SUMMARY We systematically investigated the effect of body rotation on the aerodynamic torque generation on flapping wings during fast turning maneuvers (body saccades) in the fruit fly Drosophila . A quasi-steady aerodynamic simulation of turning maneuvers with symmetrically flapping wings showed that body rotation causes a substantial aerodynamic counter-torque, known as flapping counter-torque (FCT), which acts in the opposite direction to turning. Simulation results further indicate that FCTs are linearly dependent on the rotational velocity and the flapping frequency regardless of the kinematics of wing motion. We estimated the damping coefficients for the principal rotation axes — roll, pitch, yaw — in the stroke plane frame. FCT-induced passive damping exists about all the rotation axes examined, suggesting that the effects of body rotation cannot be ignored in the analysis of free-flight dynamics. Force measurements on a dynamically scaled robotic wing undergoing realistic saccade kinematics showed that although passive aerodynamic damping due to FCT can account for a large part of the deceleration during saccades, active yaw torque from asymmetric wing motion is required to terminate body rotation. In addition, we calculated the mean value of the damping coefficient at 21.00 ×10 −12 N m s based on free-flight data of saccades, which is somewhat lower than that estimated by the simulation results (26.84×10 −12 N m s).