Bumblebee Flight in Heavy Turbulence

High-resolution numerical simulations of a tethered model bumblebee in forward flight are performed superimposing homogeneous isotropic turbulent fluctuations to the uniform inflow. Despite tremendous variation in turbulence intensity, between 17% and 99% with respect to the mean flow, we do not find significant changes in cycle-averaged aerodynamic forces, moments or flight power when averaged over realizations, compared to laminar inflow conditions. The variance of aerodynamic measures, however, significantly increases with increasing turbulence intensity, which may explain flight instabilities observed in freely flying bees.

T. Engels, D. Kolomenskiy, Kai Schneider, F.-O. Lehmann, J. Sesterhenn. Bumblebee Flight in Heavy Turbulence. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2016, 116 (2), pp.028103. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.028103⟩. ⟨hal-01299332⟩

Journal: Physical Review Letters

Date de publication: 01-01-2016


Digital object identifier (doi): http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.028103

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