What is the energy minimum of cyclopentane conformational diagram: the halfchair or envelope? How does cyclopentane flip?
As you mention, there are two main conformations that cyclopentane may adopt.
In the absence of substituents around the ring, there is actually only a 0.5 kcal/mol energy difference between envelop and half-chair (envelope slightly lower in energy) meaning cyclopentane itself (computationally at least) is in rapid equilibration with no 'major' conformation as is observed with cyclohexane. (Note that the totally planar conformation is about 5 kcal/mol higher than than both of the bent conformation so is not observed to any great degree).
With a single substituent on the ring however, such as a methyl group, the envelope conformation becomes slightly more favourable (to the tune of around 3.5 kcal/mol) giving a barrier to the ring flipping and meaning there is a dominant conformation.