Merits of flapping roll stabilizer fins
Since their introduction in the late 1990s, the use of fin stabilizers in the stabilization of rolling ships at zero forward speed has become quite common. This stabilization is generally achieved with more or less conventional low-aspect ratio fins with increased actuator power to realize a “kicking” motion. The limitations of this compromise and a wealth of literature on “flapping flight” led MARIN in 2008 to explore the merits of a flapping fin alternative by means of a set of experiments. The present work describes, after a general introduction, the results of these tests and a comparison with the conventional solution. In addition the results of very recent experiments with a commercial application of the principle are discussed.