Rise of the Dragon

2012 is the Year of the Dragon. The traditionally auspicious Zodiac sign has Prime Minister Lee fervently hoping for a bountiful harvest of babies. The fascination with dragons probably comes from their herculean look of power and strength. Let’s see some estimates of dragon power!

Technically, for a dragon flying over a speed of 0 to 160 km/h, it’s power requirements are about as follows:

Speed, km/h 0 16 32 48 64 80 96 112 128 144 160
Power, kW 38 36 29 23 19 17 17 19 22 27 33

If the dragon were to loiter near an area, e.g. around its prey, optimal loiter speed (least energy/time) is 88 km/h. Pretty much like a car on the PIE or ECP. Optimal travel speed (least energy/distance) is about 112 km/h. If the dragon were to dive towards its prey on the ground and reaches terminal velocity (where air resistance = weight), it would be moving at about 724 km/h, which is close to that of an SIA aircraft in the air.