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Do You think That We Can someday Fly like Birds?

  1. Nov 15, 2009 #1
    Do you think that one day we will replicate how birds fly? Do you think that one day we can put on a suit with artificial wings and fly?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2009 #2
    We already have hang gliders but do they count?
  4. Nov 15, 2009 #3
    No, i won't count hang gliders.

    I'm more on the mechanics of the wings, like we can create a mechanism that creates lift like a bird does (i.e. flapping it's wings).

    Kind of like an ornithopter.
  5. Nov 15, 2009 #4
    We may someday be able to do that on the moon. Yes, I know there is no atmosphere on the moon. But perhaps someday we will have large artificial biospheres on the moon which will make extended man powered flight possible.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  6. Nov 15, 2009 #5


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    Big birds don't do a lot of flapping. They glide like hang gliders most of the time. And humans are even much heavier than the biggest flying birds. The idea of humans flying by flapping like a hummingbird is ineffective. Rotors are better.
  7. Nov 15, 2009 #6
    No way. The muscles of a bird are very strong and specific in the exact areas required and it's taken them many many years to evolve that way
  8. Nov 15, 2009 #7


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    Human's have the physical strength to fly.


    It is only a matter of time before someone clever enough, builds a device that does not look like a pedal powered glider.
  9. Nov 15, 2009 #8
    If evolution could create rotors it certainly would?
    Are rotors more efficient than wings?

    In any case, birds are incredibly light. Have a bird in your hand - it weights nothing :)
    If one is willing to sacrifice heavy bones and the brain, then maybe one can fly :)

    Unfortunately scaling all up is not in favour for us as mass scales cubic with dimensions (and muscles that are only on the surface scale quadric). Probably aerodynamics makes it even worse -> maybe some can make a scaling statement say how much the required power should scale up.
  10. Nov 15, 2009 #9
    I wasn't really thinking of using our muscles. Maybe just a smart wing design that's powered by a battery or engine.
  11. Nov 15, 2009 #10
    Like a microlight?
    I am not sure what the question is anymore. I don't think we will ever be able to strap on acouple of artificial wings and fly off 'like a bird' as was the question, but if we are talking about using an efficient wing and engine to fly then we already have that.... So I am a bit confused, perhaps you could draw the line for us, which I assume will be somewhere between da vinci wings (bird motion, muscle power) and a micro light (gliding with engine), as to what the actual question is.
  12. Nov 15, 2009 #11
    Kind of like a combination of da vinci wings and a micro light. Imagine a man flying with the da vinci's wings except it's powered by an engine?
  13. Nov 15, 2009 #12


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    Difficult. How would you drive a rotor with muscles? You would need a bony crank shaft of something like this.
    For hovering something of the size of a human, yes. Not for flying a certains distance.
  14. Nov 15, 2009 #13


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    Hence the derogatory term "birdbrain." :biggrin:
  15. Nov 15, 2009 #14


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    Is this thread some kind of test?

  16. Nov 16, 2009 #15
    If it doesn't violate the laws of physics (which it doesn't), eventually I'm sure it will be possible. Strength won't be an issue,, as I'm sure that will get augmented either mechanically or biologically.

    After that, it's just an issue of getting wings large enough to work. I suppose at least a hang-glider sized apparatus will be necessary...although it will obviosuly be something you need to put on. Not like you'll be walking to the store and just decide to jump in the air and start flying.

    Although I suppose I'm thinking "in the box" here, I'm trying to work with what we know...
  17. Nov 16, 2009 #16
    Oh right, now I see what you mean :-)
    I would say it is physically possible like others have said, but I cannot support the view that it 'will happen', as there is no reason for it to… it's kinda like developing a car that uses cheetah legs to travel at 70mph on the motorway, when actually a wheel does a much better job (over smooth terrain)
    The only advantage I can see of flapping wings, over gliding wings is the ability to hover, and if you needed that level of control (and I can totally see why you would) I suspect (with fairly high confidence) a rotor based design would be far more efficient.
    Maybe there would be somebody out there in the future that fancies spending the time and money developing one, just for the fun of it, but personally I think that is your only hope of ever seeing one.

    It is an interesting question however, as we have borrowed designs from nature before with good success, but I think this is one area in which a step backwards (towards rotors) is a step forwards.

    A good parallel to this is the propellors used on speed boats, they recently trialed a design based on a fish tail movement (except they had two side by side to keep it balanced)… from memory, I seem to remember that it worked great, very smooth, but I have never seen one on a boat! I asume it had some drawbacks.

    Along similar lines rememeber that swim suits that used shark skin technology to glide through the water better? Something about the rough surface trapping air bubbles… I think they got banned from competition use due to the unfair advantage they gave, but not sure if they are OK to use again now.
  18. Nov 16, 2009 #17
    This is one of those things that if it can be done, somebody will do it....if for no other reason than to impress the chicks. I mean, hell, I would do it if I could.

    In fact, as soon as somebody does it, somebody else will make a version that can carry a passenger (a chick).

    Probably half the things we have in this world are for no other reason than to impress the chicks.
  19. Nov 16, 2009 #18
    maybe someday someone that is very good in inventing things, maybe one can invent that and think for an artificial wings for human..
    but for now if i think of that it is really hard to do, it is really a matter of long study and discovery..
    but we'll see all in the near future.

    [spam link deleted]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2009
  20. Nov 16, 2009 #19


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    So...you're telling me instead of flapping my arms what I should be doing is holding my arms out straight and spin around real fast?
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