Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

The Motion Analysis of Attacus Atlas Rigid Wing

(*) Corresponding author

Authors' affiliations



The remarkable aerodynamic efficiency of flapping insect wings has fascinated researchers for many years. Butterfly wings are distinguished by a much larger lifting surface, and thus, a different style of flapping flight. The considerations described in the article are an introduction to a fully flexible analysis of the wing in motion. The study of the rigid wing gives the basic knowledge necessary in the further process. The yaw, pitch and roll angles obtained from the footage have been used to analyze the rigid wing. The data has been adapted to CFD calculations in Ansys Fluent software along with the geometry of the joined wings (one surface on one side). The wing deformations have not been taken into account during the analysis. The obtained results make it possible to specify clearly the aerodynamic forces in three directions and the pressure distributions on the wing surface. For a rigid wing, there is positive drag and negative lift. The negative lift indicates the exceptional importance of wing deformation, which is the only guarantee of the insect's ability to fly. On the other hand, a positive drag is evidence of the influence of the shape of the bearing surface on the flow aerodynamics.
Copyright © 2022 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.


Attacus Atlas; Flapping Flight; CFD; Rigid Wing

Full Text:



Ellington, C.P. The aerodynamics of hovering insect flight. I-VI. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 1984.

Shigeru, Sunada; Keiji, Kawachi; Isao, Watanabe; Akira, Azuma. Performace of butterfly in take-off flight, The Journal of Experimental Biology. 1993, 183, 249-277.

Fry S. N., Sayaman R., Dickinson M. H., The aerodynamics of hovering flight in Drosophila, Journal of Experimental Biology, 2005, 208, 2005, 2303-2318.

Faruque, I.A., Humbert, S.J. Wing Motion Transformation to Evalu- ate Aerodynamic Coupling in Flapping Wing Flight. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2014, 363(12 2014), 198-204.

Lin Du, Xiaofeng Sun. Effect of flapping frequency on aerodynamics of wing in freely hovering flight, Computers & Fluids, 2015, 117, 79-87.

Wilson T., Albertani R., Wing-flapping and abdomen actuation optimization for hovering in the butterfly Idea leuconoe, AIAA 2014-0009TP, In Proceedings 52nd Aerospace Sciences Meeting - AIAA SciTech, 13-17 January 2014, National Habour, Maryland, USA.

Piechna J., How do animals fly?, Knowledge and life 1997, 8/1997, 24-29, (in Polish).

Ye Hu, Jinjun Wang. Experimental Investigation on Aerodynamic Performance of Gliding Butterflies. AIAA Journal, 2010, 48(10), 2454-2457.

Hu Ye, Wang JinJun, Zhang PanFeng, Zhang Cao. Experimental investigation on the flow structure over a simplified Papilio Ulysses model. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2009, 54, 1026.

Shyy, W.; Lian, Y.; Tang, J.; Viieru, D.; Liu, H. Aerodynamics of Low Reynolds Numbers Flyers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2007. ISBN-10: 0521882788.

Makoto Iima, A two-dimensional aerodynamic model of freely flying insects. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2007, 247, 657-671.

Makoto Okamoto, Shigeru Sunada, Hiroshi Tokutake, Stability analysis of gliding flight of a swallowtail butterfly Papilio xuthus. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2009, 257, 191-202.

Srygley, R.B.; Thomas, A.R.L. Unconventional lift-generating mechanisms in free-flying butterflies. Nature 2002, 420(6919), 660-664.

Senda, K.; Obara, T.; Kitamura, M.; Nishikata, T.; Hirai, N.; Iima, M.; Yokoyama,N. Modeling and emergence of flapping flight of butterfly based on experimental measurements, Robotics and Autonomous Systems 2012, 60(5), 670-678.

Bluman, J.; Chang-kwon Kang. Achieving hover equilibrium in free flight with a flexible flapping wing, Journal of Fluids and Structures 2017, 75, 117-139.

Bos, F.M; Bas, W.; van Oudheusden, H.B. Wing performance and 3-D vortical structure formation in flapping flight, Journal of Fluids and Structures 2013, 42, 130-151.

Gonzalo, A.; Arranz, G.; Moriche, M.; Garcıa-Villalba, M.; Flores O. From flapping to heaving: A numerical study of wings in forward flight. Journal of Fluids and Structures, 2018, 83, 293-309.

Namhun, Lee; Seungsoo, Lee; Haeseong, Cho; SangJoon, Shin. Effect of flexibility on flapping wing characteristics in hover and forward flight. Computers and Fluids 2018, 173, 111-117.

Madejski, J. A treaty on proppelers. Ossolineum Poblisching House, Wrocław, Poland, 1991, ISBN: 978-83-040376-2-5 (In Polisch).

Dudley, R. The Biomechanics of Insect Flight: Form, Function, Evolution; Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, USA, 2000.

