J Bionic Eng 18 (2021) 419–427 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42235-021-0020-4
The Importance of Flapping Kinematic Parameters in the Facilitation of the Different Flight Modes of Dragonflies
Xiaohui Liu, Csaba Hefler, Wei Shyy, Huihe Qiu*
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China
Abstract To better understand dragonflies’ remarkable flapping wing aerodynamic performance, we measured the kinematic parameters of the wings in two different flight modes (Normal Flight Mode (NFM) and Escape Flight Mode (EFM)). When the specimens switched from normal to escape mode the flapping frequency was invariant, but the stroke plane of the wings was more horizontally inclined. The flapping of both wings was adjusted to be more ventral with a change of the pitching angle that resulted in a larger angle of attack during downstroke and smaller during upstroke to affect the flow directions and the added mass effect. Noticeably, the phasing between the fore and hind pair of wings varies between two flight modes, which affects the wing-wing interaction as well as body oscillations. It is found that the momentum stream in the wake of EFM is qualitatively different from that in NFM. The change of the stroke plane angle and the varied pitching angle of the wings diverts the momentum downwards, while the smaller flapping amplitude and less phase difference between the wings compresses the momentum stream. It seems that in order to achieve greater flight maneuverability a flight vehicle needs to actively control positional angle as well as the pitching angle of the flapping wings.
Keywords: wing kinematics, flight mode, dragonfly flight, aerodynamics