Royal Veterinary College

Researching animal aerodynamics

Research conducted by the Royal Veterinary College has revolutionised the way in which animals’ aerodynamics are being studied, and is thought to have practical implications for the design of man-made vehicles in the future.

A team of researchers, including Richard Bomphrey – Professor of Comparative Biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College – conducted in-depth analysis into the flight of mosquitoes using state of the art imaging, flow field measurements and simulations.

The Royal Veterinary College’s findings demonstrate how the downward jets from wings could be used as a sensory system for detecting obstacles and avoiding collisions. This principal was then used by the researchers to develop a working prototype that can be used to develop the ways in which helicopters and rotary drones operate in the future. This will have practical implications to autonomous air vehicles and delivery systems over the next decade.