[2017-Vol.14-Issue 4]The Role of Soft Vein Joints in Dragonfly Flight
Time: 2017-11-09 16:01  Click:607

Journal of Bionic Engineering

Volume 14, Issue 4, October 2017, Pages 738-745

Dan Hou1,2, Zheng Zhong2,3, Yajun Yin4, Yihui Pan2, Hongxiao Zhao2

1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
2. School of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
3. College of Science, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
4. Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Abstract  Dragonflies are excellent flyers among insects and their flight ability is closely related to the architecture and material properties of their wings. The veins are main structure components of a dragonfly wing, which are found to be connected by resilin with high elasticity at some joints. A three-dimensional (3D) finite element model of dragonfly wing considering the soft vein joints is developed, with some simplifications. Passive deformation under aerodynamic loads and active flapping motion of the wing are both studied. The functions of soft vein joints in dragonfly flight are concluded. In passive deformation, the chordwise flexibility is improved by soft vein joints and the wing is cambered under loads, increasing the action area with air. In active flapping, the wing rigidity in spanwise direction is maintained to achieve the required amplitude. As a result, both the passive deformation and the active control of flapping work well in dragonfly flight. The present study may also inspire the design of biomimetic Flapping Micro Air Vehicles (FMAVs).

Key words: dragonfly wing      resilin      soft vein joint      bionics and mechanics      flapping micro air vehicles 

Full text is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1672652916604390

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