From many millennia humans have looked to birds soaring in the sky and had dreams of flying.
In the past 115 years, humankind has gotten pretty good at the whole powered flight thing. However, there is still plenty of knowledge we can draw from the natural world to help us fly more efficiently.
The Conversation reports that researchers based in California and Italy have sought to better understand the way soaring birds (such as albatross, hawks or eagles) find and navigate thermal updrafts to soar.
Thermals can form and dissipate at short intervals. If you’ve ever observed soaring birds fly, you’ll notice they don’t constantly flap their wings to stay aloft. Rather, they keep their wings outstretched and intuitively navigate wind currents and thermal updrafts, meaning they can stay flying for long periods while expending very little energy.
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