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Re: Sharovipteryx - delta-winged glider?

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Williams" <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Cc: <jrccea@bellsouth.net>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: Sharovipteryx - delta-winged glider?

Oh, I was alluding to a _Microraptor_-oriented thread from several months ago. Don't worry, I'm not going to start calling you names. :-)

Never thought you were (nor am I sensitive to that, anyway). I just didn't want you to think I was proposing that the animal was capable of flapping flight. Just calling attention to the possibility that no one has demonstrated that it wasn't capable of such.

This study also
discerns evidence of an interdigital patagium between the toes of _Sharovipteryx_ - like 'mitten-gliders', I suppose.

I doubt it. More likely, used as trim servos (or for some compromise for terrestrial uses unrelated to flight). With wings extended to minimum drag configuration, Sharovipteryx would seem to have had an aspect ratio of about 6.65, which is considerably more than that of a starling or thrush, and similar to some vultures, but lower than that of a falcon. So, induced drag would have been moderate and glide ratio would have been respectable, for either gliding or flapping, if the latter were possible.

So any flapping would be executed by the hindlimbs...?


That'd be a sight for sore eyes!

It would. I've thought about doing a flapping model, at 2.54 scale, so that 1 cm would be constructed as 1 inch (to make the model big enough to easily contain motor and controls). Unlike birds, bats, and pterodactyls the thing exhibits static pitch stability, so control wouldn't be all that difficult.