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Back and Forth Massive Motion makes fly more stable

by jamesadrian
Tags: makes, massive, motion, stable
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Apr20-14, 02:50 PM
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i was once told that a mechanism on the back of a house fly makes its flight more stable than it might otherwise be by driving a mass or a pair of masses back and forth along a line.

My theory is that changing the direction of the line along which these masses are traveling requires work.

I also wonder if a fly can stop rotating by starting up this back and forth motion. The two masses might alternate between moving toward each other and moving away from each other.

Whether I have the anatomy of a house fly right or not, I ask you to consider such mechanisms and whether they would work as I expect.

Thank you for your help.

Jim Adrian
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Simon Bridge
Apr21-14, 03:18 AM
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My theory is that changing the direction of the line along which these masses are traveling requires work.
Is this a personal theory or have you made some inquiries, say, of the literature to find out what is actually happening?

Most flying insects have two pairs of wings - flys have one.
Where you'd normally find the second pair, the fly has a pair of stubs called "halters".
They don't work the way you seem to be expecting, but it's hard to tell. iirc they provide a kind of gyroscopic stability but also act as sensitive turn-rate sensors.

There's a robot fly that uses the same principles.

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