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Old 10-18-2012, 08:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Air Force to immitate geese.

Someone finally realized what a birdbrain figured out long ago. Use the slipstream to reduce drag.

U.S. Air Force goes vortex surfing to cut fuel consumption

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Old 10-18-2012, 11:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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...called "echelon" formation flying.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, we humans aren't really the sharpest knives in the drawer. It took us over a 100 years of flight to mimic what God's done with birds for millennia...
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECONORAM View Post
Well, we humans aren't really the sharpest knives in the drawer. It took us over a 100 years of flight to mimic what God's done with birds for millennia...
Yeah it took us 100 years while God was whittling away for millions of years.
Aren't we slow!

And yet birds still can't master the stick shift.

I thought some wing designs were supposed to mitigate those vortexes. For instance, Airbuses' upturned wing tips.

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Old 11-01-2012, 10:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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An especially interesting read for me.

i work at Pratt & Whitney, the designer and builder of the F117 engines that power the C-17 Globemaster III transport. My daily work is in support of that fleet of engines. Very neat to see my work and my other interest intersect here.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
Yeah it took us 100 years while God was whittling away for millions of years.
Aren't we slow!

And yet birds still can't master the stick shift.

I thought some wing designs were supposed to mitigate those vortexes. For instance, Airbuses' upturned wing tips.

I think you mis-read my post. God did it in milliseconds; He has been doing it for millenia...

True; ain't seen a bird stick shift yet...
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I think you mis-read my post. God did it in milliseconds; He has been doing it for millenia...

True; ain't seen a bird stick shift yet...
The first birds showed up more than "millenia" ago. I'm not gonna argue the "god" point with you because such a discussion has no place here, but flighted animals have been around much longer than you suggest, and took quite a long time to evolve.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Seems like they did it in WWII

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Its called the "finger four" formation (the leftmost group in the photo above). The Germans developed it, not for fuel economy, but rather so the fighter pilots could fly in a group while spending time scanning for the enemy rather than having to concentrate on maintaining a close formation while avoiding running into the aircraft in front of them.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Q: When geese fly in V-formation, why is one side of the vee longer?

A: Because there's more geese on that side.

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