The numerical simulation of the wing kinematics effects on near wake topology and aerodynamic performance in hovering Drosophila flight

Erzincanli B., Sahin M.

COMPUTERS & FLUIDS, vol.122, pp.90-110, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 122
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2015.08.024
  • Journal Name: COMPUTERS & FLUIDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.90-110
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The parallel large-scale unstructured finite volume method based on an Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) formulation in Erzincanli and Sahin (2013) has been employed in order to investigate the effects of the wing kinematics on the near wake topology produced by a pair of flapping Drosophila wings in hover flight. The three-dimensional wing shape and the baseline wing kinematics are the same as those of the robotic fly by Dickinson et al. (1999). The simulations are used to quantify the important wing kinematic parameters for the wake topology and as well as their correlations with the force production. The angle-of-attack is shown to be very effective for producing lift during the wing translational motion. However, for larger values the angle-of-attack limits the angle during the stroke reversal and reduces the rotational lift. The angle-of-attack at which the maximum lift coefficient occurs is in excellent agreement with the earlier experiments in the literature. In addition, the numerical results confirm that the increase in the wing stroke amplitude leads to a prolonged attachment of the leading edge vortex (LEV) over a relatively large distance and increases force production. The variations in the heave angle include the figure-of-eight pattern, figure-of-O pattern and figure-of-U pattern. The constant heave angle and figure-of-eight pattern are found to have a more profound influence on the magnitude of force production. In addition, some asymmetric variations in the wing kinematics are introduced in order to assess the important parameters determining forward and backward flights. The paddling wing motion is shown to be very effective to initiate forward and backward acceleration. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.