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Dragonfly Ornithopters

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As fans of Dune will readily see, an ornithopter is a flapping wing flying machine, as a helicopter is a rotary wing flying machine. Where of course we have seen how Dragonflies are elliptical winged insects capable of up to 56 km/h speed. They also have pterostigmas that control flutter, gaining up to 25% speed [in gliding mode]. Then, there are airflow and wing flex sensors that indicate sophisticated, highly tuned control loop networks. These insects are capable of forward and reverse flight, hovering and sideways flight. They also have up to 97% success rate in predation. Such a natural model will of course inspire engineers.

So, we can see here, a Dragonfly robot ornithopter:

A clip:

Resemblance to a modern attack helicopter’s pod-boom-sensor turret design is probably only partly coincidental, as form follows function:

The Dune Ornithopters, as fantasy machines, don’t count. But, we may look:

A Dune-inspired discussion:

Design for high maneuver flight seems to have led to convergent technological evolution, a point that has come up again and again in the history of technology. END

Comments
FP, We both know that, in building ornithopters, designers are here drawing out the challenges and information rich complexities -- including fine tuning -- associated with successful flight [here, flapping wing propulsion], a significant body of empirical results. Design challenges, trade-offs [another form of tuning, sometimes not so fine depending on circumstances], issues, complexities are empirically established fairly tough realities, here in the context of flapping wing flight. The solving of complex, interwoven design challenges has to be credibly accounted for, not tossed aside with what is imagined a clever dismissive quip. What we see yet again, therefore, is a backhanded admission of want of a substantial empirical evidence backed answer as to sophisticated, integrated, information rich system design without competent designer. How? as, if you had it you would triumphantly announce it. So, confidently, you don't have it, more than, insects appeared in the fossils, then dragonflies appeared, indeed giants approaching 3 ft in size -- yet another case of the trade secret of paleontology, sudden appearance and stasis of body plans. That is, we may freely conclude that the empirically well supported point that there are tested, reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration in life forms stands unanswered with a sound reason to believe we can get to such designs without a skilled designer. But of course, that is obviously ideologically unwelcome. KFkairosfocus
April 11, 2023
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FP at 9, That is quite wrong. No one can reproduce a single living cell. No one. This is not directed at you, but to everyone who has this mindset: You know nothing about engineering and design. The plasma screen on a laptop? What's involved in fabricating one? An LCD screen? Anyone? How about microwaves? Radar? Can you build a working radar? ID has this basic premise: living things not only look designed, they are designed. Human beings come in around 100 million behind nature at best, and probably closer to one billion behind on average. Try this: Build a gas powered engine that runs the moment the final component is in place. Put another way: replace a part on a gas engine while it's running.relatd
April 11, 2023
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For as long as humans have been designing and building, they have looked to natural structures and phenomenon to draw ideas from. Arches, buttresses, wing shapes, pumps, levers, etc. But rather than view this imitation for what it is, ID prefers to use human imitation of nature in their designs to claim that nature must be designed.Ford Prefect
April 10, 2023
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AF, with shrimp etc as models, why would this insect go through a body transformation to access a whole new realm of exceedingly complex motion, only to return to water with its eggs. What sort of incremental, uphill all the way path would solve the many interlocking problems in parallel and arrive at this sort of ornithopter. And, what sort of empirical, observational evidence backs such a hill climb story? KFkairosfocus
April 10, 2023
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"Makes you wonder what God is up to." AF, Don't it, though? Can't ask The Niche, can you. Shucks. Andrewasauber
April 10, 2023
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So, is Uncommon Descent back up and running? Where is Eric? Where Is Barry?Alan Fox
April 10, 2023
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...given arthropods that spend their entire lives in the water, why this complex flying phase for Dragonflies? Up to 5 – 7 years as nymphs, likely a few months as flying animals, returning to water to deposit eggs. Try Mayflies, Stoneflies etc too. Then ponder butterflies, with complete metamorphosis.
Makes you wonder what God is up to. Why dragonflies? Why dragonfly nymphs?Alan Fox
April 10, 2023
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Dr Wang's discussion of Dragonfly flight is interesting, as added. Notice, experiments of dropping inverted dragonflies and their righting themselves in 200 ms, i.e. rolling flight is also present in their flight capability, all with a brain weighing in at a few mg. KF PS, given arthropods that spend their entire lives in the water, why this complex flying phase for Dragonflies? Up to 5 - 7 years as nymphs, likely a few months as flying animals, returning to water to deposit eggs. Try Mayflies, Stoneflies etc too. Then ponder butterflies, with complete metamorphosis.kairosfocus
April 10, 2023
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An "ornithopter" is a primitive device where a rubber band provides temporary power to a design Darwinists cannot explain. The Dragonfly has complete control and knows how to hover and fly.relatd
April 10, 2023
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I rather like the rotorcraft they had in Avatar.Seversky
April 10, 2023
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Dragonfly Ornithopterskairosfocus
April 10, 2023
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