Dragonfly Inspiration for Aircraft Design

Stacey Combes, a biomechanist at Harvard University, and her team are using high-speed cameras to study how dragonflies pull off complicated aerial feats that include hunting and mating in mid-air. They can fly straight up, straight down, hover like helicopters, and disappear in a blur. Engineers are looking to the dragonfly for inspiration in small-scale aircraft design. The Harvard team's research was funded by the National Science Foundation.