In this chapter we will look mainly at creatures that fly by gliding. Typical of such creatures are large land and sea birds, flying squirrels, flying fish, and flying squid. Flying seeds also disperse in this manner. In gliding flight, the gravity force and the aerodynamic force are major factors. Extreme structural economy is needed to minimize the effects of gravity, especially in a large flying animal. Flight modes and performances in relation to body weight and configuration, environmental conditions and way of life are discussed. Optimal flight will also be described, as well as the auto-rotational flight of the samara, or winged fruit of some hardwood species.


Drag Coefficient Lift Coefficient Wing Area Wing Loading Flight Mode 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Azuma
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TokyoSaiwai-ku, Kawasaki 210Japan

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