Turning-ascending flight of a Hipposideros pratti bat

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Royal Society

Bats exhibit a high degree of agility and provide an excellent model system for bioinspired flight. The current study investigates an ascending right turn of a Hipposideros pratti bat and elucidates on the kinematic features and aerodynamic mechanisms used to effectuate the manoeuvre. The wing kinematics captured by a three-dimensional motion capture system is used as the boundary condition for the aerodynamic simulations featuring immersed boundary method. Results indicate that the bat uses roll and yaw rotations of the body to different extents synergistically to generate the centripetal force to initiate and sustain the turn. The turning moments are generated by drawing the wing inside the turn closer to the body, by introducing phase lags in force generation between the wings and redirecting force production to the outer part of the wing outside of the turn. Deceleration in flight speed, an increase in flapping frequency, shortening of the upstroke and thrust generation at the end of the upstroke were observed during the ascending manoeuvre. The bat consumes about 0.67 W power to execute the turning-ascending manoeuvre, which is approximately two times the power consumed by similar bats during level flight. Upon comparison with a similar manoeuvre by a Hipposideros armiger bat (Windes et al. 2020 Bioinspir. Biomim. 16, abb78d. (doi:10.1088/1748-3190/ abb78d)), some commonalities, as well as differences, were observed in the detailed wing kinematics and aerodynamics.

flapping flight, aerodynamics, manoeuvring bat flight, ascending and turning bat flight, manoeuvring techniques