Modeling for Structural Flexibility of Wings in Flapping Butterfly

Kei Senda, Naoto Yokoyama, Koji Yokoi, and Masahiko Kitamura


butterfly, wing, structural flexibility, steady and unsteady simulation


The objective of this study is to clarify the effects of structural flexibility of wings in flapping butterflies. The flapping butterflies are observed in the experiments, and they are compared with the dynamical model that is a rigid multi-body system with the aerodynamic forces calculated by a panel method. Some deformations of the wings of the living butterflies are observed in experiments. The model has large errors in the aerodynamic forces when the actual wings deform in large. The structural flexibility of the wings is modeled by a multi-particle method. A fluid-structure interaction problem is formulated, and the deformation of wings is determined by solving the interaction problem. The model with flexible wings improves the aerodynamic efficiency from the model with rigid wings.

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