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How come tandem house flies can still fly? - Aerodynamics Question

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by TwangyWhammy, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder
    Regarding drag... at their minuscule size, would 'air' be thicker or thinner - in relation to them?

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  2. kuvash

    kuvash Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    71
    Feb 13, 2010
    Upper California

  3. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    OK, more housefly physics. As a kid I was fascinated to watch a fly buzz around inside the school bus I was riding on. All the windows were open. How could the fly cruise around like normal, when in reality it's flying 50 mph down the road?

    I was about six, so give me a break. At that age, air was 'nothing'.
     

  4. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    57
    Jan 4, 2017
    Wales
    'Cos the air's moving with the bus at 50mph, otherwise you'd be in a 50mph wind.
     

  5. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder
    OK, this will really bend your physics noodle...

    It's accepted that Flies can fly right up to the ceiling and phenomenally land onto it upside down, correct? (exhibit B)

    Now imagine those tandem flies (exhibit A) that just dodged my swiping hand, doing that very exact same thing!! How do you explain that? o_O



    Furthermore...

    Granted that flies (exhibit B) can also poop upside down on your nice white ceiling without getting it on themselves. Do you think that Mr and Mrs Tandem (exhibit A) can manage to perform upside down toilet duties if they had to, in conjunction?

    (Conjunction |kənˈdʒʌŋ(k)ʃ(ə)n| noun: the action or an instance of two or more events or things occurring at the same point in time or space.)

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  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Yes... it was a rhetorical question, though, for someone your age... :)
     

  7. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    57
    Jan 4, 2017
    Wales
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    This thread is strangely titillating. . . .
     

  9. cattzap

    cattzap TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    61
    Jan 18, 2018
    Carlos, Tx
    "Besides....no fly girl is going to mate with you if you don't take them for a spin around the neighbourhood and visit your fav take away food joint..."


    I'll have the poopoo platter
     
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  10. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Holic

    Age:
    67
    568
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    Drag varies with velocity through a fluid. This all has to do with what happens when the molecules in air bunch up ahead of the direction of movement. The locally increased density hinders movement. The math is complicated and really beyond the reach of this forum. The faster an object moves the greater the drag. An object can be designed to have less drag, or resistance to movement through a fluid, but that only becomes important at higher velocities. To fly at 88 feet per second, a fly would have to be streamlined. To fly at less than 1 foot per sec, not so much. I hope this explanation sheds some light for you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018 at 8:32 AM

  11. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 12, 2010
    Norman, OK
    "What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

    :lol:
     
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  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     

  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Yet another great band/duo name.
    Tandem House Flies.
    Kinda has a ring to it.
     
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  14. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder
    Imagine the graphics printed on the bass drum reso skin!
    :confused:
     
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  15. adamnewtonguitar

    adamnewtonguitar TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    68
    Sep 27, 2016
    US
    How can a mating pair of flies fly? This article might help:

    https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com...pe-how-many-houseflies-would-you-need-to-lift

    It appears flies can lift roughly 50% of their bodyweight while flying. This would lead one to postulate two theories:

    A) the mating pair may consist of a male who is twice the size of a female, allowing him to carry her in flight.

    B) the female may have a limited range of motion that allows her to contribute to the flight of the pair.

    Not exactly "definitive", but perhaps a bit closer to a scientific answer?

    Also, in regards to a few other questions thrown out in this thread...

    Flying inside a moving vehicle:

    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/20333/speed-of-a-fly-inside-a-car

    Climbing on ceilings/walls:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-flies-and-other-in/
     

  16. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder
    ^ What gets me:

    1) is that I never see flies carry things as part of their daily routine (say, like ants do). So why do they have this extra capacity for lifting?

    2) flies don't crawl up the wall and then make their way to the ceiling. They usually hover up to it, and do a summersault and land on it upside down. Seeing as their flapping wings create downward thrust to produce lift, when they flip - shouldn't that thrust push them away from the ceiling?

    3) that article describing the barbs or adhesives on their feet, would imply that they would get stuck on the ceiling permanently. What's the on/off (latch and release) mechanism that allows them to walk with ease at speed - and to fly off the ceiling at will?

    4) I can't help but think of the helicopter crash during the Bin Laden raid. Apparently, the high walls of the compound obstructed the rotor downwash from diffusing, causing severe loss of lift. Imagine the top fly generating a downwash that is being obstructed by the load that its carrying. IF the lower fly decides to assist by spreading its wings, should the obstruction be even greater? Perhaps this is why we never see a helicopter hybrid VTOL aircraft with large wings placed directly underneath its rotors to augment its lift. The wings would create a hazardous "vortex ring state" for the rotors.

    (Although this didn't stop the animators of the anime "Ghost in a Shell" from creating such an absurdity...)

    Absurd.png


    ... these questions and more, continue into the middle of the night as I lay in my bed sweating - engulfed by the southern hemisphere summer heat. I gaze past my slow moving ceiling fan (as if trapped in time, inside a flickering B&W movie) looking at that tandem fly on my bedroom plafond. They look down on me... their oversized beady eyes... blazing with contempt... mocking me...

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