Hummingbird Aerodynamics of Flight
Hummingbird Aerodynamics of Flight
Watch a Hummingbird in motion with eagle eyes because they will be gone before you know it. The design of their
wings is very different from that of other types of birds. That is why they can move their wings so many times per
second. It is also why they are able to fly straight, in reverse, upwards, downwards, and even upside down. All of
this is really fascinating to the experts which is why they have done extensive research about their aerodynamic
We have more data today than ever before about Hummingbird aerodynamics. This is due to the fact that that there
is special equipment now that can help to capture all of the details that go into their effortless movements. Then
that information can be slowed down and viewed in segments to see the overall patterns of movement for the
Hummingbird. The phenomenal movements of these birds is tremendous to look at normally. However, you will find a
whole new appreciation for their anatomy once you see things in slowed down film segments.
What has been proven is that Hummingbird has the ability to simply hover for very long periods of time. It is
believed this is to help make up for weak legs. They aren’t able to stand on their legs for long periods of time or
to walk around on them like other species of birds can. Don’t let their small size fool you though as their wings
are very strong and very well designed. They are able to compensate for the wind and other elements too that can
create issues for smaller birds in flight.
What has been identified is that their aerodynamics is unbalanced when you compare it to other birds. For
example other birds have half of their weight supported when their wings move up and then the other half supported
when they move down. For the Hummingbird though they support ¾ of their body weight with an upward motion and only
¼ of it with the downward motion.
What is puzzling though is that experts would think such movements would make the Hummingbird look awkward and
make moving difficult for them. That would be the hypothesis but when you see the evidence of how they move that is
certainly discredited. The phenomenal value of that is what really impresses those that have carefully studied the
movements of these birds.
Before such testing was completed experts knew that the Hummingbird had a different set up than other birds.
However, they often thought that they simply had more of a flight design like insects than like birds. The evidence
that has been found though indicates that their movements is very unique to them and them alone. They don’t
replicate other birds or the movements of various types of insects.
If you get the chance to check out the various results from Hummingbird aerodynamics you should do so. There are
several great videos online that show things in slower than normal speed. This allows you to be able to see all of
the smaller movements that are too fast for the human eye to pick up on when you see a Hummingbird moving in real
It may interest you to learn that the Hummingbird movements in terms of the aerodynamics of flight have also
been influential in the modern designs of helicopters. After the studies were completed about how these small birds
move with such ease and precision that same type of thinking was then applied to the materials used and allocated
for an effective type of helicopter that is safe, that is very mobile, and that has faster speed.