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hummingbirds vs. WW2 pilots / aircraft

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  • hummingbirds vs. WW2 pilots / aircraft

    I am on a Park Ranger list, which sent the following:


    "Listen and watch for male Broad-tailed hummingbirds doing their power-dive
    display for females: the bird flies about 100’ up and hovers to make sure
    she’s watching, then DIVES at the ground at full speed while making his
    whirring sound. He pulls up just before he smashes into the dirt.

    Scientists have clocked hummingbirds at 60 mph at the bottom of the dive,
    and the pull-up exposes them to forces in excess of 9 Gs, which would drive
    a trained fighter pilot unconscious.

    In terms of speed, the hummers are covering about 385 body-lengths per second,
    nearly twice as fast for their size as a Peregrine Falcon power dive (200 body
    lengths per second) and far faster per size than a diving fighter jet."

    Per Wiki an ME-163 has a speed of 900 KPH and a
    length of 5.7 meters

    By my calcs:

    Meters in 3.6 sec. = KPH

    Meters per sec. = 900 / 3.6 = 250 meters / sec.

    ME-163 body-lengths per second = 250 / 5.7 ~ 44

    How about G forces? What max Gs could a pilot back then take?

    Was the limiting factor pilot or airframe damage for most
    violent maneuvers a fighter pilot would take?

    Did anyone study hummingbirds to see if they could
    increase pilot ability to withstand G forces?
    "The good old hockey game is the best game you can name
    and the best game you can name is the good old hockey game"

    - Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song

  • #2
    Originally posted by HMan View Post
    I am on a Park Ranger list, which sent the following:


    "Listen and watch for male Broad-tailed hummingbirds doing their power-dive
    display for females: the bird flies about 100’ up and hovers to make sure
    she’s watching, then DIVES at the ground at full speed while making his
    whirring sound. He pulls up just before he smashes into the dirt.

    Scientists have clocked hummingbirds at 60 mph at the bottom of the dive,
    and the pull-up exposes them to forces in excess of 9 Gs, which would drive
    a trained fighter pilot unconscious.

    In terms of speed, the hummers are covering about 385 body-lengths per second,
    nearly twice as fast for their size as a Peregrine Falcon power dive (200 body
    lengths per second) and far faster per size than a diving fighter jet."

    Per Wiki an ME-163 has a speed of 900 KPH and a
    length of 5.7 meters

    By my calcs:

    Meters in 3.6 sec. = KPH

    Meters per sec. = 900 / 3.6 = 250 meters / sec.

    ME-163 body-lengths per second = 250 / 5.7 ~ 44

    How about G forces? What max Gs could a pilot back then take?

    Was the limiting factor pilot or airframe damage for most
    violent maneuvers a fighter pilot would take?

    Did anyone study hummingbirds to see if they could
    increase pilot ability to withstand G forces?
    Part of it is due to minute size. Female humans can tolerate more G forces than their larger male counterparts. Ants can lift huge weights compared to humans, and so it goes.

    But surely you know that aeronautical engineers proved long ago that hummingbirds can't really fly?
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HMan View Post

      Was the limiting factor pilot or airframe damage for most
      violent maneuvers a fighter pilot would take?
      Well, both could be; but the pilots' resistance was more or less the same for all of them, while the airframe's resistance depended on design, construction and materials.
      I wouldn't look at fighters if I were looking for the best WWII airplanes to survive that pull up, naturally: you are thinking of dive bombers. It goes without saying that their structure was specially reinforced. The Ju 88 had been conceived as a level bomber that could also dive bomb, and got the added weight for that role, with the attendant worsening of performance stats like top speed; yet, a pilot who wanted to make it back home would at most take a shallow dive, nothing like what they did with a Ju 87.
      Note however that the Ju 87 had air brakes for the dive. Unlike the hummingbird, it preferred not to reach top speed, including speed accrued thanks to gravity.
      Michele

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