Engineers study bird flight with an eye toward improving uncrewed drones

People have been fascinated by bird flight for centuries, but exactly how birds can be so agile in the air remains mysterious. A new study, published Sept. 5 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses modeling and aerodynamics to describe how gulls can change the shape of their wings to control their response to gusts or other disturbances. The lessons could one day apply to uncrewed aerial vehicles or other flying machines.

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