PT - JOURNAL ARTICLE
AU - Sun, Mao
AU - Lan, Shi Long
TI - A computational study of the aerodynamic forces and power requirements of
dragonfly (<em>Aeschna juncea</em>) hovering
AID - 10.1242/jeb.00969
DP - 2004 May 01
TA - Journal of Experimental Biology
PG - 1887--1901
VI - 207
IP - 11
4099 - http://jeb.biologists.org/content/207/11/1887.short
4100 - http://jeb.biologists.org/content/207/11/1887.full
SO - J. Exp. Biol.2004 May 01; 207
AB - Aerodynamic force generation and mechanical power requirements of a dragonfly (Aeschna juncea) in hovering flight are studied. The method of numerically solving the Navier–Stokes equations in moving overset grids is used. When the midstroke angles of attack in the downstroke and the upstroke are set to 52° and 8°, respectively (these values are close to those observed), the mean vertical force equals the insect weight, and the mean thrust is approximately zero. There are two large vertical force peaks in one flapping cycle. One is in the first half of the cycle, which is mainly due to the hindwings in their downstroke; the other is in the second half of the cycle, which is mainly due to the forewings in their downstroke. Hovering with a large stroke plane angle (52°), the dragonfly uses drag as a major source for its weight-supporting force (approximately 65% of the total vertical force is contributed by the drag and 35% by the lift of the wings). The vertical force coefficient of a wing is twice as large as the quasi-steady value. The interaction between the fore- and hindwings is not very strong and is detrimental to the vertical force generation. Compared with the case of a single wing in the same motion, the interaction effect reduces the vertical forces on the fore- and hindwings by 14% and 16%, respectively, of that of the corresponding single wing. The large vertical force is due to the unsteady flow effects. The mechanism of the unsteady force is that in each downstroke of the hindwing or the forewing, a new vortex ring containing downward momentum is generated, giving an upward force. The body-mass-specific power is 37 W kg-1, which is mainly contributed by the aerodynamic power.