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Flight Performance and Visual Control of Flight of the Free-Flying Housefly (Musca Domestica L.) I. Organization of the Flight Motor

Wagner, H. (1986) Flight Performance and Visual Control of Flight of the Free-Flying Housefly (Musca Domestica L.) I. Organization of the Flight Motor. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 312 (1158). pp. 527-551. ISSN 0962-8436. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150126-112053452

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Abstract

Free-flying houseflies have been filmed simultaneously from two sides. The orientation of the flies' body axes-in three-dimensional space can be seen on the films. A method is presented for the reconstruction of the flies' movements in a fly-centred coordinate system, relative to an external coordinate system and relative to the airstream. The flies are regarded as three-dimensionally rigid bodies. They move with respect to the six degrees of freedom they thus possess. The analysis of the organization of the flight motor from the kinematic data leads to the following conclusions: the sideways movements can, at least qualitatively, be explained by taking into account the sideways forces resulting from rolling the body about the long axis and the influence of inertia. Thus, the force vector generated by the flight motor is most probably located in the fly's midsagittal plane. The direction of this vector can be varied by the fly in a restricted range only. In contrast, the direction of the torque vector can be freely adjusted by the fly. No coupling between the motor force and the torques is indicated. Changes of flight direction may be explained by changes in the orientation of the body axes: straight flight at an angle of sideslip differing from zero is due to rolling. Sideways motion during the banked turns as well as the decrease of translation velocity observed in curves are a consequence of the inertial forces and rolling. The results are discussed with reference to studies about the aerodynamic performance of insects and the constraints for aerial pursuit.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.1986.0017DOIArticle
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/312/1158/527PublisherArticle
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2396342JSTORArticle
Additional Information:© 1986 The Royal Society. Received 21 January 1985; Published 25 Ju1y 1986. I thank Professor Reichardt for enabling me to do this work at the Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft for financial support. H.-J. Dahmen, M. Egelhaaf, W. Reichardt, C. Wehrhahn and J. Zanker read the text. Their criticism helped me to clarify a lot of topics. I thank K. Götz for discussions. J. Emmerton kindly corrected my English and gave valuable hints how to improve it. The 35 mm films that helped much in the understanding of the flies' roll movements were kindly made available to me by C. Wehrhahn, who together with K. Hirschel shot these films. L. Heimburger and I. Geiss, who also typed part of the manuscript, prepared most of the figures. I wish to thank them for their help and patience.
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Funding AgencyGrant Number
Max-Planck Gesellschaft UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1158
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150126-112053452
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150126-112053452
Official Citation:Flight Performance and Visual Control of Flight of the Free-Flying Housefly (Musca Domestica L.) I. Organization of the Flight Motor Author(s): H. Wagner Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 312, No. 1158 (Jul. 25, 1986), pp. 527-551 Published by: The Royal Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2396342
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:54082
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Joanne McCole
Deposited On:26 Jan 2015 20:23
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:55

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