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Moreover, what is often necessary in practice is for the forward stroke of the reciprocating motion to be slow and controlled because of the need for the mechanism to do work during this stroke. On the return stroke no work is done, and therefore it is desirable that it be completed as quickly as is possible. Thus the reciprocating motion is necessarily asymmetric. A suitable mechanism to meet these requirements is the crank and slotted lever quick-return mechanism. In this mechanism, instead of the connecting rod being driven directly by the crank pin, it is attached to one end of a slotted link, which in turn is driven by the crank.

Many fish use optimally spaced riblets to reduce drag. 2. Form drag is due to the hydrodynamic pressures that develop when the water is pushed aside by the fish’s motion. It is caused by the distortion of flow around bodies and depends on their bulk and shape. 3. Vortex or induced drag is due to energy dissipated in the vortices formed by the fins as they generate lift or thrust. Induced drag depends largely on the shape of these fins and their ability to generate lift. The latter two components are jointly known as pressure drag.

It follows that the aerofoil operates so the potential-flow component of the total lift coefficient is almost constant irrespective of the speed of flight. Thus it is possible for a bird to operate at an optimal angle of attack without suffering from the adverse effects of flow separation. 3 Imitating Animals 35 A bird is aware by virtue of its associative memory at what angle of attack it should fly in order to generate a particular magnitude of lift. Thus it operates at a prescribed angle of attack, and any additional lift it may require is generated by controlling the vortex-flow component of the lift.

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