How do dragonflies fly backwards?

In this study, we investigated the backward free flight of a dragonfly, accelerating in a flight path inclined to the horizontal. The wing and body kinematics were reconstructed from the output of three high-speed cameras using a template-based subdivision surface reconstruction method, and numerical simulations using an immersed boundary flow solver were conducted to compute the forces and visualize the flow features. During backward flight, the dragonfly maintained an upright body posture of approximately 90° relative to the horizon. The upright body posture was used to reorient the stroke plane and the flight force in the global frame; a mechanism known as ‘force vectoring’ which was previously observed in manoeuvres of other flying animals…

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Flying in reverse: kinematics and aerodynamics of a dragonfly in backward free flight | Journal of The Royal Society Interface