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bumblebees and such
The version of this explanation that I remember from back in the Fifties
(still some 20 years after the fact) was the the engineer intended to
demonstrate that the bumblebee couldn't fly IF it limited flapping to
the vertical plane without twist, and IF unsteady effects were ignored,
with the intent of demonstrating that the wingbeat wasn't vertical and
without twist and that unsteady effects were significant. But don't
trust my memory too much on this. I was a teenager at the time, and it
was a long time ago. Engineers and aerodynamicists have thought the
myth was laughable since before I was interested in either.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> "Bumblebees can't fly" Myth. This is a misleading approach that is
> often used to confuse people about modeling.