# Does a fly get brought up to speed with a bus?

Consider a scenario where a bus is moving at a constant speed and a fly enters through a window,the fly is also flying at a constant speed.

Since the bus is not in contact with the fly and neither is the fly in contact with the bus,will the fly have the same speed as the bus as it enters the window or will it change? If it is the same, will the fly hit the rear window of the bus because the bus is moving faster than the fly?

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For small insects such as flies, air is a relatively thick and viscous fluid. The air in the bus is, on average, moving at the same speed as the bus and is likely to accelerate the fly to the speed of the bus before the rear window of the bus can reach the fly. – RedGrittyBrick Feb 22 '13 at 19:54
so do you mean the fly will have the same speed as the air in the bus and so it will never make any contact with the rear? – sin Feb 22 '13 at 20:02
not exactly, if we are measuring speed with respect to an observer standing still outside the bus, the observer sees the fly moving slowly adjacent to the path of the bus, as the fly is sucked in by airflow through a side window, the fly is accelerated to the speed of the bus (assuming it misses the edge of the window frame). It may later choose to land on any window (so you can't say it will never choose to make contact with any specific window). – RedGrittyBrick Feb 22 '13 at 20:06
awesome..thanks after 4 years i got my question answered – sin Feb 22 '13 at 20:08
In that case I'll put it as an answer. – RedGrittyBrick Feb 22 '13 at 20:09

## 1 Answer

For small insects such as flies, air is a relatively thick and viscous fluid*. The air in the bus is, on average, moving at the same speed as the bus and is likely to accelerate the fly to the speed of the bus before the rear window of the bus can reach the fly

If we are measuring speed with respect to an observer standing still outside the bus, the observer sees the fly moving slowly (1-2 m/s) adjacent to the path of the approaching bus, as the fly is sucked in by airflow through a side window, assuming it misses the edge of the window frame, the fly is accelerated to the speed of the bus (10-20 m/s). It may later choose to land on any window (so you can't say it will never choose to make contact with any specific window)

* It's more accurate to say the viscosity of air becomes a dominant factor in the flight of flies, much more so than for the flight of pigeons or planes.

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