On the quasi-steady aerodynamics of normal hovering flight part I: The induced power factor

Mostafa R. A. Nabawy, William J. Crowther

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    An analytical treatment to quantify the losses captured in the induced power factor, k, is provided for flapping wings in normal hover, including the effects of non-uniform downwash, tip losses and finite flapping amplitude. The method is based on a novel combination of actuator disc and lifting line blade theories that also takes into account the effect of advance ratio. The model has been evaluated against experimental results from the literature and qualitative agreement obtained for the effect of advance ratio on the lift coefficient of revolving wings. Comparison with quantitative experimental data for the circulation as a function of span for a fruitfly wing shows that the model is able to correctly predict the circulation shape of variation, including both the magnitude of the peak circulation and the rate of decay in circulation towards zero. An evaluation of the contributions to induced power factor in normal hover for eight insects is provided. It is also shown how Reynolds number can be accounted for in the induced power factor, and good agreement is obtained between predicted span efficiency as a function of Reynolds number and numerical results from the literature. Lastly, it is shown that for a flapping wing in hover k owing to the non-uniform downwash effect can be reduced to 1.02 using an arcsech chord distribution. For morphologically realistic wing shapes based on beta distributions, it is shown that a value of 1.07 can be achieved for a radius of first moment of wing area at 40% of wing length. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number20131196
    JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
    Issue number93
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2014


    • Downwash
    • Flapping wings
    • Induced power factor
    • Span efficiency
    • Tip losses


    Dive into the research topics of 'On the quasi-steady aerodynamics of normal hovering flight part I: The induced power factor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • Microsystems

      Nabawy BSc, MSc, PhD, MRAeS, SMAIAA, FHEA, M., Cioncolini, A., Revell, A., crowther, W., Ren, L., Shearwood, T., Mohamed, A., Wang, J. & Bond, E.

      Project: Research

    Cite this