Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Note on the swimming of slender fish

M. J.  Lighthill a1
a1 Royal Aircraft Estabilishment, Farnborough, Hampshire

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The paper seeks to determine what transverse oscillatory movements a slender fish can make which will give it a high Froude propulsive efficiency, $\frac{\hbox{(forward velocity)} \times \hbox{(thrust available to overcome frictional drag)}} {\hbox {(work done to produce both thrust and vortex wake)}}.$ The recommended procedure is for the fish to pass a wave down its body at a speed of around $\frac {5} {4}$ of the desired swimming speed, the amplitude increasing from zero over the front portion to a maximum at the tail, whose span should exceed a certain critical value, and the waveform including both a positive and a negative phase so that angular recoil is minimized. The Appendix gives a review of slender-body theory for deformable bodies.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received May 9 1960)