How Bats Fly

PHOTO IN THE NEWS: Bats Use Same Aerial Tricks As Bugs

bat picture
clipped from www.telegraph.co.uk

Bats use same tricks as insect to fly

Bats use the same aerodynamic trick as flying insects do to stay aloft, much to the relief of scientists.

Today, Prof Anders Hedenström of Lund University says he is "pleased to report" that when the bat wing flaps downward, the motion also produces a tiny cyclone of air above the wing, called a "leading edge vortex," that pulls the animal upward.

By watching the swirling fog particles, the researchers were able to figure out that leading edge vortices provide a large portion of the lift force that helps the bats to stay in the air.

This kind of work paves the way for a new generation of bat like robots, or "micro air vehicles" measuring just a few inches in size to be built, says Prof Hedenström.

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