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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0036018

Aerodynamic interaction of bristled wing pairs in fling

02 Mar 2021-Physics of Fluids (AIP Publishing LLC AIP Publishing)-Vol. 33, Iss: 3, pp 031901
Abstract: Tiny flying insects of body lengths under 2 mm use the “clap-and-fling” mechanism with bristled wings for lift augmentation and drag reduction at a chord-based Reynolds number (Re) on O ( 10 ). We examine the wing–wing interaction of bristled wings in fling at Re = 10 as a function of initial inter-wing spacing (δ) and degree of overlap between rotation and linear translation. A dynamically scaled robotic platform was used to drive physical models of bristled wing pairs with the following kinematics (all angles relative to vertical): (1) rotation about the trailing edge to angle θr, (2) linear translation at a fixed angle (θt), and (3) combined rotation and linear translation. The results show that (1) the cycle-averaged drag coefficient decreased with increasing θr and θt and (2) decreasing δ increased the lift coefficient owing to increased asymmetry in the circulation of leading and trailing edge vortices. A new dimensionless index, reverse flow capacity (RFC), was used to quantify the maximum possible ability of a bristled wing to leak the fluid through the bristles. The drag coefficients were larger for smaller δ and θr despite larger RFC, likely due to the blockage of inter-bristle flow by shear layers around the bristles. Smaller δ during early rotation resulted in the formation of strong positive pressure distribution between the wings, resulting in an increased drag force. The positive pressure region weakened with increasing θr, which in turn reduced the drag force. Tiny insects have been previously reported to use large rotational angles in fling, and our findings suggest that a plausible reason is to reduce drag forces.

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Topics: Drag (60%), Drag coefficient (60%), Lift (force) (56%) ... read more
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6 results found


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.06.24.449497
25 Jun 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: Flight speed generally correlates positively with animal body size [1]. Surprisingly, miniature featherwing beetles can fly at speeds and accelerations of insects three times as large [2]. We show here that this performance results from a previously unknown type of wing motion. Our experiment combines three-dimensional reconstructions of morphology and kinematics in one of the smallest insects, Paratuposa placentis (body length 395 μm). The flapping bristled wing follows a pronounced figure-eight loop that consists of subperpendicular up and down strokes followed by claps at stroke reversals, above and below the body. Computational analyses suggest a functional decomposition of the flapping cycle in two power half strokes producing a large upward force and two down-dragging recovery half strokes. In contrast to heavier membranous wings, the motion of bristled wings of the same size requires little inertial power. Muscle mechanical power requirements thus remain positive throughout the wing beat cycle, making elastic energy storage obsolete. This novel flight style evolved during miniaturization may compensate for costs associated with air viscosity and helps explain how extremely small insects preserved superb aerial performance during miniaturization. Incorporating this flight style in artificial flappers is a challenge for designers of micro aerial vehicles.

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Topics: Wing (51%)

1 Citations


Proceedings ArticleDOI: 10.2514/6.2021-2616
Farhanuddin Ahmed1, Nipun Arora1Institutions (1)
02 Aug 2021-

1 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0050236
Yu Kai Wu1, Yan Peng Liu1, Mao Sun1Institutions (1)
01 Apr 2021-AIP Advances
Topics: Aerodynamics (58%)

1 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1242/JEB.239798
Vishwa T. Kasoju1, Daniel S. Moen1, Mitchell Ford1, Truc T. Ngo1  +1 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Miniature insects must overcome significant viscous resistance in order to fly. They typically possess wings with long bristles on the fringes and use a clap-and-fling mechanism to augment lift. These unique solutions to the extreme conditions of flight at tiny sizes (<2 mm body length) suggest that natural selection has optimized wing design for better aerodynamic performance. However, species vary in wingspan, number of bristles (n) and bristle gap (G) to diameter (D) ratio (G/D). How this variation relates to body length (BL) and its effects on aerodynamics remain unknown. We measured forewing images of 38 species of thrips and 21 species of fairyflies. Our phylogenetic comparative analyses showed that n and wingspan scaled positively and similarly with BL across both groups, whereas G/D decreased with BL, with a sharper decline in thrips. We next measured aerodynamic forces and visualized flow on physical models of bristled wings performing clap-and-fling kinematics at a chord-based Reynolds number of 10 using a dynamically scaled robotic platform. We examined the effects of dimensional (G, D, wingspan) and non-dimensional (n, G/D) geometric variables on dimensionless lift and drag. We found that: (1) increasing G reduced drag more than decreasing D; (2) changing n had minimal impact on lift generation; and (3) varying G/D minimally affected aerodynamic forces. These aerodynamic results suggest little pressure to functionally optimize n and G/D. Combined with the scaling relationships between wing variables and BL, much wing variation in tiny flying insects might be best explained by underlying shared growth factors.

