The present study focuses on the analysis of the fluid dynamics associated with the flapping motion of finite-thickness wings. A two-dimensional numerical model for one and two-winged "clap and fling" stroke has been developed to probe the aerodynamics of insect flight. The influence of kinematic parameters such as the percentage overlap between translational and rotational phase ξ, the separation between two wings δ and Reynolds numbers Re on the evolvement of lift and drag has been investigated. In addition, the roles of the leading and trailing edge vortices on lift and drag in clap and fling type kinematics are highlighted. Based on a surrogate analysis, the overlap ratio ξ is identified as the most influential parameter in enhancing lift. On the other hand, with increase in separation δ, the reduction in drag is far more dominant than the decrease in lift. With an increase in Re (which ranges between 8 and 128), the mean drag coefficient decreases monotonously, whereas the mean lift coefficient decreases to a minimum and increases thereafter. This behavior of lift generation at higher Re was characterized by the "wing-wake interaction" mechanism which was absent at low Re. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.