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Re: flight stroke

Dinogeorge wrote:

> Depends on whether or not the tail has a lifting
> surface, such as lateral feathers.

Ooooh, good point. 

> A tail with a lifting surface will not
> necessarily pull the back down and the front up; it
> might keep the back up and the front down. 

Ok, this raises several interesting questions. Is it
easier for a beginning glider to evolve enlarged
retrices, or flapping behavior? How suitable is the
tail for producing lift? And are the arm feathers
providing more lift to the center of the body than are
distal tail feathers? Yes, I think they are. So, you
have 2 options. Bring the cg posterior so that the
tail can help support it better, or bring the tail
closer to the cg. In the meantime, though, flapping
can help with the problem.  

> The tail of Archaeopteryx is at least as well
> feathered as the wings and doubtless had an 
> aerodynamic lifting function.

Oh, I'm sure. But the problem is that it's too far
from the center of gravity. As airspeed decreases, the
lift generated by retrices will help counteract but
not solve the stalling effect. So, move the arms
forward so that your lifting surfaces are more
balanced, and to solve the problem even better, swoop
them down and up as you do so. Repeat if necessary.
Recipe for a flap? Or is it a flop?

Waylon Rowley  

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