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Topics: Wing (56%), Lift-to-drag ratio (56%), Wingspan (55%) ... read more

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1063/5.0067169
Yu Kai Wu1, Yan Peng Liu1, Mao Sun1Institutions (1)
01 Nov 2021-Physics of Fluids
Topics: Acceleration (56%), Aerodynamics (55%), Wing (51%)

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41 results found


Open accessBook
Markus Raffel1Institutions (1)
11 Jun 2002-
Abstract: This practical guide intends to provide comprehensive information on the PIV technique that in the past decade has gained significant popularity throughout engineering and scientific fields involving fluid mechanics. Relevant theoretical background information directly support the practical aspects associated with the planning, performance and understanding of experiments employing the PIV technique. The second edition includes extensive revisions taking into account significant progress on the technique as well as the continuously broadening range of possible applications which are illustrated by a multitude of examples. Among the new topics covered are high-speed imaging, three-component methods, advanced evaluation and post-processing techniques as well as microscopic PIV, the latter made possible by extending the group of authors by an internationally recognized expert. This book is primarily intended for engineers, scientists and students, who already have some basic knowledge of fluid mechanics and non-intrusive optical measurement techniques. It shall guide researchers and engineers to design and perform their experiment successfully without requiring them to first become specialists in the field. Nonetheless many of the basic properties of PIV are provided as they must be well understood before a correct interpretation of the results is possible.

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4,809 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1242/JEB.59.1.169
Abstract: 1. On the assumption that steady-state aerodynamics applies, simple analytical expressions are derived for the average lift coefficient, Reynolds number, the aerodynamic power, the moment of inertia of the wing mass and the dynamic efficiency in animals which perform normal hovering with horizontally beating wings. 2. The majority of hovering animals, including large lamellicorn beetles and sphingid moths, depend mainly on normal aerofoil action. However, in some groups with wing loading less than 10 N m -2 (1 kgf m -2 ), non-steady aerodynamics must play a major role, namely in very small insects at low Reynolds number, in true hover-flies (Syrphinae), in large dragonflies (Odonata) and in many butterflies (Lepidoptera Rhopalocera). 3. The specific aerodynamic power ranges between 1.3 and 4.7 WN -1 (11-40 cal h -1 gf -1 ) but power output does not vary systematically with size, inter alia because the lift/drag ratio deteriorates at low Reynolds number. 4. Comparisons between metabolic rate, aerodynamic power and dynamic efficiency show that the majority of insects require and depend upon an effective elastic system in the thorax which counteracts the bending moments caused by wing inertia. 5. The free flight of a very small chalcid wasp Encarsia formosa has been analysed by means of slow-motion films. At this low Reynolds number (10-20), the high lift co-efficient of 2 or 3 is not possible with steady-state aerodynamics and the wasp must depend almost entirely on non-steady flow patterns. 6. The wings of Encarsia are moved almost horizontally during hovering, the body being vertical, and there are three unusual phases in the wing stroke: the clap , the fling and the flip . In the clap the wings are brought together at the top of the morphological upstroke. In the fling, which is a pronation at the beginning of the morphological downstroke, the opposed wings are flung open like a book, hinging about their posterior margins. In the flip, which is a supination at the beginning of the morphological upstroke, the wings are rapidly twisted through about 180°. 7. The fling is a hitherto undescribed mechanism for creating lift and for setting up the appropriate circulation over the wing in anticipation of the downstroke. In the case of Encarsia the calculated and observed wing velocities at which lift equals body weight are in agreement, and lift is produced almost instantaneously from the beginning of the downstroke and without any Wagner effect. The fling mechanism seems to be involved in the normal flight of butterflies and possibly of Drosophila and other small insects. Dimensional and other considerations show that it could be a useful mechanism in birds and bats during take-off and in emergencies. 8. The flip is also believed to be a means of setting up an appropriate circulation around the wing, which has hitherto escaped attention; but its operation is less well understood. It is not confined to Encarsia but operates in other insects, not only at the beginning of the upstroke (supination) but also at the beginning of the downstroke where a flip (pronation) replaces the clap and fling of Encarsia . A study of freely flying hover-flies strongly indicates that the Syrphinae (and Odonata) depend almost entirely upon the flip mechanism when hovering. In the case of these insects a transient circulation is presumed to be set up before the translation of the wing through the air, by the rapid pronation (or supination) which affects the stiff anterior margin before the soft posterior portions of the wing. In the flip mechanism vortices of opposite sense must be shed, and a Wagner effect must be present. 9. In some hovering insects the wing twistings occur so rapidly that the speed of propagation of the elastic torsional wave from base to tip plays a significant role and appears to introduce beneficial effects. 10. Non-steady periods, particularly flip effects, are present in all flapping animals and they will modify and become superimposed upon the steady-state pattern as described by the mathematical model presented here. However, the accumulated evidence indicates that the majority of hovering animals conform reasonably well with that model. 11. Many new types of analysis are indicated in the text and are now open for future theoretical and experimental research.

