Bees sustain flight at extremely low Reynolds Numbers (500<Re<10,000) using three degrees of freedom and a flap frequency between 100 and 200 Hz. These combined mechanics create a complex vortex field that results in extraordinary agility and flight efficiency. In addition to agility and efficiency, bees are able to carry loads up to 80% of their body weight for miles making bee flight a very interesting subject area for drone and UAV related development. In order to better understand these complex fluid dynamics, Fluent is utilized to resolve the flow fields during forward flight for 4 anatomically accurate cross-sections of the bee wing at a speed of 1 m/s in two-dimensional flow. Each of the four cross-sections are taken at regular 1/6th wingspan intervals from the anatomically accurate bee wing model. The bee wing model was generated from a μCT scan of Bombus pensylvanicus with generalized bee kinematics presented in the literature. The kinematics applied to each cross-section are adjusted for the change in radial distance from the wing base. The presented analysis and discussion investigates the effects of the variation in cross-section and kinematics over the wing on vortex-shedding dynamics, and instantaneous aerodynamic forces.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.