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Drag can lift birds to new heights, researchers find

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November 25, 2019
Drag can lift birds to new heights, researchers find

by Stanford University 

https://techxplore.com/news/2019-11-birds-heights.html

Future aerial design may owe a nod of thanks to five parrotlets flapping around in an instrumented flight chamber at Stanford University. They revealed that counter to conventional understanding of how animals and planes fly, the birds can utilize drag to support their body weight during takeoff and employ lift as a brake in their landings.



 

"The things you learn in class are not always true," said David Lentink, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. New findings can alter the understanding of familiar concepts. In this case, he said, "We must revise our idea of the function of drag."

 

Conventional wisdom tells us that drag is a force that slows an object down and lift is a force that counters gravity, lifting a bird or airplane into flight. But measurements taken by graduate student Diana Chin, published Nov. 25 in Nature Communications, show that birds actually draw on drag to support up to half their body weight during takeoff, and that lift helps them brake during landing.

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14 hours ago, dnl42 said:

This diagram in particular clearly shows the above cited points.

 

That's a lot more informative than the original article (no offense meant southwestforests)

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24 minutes ago, habu2 said:

That's a lot more informative than the original article (no offense meant southwestforests)

None taken.
That article is linked to on the Stanford page.

I used the Stanford page because I wanted to include this line,

Quote

"The things you learn in class are not always true," said David Lentink, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. New findings can alter the understanding of familiar concepts. In this case, he said, "We must revise our idea of the function of drag."

 

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Nature is smarter than humans, and we ignore that at our own peril.....

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