Paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee (Sankar Chatterjee) from Texas Tech University (Texas Tech University) and aeronautical engineer Joey Templin (Joe Templin) of the Canadian National aerodynamic laboratory (Canadian National Aerodynamics Laboratory) carried out a detailed study of the flight of pterosaurs — genuine "dragons" of the Mesozoic era.
In this work the first time scientists have tried to carefully connect all known about the anatomy of flying reptiles with the latest computer models of flow around a wing.
As a result, the researchers concluded that the ancient reptiles have much to teach aircraft designers.
It turned out that these giant "dragons" (wingspan of some of them more than 10 meters) were capable of long-flapping flight with an active set of height and a maximum speed of 15 meters per second.
The authors' work at odds with the popular view that flying reptiles could only be planned.
Pterosaurs could greatly change the shape of the wings during flight, dismissing the fourth finger, which in these animals was attached end-wing membrane.
Also, they can greatly change the curvature of the wing, thanks to a set of long muscle fibers and tendons, formed the "frame" bearing surface.
But the main wing pterosaur was sensitive touch body allows lizard sense air pressure distribution across the surface, the failure of the air flow and so on. You have to use special channels of the inner ear lizard.
So that pterosaurs were the living embodiment of the idea of "morphing aircraft," which is only now cautious aircraft engineer.
Remember, this concept — a radical development with variable sweep wing, providing great possibilities of transformation of the wing in the air and active aerodynamics of the car to adapt to the conditions of the flight.