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The Mystery Behind Flight Deepens

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posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 05:18 AM
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It's no secret that science is having some issues explaining the exact mechanism for flight. Sure, there are alot of theories and equations involving Newton's laws, pressure and conservation of energy, which all give some approximations, but so far none of them brought a definitive answer to the question: how does the wing of an aeroplane, or that of a bird for that matters, generates lift? And so far wings of areoplanes are developed more with experimental trial and error than anything else.

This is why Eric Gutierrez and Diana Chin, graduate students of Stanford's Lentik Lab, decided to run an experiment involving a bird - a yong parrot by the name of Obi.


Once trained, the bird flew through a laser sheet that illuminated nontoxic, micron-sized aerosol particles. As the bird flew through the seeded laser sheet, its wing motion disturbed the particles to generate a detailed record of the vortices created by the flight.


In other words, the air flow around the wing of the bird could be monitored pretty closely. And the result of the experiment reveals something rather puzzling. Turns out none of the three scientific theories were accurate enough to model the flight of the bird.


What they found is that to varying degrees, all three models failed to predict the actual lift generated by a flapping parrotlet.

(...)

Scientists rely on these models, developed to interpret the airflow generated by flying animals, to understand how animals support their weight during flight.

(...)

"The goal of our study was to compare very commonly used models in the literature to figure out how much lift a bird, or other flying animal, generates based off its wake," said Diana Chin (...). "What we found was that all three models we tried out were very inaccurate because they make assumptions that aren't necessarily true."


source: phys.org...

Looks like flight still have a variable we're missing.






posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 05:22 AM
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a reply to: swanne

The answer to your question is and was known for centuries by the Aztec.

Have a look at a picture of one of the 'Aztec golden aircraft'...check the wings out, more specifically the designs inscribed on them...they are vortices..swirls representing the vortices generated by a lifting body, or wing.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 05:37 AM
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originally posted by: MysterX
a reply to: swanne

The answer to your question is and was known for centuries by the Aztec.

Have a look at a picture of one of the 'Aztec golden aircraft'...check the wings out, more specifically the designs inscribed on them...they are vortices..swirls representing the vortices generated by a lifting body, or wing.

Worked well for modern day delta wing aircraft as well



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 06:34 AM
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I heard that it is a scientific impossibility that the bumble bee is capable of flight. Yet somehow it flies. So who do you believe, the bumble bee or science?



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 06:37 AM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

That's right.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

-Sherlock Holmes

Right now it's evident we need more data.




posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 06:47 AM
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Bumblebees are notorious liars. They started the myth that according to physics they shouldn't be able to fly. I'd go with what the scientists say.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 06:57 AM
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Have you got any reference none of them brought a definitive answer to the question: how does the wing of an aeroplane, or that of a bird for that matters, generates lift? And so far wings of areoplanes are developed more with experimental trial and error than anything else.

This is why Eric Gutierrez and Diana Chin, graduate students of Stanford's Lentik Lab, decided to run an experiment involving a bird - a yong parrot by the name of Obi.


Once trained, the bird flew through a laser sheet that illuminated nontoxic, micron-sized aerosol particles. As the bird flew through the seeded laser sheet, its wing motion disturbed the particles to generate a detailed record of the vortices created by the flight.


In other words, the air flow around the wing of the bird could be monitored pretty closely. And the result of the experiment reveals something rather puzzling. Turns out none of the three scientific theories were accurate enough to model the flight of the bird.


What they found is that to varying degrees, all three models failed to predict the actual lift generated by a flapping parrotlet.

(...)

Scientists rely on these models, developed to interpret the airflow generated by flying animals, to understand how animals support their weight during flight.

(...)

"The goal of our study was to compare very commonly used models in the literature to figure out how much lift a bird, or other flying animal, generates based off its wake," said Diana Chin (...). "What we found was that all three models we tried out were very inaccurate because they make assumptions that aren't necessarily true."


source: phys.org...

Looks like flight still have a variable we're missing.





posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 07:00 AM
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a reply to: swanne


What they found is that to varying degrees, all three models failed to predict the actual lift generated by a flapping parrotlet.

But they just explained it... "flapping" is the key word for critters. For aircraft its called "flaps".

Simplistic to be sure, so is their premise, "to varying degrees"...



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: colina


Looks like flight still have a variable we're missing.

