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Journal of Bionic Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 478–490 | Cite as

Wing Kinematics, Aerodynamic Forces and Vortex-wake Structures in Fruit-flies in Forward Flight

  • Xueguang Meng
  • Mao Sun
Article

Abstract

Wing kinematics in forward-flying fruit-flies was measured using high-speed cameras and flows of the flapping wing were calculated numerically. The large lift and thrust coefficients produced by the wing were explained. The wing flaps along a forward-tilting stroke plane. In the starting portion of a half-stroke (an upstroke or downstroke), the wing pitches down to a small pitch angle; during the mid portion (the wing has built up its speed), it first fast pitches up to a large pitch angle and then maintains the pitch angle; in the ending portion, the wing pitches up further. A large aerodynamic force (normal to the wing surface) is produced during the mid portion of a half-stroke. The large force is produced by the fast-pitching-up rotation and delayed-stall mechanisms. As a result of the orientation of wing, the thrust that propels the insect is produced by the upstroke and the major part of the vertical force that supports the weight is produced by the downstroke. In producing the thrust the upstroke leaves a “vortex ring” that is almost vertical, and in producing the vertical force the downstroke leaves a “vortex ring” that is almost horizontal.

Keywords

fruit-fly wing kinematics forward flight Navier-Stokes simulation vortex 

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Copyright information

© Jilin University 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Fluid MechanicsBeijing University of Aeronautics and AstronauticsBeijingChina

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