Date: March 27, 2017
Source: Office of Naval Research
Resembling a feathered flying ace with his miniature protective goggles and chinstrap, the parrotlet named Obie stood ready to take off. On signal, Obie propelled into the air, flapped through a laser field infused with microparticles and landed on another perch three feet away.
The journey only lasted three seconds, but it challenged the accuracy of three aerodynamics models long used to predict animal flight. It also might impact future designs of bio-inspired drones, robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a topic of interest to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), researchers at Stanford University found a new way to precisely measure the vortices -- circular patterns of rotating air -- created by birds' wings during flight. The results shed greater light on how these creatures produce enough lift to fly.
As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.