science Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Post by David Bradley
IT IS A HOAX
They say that “theoretically” the bumble bee cannot fly, but in reality it is commonly airborne. They also say that theoretically humans cannot fly by flapping artificial wings…but in reality is it possible?
The implication is that simply flapping is enough to get you airborne, but birds don’t just flap their wings haphazardly like Jarno Smeets is doing in this video, they have a controlled pattern that exploits the Bernouilli effect to lower the air pressure above the wing and reduce it below the wing. A man could flap wings in that way and generate lift, but assuming he weighs about 80kg and can run at a maximum of 10kmh he’d have to have wings 2km wide to generate the necessary upward thrust.
It will be interesting to see whether this is another viral marketing campaign from the Hi-Tech sportswear company as was the liquid mountaineering video we featured here almost two years ago. I’m pretty sure I can see the winch wire at one point just before the video cuts to a lateral shot of Smeets in the air.
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