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(The Register)   DARPA finally figures out what the rest of us have known all along. Geese don't fly in 'V' formation just because it looks cool   (theregister.co.uk) divider line
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5197 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 May 2009 at 4:47 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



32 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2009-05-19 4:21:07 PM  
 
2009-05-19 4:53:28 PM  
No...But these guys do.

[image from upload.wikimedia.org too old to be available]
 
2009-05-19 4:54:49 PM  
Who cares? We just have to build better planes so we DON'T have to. A V might have science behind it, but a sphere of 10,000 planes is way cooler.
 
2009-05-19 4:56:26 PM  
Hasn't this been known for like...years?
 
2009-05-19 4:57:57 PM  
Love the caption.
 
2009-05-19 5:02:40 PM  
Actually sub-tard, DARPA did quantitative testing with fighter jets to determine the actual efficiency gains by flying in a close V formation. Did "the rest of us" know the specific gains "all along" before they tested and measured the effect?

Oh, I forgot. Willful ignorance is cool. Ahem. Durrr dem dumb sientests ar moarans fer tryin ta be all intiligint.
 
2009-05-19 5:05:48 PM  
You know why one side of the V formation is always longer?

There are more ducks on that side.
 
2009-05-19 5:06:20 PM  
And ya know? When you see geese flying in a V like that, one arm of the V is always longer than the other? Ya know what that is? Cause there are more geese in the longer arm.
Aren't you sad you read this.
 
2009-05-19 5:20:52 PM  
Drafting doesn't work in a tie fighter.

/Just saying.
 
2009-05-19 5:25:37 PM  
Drafting, It is not just for NASCAR anymore!!


A diehard NASCAR fan!!
 
2009-05-19 5:27:20 PM  

Maturin: And ya know? When you see geese flying in a V like that, one arm of the V is always longer than the other? Ya know what that is? Cause there are more geese in the longer arm.
Aren't you sad you read this.


sigh..
 
2009-05-19 5:29:22 PM  
It saves energy. Every bird flies a bit above the bird in front of it, cutting wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, moving to the back when they get tired.
It is also easier to keep track of every bird
Here comes the science from somewhere on the www
The vortices (spiralling air currents) that form at the tips of a bird's wings create an upwash on either side that gives the following bird a significant lift. This means the trailing bird can fly at a reduced "angle of attack", using less energy to stay aloft and more in moving forwards. Oddly, the way the currents of air work also means that the birds in front get a slight advantage from having another one behind, so that the worst places to be are the front and ends of the "V", which is why birds regularly swap positions. Researchers have found that a "V" of 25 birds can go as much as 70 per cent further before tiring than those not flying in formation.
 
2009-05-19 5:33:04 PM  
guidesarchive.ign.comView Full Size


Hi, I'm epic DARPA guy. I'm about to weaponize this thread.
 
2009-05-19 5:44:53 PM  

Maturin: And ya know? When you see geese flying in a V like that, one arm of the V is always longer than the other? Ya know what that is? Cause there are more geese in the longer arm.
Aren't you sad you read this.


Sad I read it? No. Sad I read it twice? Yes.
 
2009-05-19 5:57:29 PM  
Do you know why more geese are in one side? Because that side is longer.
 
2009-05-19 6:03:50 PM  
Lessons Learned From Geese

1. As each goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the birds that follow. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 72% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of another.

2. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give out help to others.

3. When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns going the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, and resources.

4. The geese flying formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

5. When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Lesson: If we had as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

6. Geese fly South for the winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Lesson: It is a reminder to take a break from the cold of winter and take a vacation to some place warm & sunny to rejuvenate ourselves.

*7. The larger flocks of geese usually inhabit areas where geese eating for humans is more popular or in demand, and where there are smaller flocks of geese flying, there is usually smaller demand for geese, to be used for human food.

* This fact according to the Oklahoma State University Board of Regents study on geese.

Lesson: Larger flocks of humans together may not always be as effective as smaller flocks who are able to maneuver much more quickly in life and business without being eaten up by the competition... So to speak.

Lesson #2: The smart geese know to not fly with the big herds, and create their own niche flying circle or game.

/Can't believe I'm the first in with this.
//This is as old as the hills... Have forgotten original authors's name.
 
2009-05-19 6:08:39 PM  

JollyMagistrate: Drafting doesn't work in a tie fighter.

