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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 5;99(14):148101. Epub 2007 Oct 1.

Effect of forewing and hindwing interactions on aerodynamic forces and power in hovering dragonfly flight.

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1
Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. zw24@cornell.edu

Abstract

Dragonflies are four-winged insects that have the ability to control aerodynamic performance by modulating the phase lag (phi) between forewings and hindwings. We film the wing motion of a tethered dragonfly and compute the aerodynamic force and power as a function of the phase. We find that the out-of-phase motion as seen in steady hovering uses nearly minimal power to generate the required force to balance the weight, and the in-phase motion seen in takeoffs provides an additional force to accelerate. We explain the main hydrodynamic interaction that causes this phase dependence.

PMID:
17930724
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.148101
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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