#2450: BugsLift

Who would have thought that insects could affect the economics of air travel. I’m still not really convinced by this article.

It did, however, inspire today’s invention.

Stephanie Joy Rosalia 5498771883_288acb20ec_z

Imagine coating a light aircraft in a form of lightweight, spray-on glue.

If you then fly through dense clouds of insects, a proportion of them will end up trapped by the adhesive but in an orientation which still allows them to flap their wings.

Let’s assume that insects have a mass of 0.1g and can exert a maximum upwards force equal to twice their bodyweight.

This means that a 5000kg aircraft would need about 26 million such insects to provide enough lift to allow it to hover.

Even if that is unattainable outside a locust swarm, insects could still provide a substantial proportion of the lift required to sustain an aircraft in flight, thus increasing fuel economy (albeit in a stupidly cruel way).