‘Faster Than Fighter Jets’ Masterpiece


A diving hummingbird flies faster than a fighter jet in terms of body lengths per second. Christopher Clark, a researcher from the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A., filmed a diving male Anna’s hummingbird performing a courtship rituals during its breeding season and calculated that when plunging to impress females, the feathered acrobats reached speeds of almost 400 body lengths per second.

When a female flies onto a male’s territory, he rises up approximately 30 metres (98 ft) before diving over the recipient.

As he approaches the bottom of the dive the males reach an average speed of 27 m/s, which is 385 body lengths per second. Such a speed is comparatively greater than that of a F-22 Raptor U.S. fighter jet flying at  full throttle. When pulling up at the end of its dive, the bird is subject to a force ten times the pull of gravity – more than fighter jet pilots can stand without losing consciousness.

Anna’s Hummingbird is a medium-sized hummingbird and is only 3.9 to 4.3 inches (10 to 11 centimeters) in length. But it’s miniature size doesn’t prevent it from proving something big in terms of agility, speed and strength compared to the most sophisticated, most powerful, and most advanced aerial war machine in the U.S. Air Force history.

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