Biej-Bijenko, G.J. Introduction to emtomology; Agricultural and Forest Publishing House: Warsaw, Poland, 1976 (in Polish).

Gullan, P.; Cranston, P. The Insects: an Outline of Entomology. Wiley-Blackwell, N.York, Longon, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-118-84615-5

Wainwright, S.A.; Biggs, W.D.; Currey, J.D.; Gosline, J.M. Mechanical design in organisms. Princeton University Press, 1982. ISBN 10: 0691083088

Arjangpay, A., et al. An Experimental and Numerical Investigation on Low Velocity Impact Response of a Composite Structure Inspired by Dragon-fly Wing Configuration. Composite Structures, 2018, 184, 327-336.

Fauziyah, Siti, et al. Morphological and Mechanical Characterisation of the Hindwing Nodus from the Libellulidae Family of Dragonfly (Indonesia). Arthropod Structure & Development, 2014, 43(5), 415-422.

Ha, N.S.; Jin, T.L.; Goo, N.S.; Park, H.C. Anisotropy and nonhomogeneity of an Allomyrina Dichotoma beetle hind wing membrane, Bioinspir. & Biomimetics 2011, 6(4), 046003.

Ha, Ngoc San, et al. Structural Characteristics of Allomyrina Dichotoma Beetle's Hind Wings for Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle. Journal of Bionic Engineering, 2014, 11(2), 226-235.

Jongerius, S.R.; Lentink, D. Structural Analysis of a Dragonfly Wing. Experimental Mechanics, 2010, 50(9), 1323-1334.

Niu, Shichao; et al. Excellent Structure-Based Multifunction of Morpho Butterfly Wings: A Review. Journal of Bionic Engineering 2015, 12(2), 170-189.

Sivasankaran, Praveena, Nair; et al. Static Strength Analysis of Dragonfly Inspired Wings for Biomimetic Micro Aerial Vehicles. Chinese Journal of Aeronautics 2016, 29(2), 411-423.

Sun, Jiyu; Bharat, Bhushan. The Structure and Mechanical Properties of Dragonfly Wings and Their Role on Flyability. Comptes Rendus Mecanique, 2011, 340(1-2), 3-17.

Tailie, Jin, Nam; Seom Goo; Sung-Choong, Woo; Hoon, Cheol, Park; Use of a digital image correlation technique for measuring the material properties of beetle wing, J. Bionic Eng., 2009, 6, 224-231.

Zhang, Di; et al. Inspiration from Butterfly and Moth Wing Scales: Characterization, Modeling, and Fabrication. Progress in Materials Science 2015, 68, 67-96.

Mahboub, A., Bouzit, M., Ghenaim, A., Effect of Curvilinear and Inverted Aircraft Spoiler Deflection Angle on Aerodynamic Wing Performances, (2022) International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 15 (3), pp. 151-161.

Espinel, E., Rojas, J., Florez Solano, E., Computational Fluid Dynamics Study of NACA 0012 Airfoil Performance with OpenFOAM®, (2021) International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 14 (4), pp. 201-210.

Landowski M., Kunicka-Kowalska Z., Sibilski K. Mechanical and structural investigations of wings of selected insect species, Acta of Bioengineering and Biomechanics 2020, 22(2) (no. 2), pp. 199-209.

Kunicka-Kowalska, Z.; Sibilski, K. Study on Nymphalis xanthomelas wing motion during flapping flight. In Mechanics in Aviation ML-XVII, vol. I, Sibilski, K, Polisch Society of Theoretical and Appplied Mechanics, Warsaw, 2016, 231-238, ISBN: 978-83-932107-8-7.

Kunicka-Kowalska, Z.; Study on Bombus terrestris wing motion during flapping flight. Engineering modeling, no 42, 2012.

Kunicka-Kowalska, Z. Modeling the flow around the insect flapping wing on the example of the butterfly Attacus atlas. PhD Thesis, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland, 11 Decemper, 2020.

Kunicka-Kowalska, Z.; Sibilski, K. Study on Attacus atlas wing motion during flapping flight for needs of FEM simulation. In Mechanics in Aviation ML-XVIII, vol. II, Sibilski, K, Polisch Society of Theoretical and Appplied Mechanics, Warsaw, 2018, pp. 35-43, ISBN: 978-83-952553-0-4, (available 19 February 2021).

Wang, Z.J. Dissecting Insect Flight. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 2005, 37(1), 183-210.

Wootton, R. The Geometry and Mechanics of Insect Wing Deformations in Flight: A Modelling Approach. Insects 2020, 11, 446.

Chang, S.-K., Lai, Y.-H., Lin, Y.-J., & Yang, J.-T. (2020). Enhanced lift and thrust via the translational motion between the thorax-abdomen node and the center of mass of a butterfly with a constructive abdominal oscillation. Physical Review E, 102(6).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Please send any question about this web site to
Copyright © 2005-2023 Praise Worthy Prize