/Just saying.


I always assumed they were doing that for cover, as the front fighter's shields would cover the ones behind and they'd present overall a smaller target to prevent lucky shots taking 'em out. Plus the death-star was large enough to have its own gravity well, there probably was some trapped gas at the surface from the exhaust if nothing else.

//Nerding up the thread in a random direction since I'm pretty sure most people are already basically familiar with the fluid dynamics of formation flight in the general sense.
 
2009-05-19 6:11:26 PM  

Valkryie01: Drafting, It is not just for NASCAR anymore!!


[image from teamcolavita.com too old to be available]
They agree.
 
2009-05-19 6:26:39 PM  

OnmyojiOmn: Hi, I'm epic DARPA guy. I'm about to weaponize this thread.


why am i suddenly reminded that saddam built multiple giant cannons for launching WMD's...

quick googlefu leads to this link (new window) and this (new window)


/a wave of 100 or so shells with some kind of guidance to bring the front shell to the rear of the group without totally losing the group, launched from a group of mobile rail guns?
 
2009-05-19 6:43:31 PM  
images.despair.comView Full Size
(new window)

/obvious
 
2009-05-19 6:43:31 PM  
As long as we're getting nerdy here. The term is HEAD-UP DISPLAY (or HUD) not heads-up (as written in the article), which would be correct if they were referring to a match poker game or being admonished by a coach to look for the ball.


///just saying
 
2009-05-19 7:18:35 PM  

Lampmonster: You know why one side of the V formation is always longer?

There are more ducks on that side.

Do you know why more geese are in one side? Because that side is longer.


Do you know why there are more ducks?

Because there are ducks.

/At least that's original
 
TSE
2009-05-19 7:37:16 PM  
Suck it again, NASA haters.
 
2009-05-19 8:39:55 PM  

OnmyojiOmn: guidesarchive.ign.com

Hi, I'm epic DARPA guy. I'm about to weaponize this thread.


adding Sigint was a nice touch to this thread.
 
2009-05-19 8:58:20 PM  

cartersdad: Hasn't this been known for like...years decades?


aerospaceweb.orgView Full Size


We knew about this back before the world was colorized.
 
2009-05-19 9:39:00 PM  
However the NASA effort was cut short due to lack of money, and the idea was kicked into touch - until now.

The idea was kicked into touch?

What does that mean? Is there an allusion I don't get?
 
2009-05-19 10:58:22 PM  

hogans: Lampmonster: You know why one side of the V formation is always longer?

There are more ducks on that side.

Do you know why more geese are in one side? Because that side is longer.

Do you know why there are more ducks?

Because there are ducks.

/At least that's original


Do you know why they fly in a "V"?

A "Q" would be too damn difficult.
 
2009-05-19 11:15:04 PM  
uh...the pattern is full?
 
2009-05-20 12:27:06 AM  

hyperspacemonkey: The idea was kicked into touch?

What does that mean? Is there an allusion I don't get?


Rugby (new window). An American translation would be "sidelined".
 
2009-05-20 9:31:35 AM  
There's a downside to close formation, and that's mental exhaustion. Even if the leader's not doing anything complicated or unpredictable, closer distances mean corrections need to be faster, more frequent and more precise. You can't "zone out" as per lazy cruising; the only one with that luxury would be the formation leader. The relative velocity of a collision would be very low so I'd have confidence in military or even commercial aircraft to shake off a "bump", but I'd imagine plane-to-plane is even less fun than bird-to-bird.
 
2009-05-20 9:40:22 AM  
One thing I've noticed with geese is that they don't keep that formation for very long. One is always peeling off or slowing down, allowing another to take point.

On V can split into two or three in the time it takes to fly across one large cornfield.

/make way for lazy geese
 
2009-05-20 1:06:31 PM  
Look up in the sky
They said on the radio station.
They're up quite high,
Flying in a V formation.

Here come the geese!
Here come the geese!

Now they're on lawns,
The patios and ponds,
On the sidewalks
On the rooftops,
On the hillside,
On the playground slide,
In the shadows,
The parking lots, the meadows,
The fences and ledges,
Benches and hedges,
In the schoolyard,
On the boulevard,
In the high school halls,
In the shopping malls.
Watch under your feet,
They said on the radio station.
 
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