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06.25.13 News
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Designing Stable Tiny Fliers

Provided by Inside Science TV
Looking for more stable designs, Leif Ristroph of New York University and Bin Liu of Brown University,analyzed the behavior of paper “bugs” of a variety of shapes (including cones, pyramids, umbrellas, and saucer-shaped UFOs) flying in a “flapping-flight wind tunnel” – a low-frequency woofer loudspeaker, turned upward and fitted with a metallic cap and a clear cylinder in which bugs fly. When the speaker is turned on, it shakes the air in the cylinder up-and-down, mimicking the effect of active flapping. Surprisingly, the researchers found that top-heavy designs are the most stable.
Provided by Inside Science TV
Runtime: 1:51