on the wings. It was found that the mean of the wing pitch angle variation with time has the most significant effect on lift while the difference in the durations of the upstroke and downstroke has the major effect on thrust. The power consumed by the aerodynamic forces was also estimated; it was found that increases in aerodynamic power correspond very closely to climbing motion and vice versa. Root-mean-square values of the power range from 100W to 240W. Finally, it was observed that tandem flying can be very expensive for the trailing bird.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Royal Aeronautical Society 2015

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