Washington, May 20 (ANI): A group of Japanese researchers has succeeded in building a fully functional replica model - an ornithopter - of a swallowtail butterfly, and they have filmed it flying.
The wing area is very large relative to the body mass of Swallowtails. This combined with their overlapping fore wings gives them a low flapping frequency and a severely restricted wing motion.
As a result, swallowtails' ability to actively control the aerodynamic force of their wings is limited and their body motion is a passive reaction to the simple flapping motion, and not - as common in other types of butterfly - an active reaction to aerodynamics.
The researchers built a lifelike ornithopter in the same dimensions as the butterfly in order to replicate this phenomenon.
Using motion analysis software, the researchers were able to monitor the ornithopter's aerodynamic performance, showing that flight can be realised with simple flapping motions without feedback control, a model that can be applied to future aerodynamic systems. (ANI)