Friday, October 21, 2011

Estimating the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow

From our friends at 13pt comes this impressive looking analysis.

The conclusion?
Although a definitive answer would of course require further measurements, published species-wide averages of wing length and body mass, initial Strouhal estimates based on those averages and cross-species comparisons, the Lund wind tunnel study of birds flying at a range of speeds, and revised Strouhal numbers based on that study all lead me to estimate that the average cruising airspeed velocity of an unladen European Swallow is roughly 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour.


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