- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Video: Airplane Perches Like a Bird
21 July 2010 4:26 pm
Please download the latest version of the free Flash plug-in.
Credit: Video courtesy of Russ Tedrake and Rick Cory
It's a bird, it's a plane ... well, it's a bit of both. Researchers have designed an experimental glider that can fly like a plane and land like a bird. In a paper submitted to Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, computer scientists report that they took a page from parakeets and other perching fowl. When the birds zoom in for a landing on, say, a telephone wire, they drop their tails and raise their wings in what's called a high angle of attack. Planes can't do this, because their wings were built for level flight and gradual descents; too high an angle creates severe turbulence that stalls the plane. The researchers developed a control system that quickly compensates for the effects of the turbulence and keeps the aircraft at precisely the correct angle to avoid stalling. The technology, they say, could be used to develop robot craft that recharge themselves by perching on electric power lines.
See more Videos.