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Published September 26, 2016 | metadata_only
Journal Article

The aerodynamics and control of free flight manoeuvres in Drosophila


A firm understanding of how fruit flies hover has emerged over the past two decades, and recent work has focused on the aerodynamic, biomechanical and neurobiological mechanisms that enable them to manoeuvre and resist perturbations. In this review, we describe how flies manipulate wing movement to control their body motion during active manoeuvres, and how these actions are regulated by sensory feedback. We also discuss how the application of control theory is providing new insight into the logic and structure of the circuitry that underlies flight stability.

Additional Information

© 2016 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. Accepted: 18 March 2016; Published 15 August 2016. Authors' contributions: Both authors wrote the paper. Competing interests. The authors have no confliction interests. This work was supported by grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NWO-VENI-863-14-007 (F.T.M.), and the National Science Foundation, IOS 1452510 (M.H.D.). We wish to dedicate this paper to Charles David (1948–2012) and Steven Vogel (1940–2015), two pioneers of research on Drosophila aerodynamics and flight control. We thank the following individuals for helpful comments on this manuscript: Brad Dickerson, Thad Lindsay, Floris van Breugel, Sawyer Fuller, Johan Melis and Ivo Ros.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023