▪ Abstract 

“What force does an insect wing generate?” Finding answers to this enduring question is an essential step toward our understanding of interactions of moving objects with fluids that enable most living species such as insects, birds, and fish to travel efficiently and us to follow similar suit with sails, oars, and airfoils. We give a brief history of research in insect flight and discuss recent findings in unsteady aerodynamics of flapping flight at intermediate range Reynolds numbers (10–104). In particular, we examine the unsteady mechanisms in uniform and accelerated motions, forward and hovering flight, as well as passive flight of free-falling objects. The results obtained by “taking the insects apart” helped us to resolve previous puzzles about the force estimates in hovering insects, to ellucidate basic mechanisms essential to flapping flight, and to gain insights about the efficieny of flight.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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