Using high-speed cinematography, bumblebees in free flight were filmed over a range of forward airspeeds. A detailed description of the wing tip and body kinematics was obtained from a three-dimensional reconstruction of the twodimensional film image. A technique for determining quantitatively the angle of attack of the wing was developed. Kinematic parameters found to vary consistently with airspeed were body angle, stroke plane angle, geometrical angle of attack, and rotational angles of the wings at the ends of half-strokes. Results of a morphological analysis of the wings and bodies of thoseinsects filmed in free flight are presented for use in later calculations of the lift and power requirements of forward flight.
- © 1990 by Company of Biologists