FLAP­PING SIM­PLE – BUT IT COM­BINES SEV­ERAL PRO­CESSES AT ONCE. THE DE­TAILS ARE COM­PLEX FOR US TO UNDERSTAND.

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Science Of Flight -

the outer wing mov­ing up and down more than the in­ner wing, the pri­mary feath­ers also twist down­wards slightly on the down­stroke. Kings of con­tin­u­ous flap­ping, golden plovers have rel­a­tively flat wings that sac­ri­fice some lift (the aero­foil ef­fect is re­duced) but have the equal and op­po­site ef­fect of re­duc­ing drag by fric­tion.

Golden plover wings are also com­par­a­tively nar­row from front to back, lim­it­ing drag in the same way as al­ba­tross wings, and they are pointed at the ends and swept back, both of which limit air tur­bu­lence. A pointed wing guides the air to­wards the tip, lim­it­ing the tur­bu­lence im­me­di­ately be­hind the bird. In many re­spects, a golden plover has a sim­i­lar wing shape to a swal­low.

De­cem­ber 2015

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