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Aeronautics


Happy the Barn Owl on 'flight trials'



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Happy the Barn Owl on 'flight trials'
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The flight of birds is still largely unexplored; in particular, the movements performed during the beat of a wing and the airflow around the wing remain a puzzle to scientists. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen) and the German Armed Forces University in Munich (Universität der Bundeswehr München) is addressing this question. Starting on 26 April 2011, the scientists will be photographing the wings of an owl while in flight inside a closed room at RTWH Aachen University to obtain information about the how the shape of the bird’s wing changes during flight. This calls for basic research. Since the launch of the project in 2008, the team of scientists has succeeded in studying owl wings during gliding flight; the forthcoming measurements will be focussing on the wing beat phase.
Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)