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Wing scales provide lift: butterflies

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Butterfly wing close-up / Glen K. Pete.. / LicenseCC-by-nc-sa - Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

The wings of butterflies gain lift because their scales point away from the leading edge of the wing, helping air flow smoothly over the wing.

BIOMIMICRY TAXONOMY
Summary
"The scales all point away from the leading edge of the wing, to help the air flow smoothly over the wings when the insect is in flight. (It has been calculated that scales provide 15 per cent more 'lift' to the butterfly and also improve its gliding performance." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:99)
About the inspiring organism
Med_561110575_99373d43d8_b Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: More efficient planes, ships, buses, and trucks.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Aviation, shipping, ground transportation

References
Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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