On the Mechanics of Flight of Small Insects

  • Arnold M. Kuethe

Abstract

A mechanism is proposed for the generation of lift and propulsive forces by small insects with deeply fringed wings. The fringes, composed of bristles (setae) projecting from the margins of the wings, form sheets in which waves generated by the beating of the wings will propagate in spanwise and chordwise directions. Extrapolation of measurements of pressure drops in flow through inclined gauze sheets to the very low Reynolds numbers of insect flight indicate that the wave motion can generate lift forces many times those achievable by airfoils at the same Reynolds numbers.

Keywords

Pressure Drop Circular Cylinder Wing Length Force Coefficient Solidity Ratio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Horridge, G.A. 1956 The flight of very small insects. Nature, 178, 1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Lewis, Trevor 1973 Thrips. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Schlichtin, H. 1955 Boundary Layer Theory. 16, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Schubauer, G. B., Spangenberg, W. G., and Klebanoff, P. S. 1950 The flow through screens and effects on turbulence. NACA Tech. Note 2001.Google Scholar
  5. Taylor, Sir Geoffrey 1952 Analysis of swimming of long and narrow animals. Proc. Roy. Soc. A., 214, 225–239.Google Scholar
  6. Thom, A., and Swart, P. 1940 Aerodynamic characteristics of wings at low Reynolds numbers. Jour. Roy. Aero. Soc. 44, 761.Google Scholar
  7. Thompson, D’Arcy W., 1952 On Growth and Form. 2nd edition, 47, Cambridge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnold M. Kuethe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations