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I'm working on a race called the Veznir for a story, and as much as I'd like to day they're very fast flying humanoids, it's not very scientific. Only the females have wings, and they average about 6' in height. They have two sets of wings, a primary set attached near the shoulder blades for lift and propulsion, and a smaller secondary set further down their backs for aerial maneuvers.

My question is this: Assuming that lift is possible and flight can be achieved, what is the fastest speeds they could feasibly fly? Furthermore, how much could they carry? I'd also accept answers describing variables I could tweak in their physiology to enhance their flight capabilities.

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    $\begingroup$ This depends on whatever handwavium or altered gravity allows them to fly. $\endgroup$ – John May 2 '18 at 3:28
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    $\begingroup$ "Assuming that lift is possible and flight can be achieved" - sorry, but no, if you want physics answers, you have to describe physics of their flight. If you don't know how they fly, then look around on this site, questions about angels etc, and if nothing is similar to your setup, ask question how to make them fly with physics instead of handwavium. Only with that information physics question about speed and load will make sense. $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 2 '18 at 7:24
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How to make a flying human $\endgroup$ – Willk May 2 '18 at 13:29
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The fastest they could fly would probably be terminal velocity for that species/planet. I would look at examples from the biger birds we have. Bald eagles can have a six foot plus wingspan, so using their info as a starting point would allow you some scientific baseline.

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As is, I'm afraid your question is unanswerable. It would vary greatly on the gravityand conditions of the planet they are on. It would also depend heavily(pun) on how much they weighed.

For example, look at bird skeletons. They practicly have hollow bones. They weigh next to nothing. Still, they tend to have an enormous wingspan compared to their body length. For a 6ft tall person, even with bird bones, that is an enormous wingspan. If they have close to human skeletons, you'd probably be better off just making it based on magic instead of physics.

Do the males have the same skeletal structure and no wings at all? How does a species like that evolve to have such differences.

Here is a quote about Vultures from (https://www.birdsofafeather.ca/about-bird-species)

"Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) are the heaviest species of bird of prey. Males weigh 20-27 pounds and have a wingspan of at least 10 feet. A male California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) preserved in the California Academy of Sciences is reported to weigh 31 pounds. It is rare for the species to exceed 23 pounds in weight.

I would suggest taking a look at similar sites to have an estimate on what you want this species to be able to do. Good luck!

Edited sidenote: If you were looking at having them be fast-flying, take a look at insects. Insects also tend to have more of a difference between males and females as well.

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    $\begingroup$ If you think question is unanswerable, then, by definition, what you write is not an answer. Flagged as such. $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 2 '18 at 7:25
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The answer lies within Sympathetic Vibratory Physics. The physics of Tesla, Shauburger and Keely. Also checkout audible levitation and scarab wing design. Top speed? well I personally have ridden a motorcycle in excess of 100 mph. According to modern flight engineers neither the bumblebee nor the hummingbird can fly. I have personally witnessed hummingbirds fly faster than the eye can follow, probably not as fast as the "humming" noise that they make though it might be an harmonic?

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding.SE! When you have a moment, please take our tour and visit our help center to learn more about us. Please understand that this is not an answer, but a comment. It only takes a few rep points to leave comments and they're easy to obtain. An actual answer would have described how to use "sympathetic vibratory physics" to explain winged human flight and to establish believable estimated speed and load capabilities. $\endgroup$ – JBH May 2 '18 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ Please add exposition and links explaining Sympathetic Vibratory Physics. Otherwise, this is a pretty incomplete answer. $\endgroup$ – kingledion May 2 '18 at 23:45
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    $\begingroup$ "According to modern flight engineers neither the bumblebee nor the hummingbird can fly": citation needed. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 3 '18 at 0:37
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Well, it isn't impossible in a scientific sense, for your humans to fly. An example of something that heavy flying is the Quetzalcoatlus northropi, so it isn't impossible for them fly. Quetzalcoatlus is speculated to have reached speeds up to 80 mph, but it was a lot more aerodynamic than a human is.

That means that if you want you humans to get up to anything close to this you need to take some advice from the seal and get a more streamlined shape. No ears, no chin, larger upper jaw, and rounder shape to let air pass around faster increasing your speed. Maybe with these adaptations, you could go at about 60 mph.

As for carrying capacity: Argentavis magnificens was said to be able to pick up prey and eat it whole, so I would say your carrying capacity is a good llama corpse or two (basically carry nothing more than half your weight and you will be okay for short flights).

Also since they got four wings you may wanna take some inspiration from Changyuraptor yangi.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how it answers actual question, about speed and carrying capacity. $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 2 '18 at 8:06
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    $\begingroup$ This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica May 2 '18 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch hope that fixes it $\endgroup$ – Amoeba May 3 '18 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ When that flew it had two things going for it that it wouldn't have now, the atmosphere was thicker & the oxygen content was higher, that changes all the math. It was probably approaching the limits of the possible even with those benefits so I'd be surprised if it could carry as much as you suggest. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore May 3 '18 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Pelinore your forgetting my other giant flyer, Argentavis,which lived during the Miocene a more recent and atmospherically similar time period $\endgroup$ – Amoeba May 3 '18 at 3:18
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How much they can carry depends on their strength and wingspan. Flight speed would probably be averaged at 20 mph with no wind, but if they can achieve a dive they could probably go up to 50 mph, but would have difficulty navigating.

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  • $\begingroup$ by this I meant that at its fastest speed it has difficulty navigating $\endgroup$ – ALEXZANDER NORONHA-HYDE - STUD May 3 '18 at 15:32

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