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 Post subject: A stupid question.
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 16:25 
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Joined: 09 Jun 2010, 20:22
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Location: Marina da Gama, W. Cape, S Africa
Does anyone know how flying insects land on an inverted surface such as a ceiling?
Do they perform a ½ barrel roll or a ½ loop to do a "touch up"? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: A stupid question.
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 16:52 
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cool an inverted landing!


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 Post subject: Re: A stupid question.
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 22:23 
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Location: Whangarei, New Zealand
fix-a-dak wrote:
Does anyone know how flying insects land on an inverted surface such as a ceiling?
Do they perform a ½ barrel roll or a ½ loop to do a "touch up"? :lol:


http://www.straightdope.com/columns/rea ... he-ceiling

Thanks Google :smt023

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 Post subject: Re: A stupid question.
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2011, 21:03 
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Joined: 12 Feb 2011, 23:59
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Location: 34º 05' 54" S 18º 22' 49"E
fix-a-dak wrote:
Does anyone know how flying insects land on an inverted surface such as a ceiling?


This was a subject for discussion by the Fly Inverted-Landing Committee of RAF Prangmere in 1942. Committee members being Sqd Leader Undercart, PO Prune (of course), PO Stall, PO Nosedyve, Flt Lyne-Shute, FO Flaps, PO Rudder, FO Tailspin and others. Some of PO Prune's story can be perused here http://www.content-delivery.co.uk/aviation/airfields/prune/.
I finally dug out my copy of the "how do flies land" saga and will try and scan and OCR it - if anyone is interested.


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 Post subject: Re: A stupid question.
PostPosted: 25 Apr 2011, 08:59 
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Eugene wrote:
fix-a-dak wrote:
... and will try and scan and OCR it - if anyone is interested.


:smt023


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 Post subject: Re: A stupid question.
PostPosted: 25 Apr 2011, 10:26 
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Location: 34º 05' 54" S 18º 22' 49"E
Hello Dean,

You asked for it!

Quote:
FLIES

In the RAF Mess, Prangmere, a self-appointed committee went into session on Sunday night to discuss a topic of outstanding interest to the whole of the Royal Air Force. The question before the meeting was, in short, just how does a fly land on the ceiling.

Pilot-Officer Prune, opening the proceedings, said he was of the opinion the fly cruised along at the correct height below the ceiling and then did a half-loop, landing upwards at the top of the loop.

Squadron-Leader Undercart said that was all very well, but how did the fly judge his distance, so as to avoid nose-diving into the ceiling a quarter way through the loop? Presumably he wasn’t fitted with an altimeter that worked inversely from the ceiling downwards instead of from the ground up. He personally took a poor view of Prune’s theory.

Pilot-Officer Stall said he didn’t get that half-loop idea either, though for exactly the opposite reason. Surely, as soon as the fly lost flying speed sufficiently to effect a good three-pointer ceiling landing, he would stall in an upside-down position, go into an inverted nosedive, and have to pull out of it by completing the loop and, so to speak, going round again. The same thing would probably happen several times before he hit it off at last, which would mean that the majority of flies, especially the inexperienced ones who had only just joined the squadron from their OTU, would be making a series of vertical circuits before getting a bump - a thing he had never seen yet and please God never would! He here stopped for lack of breath.

Flight-Lieutenant Lyne-Shute said let them fight it out between themselves: he personally was ordering a beer.

Pilot-Officer Nosedyve said that any sort of landing made at the top of a loop meant that the fly landed facing in the opposite way to his direction of flight, which must be very confusing to the ceiling-staff, though very useful if the fly found he was overshooting on coming in.

Flying-Officer Flaps said he too thought the loop theory was just sheer bull. The normal act of landing was really stalling, and you couldn’t stall upwards! It’d be much the same sort of thing as having your aircraft drop up to stratosphere just as you were going to touch down = like that -, see! What he thought the fly really did was to come in close up - like that! - do a half slow-roll - like that! - and there he was, going gently along still in the direction of flight - like THAT! Sorry!

Flight-Lieutenant Lyne-Shute said that if Flying-Officer Flaps had been in the RFC in 1916 he’d have learnt to keep his hands under control now he’d have to order more beer.
Pilot-Officer Rudder said perhaps the tougher fighter flies, with many hours’ operational flying behind them, had some wizard landing dodge of their own-especially with those sticky feet, which had the most powerful brakes beat to a frazzle. He suggested that they might zoom right up to the ceiling, suddenly put a leg up and come up, all standing.

Pilot-Officer Nosedyve said the strain on the fly’s undercarriage if he did that must be terrific: it would certainly be against fly flying regulations.

Flight-Lieutenant Lyne-Shute said the very idea made him feel faint and he was ordering some beer.

Squadron-Leader Undercart said a fly didn’t have one undercarriage only: he had six.

Pilot-Officer Stall said, surely eight.

Squadron-Leader Undercart said, nuts, six.

Flying-Officer Talespin said it was common knowledge that the house-fly, or Musca domestica, possessed... His speech was interrupted by the attempts of Pilot-Officer Stall and Squadron-Leader Undercart each trying to try to bring down a fly and prove the other wrong. No victory, however, could be confirmed, though several combats took place, in one of which Squadron-Leader Undercart claimed a ‘probable’, the fly attacked being last seen, he stated, heading for home with black smoke coming from its port wing.

Flight-Lieutenant Lyne-Shute said that if they’d quite finished upsetting his beer, he’d order some . ..

Flying-Officer Talespin, interrupting, said how about the fly turning on its back and flying upside down when nearing the ceiling level, if they saw what he meant.

Flying-Officer Flaps said something rude about upside down,

Flying-Officer Talespin disagreed....

Wing-Commander Blower said, now, boys, chuck it and, anyway, if one wanted to get the real gen on the fly-landing business they ought to get up close to the landing ground and watch.

There was then another lull in the discussion, while Squadron-Leader Undercart, two Flying-Officers and three Pilot-Officers formed a pyramid to enable Pilot-Officer Prune at the top to examine the flying ground situation and report. Wing-Commander Blower turned on the cornice lights to give-the flies a proper flare path, and said they should be warned that an electric-light-pendant barrage was flying in the centre of the ceiling. He was still looking round for a torch as an angle-of-glide indicator when Squadron-Leader Under-cart, who was the base of the pyramid, suddenly got tired. The object of the exercise was thus not achieved.

Flight-Lieutenant Lyne-Shute asked heatedly which of them it was that had upset his beer this time: now he’d have to order some more.

Group-Captain Boost, taking part in the discussion for the first time, said no one was ordering more beer, it was late enough at it was: if they felt so keen about the thing, let them write to the Brains Trust: meanwhile Lyne-Shute was to take off for his quarters at once, to be followed by the others at three seconds intervals, or else...

Thereupon the meeting broke up and the Mess emptied in half a minute.

The flies continued to alight on the ceiling in their own inscrutable fashion.

ANTHONY ARMSTRONG (Squadron-Leader A. A. WILLIS)

(Operational research since the war, based on a firmer footing than S/Ldr Undercart, has shown that, for the first time in his life, P/O Prune was actually right: high-speed cameras reveal that flies do land off half-loops. However, P/O Rudder was right also: flies touch down on their front legs, swinging their back four up into position immediately afterwards. So S/Ldr Undercart was right about the six-leg undercarriage, too.)




Blame all errors on my cruddy OCR!


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 Post subject: Re: A stupid question.
PostPosted: 25 Apr 2011, 17:17 
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004, 17:19
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Thanks Eugene, good stuff. 8)


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