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Where would you put the saddle? On the neck or on the hip?

Thanks for the answers and comments.

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    $\begingroup$ The correct spot would be on top of the natural center of gravity. Otherwise you will shift the center of gravity and flying will become almost impossible since the mount will have to constantly correct its balance. But like @randal'thor implies we have no idea where the CoG of these species is. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Nov 14 '15 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, the Griffon or Drake can help you out. It will carry a person in their talons, slung underneath....You might not enjoy the ride, however. $\endgroup$ – Thucydides Nov 15 '15 at 2:50
  • $\begingroup$ Kangaroo's pouch or pelican's throat pouch, be warned the latter is very uncomfortable unluckily I'm older a bit. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Nov 15 '15 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ @VilleNiemi -- most aircraft in the air are configured so that their CG is somewhat offset from their CL -- as long as the CG isn't moving all over the place mid-flight, it's no big deal for the pilots or the plane. Or is the problem that griffins and drakes apparently never evolved horizontal tails, unlike birds and metal flying machines? $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Nov 16 '15 at 5:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Shalvenay The problem is that "the beast" evolved to balance itself and maybe prey carried below and permanently having added mass it can't control would require continous extra compensation on top of that, meaning continuos extra work. Closer you match the existing CoG less the extra work. The CoG probably would be somewhat offset to make control easier, but now that you mention it, the lack of tails probably would require it to be quite close to center of lift. Maybe in flight the whole body kind of hangs below the wings? $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Nov 16 '15 at 10:32

The prime spot would be between the wings with the legs draped over and in front of the wings, straddling the neck.

  • By sitting between the wings, the rider is at the center of propulsion, which is important. This is where lift affects the body of the animal and creates a natural center for the animal to pivot from that lift. By being here, the rider will create less of an impact on the animal.
  • By placing the legs of the rider hooked in front of the wings, this creates a natural place to hold on to so the rider will be less likely to slip off. It also better centers the rider between the wings.

I'd use a "flat harness", i.e. the animal wears a harness that holds the rider lying flat on the animal's back. This would minimise air resistance and lower the rider's centre of gravity, which would make it easier on the griffin or drake, and make the rider much harder to knock off.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Solid thinking. If the animal is large enough to carry human while flying, a harness hanging under the belly might also work and cause even less extra drag (because of legs already breaking airflow) and instability (because hanging from fixed attachment points). $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Nov 14 '15 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ The pilot would very poor visibility with his or her head so close to the animal's body, however. $\endgroup$ – user243 Nov 15 '15 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @JonofAllTrades -- I'd be less concerned about visibility at that point -- at most, you are a permanent Pilot Monitoring with the big fella as permanent Pilot Flying. $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Nov 16 '15 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ One advantage of a flat harness, btw, is that it'd give the rider much better G-force tolerances -- although I'm not at all sure how many Gs your griffins and drakes can pull! $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Nov 16 '15 at 5:01

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