Journal of Visualization

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 381–391 | Cite as

Numerical flow visualization of first cycle and cyclic motion of a rigid fling-clapping wing

  • Chang J. W. 
  • Sohn M. H. 


A flow visualization of the two-dimensional rigid fling-clap motions of the flat-plate wing is performed to get the knowledge of fling-clapping mechanism that might be employed by insects during flight. In this numerical visualization, the time-dependent Navier-Stokes equations are solved for two types of wing motion; ‘fling followed by clap and pause motion’ and ‘cyclic fling-clapping motion’. The result is observed regarding the main flow features such as the sequential development of the two families of separation vortex pairs and their movement. For the ‘fling followed by clap and pause motion’, a strong separation vortex pair of counterrotation develops in the opening between the wings in the fling phase and they then move out from the opening in the following clap phase. For ‘the cyclic fling-clapping motion’, the separation vortex pair developed in the outside space in the clap phase move into the opening in the following fling phase. The separation vortex pair in the opening developed in the fling phase of the cyclic motion is observed to be stronger than those of the ‘fling followed by clap and pause motion’. Regarding the strong fling separation vortex and the weak clap separation vortex above it in the opening, the flow pattern of the fling phase of the cyclic fling and clap motion is different to that of the fling phase of the first cycle. The flow pattern of the third cycle of the cyclic fling-clapping motion is observed to be almost same as that of the second cycle. Therefore, a periodicity of the flow pattern is established after the second cycle.


Fling-clap motion First cycle Navier-Stokes equation Insect flight Numerical visualization Separation vortex 



chord length


lift coefficient


Reynolds number

\(\overrightarrow {r,} \overrightarrow {r_{\rm{0}} } \)

position vector


power expenditure coefficient



u, v

velocity component

\(\overrightarrow {V,} \overrightarrow {V_S } \)

velocity vector

x, y



half-opening angle

\(\dot \alpha \)

angular velocity

\(\bar \dot \alpha \)

mean angular velocity


stream function



\(\overrightarrow \Omega \)

rotation angular velocity


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Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang J. W. 
    • 1
  • Sohn M. H. 
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Aeronautical Science and Flight OperationHankuk Aviation UniversityGoyang city, Kyeonggi-doKorea
  2. 2.Department of Aerospace EngineeringKorea Air Force AcademyChungbuk-doKorea

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