The aerodynamics of mosquito flight has long remained a mystery to scientists, but with the advent of high-speed cameras, it became possible to open the veil of secrecy. A team of scientists from Oxford University found that the aerodynamic mechanisms of mosquitoes are unique. Nothing of the kind is found in other insects.
In order to capture the mosquito flight in detail, the scientists installed 8 high-speed cameras filming at 10, 000 frames per second. This allowed them to record in detail the movements of the wings of the mosquitoes.
During the filming, several flight features were revealed that were characteristic only of mosquitoes. In particular, they have long, narrow wings, which, combined with an abnormally small range of motion, makes their flight somewhat odd.
It turned out that the angular amplitude of the wings of mosquitoes during flight is only 40 degrees. For comparison, in fruit flies it is 4 times more. The swing frequency reaches 800 times per second, which is 4 times faster than other insects of this size.
The high-speed survey also made it possible to investigate the nature of the air currents around the mosquito's wings. Scientists have identified two previously unknown aerodynamic mechanisms that allow these insects to fly. They are the result of the unusual rotation of the mosquito wing: the wing unfolds at the end of each cycle.
The research results can be used to create tiny flying devices.