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In the Future, Airplane Wings Will Flap

airplane wings flap robotic ornithopters airplanes helicopters

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6 replies to this topic

#1    Still Waters

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:49 PM

When it comes to maneuverability, modern flying machines pale in comparison to an everyday pigeon. Birds can flap their wings to swoop, dive, glide, and alight on perches.

Fixed-wing airplanes and rotary-wing helicopters rarely show that dynamism. In recent years, though, scientists have started finding ways to mimic the mechanics of bird flight through various robotic ornithopters, aircraft that fly with flapping wings.

Aircraft based on today’s lab experiments could soon find use in military or search-and-rescue missions.

http://discovermagaz...gs#.USuU5Dc09RM

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#2    Coffey

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:58 PM

1 question can a bird fly upside down?

I can see how this could bebetter for commercial planes... But I don't see how this would improve military fighter jets.

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#3    Grey14

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

This would never be practical for manned flight. There is no way to effiecntly fly at high speeds if the wings had to flap. This might be more for small drones that need manuverability over speed. Fixed wing aircraft simply would not be able to fly properly if they flew like a bird. They need to much thrust and lift to stay airborne

Edited by Grey14, 25 February 2013 - 05:07 PM.

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#4    OverSword

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

In Dune (Frank Herbert) atmospheric craft were called ornithopters or thopters and resmembled flying insects, which I thought was ridiculous, so if this article is correct it looks like FH once again envisioned the future more accurately than the rest of us.


#5    OverSword

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:24 PM

View PostGrey14, on 25 February 2013 - 05:07 PM, said:

This would never be practical for manned flight. There is no way to effiecntly fly at high speeds if the wings had to flap. This might be more for small drones that need manuverability over speed. Fixed wing aircraft simply would not be able to fly properly if they flew like a bird. They need to much thrust and lift to stay airborne
You're assuming that the flapping would be the only means of propulsion, I think it would be more like the wings would move for maneuvering.


#6    Child of Bast

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

Flapping wings.... up and down motion... more motion sickness than EVER!!!

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#7    ealdwita

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

The technology's been with us for years.....Here's war footage of our Village Air Force doing their bit in the Battle of Britain..............The Squadron insignia was a Penguin with the motto "All Flap - No Fly"


Squadron scramble - June 1940......



Watch out Herr Reichsmarschall, here comes the flappers! (Eventually)

So you see, there's really nothing new, is there?

Edited by ealdwita, 25 February 2013 - 06:23 PM.

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