Fly, little birdie

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KraytKing
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Fly, little birdie

Post by KraytKing » 2018-05-29 01:29pm

A benevolent deity of your choice decides one day to gift you with flight. You can choose the method:

1) Feathered wings
2) Scaled wings
3) Bug wings

Whichever you take, you have the same basic characteristics. You can fly, if you get a running start. The wings sprout out of your back, just between and below your shoulder blades. They're strong enough to lift you and any weight you could carry comfortably at a jog. Your lungs and heart have been strengthened to allow breathing at higher speeds and altitudes.

Each grants you a specific boon.

1) Feathered wings grant you additional speed.
2) Scaled wings grant you additional strength. Also, they have claws at the ends. Vestigial, but super cool looking.
3) Bug wings grant you VTOL and hover capability.

Which do you choose, and what do you do?
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U.P. Cinnabar
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-29 01:42pm

Feathered wing, so I can visit my buddy Voltan on Mongo.
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Broomstick » 2018-05-29 02:56pm

Wow, tough choice -

I have ENOUGH feathers to clean up in this house courtesy of my parrots, and I'm not a speed demon so no on those.

Scaled wings for more strength? Strength is good.

Bug wings for hovering? Hovering. Wow, hovering is cool. And useful. I wouldn't need a ladder for a lot of things anymore (tight interior spaces, no room for wings, but outside? No problem).

Think I might opt for hovering.
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LadyTevar
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-05-29 08:47pm

You say vestigial claws on the scaled wings? Are we talking strong enough to hook onto someting and hold your weight, or just "it looks cool" kinda claws? Are they maunually dextrous in any way?
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by KraytKing » 2018-05-29 09:21pm

Not dextrous, but could be used to support your weight, if also supported by your arms and legs holding on. Probably just enough to make you a great freeclimber.
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The Old Testament has as much validity for the foundation of a religion as the pattern my recent case of insect bites formed on my ass.
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Ralin » 2018-05-29 09:22pm

Define what 'additional strength' means a little more. Does additional speed and strength only apply to flying or in general?

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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by KraytKing » 2018-05-29 09:27pm

Both apply only to flight. I don't now enough about bird speeds and sizes to give a specific number for how much, but let's say both increase stated feature by 50%. If anyone wants to figure out what a reasonable top speed for level human flight would be, you're welcome to it.
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The Old Testament has as much validity for the foundation of a religion as the pattern my recent case of insect bites formed on my ass.
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Esquire
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Esquire » 2018-05-29 11:18pm

Bug, I think. Hovering is just too stupidly useful. Also, runways are for chumps.
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Dass.Kapital » 2018-05-30 05:22am

Bug wings!

Because now I know Lady Destiny is calling me and I should begin to scour the world for my very own 'Tick'!

:D
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Khaat » 2018-05-30 10:13am

Feathered wings. Raven-black feathered wings.
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-30 10:21am

And win best costume.

And, best Brandon Lee impersonation, :D
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-05-30 10:31am

Feathered. Speed is more useful if I start flying as part of my day to day activities.

Plus they seem like they would be more comfortable in the cold weather.

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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Jub » 2018-05-30 01:49pm

Insect seems good until you realize they're the only type that can't glide. So that leaves my out of shape self looking at the other options.

Feathers for more speed would be nice, but I think you could get equal speed with scaled wings if you set yourself up for a dive. I'd also guess that added strength would aid in your time to altitude as much as feathered speed would. You also get a better payload out of the deal which makes shopping trips or courier more practical on the wing.

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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-05-30 08:52pm

Scaled. Then I can lock the claws across my chest a'la Gargoyles.
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The Romulan Republic
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-30 08:58pm

Bug wings are tempting, for the hovering, but I'll probably go for scales, because they're more durable and I'm paranoid.
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by GuppyShark » 2018-05-31 01:27am

Feathered, because the other options would repulse people.

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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-31 03:10am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-30 08:58pm
Bug wings are tempting, for the hovering, but I'll probably go for scales, because they're more durable and I'm paranoid.
Then you should go for feathered - they will grow back if damaged, only the limb part of it is vulnerable to permanent damage.
Both other types, you could fix chirurgically, or with duct tape, though
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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Starglider » 2018-05-31 06:05am

While feathered wings can support higher flight speeds, the biggest advantage is substantially increased aerodynamic efficiency in powered, gliding and soaring flight. Range will be significantly higher than bat wings and an order of magnitude higher than insect wings. A second major advantage is that feathers are much more damage resistant (a bat will get a painful tear from a branch strike that would just require preening for a bird) and can be regrown sequentially (unlike insect wings where the whole wing has to be shed and regrown, time consuming for something of humanoid size). Finally with insect wings there is the issue is that if you get muscle cramp, or hit anything and break a wing, you will fall, crash and unlike a tiny insect, hit the ground hard enough to result in serious injury or death. Note that by 'scaled wings' you necessarily mean tiny scales that can resist thorns but not anything more substantial, because anything heavier will be impose so much inertia that flapping flight will be ridiculously exhausting.

So basically feathered wings if you want to fly to places instead of taking a car, insect wings if you hate ladders. Membranous wings are essentially a lower performance but hypoallegenic version of feathered wings, but if you don't plan to fly that much the strength increase might be attractive.

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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by Starglider » 2018-05-31 07:30am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-05-29 02:56pm
I have ENOUGH feathers to clean up in this house courtesy of my parrots, and I'm not a speed demon so no on those.
I would note that most of the feathers (by number not mass) on birds are contour and down feathers, not flight feathers. Down feathers also produce the majority of the dust which causes allergic reactions, although some comes from the wings. Human sized wings will shed a smaller number of much larger feathers.

Scaled wings on the other hand are going to shed lots of scales. If we're being even vaugely realistic they can't be larger than sequins, as they're dead mass that doesn't add tensile strength, and more realistically even smaller like fish scales. That is at least hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of scales, that will either be peeled off in bulk as regular epidermis shedding or flake off individually, primarily when the wings are folded or unfolded.

Biomechanically, winged humanoids are not technically impossible, but can't look like humans using conventional biology. Really keen genetic engineering and/or nanotechnology using theoretical nanostructured materials might be able to do it, although of course the areodynamics are inherently awful compared to something bird shaped.

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Re: Fly, little birdie

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-05-31 10:01am

From my point of view, I'm not convinced there's much of a space for exercise flight between walking distance, cycling distance, and inter-city train.
I'm not sure I'd want to try flying across the Severn Estury, speed or strength boost not withstanding.

So for me, the hover is amazing. I'm going full beetle.
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