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Topics: Insect flight (60%), Wing loading (59%), Wing (58%) ... read more

1,224 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1242/JEB.00663
Sanjay P. Sane1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The flight of insects has fascinated physicists and biologists for more than a century. Yet, until recently, researchers were unable to rigorously quantify the complex wing motions of flapping insects or measure the forces and flows around their wings. However, recent developments in high-speed videography and tools for computational and mechanical modeling have allowed researchers to make rapid progress in advancing our understanding of insect flight. These mechanical and computational fluid dynamic models, combined with modern flow visualization techniques, have revealed that the fluid dynamic phenomena underlying flapping flight are different from those of non-flapping, 2-D wings on which most previous models were based. In particular, even at high angles of attack, a prominent leading edge vortex remains stably attached on the insect wing and does not shed into an unsteady wake, as would be expected from non-flapping 2-D wings. Its presence greatly enhances the forces generated by the wing, thus enabling insects to hover or maneuver. In addition, flight forces are further enhanced by other mechanisms acting during changes in angle of attack, especially at stroke reversal, the mutual interaction of the two wings at dorsal stroke reversal or wing-wake interactions following stroke reversal. This progress has enabled the development of simple analytical and empirical models that allow us to calculate the instantaneous forces on flapping insect wings more accurately than was previously possible. It also promises to foster new and exciting multi-disciplinary collaborations between physicists who seek to explain the phenomenology, biologists who seek to understand its relevance to insect physiology and evolution, and engineers who are inspired to build micro-robotic insects using these principles. This review covers the basic physical principles underlying flapping flight in insects, results of recent experiments concerning the aerodynamics of insect flight, as well as the different approaches used to model these phenomena.

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Topics: Insect flight (61%), Insect wing (53%)

