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Type: Journal article
Title: Aspect ratio studies on insect wings
Author: Bhat, S.S.
Zhao, J.
Sheridan, J.
Hourigan, K.
Thompson, M.C.
Citation: Physics of Fluids, 2019; 31(12):121301-1-121301-18
Publisher: AIP Publishing [American Institute of Physics]
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1070-6631
Statement of
S.S. Bhat, J. Zhao, J. Sheridan, K. Hourigan, and M.C. Thompson
Abstract: The wing aspect ratio (AR), that is, the ratio of the wingspan to the mean wing chord, is the most important geometrical parameter describing an insect wing. While studies have shown that a change in AR affects the flow structure as well as the aerodynamic force components on wings, the reasons behind the wide variety of aspect ratios observed in nature remain underexplored. Further to this, motivated by the developments in micro-air vehicles (MAVs), determining an optimum AR is important for their efficient operation. While the effects on flow structure appear to be, at least superficially, broadly consistent across different studies, the effects on aerodynamic forces have been more strongly debated. Indeed, the considerable variation of force coefficients with AR in different studies suggests different optimal ARs. To help explain this, recent studies have pointed out the coupled effects of AR with other parameters. Specifically, the use of Reynolds and Rossby numbers based on alternative scalings helps to at least partially decouple the effects of AR and also to reconcile previous conflicting trends. This brief review presents an overview of previous studies on aspect-ratio effects of insect-like wings summarizing the main findings. The suggested alternative scalings of Reynolds and Rossby numbers, using the wingspan as the characteristic length, may be useful in aiding the selection of the optimal aspect ratios for MAVs in the future.
Rights: © 2019 Author(s). Published under license by AIP Publishing.
DOI: 10.1063/1.5129191
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Mechanical Engineering publications

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