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Birds Of Prey In Flight

by John M. White |

Red Kite in flight demonstrating the proper use of winglets As pilots we can learn a lot from watching birds of prey in flight. The beautiful birds have mastered what man has long wanted to master, the ability to completely control their bodies while in flight. I am fascinated by how birds fly, and by watching them we can not only learn about aerodynamics and the effect of control surfaces (wings and feathers for you novices). One wonders how much we could learn if we could get one of these magnificent birds to spend some time in a wind tunnel. Recently I wrote a post about a hawk in flight which included a video showing exactly how a hawk can maneuver through incredibly small spaces. That got me even more curious about birds of prey in flight and how they wheel and turn in the sky. My search led me to this wonderful video called "Birds of Prey Photography - Red Kites"; the photography is incredible but more importantly the still shots give us a chance to study exactly how the bird uses its wings and tail to control flight. In particular watch how this Red Kite configures its tail for the different modes of flight. At 2:06 in the video the Red Kit is in a dive and shows the incredible control the bird has. The following video shows an Eagle, an owl and a buzzard in motion; compare with the still shots in the first video and note the various configurations, in particular look at the way the birds use their tail feathers for landing. Enjoy these photographs and the video of birds of prey in flight! In the meantime keep your wings straight and level Hersch! Please share "Birds Of Prey In Flight" with your friends using the buttons below. Thanks!           Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7+ ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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