The flapping motion of insect wings is qualitatively different from fixed airplane wings or even the rotation of helicopter blades. It's perhaps not surprising, then, that the quasi‐steady‐state analysis that works so well for aircraft predict for insects an amount of lift that's insufficient to keep them in the air.
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December 01 2000
Simple Mechanisms Help Explain Insect Hovering
Experimental models and two‐dimensional computer simulations of insect hovering provide insight that is missing in steady‐state analysis.
Physics Today 53 (12), 22–23 (2000);
Richard Fitzgerald; Simple Mechanisms Help Explain Insect Hovering. Physics Today 1 December 2000; 53 (12): 22–23. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1341910
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