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Re: Hone and Benton 2007 (their second paper)
At 02:05 PM 6/4/2007, you wrote:
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Subject: Re: Hone and Benton 2007 (their second paper)
Fair enough! Actually, the idea that Archaeopteryx didn't go up
trees terribly frequently, except to gain altitude for a launch
does not bother me at all. I was merely challenging the uncritical
acceptance that Archaeopteryx could fly...and will continue until
someone bothers to test it.
John Ostrom asked me to do just that shortly before the Ostrom
symposium several years ago. If I remember correctly, some quickly
done flapping calculations indicated that it sould be capable of
decent flapping flight performance given a pectoral mass fraction of
roughly about 7% (about half that of a typical modern bird). It
didn't glide too well -- about 2/3 the gliding performance of a
pigeon unless the tail was cascadable, in which case performance
would have been substantially improved. I have no idea whether the
tail was cascadable though. I also did some rather elementary
launch calculations that convinced me that it would be able to
launch from the ground without significant difficulty (though I
didn't buy into the Burger [sp??] ground effect vs. speed hypothesis).
Any chance of a paper being published on this?
That said, I don't doubt that Archie could get into a tree if he
wanted to and don't doubt that he could launch from there -- just
don't see the need for it.