You just said it too... "variable", as in variable wing surfaces.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 07:06 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

I've reached a similar conclusion. The only difference between a bird's wing and a modelled wing is the flapping movement. Birds kind of "row" the air with their wings, grasping a mass of air with the front edge of their wing and pushing it behind them with their secondary feathers. Static plane wings don't do that.

I assume they've taken this into consideration, but I'm not sure. If they didn't, then this must be the variable they're missing.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 07:25 AM
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a reply to: swanne


I've reached a similar conclusion. The only difference between a bird's wing and a modeled wing is the flapping movement.


Yah, birds don't have engines.

Flight control surfaces, wiki



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 07:28 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

True. Although I believe egines wouldn't be involved in modelling a wing's lift, since a propeller is a form of wing by itself.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 07:42 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: intrptr

True. Although I believe engines wouldn't be involved in modeling a wing's lift, since a propeller is a form of wing by itself.

So are jet engine fans. Thrust for forward motion is required in both birds and aircraft, especially for take off and climbing.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 08:06 AM
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just kidding, OP



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: swanne


I remember reading decades ago a piece that said that the theories of how a wing works were very involved according to scientists and engineers, but the actual process was pretty simple. The author wrote that you can make a board fly or even a flat rock if you tilt its forward edge up and catch underneath more air flowing under it than goes over the top. Birds fly by cupping that air at a fast rate as they initially take to flight. Airplanes fly because of exactly that, they "plane" through the air, their wings at a slight angle, aided by the thrust of some propulsion source. Of course, given enough time and grant money, you can greatly complicate this process.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 09:25 AM
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Look up foamie RC plane. You don't need airfoils to fly. It's not complex science.


Airfoils and stuff just make wings more efficient allowing higher speeds, higher weights, more performance. This is why we have NASA and all that stuff, because who doesn't want a more efficient, green, clean, fast plane?

Air resistance--lift is drag, drag is lift--same mechanism. People make too big a deal of something as simple as that. Stick your hand out the window of a moving car and tilt it up and down: the force that makes your hand feel like it wants to go up, that's how planes truly fly, but in order to be efficient one must design it aerodynamically with airfoils and so on. It would be incredibly inefficient to fly a flat plate airplane bigger than an RC model.

The principal is simple: Angle of Attack (AOA) --the angle of which the air "attacks" the wing in flight. Look it up.

The Bernoulli effect does NOT make the plane fly BY ITSELF. AOA is critical.

I'm a pilot and aerospace engineer FWIW.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck



Short and stubby, the bumblebee doesn't look very flight-worthy. Indeed, in the 1930s, French entomologist August Magnan even noted that the insect's flight is actually impossible, a notion that has stuck in popular consciousness since then. Now, you don't need to be a scientist to raise an eyebrow at this assertion, but it sure is easier to explain the bumblebee's physics-defying aerodynamics if you're Michael Dickinson, a professor of biology and insect flight expert at the University of Washington. "The whole question of how these little wings generate enough force to keep the insect in the air is resolved," Dickinson told Life's Little Mysteries. "There are details remaining, but it's just not an enigma anymore."


He says the big misconception about insect flight and perhaps what tripped up Magnan is the belief that bumblebees flap their wings up and down. "Actually, with rare exceptions, they flap their wings back and forth," Magnan said.

LIVE SCIENCE SOURCE



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: seattlerat

Having seen bumble bees in flight, it is obvious that there must be a scientific reason. I was just regurgitating something I heard, but thanks for the reality check on that one.



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
I heard that it is a scientific impossibility that the bumble bee is capable of flight. Yet somehow it flies. So who do you believe, the bumble bee or science?


That was taken wildly out of context by a newspaper journo untold years ago. The actual quote involved the impossibility of building a glider with an acceptable glide ratio if the craft had a wing area and weight proportional to that of a bumblebee.

Not that bumblebees can't fly. They just don't work as a glider.

eta: I've often wondered if you couldn't build a very small uber-efficient drone by using a set of piezo-benders and polymer wings, with a dragonfly setup.
edit on 8-12-2016 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 12:15 PM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
I heard that it is a scientific impossibility that the bumble bee is capable of flight. Yet somehow it flies. So who do you believe, the bumble bee or science?


That's a myth. A dinner party comment was made that aerodynamics science of the time was inadequate explain bumble bee flight. Which was true. Not that it was a scientific impossibility. That would be dumb as they can obviously fly.

Bee Movie lied to you.



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