Kinematics of Dragonfly (Sympetrum flaveolum) Flight
The kinematics of the flapping flight of the dragonfly Sympetrum flaveolum is investigated. The flapping patterns of the hindwing are recorded and studied thoroughly using a high speed video camera with the highest shuttle speed and resolution as reported so far on study of insect flights. The overall results indicate that the flapping pattern of a dragonfly hindwing at the nodus and the pterostigma can be either a simple figure-eight or a double figure-eight, which is a new discovery. The angle of attack and the wing attitude are studied quantitatively. The relative position of the leading edge and trailing edge implies the presence of lift-enhancing mechanisms after stroke reversal. It is also found that the spanwise leading edge spar of a dragonfly wing is not one rigid piece, but two pieces hinged at the nodus with physical constraint of forty degrees. The elastic modulus of the costa of a hindwing is estimated through vibration tests using a vibrometer.
Keywordsdragonfly kinematics flapping trajectory trailing edge movement nodus mobility
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