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AnswerA professor Torkel Weis-Fogh of zoology at Cambridge University in the 1970, showed us how small insects fly. A small insects wings work by causing air to flow over it in such a way that when the air leaves the rearedge of the wingsit moves downwards The resulant eddy produces an upward thrust on the wing. This does not happen quickly, it takes timeto make a good eddy, and the wing has to move a distance a few times its length to get things started. The maximum travel of a wing is roughly its length and very little lift is generated for most of the stroke. Small birds and insects, when they go to take off, they need a lot of lift. They bring there wings together above their back so that they clap, exhausting air from between their wings, when the wings seprate, air is quuckly drawn in to fill the void. Then the wings are flung apartand the lift is immediately caused, because the air is all ready moving in the correct way. This is how a bumble bee, or a wasp, hummingbird, turkey, fly and why you can hear them, these are just examples, you may hear other birds or insects flying yourself. And for the bumble bee...There is an old saying: 'The bumble bee is too heavy to fly, but no-one told the bee'. This was strengthened when early aeronautical engineers calculated the lift from a bumble bee's wings and said it was less than the bee's weight. They had made the mistake of treating the wing as a simple aerofoil.

It was quite a few years before the real truth was found. As the bee flies, the downstrokes of the wing create vortices above the wing. These creates several times more lift than a simple aerofoil, more than enough for the bee to fly.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-12 21:23:16
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Q: How does a bumble bee fly?
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