Prof Roger Wotton, from University College London, found that flight would be impossible for angels portrayed with arms and bird-like feathered wings.
“Even a cursory examination of the evidence in representational arts shows that angels and cherubs cannot take off and cannot use powered flight,” said Prof Wotton. “And even if they used gliding flight, they would need to be exposed to very high wind velocities at take off – such high winds that they would be blown away and have no need for wings.
“Interestingly, the artist Giotto showed one angel with a rigid ‘mono-wing’ which could be an adaptation for gliding flight. But if they do just glide, how are the wings folded, unfolded and held rigid?”