Read out Whether insect or bird: To change the direction of flying, flying artists with similar physique also use the same technique. The height does not matter. American researchers have found this out by analyzing and comparing the maneuvering techniques of various insects, birds and bats. From the results, they developed a flight model that applies to all airworthy animals with similar physique. The model could also help to improve the properties of artificial aircraft, the researchers report to Tyson Hedrick from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In their experiments, the researchers used a high-speed camera to film the flying maneuvers of a hummingbird, a cockatoo, a bat and four different types of insects. They then slowed down and analyzed the wing movements as the animals maneuvered to the left or right in flight.
All the animals used the same technique, the researchers noted: Although the animals can only move their wings synchronously, the intensity of the wing beat varied. In a left turn, the wing flapping on the left side is stronger in the downward movement of the wing, in the subsequent upward movement receives the right wing more momentum. This asymmetric motion, which the researchers call the wing-counter-momentum, increases the stability of the maneuver and allows the animals to slow down.
Anyone who has ever sat in a rowing boat may know this movement. For even sitting in the boat it is easily possible to pull both oars simultaneously through the water, but to give one side more momentum than the other.