posted on Dec, 10 2016 @ 11:32 PM
I wonder how much the compressibility of the working fluid (gas rather than liquid) affects efficiency? At low speeds I'm not sure it'd be much, but
if you're trying to eke everything out in terms of overall performance that "springiness" might matter. Vortices also seem to carry a momentum of
their own, so actively moving the lifting surface into the boundary of a vortice created by a previous movement may give a bit of a boost too.
Maintaining a vortice might be one of the tricks, since as long as that swirl pattern is there - it seems there should be a pocket of lower pressure
air in the middle of it. I'd guess if it's effectively used there is slightly less resistance on the upstroke along with a bit of lift.
Birds also generate some amount of lift with the shape of their body too. (Its profile isn't all that far from a wing airfoil when they're in the
flight posture.) It's probably small, but I'm not sure how much that's accounted for.