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This animal is built similar to a earth horse. The bone structure is more like a deer or gazelle then a horse. The artificial wings were made by the people in my fantasy world, and they're more like a parachute in terms of operating. The way it works so far is there's the parachute type thing bound to each flank of the horse/deer animal. The problem lies in how it opens and keeps the creature from going splat on the ground. I've come up with one or two methods I think might work.

1: The opening could be triggered possibly by inhaling and exhaling. The animal could be trained to hold it's breath a few seconds from takeoff, then exhale, resulting in the artificial "wings" to be triggered. It has a downside though. The animal could trigger it by breathing out at the wrong time, or by being startled and jumping.

2: The animal could depend on a rider to trigger it in time. This way, it isn't accidentally triggered by heavy breathing due to fear or surprise. But the rider could add weight which could hinder the flight.

Could any of these methods work efficiently for my flying horse? If not, alternate solutions would be appreciated. Please let me know if I need to add any extra info to allow for a proper answer.

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    $\begingroup$ To clarify - by "more like a parachute", do you mean they allow it to glide / descend more slowly, versus fly under their own power? $\endgroup$ – Punintended Jul 1 '20 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ Do the artificial wings look similar to this regmedia.co.uk/2014/06/05/pegasus.jpg?x=1200&y=794 -- or are they more parachute shaped? $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 1 '20 at 23:25
  • $\begingroup$ An interesting fact - the original piper Club airplane, empty, weighed about as much as a small horse - just under 800 pounds. Fully loaded, it weighed about as much as a large riding horse. That is a lot of wing span to put on a horse. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second Jul 2 '20 at 2:51
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They could be triggered by strong winds coming from below.

A horse like animal probably never has strong winds coming up from below, unless it is standing on a subway grate channeling Marilyn. But if this is a base diving horse counting on its artificial wings to slow its fall, you could use the fall itself and wind produced to open the wings.

Wind from below would push on fins under the folded winds, converting upward motion into lateral extension of the wings. The wings need continual air pressure from below to oppose their internal springs and stay open, and so stay open for the duration of the fall.

Once on the ground the wind stops and the wings snap shut.

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