by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 10, 2012
Albatrosses leverage the energy of the wind to fly with essentially no mechanical cost to themselves, very rarely flapping their wings, and new work published in the open access journal PLOS ONE offers insight into how exactly they accomplish this feat.
The researchers, led by Gottfried Sachs of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and Francesco Bonadonna of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), used advanced GPS tracking to determine that the energy gain during the albatross's "dynamic soaring" comes from a repeated oscillation consisting of a combined curve-altitude flight maneuver, with optimal adjustment for the wind.
The results may provide inspiration for robotic aircraft that utilize the flight technique of albatrosses for engineless propulsion, the authors write.
Sachs G, Traugott J, Nesterova AP, Dell'Omo G, Kummeth F, et al. (2012) Flying at No Mechanical Energy Cost: Disclosing the Secret of Wandering Albatrosses. PLOS ONE 7(9): e41449. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041449
Public Library of Science
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Chinese firm to entice Air France pilots to head to Asia
Paris (AFP) Sept 7, 2012
Air France pilots are to meet Monday with a Chinese company hoping to recruit them to Asia, union officials said, as the French airline tries to shed staff to regain competitiveness. Pilots from Air France and two subsidiaries are to attend the informational meeting organised by the French aviation association APNA, where they will be encouraged to volunteer for the contracts. The pilot ... read more
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