RT Journal Article
SR Electronic
T1 A computational study of the aerodynamic forces and power requirements of
dragonfly (*Aeschna juncea*) hovering
JF Journal of Experimental Biology
JO J. Exp. Biol.
FD The Company of Biologists Ltd
SP 1887
OP 1901
DO 10.1242/jeb.00969
VO 207
IS 11
A1 Sun, Mao
A1 Lan, Shi Long
YR 2004
UL http://jeb.biologists.org/content/207/11/1887.abstract
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.