1,076 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1098/RSTB.1984.0051
Charles P. Ellington1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Insects in free flight were filmed at 5000 frames per second to determine the motion of their wings and bodies. General comments are offered on flight behaviour and manoeuvrability. Changes in the tilt of the stroke plane with respect to the horizontal provides kinematic control of manoeuvres, analogous to the type of control used for helicopters. A projection analysis technique is described that solves for the orientation of the animal with respect to a cam era-based coordinate system, giving full kinematic details for the longitudinal wing and body axes from single-view films. The technique can be applied to all types of flight where the wing motions are bilaterally symmetrical: forward, backward and hovering flight, as well as properly banked turns. An analysis of the errors of the technique is presented, and shows that the reconstructed angles for wing position should be accurate to within 1-2° in general. Although measurement of the angles of attack was not possible, visual estimations are given. Only 11 film sequences show flight velocities and accelerations that are small enough for the flight to be considered as ‘hovering’. Two sequences are presented for a hover-fly using an inclined stroke plane, and nine sequences of hovering with a horizontal stroke plane by another hover-fly, two crane-flies, a drone-fly, a ladybird beetle, a honey bee, and two bumble bees. In general, oscillations in the body position from its mean motion are within measurement error, about 1-2 % of the wing length. The amplitudes of oscillation for the body angle are only a few degrees, but the phase relation of this oscillation to the wingbeat cycle could be determined for a few sequences. The phase indicates that the pitching moments governing the oscillations result from the wing lift at the ends of the wingbeat, and not from the wing drag or inertial forces. The mean pitching moment of the wings, which determines the mean body angle, is controlled by shifting the centre of lift over the cycle by changing the mean positional angle of the flapping wings. Deviations of the wing tip path from the stroke plane are never large, and no consistent pattern could be found for the wing paths of different insects; indeed, variations in the path were even observed for individual insects. The wing motion is not greatly different from simple harmonic motion, but does show a general trend towards higher accelerations and decelerations at either end of the wingbeat, with constant velocities during the middle of half-strokes. Root mean square and cube root mean cube angular velocities are on average about 4 and 9% lower than simple harmonic motion. Angles of attack are nearly constant during the middle of half-strokes, typically 35° at a position 70 % along the wing length. The wing is twisted along its length, with angles of attack at the wing base some 10-20° greater than at the tip. The wings rotate through about 110° at either end of the wingbeat during 10-20 % of the cycle period. The mean velocity of the wing edges during rotation is similar to the mean flapping velocity of the wing tip and greater than the flapping velocity for more proximal wing regions, which indicates that vortex shedding during rotation is com parable with that during flapping. The wings tend to rotate as a flat plate during the first half of rotation, which ends just before, or at, the end of the half-stroke. The hover-fly using an inclined stroke plane provides a notable exception to this general pattern : pronation is delayed and overlaps the beginning of the downstroke. The wing profile flexes along a more or less localized longitudinal axis during the second half of rotation, generating the ‘flip’ profile postulated by Weis-Fogh for the hover-flies. This profile occurs to some extent for all of the insects, and is not exceptionally pronounced for the hover-fly. By the end of rotation the wings are nearly flat again, although a slight camber can sometimes be seen. Weis-Fogh showed that beneficial aerodynamic interference can result when the left and right wings come into contact during rotation at the end of the wingbeat. His ‘fling’ mechanism creates the circulation required for wing lift on the subsequent half-stroke, and can be seen on my films of the Large Cabbage White butterfly, a plum e moth, and the Mediterranean flour moth. However, their wings ‘peel’ apart like two pieces of paper being separated, rather than fling open rigidly about the trailing edges. A ‘partial fling’ was found for some insects, with the wings touching only along posterior wing areas. A ‘ near fling ’ with the wings separated by a fraction of the chord was also observed for m any insects. There is a continuous spectrum for the separation distance between the wings, in fact, and the separation can vary for a given insect during different manoeuvres. It is suggested that these variants on Weis-Fogh’s fling mechanism also generate circulation for wing lift, although less effectively than a complete fling, and that changes in the separation distance may provide a fine control over the amount of lift produced.

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Topics: Wing twist (69%), Wing loading (66%), Insect flight (61%) ... read more

693 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1242/JEB.00848
Abstract: The elevated aerodynamic performance of insects has been attributed in part to the generation and maintenance of a stable region of vorticity known as the leading edge vortex (LEV). One explanation for the stability of the LEV is that spiraling axial flow within the vortex core drains energy into the tip vortex, forming a leading-edge spiral vortex analogous to the flow structure generated by delta wing aircraft. However, whereas spiral flow is a conspicuous feature of flapping wings at Reynolds numbers (Re) of 5000, similar experiments at Re=100 failed to identify a comparable structure. We used a dynamically scaled robot to investigate both the forces and the flows created by a wing undergoing identical motion at Re of ~120 and ~1400. In both cases, motion at constant angular velocity and fixed angle of attack generated a stable LEV with no evidence of shedding. At Re=1400, flow visualization indicated an intense narrow region of spanwise flow within the core of the LEV, a feature conspicuously absent at Re=120. The results suggest that the transport of vorticity from the leading edge to the wake that permits prolonged vortex attachment takes different forms at different Re.

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Topics: Vortex ring (63%), Horseshoe vortex (62%), Vortex (62%) ... read more

422 Citations