Thursday, August 17, 2006

Things that fly

Stanley Steamers Steam Art
I was asking Dova one night about all the things that have wings and she would reply yes or no. There were obviously funny wrong ones like frogs, fish, beds, etc. There were also tricky ones like ducks and airplanes. Then I thought for a second and realized that wings, by definition, provide lift for the purposes of flight and said "Just about everything that flies has wings." In my view, this includes helicopters, where rotor blades are simply wings that spin around (I can almost be called an expert since I did work in the rotors group at Sikorsky Aircraft for a year). Then she came back with, "But what about hot air balloons?" Holy smokes, she was right, Mom made the classic error in converse logic. I applauded her fantastic observation. This little 2 year old is a genius for sure!

1 comment :

-Quentin said...

Wow....when I started reading your entry, hot air balloons came to mind as well....but then, I'm not as young as Dova. (which might actually be more to her advantage)

The second thought I had was regarding missles. Sure, they have fins, but other than say cruise missles, these fins are generally not so much for lift as direction and stability.

But then I did a small web search, and much to my surprise, I came across this article the notes that there are ants that can apparently "fly" (or glide) back to a tree-trunk without the use of wings!

Check this article out:
http://sciencematters.berkeley.edu
/archives/volume2/issue15
/story1.php

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