Wingbeat time and the scaling of passive rotational damping in flapping flight

Tyson L. Hedrick, Bo Cheng, Xinyan Deng

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    170 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Flying animals exhibit remarkable capabilities for both generating maneuvers and stabilizing their course and orientation after perturbation. Here we show that flapping fliers ranging in size from fruit flies to large birds benefit from substantial damping of angular velocity through a passive mechanism termed flapping counter-torque (FCT). Our FCT model predicts that isometrically scaled animals experience similar damping on a per-wingbeat time scale, resulting in similar turning dynamics in wingbeat time regardless of body size. The model also shows how animals may simultaneously specialize in both maneuverability and stability (at the cost of efficiency) and provides a framework for linking morphology, wing kinematics, maneuverability, and flight dynamics across a wide range of flying animals spanning insects, bats, and birds.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)252-255
    Number of pages4
    JournalScience
    Volume324
    Issue number5924
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 10 2009

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    Torque
    Birds
    Body Size
    Biomechanical Phenomena
    Diptera
    Insects
    Fruit

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Medicine(all)
    • General

    Cite this

    Hedrick, Tyson L. ; Cheng, Bo ; Deng, Xinyan. / Wingbeat time and the scaling of passive rotational damping in flapping flight. In: Science. 2009 ; Vol. 324, No. 5924. pp. 252-255.
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    Wingbeat time and the scaling of passive rotational damping in flapping flight. / Hedrick, Tyson L.; Cheng, Bo; Deng, Xinyan.

    In: Science, Vol. 324, No. 5924, 10.04.2009, p. 252-255.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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