Effect of Passive Body Deformation of Hawkmoth on Flight Stability
In this study, the effect of passive body deformation on flight stability during insect flapping flight is investigated numerically. We developed a flexible body dynamic solver for a three-dimensional flexible beam model and coupled it with an in-house fluid dynamics solver. With this integrated model, hawkmoth free flights are simulated and analyzed systematically with six cases, in which the joint stiffness between thorax and abdomen varied from extremely rigid to very flexible. Our results indicate that the passive body deformation works likely altering the aerodynamic torque, the body attitude and the flight trajectory. We further found that the most stable flight can be achieved by a moderate joint stiffness, in which the body attitude remains approximately around the initial angle of 40 degree. This points to the importance that the flexible body and its passive deformation during flapping-wing flight are capable to enhance stable flight and flight control.
Keywordsinsect flight flexible body dynamics stability
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