h a l f b a k e r y
Clearly this is a metaphor for something.
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This is not a human powered flapping flight idea but it might
in that direction if industry was focused on the issue which is:
To make a suit that allows the wearer to catch enough air when
jumping from any height to prevent themselves from falling at
terminal velocity. I imagine one
strategy would be to have many
small flapping structures that would catch air very quickly and
operate no matter what direction wind was coming from. It would
add just enough wind resistance at the minimal amount of weight,
that the person wearing it could jump from any height and land
About the world's smallest parachute. [neutrinos_shadow, Jun 16 2015]
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||//catch enough air when jumping from any height to
prevent themselves from falling at terminal
||That is what you said, but I don't think that is what
you meant. A dandelion tuft will fall at its terminal
||Terminal as in finishes with death, I assumed.
||Parachutes are that big for a reason, so your suit would need (approximately) the same active area. Very small parachutes have been used/landed, but they take an insane amount of skill to not die.
||incidentally, isn't Terminal Velocity really the maximum
achievable speed (as opposed to the speed that would get
||Terminal velocity is the equilibrium speed at which air resistance (which increases with speed) matches weight, ie forces are balanced and the item is no longer accelerating.
||This would probably end up looking a hell of a lot like a small parachute. Probably made of even lighter and weaker materials and optimised for slow engagement to minimise shock loads.
||As far as I'm aware, parachutes are much more efficient in terms of wing area if operated more like a ram-inflated wing, than a big circular flow impediment type.
||You could overcome the terminal velocity problem on
a conventional parachute by fitting one or more small
engines with propeller blades, to increase speed. And
perhaps redesign the parachute itself to have less
||Evolve it a little more into wings, and you might not fall at all. Attach a prop engine and now you've got something. Quick, somebody call Orville and Wilbur!