Wingspan required for flight.

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Icarus, Nov 20, 2010.

1. IcarusRegistered Member

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Alright, don't bother telling me this is impossible because I know that it can be done, I think it's possible. What I want to do is to create an aircraft that has moving wings (Vertical) and mount it to a human being (127 - 150 lb.). It won't nessecarily generate much lift, but enough that I can land my contraption without snapping my legs. If I could generate lift, it'd be sweet.
All I need is a formula. I'm in gr. 8 too, don't tell me I'm too young because I am not. Anyway, try to make it a bit simple for me... Thanks guys.

Icarus.

3. DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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How do you know it can be done?
What do you mean by "moving wings (Vertical)"? Flapping? Have you looked at the history of success with ornithopters?

5. IcarusRegistered Member

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Well there's a way to do it, I'm sure of it, because an issue like this one is solvable in so many fashions... Worst case scenario I just used fixed wings, but not an ultralight. No engine, no real frame save a harness and whatever is required to hold it all together.

7. DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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In other words you're guessing.
I'll ask again: have you looked at the history (and "success" rate) of ornithopters?
You claim that it's "solvable in so many fashions" yet, strangely, no one so far has come up with a solution. And here you are and you've got even less idea than those that have tried before.

You mean a hang glider?

8. MacGyver1968Fixin' Shit that Ain't BrokeValued Senior Member

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That's what I was thinking. It gives you an idea of the wingspan you would need to support a human.

You would have to have a frame of some sort, as human arms just aren't strong enough to take the strain. Consider the amount of strength that is required for a gymnast to do this:

Last edited: Nov 20, 2010

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11. IcarusRegistered Member

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Kay well Dyw you can just stop contributing if you're just gonna tell me I'm not good enough, cause I'm damn sick of hearing that.
To those who actually contributed, That would be like what I'm thinking. I think the flapping idea wouldn't work, but the wing suit is what i'm aiming for in the sense of design. A pair of wings that could support me (150 lb. max) and has no engine. Basically something that would bring me to the ground without killing me or breaking bones.

12. DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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And what, specifically, makes you think you're "good enough"?
So far all you've come up with is "I know that it can be done, I think it's possible" and "Well there's a way to do it, I'm sure of it" but nothing concrete.
Is this the sum total of work you've done towards your goal?
Being "sure" and asking for "a formula"?

With regard to required wing area: how fast are they going to move? The faster they move the less area required.

13. MacGyver1968Fixin' Shit that Ain't BrokeValued Senior Member

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Actually, Icarus...Dy is an engineer and very knowledgeable about aviation. He may not blow sunshine up your ass...but he will tell it like it is. The real world doesn't work with comic book physics. What you are describing has already been designed...it's called a hang glider. You couldn't design a "wing suit" like Keith linked, to glide you to the ground without a parachute. Wings small enough for your arms to support would not have enough surface area to slow you down enough.

14. CifoDay destroys the night,Registered Senior Member

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685
Yves Rossy (aka Jetman) lands with a parachute because its a bit tough trying to land
on your feet going 200 mph. (With those tiny wings, speed keeps him in the air.)

PS -- Where can I get one of those things!

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It's been done for many years (without the flapping, which except for the most exotic of lightweight designs is essentially pointless), the sizes are well known.

The approximate size of the wings needed to keep from snapping your legs can be seen from this picture.

Of course it's not just the size of the wings, its the weight and shape.

You can't play with this.

If you don't know EXACTLY what you are doing and you jump from a tall height with an ill designed homemade contraption you will simply die.

At 8 years old, it is HIGHLY unlikely that you have the time, money or intelligence to pull this off.

16. prometheusviva voce!Moderator

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I have nothing constructive to say other than the OP said he was in grade 8 which I guess makes him 13-14?

17. ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

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Do not jump off anything. At 100 feet not even a parachute can save you.

18. AlexGLike nailing Jello to a treeValued Senior Member

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Anybody want to give odds on his making it to 15?

19. ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

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No, cos if he dies how do i get the money off him?

20. Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Icarus, as you seem determined to try, I think you need to get some experimental data to make your "wing suit" a good design - See if it can nearly hold your weight - without dying in the first try. Don't you agree?

I too would encourage you to get a little older and lean some things about flight control, how birds fly, etc. For example, do you know that even with a body designed for flight, they could not do much of any flying if they had the same body temperature as you do. The rate you can develop energy, power, out of your food or stored fat is too low as your metabolism is too slow, at 98.6 degrees F. That is why birds have a higher body temperature than you do.

Anyway, as you probably think you already know all you need to, here is a suggestion as to how you can more safely test / evaluate your "wing suit" : Get an older friend with a convertible car and while strapped in securely try standing up in it, at first at low speed then if that does not try too much to throw you out the back, have friend speed up a little. etc.

The best idea would be for you not to even be wearing the wing suit, but instead have it streached out with some sort of frame that has a rope* tied to a bag of sand - say 50 lbs (1/3 of your weight). If it can not lift even 1/3 of your weight then it can not even ease you slowly down in a glide - you would hit the ground with such speed that the best you could hope for is only a dozen broken bones (or perhaps simply dying would be better?) I.e. you would fall like a 100 lb kid, and die if jumping from a several story building. - Don't be dumb, over confident, and kill yourself - test and test some more until you get a good design.

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* You will need a second rope too - one you can hold like a kite string to make your wing design pull on the main rope nearly vertically to lift the sand bag.

PS in addition to the link in post 6 take a look at this one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyYMTK5-W5k&NR=1&feature=fvwp with a group of wing suiters "flying" in formation. (Flying is in quotes as they are really in controlled fall at about 100 mph.) Two collide, one is injured, and their RELATIVE speed at impact was 60mph but that collision was not like you hitting solid ground at even 50mph as the hit body was sort of pushed out of the way - not a brick wall. They all have commercial parachutes for the landing as if they did not they would all die.

Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2010
21. Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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24,690
The largest flying bird is a species of bustard weighing 40lb(18kg). This seems to be the limit; it isn't much of a flyer: low-altitude, short-duration flights.

Condors are better flyers, although they spend most of their time gliding on thermals rather than actually generating their own lift. Their maximum weight is 24lb(11kg) and they have a wingspan of around 10ft(3m).

I once saw it calculated that an ostrich--300lb(140kg)--would need a 300ft(90m) wingspan to be able to fly. Your human aeronaut, strapped into his flying machine and wearing all the government-mandated safety equipment, would weigh in at just about that figure, so he would probably need just about that wingspan.

The reason birds capable of flight don't get that large is that their wing muscles have to be anchored to a breastbone. Geometry would make the breastbone of a flying ostrich so big that he'd need long and massive legs just to reach the ground, and his body would have to be oddly positioned to maintain balance while walking. None of this is practical.

Human engineers can use lightweight high-tech materials to circumvent these problems, but the suit will still be rather awkward. And the oscillation of the flapping wings will keep the person bouncing up and down--in slow motion of course--which might be downright annoying.

22. BlindmanValued Senior Member

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We use propellers to power human flight.. Much better then just wings.