quote: One significant difference in the findings between birds and butterflies was that birds use feathering to achieve lift. Since butterflies fly without feathers and their fore wings partially overlap their hind wings, they instead use flapping to achieve lift.
quote: their wing and body structure is mostly rigid
quote: Butterflies, like all other insects, must flap their wings or they will simply fall out of the sky. This flapping pushes them forward, but more importantly, it also pushes them UPWARD against the force of gravity and allows them to achieve flight.
quote: You can create lift with a flat wing as well. By changing the angle of attack you can change the amount of positive/negative lift generated.
quote: Insects don't fly like a paper airplane, they fly through mechanically flapping their wings to push themselves upward and forward. This is why the only insects that can hover, are those that have a set of 4 wings that flap in matched pairs. In which case they are pushing down and forward as well as down and backwards rapidly in order to achieve stationary flight.
quote: This is also why the majority of flighted insects must beat their wings on the order of 600 times per second (upwards of 1000 times per second in some species)
quote: This is why it appears that butterflies and moths appear to fly erratically because they are essentially pushing themselves through the air in fits and starts. Without the wing beats, they simply fall (or in the butterflies case, flutter) out of the sky.
quote: we could see swarms of kamikaze Mothras over Hawaii.