Scientists have discovered that flying fish fly as well as birds


15/09/2010

The study found that the flying fish can fly through the air is no worse than the birds of small and medium size. Scientists decided to test their ability, after have read, this is the kind of fish can fly about 400 meters.

If flying fish out of water, it will float like a bird.

That was the conclusion of two South Korean scientists who decided to test that is capable of flying fish in a wind tunnel.

In the first direct study of the aerodynamics of flying fish, they found that fish can fly just as well as the birds of small and medium size.

Their discovery was published in Journal of Experimental Biology.

Flying Fish has a wing-like fins, which are pressed close to the body while swimming in the water, and are placed in flight through the air, in which they are sent, usually in order to escape from predators. Fish is the air periodically dipping its fins in the water and pushing himself forward about the same as the water jumping stones.

The senior author of the study, Hecheon Choi, a professor of fluid mechanics at Seoul National University in South Korea, said that he had the idea to conduct this experiment, during the reading of his daughter’s children’s science books. The book was written that the flying fish can fly about 400 meters, and was surprised by such a large distance Choi.

After reviewing studies done before him, Choi saw that they evaluated the ability of these fish flying solely on the basis of the proportions of their bodies - and the weight and wingspan, for example, or on the basis of observations of their flight in their natural habitat. It was no more than a "rough estimates," said Frank Fish, a zoologist at the Westchester University in Pennsylvania, one of the scientists, peer-reviewed articles.

Choi and lead author Hyungmin Perk, also from Seoul National University, set up an experiment, which revealed how well the fish can fly.

For the experiment, they selected fish species Cypselurus hirai, who have four wing-like fins - two large and two small, like a biplane. Scientists took five fish about the same size, they have put in urethane foam, and tested the movement of air moving toward the fish in the wind tunnel to assess their flying ability. They put in a water tank for the fish to see how the liquid surface will affect the flight.

After an assessment ratio of lift to drag ratio and other aerodynamic measurements, the researchers came to the conclusion that flying fish hovers over the water because the air resistance is lowest when the fish is near the water surface. This allows it to fly at a long distance in one go before it will be forced to dive back into the water.

Probably one of the most amazing discoveries made by them, is how well the fish can soar, as compared to other winged creatures. The ratio of lift-to-drag ratio of these fish (in fact, it is the distance that the fish is able to fly during the free fall), leads to the conclusion that they are better than those of insects hover like a dragonfly, and just as well as many birds, such as petrels and wood duck.

Choi said that his discoveries have practical application. "We want to apply these concepts to existing airplanes that fly very close to the surface of the water," - he said.

Original: Latimes


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