I am putting together a paper for PNAS with three coauthors on flight dynamics in Microraptor gui. One thing that is becoming increasingly apparent as I combine my various calculations is that Microraptor was probably pretty darn good in the air, overall. It is not known if it had powered flight ability, but even if Microraptor was an unpowered gliding animal, it has an awful sophisticated set of control surfaces (including some that you don't see in modern birds). This was a highly maneuverable little beast.
I will be posting more about Microraptor and other paravians once our paper is out (assuming that all goes well in review). I may also be giving a talk on the subject at SVP, and Justin Hall (who is also on the paper in question) has recently given some talks on the subject at conferences on the West Coast.
I know that this blog is quite new, and readership is obviously still limited (though growing!), but I would like hear what your most pressing questions are regarding early avian (and near-avian) flight. I am hoping to do a relatively sophisticated series on the topic here once the semester wraps up and my teaching obligations are complete for the summer.