If birds could fly, why man could not
The King of Crete ordered Dedalus, an Athenian engineer, to build a secret labyrinth. The King feared that Dedalus might reveal the secret to others. Thus when the work was completed, he imprisoned Dedalus and his son Icarus. The prison had a window that opened on the Aegean Sea. Dedalus made a plan to escape. He built two pair of wings. Using wax he stuck them to his own shoulders and to that of Icarus, his son. As the prison guards stared in disbelief, both the prisoners flew away to freedom. Gradually, Icarus grew reckless. He tried to fly nearer to the sun. He turned a deaf ear even to his fatherís warnings. Due to the sunís heat the wax melted away and Icarus fell into the sea. He was drowned to death. This Greek myth shows how flying has always fascinated human beings. Did you also ever feel like flying? Just like a bird? A bird uses several types of complex wing movements in order to fly. Lets understand how Flapping takes place. In it there are two kind of movements- the downbeat and the upbeat. The downbeat creates propulsion and lift. When the end of the wing is tilted forward propulsion is created, thus forcing the air backward. As the inner part of the wing attached to the body does not tilt forward,lift is created. These two propulsion and lift together form the downbeat. The upbeat helps the bird to set its wings back into position for another downbeat. This creates drag, which slows the speed of the bird. To counter this effect, the bird folds its wings during the upbeat. There are several other types of wing movements like gliding, soaring, hovering etc. When next time you watch a bird in flight, remember- itís not an easy task.
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