Aerodynamics of Hummingbird Flight Image 2
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Aerodynamics of Hummingbird Flight (Image 2)

July 26, 2010
Using a sophisticated digital imaging technique, scientists have now determined the aerodynamics of hummingbird flight. Researchers discovered that hummingbirds differ from both birds and insects in how they hover. Hummingbirds support 75 percent of their body weight on the downstroke, which is actually a forward motion in the nearly vertical hovering birds. The new finding will provide engineers with a refined model for developing miniature autonomous flying vehicles.

These latest data disprove conclusions from numerous earlier studies that hummingbirds hovered like insects despite their profound muscle and skeletal differences.

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