I need my jet-propelled squid to be an efficient glider, something similar to an albatross but he's built in the canard configuration like a real flying squid (below). Flying squid

  • His combined weight is 5 kg

  • He is jet propelled for launch and evasion only, folding his tentacle-wings forward in a reverse delta during jet-propelled flight.

How wide is his wingspan and what surface area is ideal for sustained gravity-powered flight with a 25:1 glide ratio?

Canard (A model canard glider)

Jet Squid (Jet propelled gliding squid)


1 Answer 1


It's going to be the size of an albatross, it falls a little short of a wandering albatross for weight, that's a really big bird. It's 10x the size of the existing flying squid.

There are tradeoffs in the ability to fly long distances, the biggest being that the squid are going to come out as not great swimmers due to the large wings which will be largely dead weight in the water. Birds of that size normally need a good solid run-up facing into a headwind to get into the air. Getting this beast up to a suitable speed with anything short of shoving a turbofan up its jacksie is unlikely to work.

In terms of readability of any story, the best answer is not to worry about it.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow your right, a 16 lb bird! He doesn’t have a turbofan, but he does have a pulse jet engine :) I’m hoping the wings can return to be functional as the oversized tentacles they are. That means making cartilage almost as rigid as albatross bones. Bother. $\endgroup$
    – Vogon Poet
    Nov 1, 2019 at 22:52

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