The effect of a chordwise flexible aft-tail of a rigid heaving aerofoil on the dynamical transitions of the trailing-wake is studied here. The two-way coupled fluid–solid dynamics is simulated using an in-house fluid–structure interaction (FSI) platform, comprising a discrete forcing immersed boundary method based incompressible Navier–Stokes solver, weakly coupled with a finite difference method based structural solver. The FSI dynamics is studied in comparison to the corresponding rigid tail configuration. For the latter, mild jet-switching due to quasi-periodic movement of the wake vortices gives way to vigorous jet-switching as the dynamics transitions to a state of intermittency, where the quasi-periodic behaviour gets interspersed with chaotic windows. Introduction of a moderately flexible tail regularises this intermittent dynamics, eliminating jet-switching. The wake exhibits a deflected reverse Kármán pattern with fluctuating angles, governed by quasi-periodicity. With a highly flexible tail (very low rigidity), the wake shows almost a symmetric reverse Kármán street as periodicity is restored. Flexibility of the aft-tail is next controlled by changing its length, and flow is regularised and periodicity retained for moderate rigidity for increased length. Different dynamical states are established through robust nonlinear dynamical tools. The underlying flow-field behaviour, instrumental in suppressing the jet-switching phenomenon, is identified through a detailed investigation of the near-field vortex interactions dictated by the dynamics. A suite of measures has also been derived from the unsteady flow field to quantify the interactions of the key near-field vortices with a view to understanding the mechanism of switching and its subsequent suppression through flexibility.
- flow-structure interactions