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Dryad

Data from: Maximum aerodynamic force production by the wandering glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens, Libellulidae)

Cite this dataset

Su, Guanting et al. (2020). Data from: Maximum aerodynamic force production by the wandering glider dragonfly (Pantala flavescens, Libellulidae) [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.6078/D1RQ57

Abstract

Maximum whole-body force production can influence behavioral outcomes for volant taxa, and may also be relevant to aerodynamic optimization in microair vehicles. Here, we describe a new method for measuring maximum force production in free-flying animals, and present associated data for the wandering glider dragonfly. Flight trajectories were repeatedly acquired from pull-up responses by insects dropped in mid-air with submaximal loads attached beneath the center of body mass. Forces were estimated from calculations of the maximum time-averaged acceleration through time, and multiple estimates were obtained per individual so as to statistically facilitate approximation of maximum capacity through use of the Weibull distribution. On a group level, wandering glider dragonflies are here estimated to be capable of producing total aerodynamic force equal to ~4.3 times their own body weight, a value which significantly exceeds earlier estimates made for load-lifting dragonflies, and also for other volant taxa in sustained vertical load-lifting experiments. Maximum force production varied isometrically with body mass. Falling and recovery flight with submaximal load represents a new context for evaluating limits to force production by flying animals.

Usage notes

Each trial’s time series of kinematic parameters, i.e., position (x, y, and z), velocity (u, v, and w), and acceleration (ax, ay, and az) are included in one Excel file with the filename labeled by the index of this trial. In the file, each of the ten columns contains data for t, x, y, z, u, v, w, ax, ay, and az, respectively, in the same sequential order. The raw position data and other kinematic data derived from the raw position data are stored in the file “time_series_of_kinematic_parameters_raw.rar”, and the smoothed counterpart and those derived from the smoothed data are stored in the file “time_series_of_kinematic_parameters_smoothed.rar”.

Time series of raw and smoothed position data and velocity data derived from the smoothed position data were obtained as described in Materials & Methods, and were analyzed in the present study. Other data were obtained from differentiating the corresponding data and were included to complete the dataset.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 51636001

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 51706008

Chinese Aeronautical Establishment, Award: 6141B090315