Twisting, Turning and Nailing the Landing

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We like to think that our mastery of aerobatics is second to none, but aircraft only achieve a small part of the birds’ ability to hover, swoop, and perch on a target at zero forward airspeed.  Researchers in Switzerland and England, though, are making progress toward deeper emulation of nature’s masters of flight. Our Fine Feathered Drone Dano Floreano and his team of researchers at  Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne’s (EPFL) Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, obviously spent lots of time observing birds in flight, noting that our avian friends alter their wing configuration to “change direction, increase their speed or counter headwinds.”  Changing wing shape helps birds make near-instantaneous maneuvers. Floreano, attempting to mimic the birds’ movements, helped develop …