The hoverfly is interesting because of its maneuverability,
high peak speed, and relatively low wing stroke amplitude
compared to some other insects. The wing kinematics are
(figures from J. Brackenbury, Insects in Flight London: Blandford.)
beginning of downstroke (Brackenbury, fig. 11a, p.28)
end of downstroke (Brackenbury, fig. 11b, p.28)
end of downstroke during take off (Brackenbury, fig. 12a, p.29)
Front and back view at same phase in stroke cycle. Note deformed wing shape. (Brackenbury, fig. 51, p.98)
Wings are not rigid and not smooth. Wing bending will increase
tip velocity during certain phases of the wing stroke, which
may affect performance. (What affect does wing compliance have on
Note deformed wing shape in leptoterna bug during downstroke (Brackenbury fig.58, p.106).
Wing features less than 100 micron in height may help to improve laminar flow properties (Brackenbury fig.75, p.142).
C. erythraea. (Pecile, fig.133, p.121)
Detail of thorax of A. cyanea. Insect is about 50% muscle by weight. (Pecile, fig.88, p.89)
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