Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hummingbirds: Flying backwards efficiently

According to Dr Sapir, the most important finding of the study was that flying backwards uses a similar amount of energy to flying forwards, both of which were more efficient than hovering.

[Hummingbirds swivel their wrists in a figure 8 pattern, while other birds swivel their shoulders.]

He continued, "During backward flight, the bird's body is held in [a] much more upright posture. We were expecting the body will experience a much higher drag and that the bird will need to invest much more work to overcome this drag."

Further investigation using life-sized models determined that drag during backward flight is only slightly higher than when the bird is flying forward.

"[This is] probably because drag forces are relatively negligible at flight in relatively slow airspeeds, as characterising backward flight," he said.
High speed hummers beat jets
Bird flight based on single angle flapping

No comments: