Acta Mechanica Sinica

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 421–431 | Cite as

A computational study of the wing–wing and wing–body interactions of a model insect

  • Xin Yu
  • Mao SunEmail author
Research Paper


The aerodynamic interaction between the contralateral wings and between the body and wings of a model insect are studied, by using the method of numerically solving the Navier–Stokes equations over moving overset grids, under typical hovering and forward flight conditions. Both the interaction between the contralateral wings and the interaction between the body and wings are very weak, e.g. at hovering, changes in aerodynamic forces of a wing due to the present of the other wing are less than 3% and changes in aerodynamic forces of the wings due to presence of the body are less than 2%. The reason for this is as following. During each down- or up-stroke, a wing produces a vortex ring, which induces a relatively large jet-like flow inside the ring but very small flow outside the ring. The vortex rings of the left and right wings are on the two sides of the body. Thus one wing is outside vortex ring of the other wing and the body is outside the vortex rings of the left and right wings, resulting in the weak interactions.


Insect Aerodynamics Wing/wing interaction Wing/body interaction 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Applied Physics and Computational MathematicsBeihang UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Fluid MechanicsBeihang UniversityBeijingChina

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